Visit the Périgord

Map of Périgord

The villages in the Golden Triangle are all within 15 kilometers / 15 minutes from Le Petit Manoir.

Carte du triangle d’or en Périgord Noir

Sarlat is the capital of Périgord Noir. Every year, more than a million visitors discover or rediscover this medieval jewel. With its narrow streets and its Gothic or Renaissance mansions, Sarlat boasts the greatest number of historical monuments per square meter in France after Paris. Since 1964, the city has benefited from govermental help to facilitate the restoration of its old neighborhoods of great heritage and architectural value, beautiful day and night with the limestone honey-colored stone.
Sarlat is lively in all seasons, the market in the old city is as famous as the many restaurants, which pay tribute to black truffle and foie gras. Three festivals punctuate the year, the truffle festival in January, the festival of theater games in July-August and the film festival in November.

With its cliff overlooking the Dordogne from a height of 150 meters, the village of Beynac has a strategic position, occupied by men since the Bronze Age.
His castle played an important role during the Hundred Years War (1337-1453). The Dordogne then marked the border between France and England. The castle of Beynac was French, in front of its great rival, the castle of Castelnaud on the other side of the river, which was English: between them, the battles were numerous.
After browsing the steep pedestrian streets of the pretty village, from the top of the castle, the views are exceptional on the river and the surrounding countryside, gardens and manor of Marqueyssac, Castles of Castelnaud and Milandes.
Several films were shot in Beynac, including Jean-Marie Poiré's Les Visitors II in 1998 and Luc Besson's Jeanne d'Arc in 1999.

To access the drawbridge that leads to the castle, it is possible to park downhill by the Dordogne river and climb on foot. There is also parking at the level of the Castle, accessible from the back of the village.

Classified one of the most "beautiful villages of France", La Roque-Gageac nestles along the high limestone cliff, in a long ribbon by the Dordogne river.
Most of its buildings date from the Middle Ages, when the village was the summer residence of the bishops of Sarlat. The cliff is also home to many troglodyte buildings.
The situation of the village, facing south and sheltered by the high cliff, gives it a Mediterranean climate, which has allowed for exotic gardens to grow near the church, with Mediterranean and sub-tropical plants.
From the port of the village depart ancient "gabarres", flat-bottomed and shallow boats formerly intended for the transport of goods and now converted for tourists. Navigating this stretch of the Dordogne in the Golden Triangle reveals superb views of the surrounding villages and castles.

Castle of Castelnaud faces Beynac from a rocky peak overlooking the confluence of the Dordogne and Céou. It is well worth a visit, for the castle itself, more restored than Beynac, and for the Museum of War in the medieval ages. The Museum has an impressive collection of weapons and machines of war of that era, including enormous catapults which are exposed on the platform of the West Bastion. The visit is spectacular, and appeals to the imagination of young people from 7 to 77 years!

Castelnaud is also home to an Eco-museum of Walnuts in Périgord, and his pastry chef at the foot of the bridge over the Dordogne is one of the most famous of the Golden Triangle!

The gardens of Marqueyssac offer more than six kilometers of paths of walk in a vast park of 22 hectares, where alternate ordered walks of well-cut boxwood and country trails bordered with wild boxwood and other local species.
Three tours, dotted with signs informing visitors about the fauna, flora and history of the gardens, lead to the Belvedere, a balcony 130 meters above the river, which overlooks a panoramic view of the Dordogne valley, its cingles and its castles ..
In the summer, every Thursday night until midnight, two thousand candles are placed in the alleys of the gardens to illuminate the paths, allowing to contemplate the surrounding landscape with the illuminated historical sites. Several bands play in different parts of the park.

Dominating the cultivated plain of the Dordogne from the top of 150 meters of its cliff, Domme is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful bastides, as one called in Aquitaine medieval fortified cities. It was founded by Philip the Bold in 1281, with the mission to thwart Anglo-Gascon ambitions in the region.
We enter the ancient city by a broad fortified gate at the bottom of the main street. The great towers on either side of this fortified gate served as a prison for the Templars after the dissolution of the order in 1307. The main street then goes up to the center of the city.
From the belvedere near the church, the panorama is exceptional, ranging from Cingle de Montfort in the east to La Roque-Gageac and Beynac in the west. We distinguish the steeple of lauzes of the church of Vitrac Bourg, near the Petit Manoir!
The main square of Domme is a surprise: you can escape the heat of summer thanks to the caves whose entrance is hidden under the halls! Driven by 450 meters of galleries decorated with concretions, they served as shelter for the inhabitants of the city during the Hundred Years War and other troubled times. At the other end of the galleries, a panoramic lift brings visitors along the cliff.

