Home » Discover the Vézère Valley

The Vézère Valley, “the cradle of mankind” and prehistory 

vallee de la vezere chateau marzac lesdroners © les droners expiresOn 2031 06 06
velo dordogne vallee vezere

Explore the Vézère Valley, classified Grand Site de France and discover the traces left by generations over the past 450,000 years. Here the countryside is unspoilt, there is beautiful scenery and a remarkable architectural heritage: castles, troglodytic settlements, caves, historic homes and rural buildings.  

A remarkable concentration of sites to visit 

donjon de la salle st leon vezere
decouvir le manoir de la salle st leon resultat

Castles in the Vézère Valley

Special evenings, medieval shows, escape games, self-guided visits…  From 5 to 20mns away by car, all you have to do is choose : 

“Le Donjon et Manoir de la Salle” 



The manor house with a keep tower in its gardens at Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère, has collections varying from music to an old herbalist’s shop and mystical beasts. Visitors can wander in the gardens and climb the ancient round tower for a panoramic view of the village


10 min


Visible from a canoe 

French style formal gardens, a moat and a mini-bamboo maze, make an impressive start to your visit to a Renaissance dwelling. There is a treasure hunt for children. The interiors, influenced by the Italian art of the 16th century, contain treasures such as a 17th century strongbox. The visit ends on the terrace with a spectacular view of the Vézère.


32 min

10 min

Near to Les Eyzies

 Le Château de Marzac has recently opened for escape games set in a real castle. You will take part in the adventures of a château owner: gardens, farm, château, underground cave.  Solve the clues to discover secret places and lift a curse. 

439 chateau de losse a thonac ©DeclicDecolle expiresOn 2025 09 30 scaled resultat
3766 vallee de la vezere chateau marzac lesdroners © les droners expiresOn 2031 06 06
chateau de puymartin
maison forte de reignac


1h09min (favorite road ❤)

18 min

Abandoned in the 18th century, the medieval castle, was completely hidden by brambles until 1972, when the Commarque family began slowly to uncover it. The castle is set in the heart of a forest, next to a stream in the Beune Valley.  The activities organised at Commarque make it a must-see site in Périgord; there are guided visits, workshops and shows throughout most of the season. 


1h30 min

23 min

Near to Sarlat

The château de Puymartin, dates from the 13th century, and is known for the legend of the White Lady. Explore the gardens and its richly decorated rooms with a guided or self-guided visit, or an escape game.


12 min

4 min

Near to Les Eyzies

The Maison Forte de Reignac is a fortified manor house built into cliffs in the 14th century. The intriguing visit reveals the methods devised to defend it in the past. The site includes a prehistory museum, a Great Hall, hunting trophies, and an exhibition on torture in the Middle Ages (optional and not recommended for children or sensitive natures)

chateau de commarque vallee de la vezere lesdroners © les droners expiresOn 2031 06 06
chateau de puymartin

Caves and troglodytic sites

The Vézère Valley is known for its many prehistoric remains and troglodytic sites. The campsite is situated between les Eyzies, the capital of prehistory, and Montignac-Lascaux, known worldwide for the Lascaux Cave

Grottes de Lascaux

44 min

18 min

Near to Montignac

Lascaux is known throughout the world for its unique cave paintings. Though the original cave has been closed to the public since 1963, you can still enjoy a fascinating visit to Lascaux 4, an exact copy of the cave, with interactive activities. Different themed visits can be booked online.

castel merle visites préhistoriques
feuilles resultat

Roque Saint-Christophe

8 min

3 min

Visible from a canoe 

Ideal to visit in all weathers, recreated dwellings and medieval machines are situated along a cliff face, at Roque Saint-Christophe which has been occupied by man for nearly 55,000 years, and gives a fabulous view of the valley.  Different types of visit: demonstrations of medieval machines, guided visits … 

la roque famille guillaume saramito scaled resultat
© Guillaume Saramito
Visit with the whole family!
site castel merle

Castel Merle

37 min

12 min

Visible from a canoe

Who were our ancestors? Find out at the prehistoric site of Castel Merle! Nestled in Vézère Valley woodland, you can visit the Castel-Merle site and take part in fun workshops to find out about life in rock shelters, reservation required. Parents and children will discover how Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon people lived, the tools they used and the jewellery they wore, such a very long time ago. 

Villages to visit along the Vézère

Step back into the past when you visit the Vézère Valley villages, with stone paved streets, houses in golden stone and old churches. 


11 min

2 min

Visible from a canoe

Classified one of the “Most Beautiful Villages in France”, Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère is situated on a bend of the river Vézère. You will love the charm of its lanes, its signposted footpaths and craft shops.


