Tour of the Bastides (fortified town)

About 120km starting from Sarlat.

Direction BERGERAC-CENAC-to DOMME. 13th century French bastide, one of the six Most Beautiful Villages of France situated in the Perigord Noir: panoramic views, cave with concretions*, Knights Templar’s prison*, guided visit*. Possibility of tour in little train*.

– LA ROQUE-GAGEAC; Another village classed among the Most Beautiful Villages of France, nestling at the foot of imposing cliffs, with its beautiful houses built in the blond stone of the area, troglodytic fort, tropical garden near to the church  and Chateau de la Malartrie. Trips in the traditional “gabare” boats (Gabares Norbert and Gabares Caminade)

– SAINT CYPRIEN At SIORAC – direction LE BUISSON DE CADOUIN. Visit the Grottes de Maxange*: cave with rare crystallizations, labelled « eccentric ».

CADOUIN – visit the 12th century Cistercian Abbey and its gothic cloisters, one of the jewels of the Perigord Noir’s religious heritage.

Continue to SAINT AVIT SENIEUR (11th century abbey) and continue to MOLIERES, 13th century English bastide. BEAUMONT DU PERIGORD: 13th century English bastide.

Continue to COUZE: visit paper mill – Moulin à papier de la Rouzique. Turn back towards BEAUMONT. Make a detour to MONTFERRAND DU PERIGORD, MONPAZIER (typical example of the Bastides of the South West), continue to Château de BIRON, one of the four baronies of the Perigord.

VILLEFRANCHE DU PERIGORD: oldest bastide in the Perigord which has maintained its authenticity and its “art de vivre”. Maison du Châtaignier, Marrons et Champignons, (Chestnut tree, chestnut and mushroom centre) and in season its famous cepe market. BESSE: charming little village with very beautiful 12th century Romanesque church.

BELVES: one of the Most Beautiful Villages of France, 11th century medieval town.  Discover its castrum (fortified village), its underground troglodytic dwellings (occupied from the 13th to the 18th centuries), its 15th century covered market, its Gothic church classified as a historic monument. SIORAC-SARLAT

* Sites open to visitors