Close to the Petit Manoir, from the road clinging to the cliff, we discover in a bend a beautiful view of a meander of the Dordogne which develops below, enveloping the peninsula Tursac planted with walnut trees. The castle of Montfort stands proudly at the top of a promontory, but it does not visit.

With a triple enclosure and eight towers covered with slate, the castle Fenelon overlooking the valley of the Dordogne and the woods of Bouriane. Its imposing defense system, very well preserved, has ensured the security of the fortress during its long history.
It houses a collection of weapons and armaments, as well as a collection of furniture and works of art dating from the 15th to the 18th century.

UNESCO World Heritage Site: "Prehistoric sites and ornate caves of the Vézère Valley"
Lascaux is the most famous Paleolithic cave in the world, nicknamed "The Sistine Chapel of Prehistory". It contains more than 1500 paintings of bulls, bison and horses, dated to around 17 000 years ago (period of the ancient Magdalenian). There are also traces of human representation.
The cave of Lascaux was discovered in 1940 and very quickly visitors from all over the world came to see this magnificent cave. After so many visits, the colors and details of the paintings began to fade and almost disappear. In 1963, for the preservation of the cave, the original cave was closed to tourists. In 1983, a first facsimile was opened, Lascaux II.
The reconstructed cave of Lascaux IV, an impressive replica made by contemporary artists using the same tools and techniques, was opened in 2016. With a modern museography, it is one of the most visited sites of the Périgord Noir.

Losse Castle, a medieval fortress rebuilt in the 16th century, towers over the valley of the Vézère. It is reached by a "dormant bridge" over the wide moat, and one enters a defensive castle, which succeeds the large courtyard of honor facing the Grand Logis Renaissance. The visit of the elegant gardens is very pleasant

Halfway between Montignac and Les Eyzies, built on a meander of the Vézère, Saint Léon sur Vézère is a village resting away from the crowds. Once a prosperous port, it is well guarded by its three private castles: the Manoir de la Salle at the entrance of the village, the Clérans castle near the river and the Chabans castle at the top of the village. Charming inns line the north bank of the Vézère and invite the visitor to a break to enjoy the tranquility of the place.
The Romanesque church of the village dates from the twelfth century, it was part of a Benedictine priory. Perfectly balanced, it opens towards the river, and its roofs are topped with lauzes of Périgord. In summer, a classical music festival gives some concerts.

UNESCO World Heritage Site: "Prehistoric sites and ornate caves of the Vézère Valley"
Halfway between Les Eyzies and Montignac, in one of the most beautiful landscapes of Perigord, rises on the Vézère at the huge cliff of the Roque Saint-Christophe (900 meters long, 80 meters above from the river).
La Roque Saint-Christophe is the most majestic prehistoric site of the 147 sites of the Vézère Valley. It is truly remarkable, not only for its rare and wild beauty but also for its size, and the number of troglodyte houses it houses in its hundred caves. These natural cavities have been occupied by man since prehistoric times, they served as a base for the construction of a fort in the 10th century, before becoming a real city of 1500 people in the fourteenth century.
A house from the year 1000 has been restored to give an idea of ​​everyday life at this time.

UNESCO World Heritage Site: "Prehistoric sites and ornate caves of the Vézère Valley"
Located near Eyzies, the cave of Font-de-Gaume is decorated with Magdalenian engravings and paintings dating, for the oldest, 14 000 years before Christ and contemporaries of Lascaux. Discovered in 1901, the 130-meter-long cave contains about 250 paintings. Only 30 can still be visited, in the gallery closest to the entrance.
The cave of Font-de-Gaume is the last in Europe with prehistoric paintings still open to the public. Only 78 visitors can enter daily in small groups. Tickets are sold in the lobby of the Font de Gaume cave the same day, and the number of visitors allowed to access the cave varies depending on the conditions. It is therefore not possible to book your visit. During school holidays and high season, it is strongly recommended to arrive well before the opening of the box office at 9:30, except on Saturday because the cave is closed.
If you do not get a ticket, you can visit other sites of cave art in the Vézère Valley such as Lascaux IV. The visit of the National Museum of Prehistory to Eyzies also allows you to discover the tools and art objects from the many prehistoric sites of the Vézère Valley.

