Are you wondering what to visit when you are on holiday in the Dordogne? Consult our pages which inform you about the best tourist sites of the Périgord Noir, the unmissable ones when you are on holiday around Sarlat, in the Vézère Valley or in the Dordogne Valley! Visits to castles, gardens, caves and rock shelters, for a busy stay with family or friends! You will not have enough of a single stay to see everything, you will have to come back!
For even more ideas, check out the Guide du Périgord blog, with reports on Dordogne sights, the best things to do in Périgord.
The Château de Losse dominates the Vézère valley. Enclosed in the fortified medieval enclosure, the grand Renaissance dwelling offers visitors sumptuous decor and furniture from the period. The walk in the green rooms of the garden and in the park completes the visit. Audiovisual presentations, shop.
For a view of the castle from the Vézère, turn left out of the castle, at the roundabout turn left again then take the road towards Montignac. You can take a picture of the terraces as well as the cascade of roses and boxwood!
Founded in the 12th century, the Château de Castelnaud, which once belonged to the English, overlooks the Dordogne valley. Abandoned during the Revolution, classified as a Historic Monument in 1966, dominates the Dordogne valley and offers a magnificent panorama over the sites of Beynac, Marqueyssac and La Roque Gageac.
Open to the public since 1985, this fortified castle is entirely devoted to the art of war in the Middle Ages. Come and discover its large collection of weapons and armour , its furniture set, its reconstructions of life-size war machines.
In addition to the models , audiovisuals provide a better understanding of the different modes of attack and defense of a medieval castle. Owned by the Rossillon family, the castle has benefited from three major restoration campaigns. Today, the site welcomes more than 220,000 visitors a year, including 20,000 schoolchildren.
History of Commarque
Commarque is located near a source that has attracted people since prehistoric times. Its first legendary lord is Bovon, who fought the Saracens in the time of Charlemagne.
In the twelfth century, when Garin then Radulphe de Commarque were abbots of Sarlat, several noble families had towers built in Commarque. The fortified village was born with its troglodyte houses and its church. Two towers have survived: that of the Commarque and that of the Beynac family, masters of the seigniory from the 13th to the 18th century. Around 1380, Pons de Beynac enlarged the keep and the castle. During the Hundred Years War, Commarque was treacherously captured by the English.
The barons of Beynac having converted to Protestantism, the castle was besieged and taken by the king's army in 1569. The last lord residing in Commarque died there in 1656...
A walk in the valley offers extraordinary views of the monumental archaeological complex of Commarque and the castle of Laussel which faces it. The visit to the site ends with the ascent of the vertiginous keep of Pons de Beynac and a panorama of the completely preserved valley.
To discover the Château de Beynac is to experience history and enter the Middle Ages through the front door of the most authentic Medieval Fortress in Périgord.
Its exceptional state of preservation will allow you to live a unique and unforgettable experience in total immersion in the footsteps of Richard the Lionheart, Simon and Montfort and the Hundred Years War.
Between sky and earth, from its highest keep, 150 m above the Dordogne river, the Medieval Fortress of Beynac will offer you the most beautiful view of the valley of the five castles.
During the summer season, passionate and exciting guides await you to the delight of young and old alike.
This castle, which has retained its military character, has a triple enclosure with several protecting towers. Access to the terrace on which the castle stands and from which an immense panorama is revealed.
Read our report on the Château de Fénelon , to find out more about the Château and prepare for your visit!
In summer, costumed events take place at the castle, as well as an Escape Game. Read our video article report at the Château de Puymartin.
Former residence and "nursery" of Josephine Baker . A pleasantly designed garden surrounds the chateau ; from the terrace, view of the park. A spiral staircase leads to the different floors.
This art which existed well before the Middle Ages, lives again in the castle of Milandes. In the oldest tower of the castle, the falconer's accessories and numerous documents retrace this ancestral practice. Rendezvous with these majestic flying hunting raptors (live birds). novel: "Jacquou le Croquant".
Read our report article at the Château des Milandes, to prepare your visit to the Château de Joséphine Baker! To know the schedules and animations, consult the information sheet
The Manor and the Gardens of Eyrignac are located 13 km north-east of Sarlat, on the historic route of the 1001 castles of Périgord . The mansion was built in the 17th century by Antoine de Costes de la Calprénède, on the ruins of the previous "Repaire Noble", set on fire by the troops of the Grand Condé.
This house having always belonged to the same family, it has thus remained in its original state. The French Gardens were created in the 18th century by Louis-Antoine-Gabriel de Costes de la Calprénède. Restored to their original state by the current owner, Patrick Sermadiras de Pouzols de Lile, they are exceptional and their visit is worth a detour.
