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Magical places in Dordogne

The Dordogne is like an open air story book; full of unusual places, taking you back in time: country gardens, enchanting castles and picture-postcard villages.

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©Les Conteurs
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Castles to visit in the Dordogne Valley

The Dordogne Valley is also called the valley of 1001 castles. The Medieval and Renaissance castles of the region will delight children and adults alike. 

Catapulted back to the Middle Ages at the Château de Castelnaud


Near to Marqueyssac gardens

The château de Castelnaud, dominating the valley from its rocky outcrop, takes you back to the Middle Ages. Castle walls, weapons and catapults; it’s as if you were living in medieval times. 


Stunning views from Château de Beynac


Near to Château de Castelnaud

A visit to Richard Lionheart’s castle leaves no-one indifferent. Every room tells a story. Its strategic position gives visitors an aerial view of the valley.   

Unusual entertainment at château des Milandes

40 mn

Near to château de Castelnaud

There are several out of the ordinary activities on offer at Josephine Baker’s old home, château des Milandes, from falconry to fencing not forgetting archaeology workshops and meeting the animals

The devilish Périgourdian, Château de Lacypierre

30 mn

Near to jardins d’Eyrignac 

One of the two owners of the château de Lacypierre will take you on a guided visit. They were children when their parents restored the castle, and they will tell you the story behind this Périgordian jewel. 

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Dream gardens of Périgord Noir

Owing to its rich ecology, the Dordogne Valley has an abundant variety of bucolic and inspiring gardens.  

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Visits and surprises at the Jardins de Marqueyssac

37 mn

Near to château de Castelnaud

The picturesque and romantic hanging gardens of Marqueyssac cannot fail to charm visitors. Performances, nature workshops and unusual activities are regularly on offer for both adults and children. Marqueyssac is also very well known for its candlelit evenings during the summer season: 2000 candles line the garden paths high above the valley

At Eyrignac, the gardens have their own secrets

40 mn

The secrets of the art of topiary are revealed at the formal French gardens at Eyrignac. On warm summer evenings you are invited to white picnics at Eyrignac, to eat outside in the magical surroundings of the illuminated gardens.

Enchanted journey in the Jardins de l’Imaginaire at Terrasson

At the Jardins de l’Imaginaire, you will be amazed by the panoramic views of the valley and the old town of Terrasson. During Electronic Garden Evenings, the gardens are transformed by impressive light play over the plants and the water gardens, creating an extraordinary effect.

Jardins Panoramiques at Limeuil

30 mn

1h30 mn

Not far from the Vézère Valley

The gardens are well named! The panoramic gardens at Limeuil are situated high up on a rocky outcrop and overlook the confluence of the Vézère and the Dordogne. Plant lovers will adore these educational and inspirational gardens. They are the perfect place to enjoy peace and quiet. Afterwards, wander around the lanes of Limeuil, classified one of “the Most Beautiful Villages in France” and finish your visit daydreaming on the shady banks of the Dordogne

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A bucolic break at the Jardins d’eau à Carsac

40 min

Near to Sarlat

Just above the  river Dordogne, opposite Druid’s Forest a water garden with flowers and waterfalls awaits you at Les Jardins d’Eau at Carsac-Aillac. If you visit in the cool of the morning, you can then picnic on the pebble beach by the Dordogne only a few metres away.  

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Fairytale villages 

Time seems to stand still in the villages of Périgord Noir, picture-perfect with paved streets, warm golden stone houses and old churches.

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Roque Gageac
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La Roque Gageac, nestled under the cliffs

40 min

Near to Sarlat

Sheltered by its high, limestone cliffs, this Périgord village is a major site in the Dordogne Valley between Domme, Sarlat and Beynac. Humble rural dwellings and fine noble mansions sit side by side along its medieval streets. Its geographical orientation allows Mediterranean plants to flourish, and its troglodytic fort gives a magical view over the valley and the château de la Malartrie.  

The spirit of Périgord at Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère

40 min

From the moment you arrive, you can sense that St Léon sur Vézère, has been inhabited by mankind for centuries. It is very pretty, situated on the banks of the river. Stroll along the alleyways and admire old stone houses and look out for the craft shops scattered through the village.  

You can stay 5mns away from this “Most Beautiful Village in France”at Le Paradis***** which invites you to stay next to the river

More about Saint-Léon sur Vézères
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Saint Amand de Coly and its mystical woods

25 min

A village in bloom, popular for its numerous signposted walks. One, through the woods explains to adults and children the local legend of the Lébérou monster. Another leads you to an imposing abbey, then to a view over the traditional lauze tiled roofs of the village

A fairy tale trilogy in the Rocamadour area

1h30min (expédition à la journée)

It’s well worth taking a detour into the Lot: Rocamadour village, the gouffre de Padirac, and finally the village and waterfall at Autoire. Leave early in the cool of the morning, to follow in the footsteps of pilgrims on the route to Santiago de Compostela up the cliffside village of Rocamadour. Then descend 100 metres into the earth for a boat ride on the lit underground waters of the Gouffre de Padirac. Finish your day at Autoire, a charming village with a hidden footpath leading to a majestic waterfall.   

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Le Paradis, gateway to the major sites in Périgord

Situated at Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère, Le Paradis 5-stars, is at the junction of the Dordogne and the Vézère valleys, close to the region’s major tourist sites. These include the caves of Lascaux 2 and Lascaux 4, 15mn from this holiday destination, with lots of nearby activities. Le Paradis has been welcoming couples, families and groups since 1967.  

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