Towns and villages to visit in Dordogne and Lot et Garonne

There are many beautiful, medieval towns in the area. Several have received the prestigious 'one of the most beautiful towns in France' accolade. See also Bastide Towns for a brief introduction to the history of some of the towns and villages and their origins in the hundred Years War.

This page shows some of the smaller towns and villages - many of the more important villages and towns have their own dedicated pages. See: Belvès :: Beaumont-du-Perigord :: Bergerac :: Castillonnes :: Domme :: Eymet :: Issigeac :: Molieres :: Monflanquin :: Monpazier :: Pujols :: Villefranche-du-Perigord :: Villereal

Besse

Besse, Dordogne France

The magnificient 13th Century Romanesque church is a listed monument. It has a 11th century church with a sculpted porch which is claimed to represent the 'Mystery of Redemption'. The church also has a lauze roof (stone roof becoming very rare now). The church dominates the pretty village set in a  peaceful  valley. A private chateau adds to the picturesque setting. Well worth the trip and it could be included with a tour of the 'Vallée et les Coteaux du Céou' (see rivers page).

Cadouin

This pretty little village is home to the beautiful cloisters of Cadouin Abbey. The abbey of Cadouin is cited as one of the 'sites du Patrimoine mondial' of the pilgrim routes of the Route of Saint Jaques de Compostelle. The holy shroud of Cadouin was an object of pilgrimage for eight centuries.

You can see Cadouin, the abbey and the cloisters in this video:

Daglan

An elongated village where the streets seem surprisingly wide.  Close is the fortified Chateau de Peyruzel built in the 13th century (with the stone towers added in the 16th century, giving the building the form of a cross).

In the commune of Daglan there are 150 stone cabins, some registered as historic monuments. It is possible to do a guided visit to the site of these lovely cabanes.  This is a guided visit of 6 km taking about 3 hours. Information from the Eco-Musée de la Pierre Sèche.

Florimont and Gaumier

Follow the "Sentier des Vignes" a walk around the vines and visit the Chai de Moncalou for wine tasting.  The village of Florimont at 300m high offers lovlely views of the surrounding countryside whilst Gaumier is on the river Céou.

Loubejac

The church here is partly Romanesque (12 century) and partly Gothic (15 and 16 century.

Lauzun

Not a very exciting town but there is a half-Renaissance chateau with a domed pavillion and magnificent fireplaces.  There is also a  gothic church next to an 11th century tower.

Lavur

This village has a lovely, small church dating from the 13th and 14th centuries and the remains of a ruined castle. Take a walk round the chemin de ronde, a lovely old path round the battlements.

Montferrand du Perigord

Montferrand, Dordogne, France

A pretty little village with a private chateau, two perigordian houses with Renaissance facades  and outside of the village a fabulous, though tiny Roman church, L'église Saint Christophe. You can reach this by a short walk from the village if you prefer. If not leave the village in the direction of  Monpazier and shortly after take the right turn signed to the church. In the church in the remains of the nave there are some lovely frescoes from the middle ages.

Montaigu de Quercy

Has a pretty square with half -timbered houses and some steep streets in the centre.

Penne d'Agenais

Penne d'Agenais is one of my favourite villages in the north Lot et Garonne. The village which has been beautifully restored (though perhaps a little too perfectly!) winds its way up a hill towards a church with a large silver dome at the top. The basilique can be seen gleaming above the surrounding countryside though in truth the church is quite ugly when seen up close. Non the less the walk up through the village reveals many beautiful buildings and with narrow paths and steep staircases and near the church a wooded area and caves revealing shrines the village is interesting for children too.  This was once part of the pilgrimage of Saint Jacques de Compostelle.

The village has an art school and various exhibitions, workshops and shops.

Below the medieval village is the Port de Penne which is an ancient port and where it is possible now to rent boats for half a day or a day.

Prats Du Perigord

Situated below a 16th Century chateau (private) is the pretty village of Prats du Perigord. It has a lovely 12th Century church. The rounded section has a stone roof and at the rear is a rather ricketty raised wooden seating platform.  Very small but with a lovely atmosphere, we were very taken by this church. When we arrived the church was locked but in typical French tradition the lady key-holder came rushing over to open up having spotted us from her house opposite the church.

St Avit Senieur

St Avit Senieur, Dordogne, France

St Avit Senieur is a small village with a big abbey. A few kilometres east of Beaumont, the village has a pretty square surrounded by attractive village houses. The abbey itself is partly ruined, very attractive and very photogenic.

There is a small cafe where you can get a drink and an ice-cream, and the grassy car-park (just down from the main square) is a nice place to picnic.

Tournon d'Agenais

A pretty hill top bastide with several half-timbered houses and a pretty central square. Great views from the 'Chemin de Ronde' (around the ramparts). Famous for its tourtière a round flaky apple or prune pie.

Villeneuve-sur-Lot

Villeneuve sur Lot, Lot et Garonne

Villeneuve is one of the two larger towns in the area, along with Bergerac. There is an 'old-town' centre in Villeneuve - it is a bastide town by origin - centred around Place Lafayette, with its attractive arched arcades. Many small, boutique type shops are found in the centre.

Largely untouched by tourism, Villeneuve-sur-Lot is well worth a visit for a walk around the town centre (and for the large E Leclerc supermarket on the edge of town).

Don't forget to cross the newer bridge for a lovely view of the houses overlooking the river Lot and the older 13th century bridge ('pont vieux') - you can then walk up the hill to Pujols if you are feeling energetic.