Read our article report on the Jardins du Manoir d'Eyrignac and consult their information sheet to organize your visit.
It is one of the greatest successes in the history of French gardens. Covering an area of 22 hectares, its 5 kilometers of paths and 150,000 hand-cut box trees are the work of several generations of the same family, who have lived in the château since 1692. A man left his mark on the site of Marqueyssac : Julien de Cerval . Passionate about Italian culture, he accentuates the picturesque beauty of the site by creating paths at the foot of the cliffs, viewpoints, places for meditation and poetry. The visit to the park is designed for the enjoyment of all ages. We discover the nature and the sites of Périgord, presented by the team of the castle of Castelnaud.
The garden is an art: each garden is a painting, a universe, of which we are the privileged visitor. Les Jardins de Cadiot in Carlux is the art of gardens in 10 paintings by color theme: terraced gardens over 2 ha and a thousand varieties: Rose garden of old roses, peony garden, labyrinth, ornamental orchard, vegetable garden, sculptures, garden English, mixed-borders, wild garden, boxwood garden, poetry garden, patios . They are away from the world with the only old rose garden in Sarladais (recommended visit period from May 15 to the end of June), and from the vegetable garden to the orchard, from the peony garden to the labyrinth, a range of original creations hailed by Mon Jardin & Maison as a favorite for the gardens of Périgord.
Read our article report on the Jardins de Cadiot
Founded in 1115 in a narrow valley near the forest of Bessède, the abbey of Cadouin , affiliated shortly after its foundation to the order of Cîteaux, experienced great prosperity in the Middle Ages. The church and the cloister , restored after the Revolution, form a remarkable architectural ensemble.
Think of the ticket combined with the Château de Biron, to save money and visit a superb castle! The schedules and information to organize your visit are on the information sheet .
A must-see museum in Périgord and even beyond, overlooking the village, the museum offers several rooms presenting:
And the extension of the museum continues with the construction of new buildings...
Prepare for your visit by reading our report on the National Museum of Prehistory.
In the site, stratigraphic sections more than 9 m high make it possible to follow the succession of prehistoric occupations under the shelter, which has now collapsed. Cro-Magnon men came there many times between 33,000 and 18,000 BC (Aurignacian, Perigordian, Solutrean). In the museum are exhibited original objects discovered during excavations and the work of prehistorians are presented (panels, models, reconstructions ...), allowing to understand who were the men of Cro-magnon, when and how they lived. On the ceiling of the museum shelter, a remarkable ibex has been sculpted in bas-relief, 17,000 BC (Solutrean).
Discovered in 1940 and prepared for visitors in 1948, this cave ranks first among prehistoric sites in Europe by the number and quality of its paintings. The influx of visitors is such that in fifteen years more than a million have come to admire the paintings. It was in 1963 that it was decided to close the cave to preserve it, because the effect of carbon dioxide and humidity led to the development of two diseases that are extremely harmful to the paintings. It was not until twenty years later that the project for a facsimile came to fruition. Lascaux II is above all a technological feat where science has shown great rigour. Indeed, the reliefs are restored in the smallest details, the polychrome paintings are drawn as 17,000 years ago, with natural dyes. Located 200 m from the original cave, the facsimile is a remarkable reconstruction of the upper part of the cave including the hall of the bulls and the axial diverticulum.
It is still possible to visit the cave of Lascaux II , even if Lascaux IV has since opened its doors! The visit is intimate, exciting and will appeal to lovers of a beautiful atmosphere. Consult the information sheet to find out more about the times and terms of visit .
Prestige visits are also organized during the holidays, to make the most of your experience, with or without meals in the restaurant, and in small groups, by torchlight (electric of course...). To find out more about the timetables and organize your visit, consult the information sheet.
The good idea: Keep an eye on the news of Lascaux on their website, original and unusual visits are offered, such as the visit for photographers, that for children or thematic visits during the holidays.
This prehistory initiation center is located on the Thot hill, overlooking the Vézère valley. It includes a museum exhibiting a wide panorama of prehistoric art thanks to a modern museography, and a park presenting a fauna that the Cro-Magnon man rubbed shoulders with and represented, as well as reconstructions of prehistoric camps and scenes of life. daily.
Located 7 km from Les Eyzies, this prehistoric site dating from the Middle Magdalenian (about 15,000 years before our days), dominates the Grande Beune valley, opposite the Château de Commarque.
