Near Saint-Romain-de-Monpazier there are a dozen of charming villages which are classified as Plus Beau Village de France or Most beautiful villages of France.
The organisationwas founded by Charles Ceyrac the former mayor of Collonges-la-Rouge in 1981. His purpose was to save and promote the authenticity of French villages.
Already 157 villages are currently on that list. 15 of them are located in Aquitaine and 10 in Dordogne.
Just a handful of houses and a small church from the 12th century with adjacent cemetery, surrounded by agricultural land. You are in St-Romain de Monpazier!
Farming has been the way of life and long may it continue to be that way Complete rest can be nice once a while! The village is home to 82 inhabitants, me included.
Monpazier is the best preserved example of abuilt under the reign of King Edward I in 1284.
During July and August you can find a plethora of activities being organized every day and evening, from communal meals, music and dance in the village square to concerts, balls, fireworks and excursions to megaliths or walks to explore the 12 roman churches in the area.
Other activities include signposted walking tours, horseriding and mountain biking. There is also a market on Thursday mornings.
Biron is famous for its imposing castle, the home of one of the four Barons of the Perigord. The size of the castle reflects the prosperity of the ruling family and its strategic position between the Perigord and the land of Agen.
The forests around Biron are home to many different species of deer, an irresistible attraction to many wildlife enthusiasts.
The adjoining village is large in surface area but small in the number of inhabitants. It features a bird park, a discovery trail and multiple walking routes.
The village was added to the list of the World Heritage sites in 1998 because of its big church (51m x 23m). It's well known because of Saint Avit and its location on the road to Compostella, a famous pilgrimage route. This fortified church was built in the late 11th and 12th centuries.
Next to the church are the remains of an abbey where Augustinian monks once lived and worked.
The church was dedicated in honour of the Saint Avit, a hermit (+570) who gave his name to the village (sénieur comes from the latin word “senior” and means “the elder”).
Cadouin is famous for its 12th Century Cistercian Abbey, part of the pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostella, and since 1998 on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
The abbey is one of the most important examples of religious architecture in the region. Most striking is the contrast between the sober roman style of the church and the flamboyant gothic character of the cloister.
Situated on a hill overlooking the valley of the Lede, and on the border between Perigord/Quercy and the Guyenne, Monflanquin is considered one of the most beautiful villages in France.
Monflanquin was built as a walled town,, by Alfons van Poitiers in 1252. The city walls were taken down in 1630 on the orders of Richelieu, but the town itself has changed little since.
Bergerac is the capital of the Perigord Pourpre, mostly situated to the north of the river Dordogne, and the centre of a prominent wine region. To the east lies Pecharmant, known for its sturdy red wine, while to the south we find Monbazillac famous for its lusciously sweet wines. Further west Bergerac borders the famous wine region of Saint-Emilion. Bergerac is also a key trading point for tobacco.
In the old part of Bergerac one can find the statue of the famousfrom the 17th century with his long nose.
Belves stands as a beacon above the valley of the Nauze in the "Périgord Noir" region. This small village built in the Middle Ages with seven bell towers has a moving history of wars and invasions.
But in its own way, it has managed to sustain itself as a beautiful witness of its earlier patrimony. Do not forget to discover the old houses with little towers and gardens and admire the belfry and the typical round roof tiles of the market halls.
Famous for its castle of Beynac which towers over the village at a height of 150 meters and overlooks the Dordogne river.
Beynac is also home to the Parc Archeologique which contains nearly a dozen reconstructions of homes from the late Neolithic to the Gallic time periods. U kan hier ook eenmaken op de Dordogne.
The town offers plenty of opportunity for fine dining.
Domme is an old walled town atop a mountain along the river Dordogne.
The town was founded by Filips de Stoute in 1281 and still has large parts of its fortified walls intact, as well as three towngates. Because of its elevated position on top of the Mont-de-Domme, the walled town has an irregular layout.
It was a very prosperous town until the 17th century, and today retains most of its histociral character. Not surprisingly, Domme is considered one of the most beautiful villages of France.
This characterful village is essentially built around one long main street against the background of a vertical rock face rising up behind the houses. It contains a number of picturesque streets, and used to have fortified walls in the Middle Ages.
It used to be the country residence of the bishops of Sarlat. La Roque-Gageac boasts a 12th century fort as well as the country house Manoir de Tarde.
Currently, the village is a popular tourist destination and houses a tropical garden.
The castle of Castelnaud dates from the Middle Ages and is situated approximately 10 km from Sarlat.
The oldest known mention of the castle dates from the 13th Century. It played a role in the crusades against the
Cathars and the Hundred Year War against England.
After the Middle Ages the castle gradually became deserted and following the French Revolution it fell into disuse and became a ruin.
Currently, the castle houses ashowcasing aspects of medieval warfare including large catapults, swords and harnasses.
Sarlat is often described as the Pearl of the Dordogne and is the capital of the Perigord Noir. The weekly Saturday morning market is certainly worth seeking out. The old part of Sarlat has retained several medieval houses. Sarlat was a prosperous trading centre in the 13th and 14th centuries.
The village of Caneda, originally founded in the 8th century around an abbey, was incorporated into Sarlat in 1965.
Sarlat has one of the most important undamaged medieval city centres of the world. Thousands of tourists visit this small town yearly and its decor gets often used for historical films.