Dordogne's most beautiful villages
PUBLISHED: 11:01 23 March 2016 | UPDATED: 10:13 06 May 2016
Traditional stone houses with wooden shutters, meandering cobbled streets and panoramic cliff side views across Périgord and beyond… We'll never tire of the beautiful villages you'll find scattered across the department of Dordogne. We pick 10 you'll want to add to the bucket list.
Perched high above the Nauze Valley, Belvès is one of the most charming villages of the Périgord. This 11th-century, tranquil medieval village has endured many wars, but you wouldn’t know it now. As well as a 14th-century castle, within the village walls you’ll find honey-coloured bell towers, cobbled streets and troglodyte caves which were once used as dwellings.
This spectacular village is easily recognisable due to the Château de Beynac that towers above it, and the flowing Dore river that lies beside it. From the amazing medieval architecture and limestone fort, to the winding paved backstreets and creamy coloured houses, Beynac is one of the most picture-perfect villages you’ll find in the department of Dordogne.
With panoramic views across Dordogne, the Céoy river and beyond, this sky-high village is a must-visit on any trip to Périgord. Take a stroll on the hilly streets that wind through the depths of the village, or simply admire the perigordine style houses that adorn Castelnaud. Just remember to take your camera, as you’ll want to remember these scenes for many years to come.
At the foot of a limestone cliff, on the banks of the Dordogne river, lies this picturesque French village. The golden architecture creates beautiful reflections in the water below and when visiting the village you’ll find exotic plants that survive the harsh winter weather due to the village’s southerley facing position.
Nestled at the meeting point of the Rivers Dordogne and Vézère, is the quintessential French village of Limeuil. It once bore witness to the horrors of the Viking invasions and The Hundred Years’ War, but these days you’ll find pretty houses with slate-tiled roofs, wooden shutters and a nearby beautiful beach to explore. Parfait!
Monpazier was founded in 1284 by Edward I, so as you can imagine, it is a slice of well-sustained Anglo-French history. More than 30 of the buildings in Monpazier are classified as ‘national monuments’ and the village itself is set out in a traditional grid formation with a large, central market square.
This traditional Dordogne village is surrounded by enchanting woodland, with a stunning fortified church marking the heart of the Saint-Amand-de-Coly community. The houses that adorn this delightful village are made from Sarlat’s stone and the very small population that live here, make it all-the-more special.
Ochre-coloured, half-timbered dwellings, quaint little humpback bridges and some of the finest roofs in France make up a typical street in the village of Saint-Jean-de-Côle. The village square is the meeting point for the local neighbourhood. Why not congregate here with your morning coffee and absorb the wonderful views of village life?
The meandering cobbled alleyways, traditional limestone houses and riverside setting of the village Saint-Léon-sur Vézère, have visitors returning again and again. Whether you’re visiting on holiday, or you are a resident living in the village, you’ll never tire of the breathtaking beauty of this typical French hamlet.
For those in search of French history, Domme is a perfect village to start. It was founded as a stronghold during 1281 and the caves in the village were used as shelter during The Hundred Years’ War. But it’s not just its history that sets it apart; from its position on a rocky outcrop, to the mix of honey coloured buildings you’ll find scattered throughout, it oozes beauty in every sense of the word.
If you enjoyed this article, you might want to read our insider’s guide to the department of Dordogne.
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