In 1909, the excavations directed under the shelter by Doctor Lalanne, allowed the discovery of many vestiges (cut flints and worked bones), and the update of a monumental frieze carved on 14 meters of wall.
Horses, bison, deer are made in low and high relief, sometimes more than 20 cm thick.
A human burial was then discovered at the base of the archaeological deposits. Cap Blanc is the largest prehistoric sculpted shelter open to the public.
Remarkable for the beauty of its site, classified as a " Historic Monument ", La Roque Saint Christophe forms a setting of rare and wild beauty. This cliff dominates the Vézère Valley over 900 meters, and over five floors. Its hundred rock shelters were the cradle of many civilizations from prehistory to the Middle Ages. The prodigious entablatures could shelter up to 1000 men. There, you will discover the habitat of our ancestors as well as the traces of their tools, their industry, their art and their worship. In this immense natural fortress, a remarkable troglodyte fort and its city served as ramparts against the Normans, and make this place one of the wonders of the Vézère Valley.
Did you know that the large terrace is over 700m? To organize your visit, read our article report on La Roque Saint-Christophe. See the information sheet for timetables and prices.
The exhibition traces the major discoveries of the archaeological site :
Read our report article in the village of Madeleine and discover their new site: La Ferme Paysanne! An exciting place to learn more about agricultural traditions in Périgord. Consult the sheet for timetables and prices.
Come and discover in this striking prehistoric park , the reconstructions of the life of our distant ancestors and this in the very places where they lived. It is here in the valley of the goulet that the famous statuette known under the name of Venus of Sireuil , was discovered. You will walk along the shelters under rocks, the caves and the habitats in which countless tools and weapons were collected, cut by prehistoric men, 12,000 years ago.
The high limestone cliffs that stand on the right bank of the Vézère, shortly before the village of Eyzies-de-Tayac, form a series of rock shelters that have partially collapsed since their prehistoric occupation. Laugerie-Basse is one of them.
Through the discovery of this dwelling place, you will imagine the daily life of Cro-Magnon , who lived here for about 14000 years.
Excavations were made and the thousands of stone tools and bones thus collected were dispersed in private collections and in several major museums.
A slide show will allow you to appreciate the beauty of these pieces, found at Laugerie-Basse, and to benefit from a quality commentary.
You will also admire the succession of archaeological layers , an exciting journey into the past to discover our ancestors.
Ask for the tablet to visit the site interactively using augmented reality and a virtual excavation site. Read our report on Laugerie Basse and the Grotte du Grand Roc next door (combined ticket possible!). Look at the timetables and fares on the information sheet.
This site, listed as a Historic Monument , has remained private and family-owned. You will learn how Roger Constant, the inventor of the site, fought to maintain his independence thanks to his tenacity. Why, then, did this stocky young Neanderthal want to sleep his last sleep at Le Regourdou, at the top of the famous Lascaux hill. - Was this prestigious site already sacred 50,000 years before the execution of the paintings of the prehistoric cathedral?
These questions may arise in the presence of the oldest known burial, with stone casing, surrounded by an extraordinary ritual in which brown bears buried in intentional pits closely associated with human burial hold the first place. We must pay tribute to Mr ROGER CONSTANT who, in 1957, had the world of scholars recognize the importance of his discovery of the man from Regourdou, to this day the oldest of the Périgourdins.
For timetables and prices, visit the information sheet.
A forgotten fortress -Castrum de Gajaco. Until the 17th century, the history of La Roque-Gageac was that of a “small well-closed town, depending on the temporality of the abbey, then of the bishopric of Sarlat” (G. Tarde).
At that time, the fortress consisted of a rampart , the seigniorial castle of the Bishops , enriched with fortified noble houses and the Troglodyte Forts . The remains that we are visiting today were therefore part of an elaborate defensive system and constituted the ultimate and impregnable fortifications of this ensemble.
Built around the 12th century, the fort, built entirely on the rock, was impossible to climb or undermine, which represented the main dangers of the time. It includes a number of ingenuities of that time in terms of defense (airlock, defensive wells, walkways, loopholes, loopholes, etc.). Over time, enriched and strengthened, it became a symbol of invulnerability. The fortress withstood all attacks during the Hundred Years War and was never taken. The fortifications, reinforced in 1662 and dismantled at the beginning of the 18th century, were then used as a stone quarry. The safeguarding of this heritage began in March 1992.
Read our report on the Fort de la Roque-Gageac ! Go on a visit that will take you to a breathtaking view!
In the heart of Périgord, set in the cliff overlooking the Vézère , the Grotte du Grand Roc presents itself as an exceptional jewel.
