Villages of character in Périgord
How can you fail to fall under the spell of the Périgord’s villages of character? The warm rays of the south-western sun highlight the yellow stone.
These villages and bastides are built on the banks of rivers, like the Dordogne, or clinging to the cliffs above them.
Les Chalets du Périgord, camping with spa in Sarlat, is the ideal starting point for discovering all these remarkable, picturesque villages steeped in history.
The Dordogne and its most beautiful villages in France
The Dordogne is France’s second-largest department in terms of the number of villages listed as “Most Beautiful Villages in France”. No less than 10 communes await you:
Saint-Jean-de-Côle in Périgord Vert, Saint-Amand-de-Coly near Lascaux, then Domme, la Roque-Gageac, Castelnaud-la-Chapelle and Beynac along the Dordogne, Limeuil at the confluence of the Dordogne and Vézère rivers, and finally Belvès and Monpazier to the south.
One of the hallmarks of Périgord buildings is the Lauze roof, a stack of flat stones used as roofing. This process can be seen in the many bories that dot the region.
La Roque-Gageac, a small village 10 km south of Sarlat, is bathed in sunshine. Its magnificent cobbled streets open onto numerous terraces, and provide access to the Manoir de Tarde, the troglodyte fort and Château de la Malartrie.
Nestled in the heart of the village, an oasis of freshness awaits you. An exotic linear garden created by a palm tree enthusiast. You’ll pass under banana arches and among Canary palms, papyrus, Japanese medlar and oleander.
To take a step back, and get a bird’s-eye view of the dwellings, climb aboard one of the barges that will guide you along the Dordogne, discovering castles and hanging gardens.
The village of Domme is a former royal bastide, with a breathtaking view over the Dordogne from its belvedere. You can explore the narrow streets on foot or aboard the tourist train.
Once through the gates of the citadel, you can explore the picturesque little stores, the old windmill, the Oustal eco-museum and the cliff walk.
Surprisingly for a hilltop village in the Périgord, Domme has its own cave of concretions under the central market hall. Enjoy the 450 m of coolness, while admiring the draperies, pools and stalactites.
The village of Beynac lies 10 km southwest of Sarlat, on the banks of the Dordogne. Its cobbled streets lead up to the château, and when you turn around on the way up, you can’t help but admire the panoramic view over the Dordogne.
Behind its fortified gates, this magnificent medieval village is home to typical houses with lauze roofs, a seigniorial chapel, a calvary and its castle, from which you can see the river and other surrounding castles.
To discover the town in a different way, take to the skies in a hot-air balloon or paddle down the Dordogne in a canoe.