Towns & Villages
40 minutes drive
Domme is a fortified village that sits on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Dordogne valley, and is one of our favourite places to visit. It is a delightful place to stroll around, with lots of cobbled streets to explore. In Summer there are lots of interesting shops to browse selling artisans arts and crafts, as well as a good selection of cafes and restaurants. The highlight of a trip to Domme has to be the fantastic views of the Dordogne valley. Oh...and we can never resist an ice cream from the glacier just off the main square!
There are some caves beneath Domme, which are accessed via a lift below the tourist office. In the Summer, a Petit Train operates which tours the village, starting and finishing in the main square. This is great option if you have very young children or just old and tired legs as some of the streets are fairly steep!
Les Eyzies de Tayac
20 minutes drive
Les Eyzies lies between the Vezere river and and some imposing cliffs which overhang the village. It is home to a number of important sites including the National Prehistory Museum, the Grand Roc and Font-de-Gaume Caves. The town itself is small and lies mostly along one main street with a reasonable selection of bars, cafes and restaurants. There is plenty of pay and display parking off the main street which is clearly sign posted, however in July and August it can get busy. Les Eyzies is a popular starting or finishing point for those wishing to walk or get out on the river, and so there are several good canoe hire companies operating in the town.
Saint Leon Sur Vezere
10 minutes drive/45 minutes walk
This is perhaps the most popular village in the area for reasons that will be obvious when you visit. It is a 45 minute walk along the river from our Gites, and if you do choose to walk, you will be rewarded with beautiful views of the river along the way, and of the village as you arrive. It's all a little Bohemian, with a lovely mix of riverside cafes, local artisan's shops and old stone houses. The village has a small shop selling bread and other general supplies, and some of our favourite places to eat. (see our 'Eating Out' page for further details). In July and August, St Leon is home to one of the best night markets in the area, which take place once a week, and provide the setting for a lovely evening out, (see our Night Markets page for further details).
10 minutes drive
It's our nearest town, and home to all the essential things you will need to help you enjoy your holiday. Montignac sits right on the Vezere river, with a one way traffic system linked by two bridges, one at each end of the town. It is a busy little town, with markets held on both Wednesday and Saturday mornings. There is a good Intermarche supermarket (with petrol station) just before you reach he town on the D706, and in the center of town you will find a good selection of bakeries, cafes, restaurants and bars. Parking is easy, with lots of pay and display spaces. Montignac is best known for the world famous Lascaux Caves, which were discovered in 1942, and contain some of the worlds earliest and best preserved cave art.
35 minutes drive
Le Bugue is a small market town on the Vezere River, between Les Eyzies and Limeuil. It straddles the river and the bridge across the Vezere is an important crossing point so can be busy in high season. Just outside Le Bugue is the Gouffre de Proumeyssac cave, which is well worth a visit. It is a spectacular cave with a rather gruesome history, and lots of stalactites and stalagmites. Le Bugue is also a popular destination for families as there are lots of attractions in the area suitable for young children, including a large waterpark, an aquarium, the Parc du Bournat 1900's Village and canoe hire.
30 minutes drive
Terrasson is a lovely town with the Vezere river flowing through its centre. It is made up of creamy stone and half-timbered houses, and the mix of different styles make it interesting to explore. The old town sits on the southside of the river, where the steep streets are paved or cobbled and largely pedestrianised. From the Place Bouquier, a gardened area leads up to the impressive abbey church. Terrasson is also home to our favourite artisan pottery. Julie Z has a small shop at the foot of the hill up to the main square. Her pottery is lovely and we are slowly collecting pieces each time we visit! Market day is Thursday, when the town and riverside cafes are busy! Terrassson is also home to the Jardins de l'Imaginaire, and from where you can board a Gabare river boat for a relaxing trip down the river.
Sarlat La Caneda
30 minutes drive
Sarlat is a beautiful old medieval town lying just a few kilometres north of the Dordogne river, and it is probably the most visited town in the Dordogne. When you go, you will understand why. It has a very good tourist office which is worth visiting as it has information on things to see and do, not just in Sarlat, but for the whole Dordogne region. The main square, La Place de la Liberté, is completely pedestrianised and surrounded by wonderful old honey coloured buildings, which are now home to lots of busy restaurants and cafes. This is the perfect place to stop for a drink and to soak up the Sarlat atmosphere. Market days are Saturday and Wednesday, and Sarlat also hosts a popular Christmas fair in December with around 40 wooden chalets selling arts and crafts and an outdoor ice-rink.
45 minutes drive
Perigueux is a busy town and the administrative centre for the Dordogne region, with a long history dating back to roman times. It suffered badly during the course of the 100 years war, but plenty of the old medieval streets around the old Byzantine Cathedral still survive and make it really interesting to visit. The cathedral was the model for the Sacre Coeur in Paris, and its cluster of domes can be seen from all over the city. Adjacent to the cathedral is the Place de la Clautre, which was once the place for public executions, but it is now where the excellent Wednesday and Sunday markets are held. This is one of the best French markets around and if you do visit, be sure to find the stall selling Canelle, a local delicacy we love, that's perfect with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate! .
45 minutes drive
Limeuil is a lovely village overlooking the confluence of the Dordogne and Vezere rivers, and is included in a group of villages officially classified as “the most beautiful in France”. The village is one of many 'picture postcard pretty' villages in the Dordogne. It’s steep cobbled streets wind up through the village between the honey-coloured houses and scattered pretty gardens. At the top of the village is the Parc Limeuil, which is a quiet spot to relax in with some lovely views out over the confluence of the Dordogne and Vezere rivers. When you’ve had your walk, back down by the river, there is a nice bar/restaurant which is the perfect place to enjoy a drink and or a snack/lunch whilst you watch the world go by. If the sun is shining and you’re feeling relaxed, days like this don’t get any better!