Internationally renowned, this masterpiece of natural art offers crystallizations famous for their diversity, the eccentricity of their creations, the abundance and transparency of crystals as well as the richness of forms defying the laws of gravity and for its exceptional triangle formations, unique in the world.
Did you know that it is also possible to visit the Grotte du Grand Roc with a storm lamp? Intimate and exceptional moments that are organized in the summer. Read our report on the night visit of the Grotte du Grand Roc !
Discovered in 2000, Caves with concretions of stalactites and stalagmites and especially with "eccentric", "crystalline or orange" crystallizations. A real sound and light show highlighting the crystallizations. The visit is made easier by the low elevation. Bar, snack bar, souvenir shop, children's play area...
Photos are allowed inside the cave, but without the flash. Ideal to leave with beautiful memories. Read our article on visiting the Maxange cave and consult the information sheet for timetables and prices .
Protected by one of the magnificent slopes of the Vézère Valley , the Gouffre de Proumeyssac is the largest developed cave in Périgord (50 m). The density and variety of crystallizations that adorn the walls of this huge underground vault that can be seen at a glance, offer real geological interest.
With new lighting created for the 3rd millennium and thanks to major developments, the Gouffre de Proumeyssac reveals new charms.
The new visit , based on new cutting-edge technology, meets the many expectations of the public.
Outside, several facilities have been designed to further satisfy the visitor.
All the facilities around the Gouffre are easy to access and free.
The park, whose entrance is free and free, offers educational activities around geology for young and old. Read our report on the Gouffre de Proumeyssac. Consult the timetables on the information sheet .
As surprising as its name, Bara-Bahau offers a double interest.
The first part of this cave presents beautiful marine strata from the secondary era. Formed by the passage of an ancient underground river, the cavity is spacious and unusual.
About a hundred meters from the entrance: the engraving room , intimate and calm, reveals this marvelous testimony to Art in the dim light of the lamps. Little by little our eye discovers on the wall numerous animal representations, traced with finger and flint and almost life-size: a fabulous repertoire of Magdalenian Art.
(17000 years). Horses, bison, aurochs, deer, bears, human hands and enigmatic signs are engraved there in a completely original style.
The many traces of the ancient presence of the bear , and above all, the very rare representation by the prehistoric artist of this animal, make it the sanctuary of the bear cave.
Consult the information sheet to find out more and organize your visit!
10 minutes from Lascaux, come and spend a great family day near one of the most beautiful villages in France.
On this site, 3 activities:
- The Conquil troglodyte site, a beautiful walk with sumptuous rock shelters in a cool, wooded environment.
- The Préhistobranche, a treetop adventure in the middle of the trees, for the whole family
- The Dinosaur Park, to walk in the forest to discover the dinosaurs that populated the earth, an educational trail to learn more about life on earth and surprises all along the way, for all ages!
Read our reports with photos and videos on these 3 places: Le Conquil and its shelters, the Préhistobranche to have fun in the trees and the Dinosaur Park to scare yourself and learn while having fun.
In Tursac , in the Vézère valley, 6 km from Les Eyzies, 2 km from La Roque-Saint-Christophe, discover for the first time scenes from the daily life of the first Neanderthal hunters . Megaloceros hunting from the Mousterian era, reindeer butchering, mammoth and woolly rhinoceros hunting, the various events of our distant history tell us of the awakening of a certain spirituality, the appearance of the first burials.
The life in the habitat of a Magdalenian family around 15000 years ago, the Magdalenian fisherman and engraver, the prehistoric painters, the characters and the animals presented in this park have been reconstructed from the most recent anthropological research established on bone remains.
Relaxation in the middle of a splendid and protected site, accessible to all, free visit.
The Village of Bournat is unlike any other site: above all authentic, full of original ideas and brimming with character, it promises you good times whatever your interests. It's party time in the year 1900! Merry-go-rounds, games, magical settings, which plunge adults back into childhood and children into a magical world... You live the history of Périgord and rejuvenate a hundred years on the banks of the Vézère. Book a whole day at this complete and truly family-friendly park in the heart of the Périgord Noir.
Did you know that nights take place at the Parc du Bournat in summer, with a tavern, music, pig on the spit, light magic and fireworks! Read our article report on the Bournat park. Consult the information sheet for timetables and prices.
We wish you a very good holiday in Périgord Noir. There are obviously many other sites, this list cannot be exhaustive. We invite you to consult the Guide du Périgord blog to find other activities to do with the family, experiences, discoveries, Périgord is endless!