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- The village
- Eating facilities
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- Countryside activities
- Entertainment & evenings
- The surrounding area
A destination rich in heritage
In the heart of the Dordogne valley, the Slow Village Périgord is situated at the crossroads of major tourist attractions in the region. You’ll be filled with wonder by the amazing landscapes and picturesque villages, including some classified as “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France” (the loveliest villages in France – protecting their historical and cultural heritage).
The Périgord Noir (Black Périgord), a must-see destination for an unforgettable holiday. Crossed by the Dordogne valley, this rich and authentic land does not fail to enable your discovery of beauty spots and landscapes, unique in the world. There are prehistoric caves, fortified castles, majestic gardens, the meandering river, troglodyte caves…Recharge your batteries in these surroundings with a change of scenery, perfect for forgetting everyday stress and routine.
Green? Black? Purple? White?
These four colours express the various features of the department’s 4 tourist areas. The Périgord Blanc takes its name from the limestone plateaux in this part of the Dordogne, notably its white rock, an integral part of local buildings. The colour green comes from the abundance of lush vegetation, plentiful in this part of the department. The Périgord Pourpre (Purple Périgord) gets its name from the colour of its wine. To conclude, the Périgord Noir (Black Périgord) refers to the highly dark leaves of the holm oaks in the large valleys of the Dordogne and the Vézère.
of the Périgord Noir
Are you wondering what to visit during your holiday in the Dordogne?
A few random ideas…
1 – Exploring the Lascaux cave
2 – Laying siege to the Castelnaud castle
3 – Strolling through the Marqueyssac gardens
4 – Canoeing down the Dordogne river
5 – Going around the alleyways of the loveliest villages in France
6 – Taking off above the Dordogne valley
The Lascaux cave
On the trail of early Man
The Sistine chapel of wall art
Discovered in 1940 by four teenagers, Lascaux is one of the most significant decorated caves of the Palaeolithic era. Located 25 kilometres from Sarlat la Canéda, in the town of Montignac, the Lascaux cave reveals paintings depicting bulls, horses, big cats, and even…a rhino. It was classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.
Whilst the original cave has been closed to the public since 1963 to preserve it, you can visit a replica with a guided tour of around 1 hour 30 minutes. Opened in 1983, Lascaux II contains only 90% of the wall paintings.
“Cave paintings 18,000 years old”
A cave going back in time
in 2016 Lascaux IV opened, the only complete replica staying true to the original cave’s authenticity. Inside this exact replica, the atmosphere is the same as the original cave. It is cool, dark and sound is even muffled here. The frescos have been reproduced to the millimetre using the techniques of Cro-Magnon man. A recreational and interactive route (3D film, virtual reality helmet, digital theatre, etc.), allows each visitor to have a unique experience at the heart of prehistory.
villages in France (with the “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France” designation)
In the footsteps of gallant knights
If you’re looking for unique and authentic scenery, you’re in the right place! Equipped with a camera, go off to explore these enchanting locations, where every nook is worth at least one click. Sometimes perched on the top of steep rocks or suspended on cliff sides, these picturesque villages will reveal exceptional panoramas over the Dordogne valley to you.
The must-see stops in the Périgord Noir
1 Beynac et Cazenac
The charm of this village nestling on top of the cliffs, will not leave you unmoved. Perfectly preserved, the medieval fortress which towers up into the sky opposite the river, is without any doubt, the star attraction of the show. The castle is open all year and offers visits. If the view gives you vertigo, favour a gabarre trip. Thanks to this traditional flat-bottomed boat, you will be able to enjoy a sublime panorama over the village.
2 La Roque Gageac
Amongst the river and cliff, this former port on the Dordogne river enjoys an exceptional location. During your walk in the village, keep your eyes peeled as the alleyways abound in picturesque Renaissance houses hidden in lush and exotic vegetation. Having played explorer, go up the 140 steps to get to Fort Troglodyte. Hollowed into the cliff, this fortress built in the 12th century was armed with an incredible defensive system, whose remains are still completely visible: the ditch, parapet, arrow slits, murder holes including a variant and gun loops.
Clinging to a rocky outcrop, this medieval village of the 11th century will offer you a breathtaking view above the chestnut trees of the Bessède forest (a national forest). This village of seven towers which has preserved its charm and all its authenticity, conceals medieval ruins superbly preserved like the mural frescos of the 16th century, adorning the Hôtel de Commarque castle. Do not miss the basements in the Place d’Armes square, home to underground troglodyte caves, which can be visited.
4 Castelnaud la Chapelle
You’ve got lucky, as this exceptional village nestling on its rocky outcrop in the hollow of two hills, is home to not one but two castles! The first, a feudal castle accommodates the Museum of War in the Middle Ages, whilst the second, the Renaissance castle (Chateau des Milandes) was Joséphine Baker’s residence. Nowadays, it is home to a museum about the fame of its renowned owner. From the grounds, you’ll have a panoramic view over the entire valley.
At the top of a headland of 210 metres, the walled village of Domme overlooks the Dordogne valley. This royal residence has the unique feature of being built (in 1281) on a limestone rock, home to the largest naturally developed cave in the Périgord Noir. The history of this village, attacked numerous times during the Hundred Years’ War, is told through its alleyways, fortifications and other architectural gems spread throughout the village.