41 min

14 min

Visible from a canoe

Montignac-Lascaux, known worldwide for Lascaux cave, will surprise you by the vitality of its shops lining its paved streets. 

location canoe kayak vezere montignac dordogne resultat
location canoe dordogne resultat resultat

le village de la Madeleine

7230 village troglodytique de la madeleine Declic Decolle expiresOn 2028 05 25 resultat
7224 village troglodytique de la madeleine Declic Decolle expiresOn 2028 05 25 resultat

25 min

5 min

Visible from a canoe

Near to Eyzies

You can see it from one of our canoes on the Vézère; the troglodytic village of la Madeleine, situated above the river Vézère is a major prehistory site, dating from around -17,000 BCE. As well as its rich prehistory, the village organises medieval activities, and, since 2020, you can visit an educational farm to discover the local agriculture. 



1h50 min

35 min

Visible from a canoe

Travelling up the Vézère, you will come to Terrasson, the last village in Dordogne before Corrèze. You can cross its stone bridges and look up at the old town above, home to a surprising number of craftspeople and artists.

A magical visit awaits you at the jardins de l’imaginaire.

Les Eyzies

40 min

14 min

On the way in to les Eyzies, there are several areas with prehistoric remains, and in consequence the National Museum of Prehistory is in the village. The pôle international de la préhistoire organises fun family activities to learn about the ecosystem of the valley.


artisans locaux vallee vezere
4858 fort du roc de tayac © Declic Decolle expiresOn 2026 12 01 resultat


293 vue depuis les jardins panoramiques de limeuil Luc.Fauret.photographe expiresOn 2025 01 01 scaled 1 resultat
decouvrir sarlat la caneda

1h30 min

30 min

There is a stunning view of the confluence of the Vézère and the Dordogne rivers from the hilltop village of Limeuil. It is one of the “Most Beautiful Villages in France“. 

Detour deep into the country, to Sarlat

30 min

You will love the many features of the medieval town of Sarlat, labelled “Town of Art and History,” situated at the beginning of the Vézère Valley:  lively streets, craftspeople, half-timbered houses and a famous market. 


A playground for outdoor sports in Dordogne

Set out to discover fabulous view points and an exceptional heritage via more than 880 km of signposted footpaths. There are several alternatives to taking your car when you go out from Le Paradis campsite

Discover the valley from the river

The river Vézère meanders between forests and vertiginous cliffs, pierced by caves. Canoe trips from Le Paradis are available for everyone, over 5 years. The campsite even has its own jetty.  

TOP 2023 la roque st christophe scaled resultat
glamping bord de riviere dordogne
randonnée velo vallée vezere

“Le paradis” for walkers and cyclists 

The Vézère Valley alone has 31 circuits along signposted footpaths. They take between 1h to 5h.

Start with the walking circuits, the cycle tracks and the mountain bike circuits on offer at the Lascaux-Dordogne Tourist Office.  

You can plan your trips, as soon as you arrive at the campsite; Ellen, Gé and all the team will be very happy to show you the maps and circuits available at reception. 

very week at the campsite, bike and walking excursions are organised; a privileged moment for hosts and guests to meet up.  

Le Paradis***** also offers bike hire. 


Gastronomy in the Périgord Noir 

La Dordogne is a foodie’s paradise.  

  • Foie gras is part of France’s cultural heritage and is included in many dishes in the Périgord. 
  • The Périgord walnut has a Protected Designation of Origin, PDO/AOP in French.   
  • The truffle comes from an edible fungus which develops underground. The Périgord Black Truffle has a worldwide reputation.  
  • The Périgord cep mushroom usually appears in autumn. It is most often eaten in the Sarladaise style accompanied by potatoes.  
6964 recherche de truffe © Luc Fauret expiresOn 2028 01 12 resultat
5242 courbe de la vezere a tursac Pole d interpretation de la Prehistoire redim resultat

The “terroir”, its Producers and its Artisans 

The Vézère Valley is also home to craftspeople: don’t hesitate to push open the workshop doors of glass blowers, wood turners, jewellers, etc.  

Local producers invite you onto their farms to learn about their savoir-faire and their love of the local “terroir.” 

Le Paradis, campsite in the middle of the Vézère Valley 

Bordered by the river Vézère, le Paradis 5-stars, is the perfect place from which to explore the Vézère Valley. As well as accommodation by the river, this family campsite also hires out electric cars, bikes and canoes from its own jetty.  

Comfort and luxury is guaranteed with its waterpark, indoor swimming pool and spa.  

camping dordogne piscine couverte 5 etoiles