This surprising 700 year old fortified castle is built in the cliff, its facade (XIVth century) closes a shelter under rock in which one has found vestiges of the Magdalenian period. Classified Historical Monument, it is the only castle-cliff in France still intact. The furnished rooms give a good idea of life in the sixteenth century.
Below the castle is an impressive collection of torture instruments, some of which date from the time of the Inquisition. The visit is optional, some consider it very disturbing, it is not recommended for children or sensitive souls!

Well hidden in a small valley halfway between Sarlat and Les Eyzies, the imposing ruins of the Castle of Commarque and the surrounding village are located in an exceptional environment. Dating from the 12th century and built on a troglodyte base, the site was abandoned in the 17th century and almost forgotten.
It was not until 1968 that Hubert de Commarque, descendant of the former owners, bought the ruins of his ancestors to engage in the process of restoration. In recent years, an archaeological research program has been set up. From the top of the dungeon, the view is remarkable.
The castle is reached on foot by a walk through the forest of about fifteen minutes. The Commarque site is worth a visit.

Puymartin Castle, built in 1270, served as the border between France and England during the Hundred Years War. During the sixteenth century, Jean de Saint-Clar, on his return from war, found his wife in the arms of his lover. This one was immediately executed but Thérèse de Saint-Clair was imprisoned during fifteen years in the small room located in the North tower. When she died, she was immured in this very room. Since then, many people, including the current owner, have seen "The White Lady", a white woman wandering in the castle at night.
Puymartin Castle has changed hands several times, was looted, deprived of its ramparts, towers and roof and even abandoned. The family of the current owner took control of the castle at the end of the 19th century and began the long restoration.
In addition to the elegance of the architecture, you can admire the spiral staircase, a piece of honor decorated with tapestries from the Aubusson workshop and magnificent furniture passed down from generation to generation.

The gardens of Eyrignac were drawn in the XIII century as gardens "à la française", and reworked since. Planted mainly with evergreen vegetation on 4 hectares, they perfectly illustrate topiary art, creator of vegetal sculptures with figurative or geometric forms in yew, boxwood, hornbeam and cypresses. They are visited all year long.
In the forest part of the estate, two walking trails run through a wilder wood.

Built in 1489, the Château des Milandes is known for its former owner, Josephine Baker (1906-1975), an American singer and dancer, an expatriate in Paris. She became a French citizen in 1937. She refused to perform on stage in the United States because of the racially segregated public and became the first world-famous African-American and an inspiration for generations of African-American artists to come. Ernest Hemingway nicknamed her "... the most sensational woman ever seen".
Josephine Baker was part of the French Resistance during the Second World War, she passed secrets written in invisible ink on his sheet music. Because of this, she was the first American to receive the Croix de Guerre, the greatest French military honor.
In 1949, she bought the Château des Milandes, where she protested in her own way against racism by adopting twelve multi-ethnic orphans, which she called The Rainbow Tribe. Milandes became the village of the world and children represented for her the concept of universal brotherhood.
At the castle, there is now an exhibition on his extraordinary life in addition to a park, traditional gardens and a falconry show. This small show of thirty minutes takes place in the gardens of the castle, has six to eight birds of prey and generally pleases the children.

Belvès is a very charming medieval village on the top of a hill with a well-preserved bastide and a covered market dating back to the 15th century. From its rocky outcrop dominating the Nauze Valley, the views are exceptional over the surrounding countryside. At the bottom of the bastide, we discover cluzeaux, troglodyte dwellings where the poor lived from the 12th to the 18th century.

The small road from Domme to Belves, St. Cybranet and La Chapelle Pechaud is very pretty, just like the view when you arrive at Belvès de Monpazier.

The Water Gardens are not well known but they are out of the ordinary. This lily garden is located in Carsac, less than ten minutes from the Petit Manoir, on the road towards Grolejac.
The garden of water is three hectares and it faces a forest and gives on one side on the Dordogne. From late May to early October, several types of American and Asian lotus and other exotic plants are in bloom.

Prêt pour venir visiter le Périgord ?

Réservez votre gîtes près de Sarlat à Vitrac au Petit Manoir