Our top-12 tourist attractions in the Perigord Vert
There are so many places to visit and things to do in our area that it is quite a task to list them all on our website. To give you a little taster we have created a list of our top 12 favourites.
To help you further, we have an up-to-date folder in our gite full of leaflets and brochures for not everything is in the tourist guidebooks.
1. BRANTOME is an attractive town on the northern edge of the Dordogne department, sometimes referred to as the Venice of the Dordogne. The Abbey began life as habitable caves which can be visited at night during the peak holiday season. Brantome has a beautiful mix of medieval and renaissance architecture and is rated as one of 'Les Plus Beaux Detours' in France.
What to do/see there:
- Benedictine Abbey
- Grottes de L’Abbaye
- Oldest bell tower in France
- Artist Ferdinand Desmoulin museum
- Jardins Tranquille
- Dronne river cruise
- Chateau de la Hierce
- Brantome Police Horses
- ST JEAN DE COLE is officially classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France. With its ochre-coloured houses, half-timbered buildings, and renowned tiled roofs it's a photographer’s dream. The main square is dominated by the beautiful 12th-century Chateau de la Marthonie (private). There are 15 more of these beautiful villages to see in our region, highlighted in red.
What to do/see there:
- Roman-Byzantine Church of St. John the Baptist
- The old bridge and the miller's house
- The priory with its cloister
- Clovis Reymond old distillery shop
- GROTTES DE VILLARS is a huge natural cave formed in the Jurassic period full of spectacular stalactites and stalagmites. This cave is unique because it also has prehistoric paintings, including a rare human figure. Outside there is a trail with plants that prehistoric man might have eaten and information panels about how he lived.
- PIEGUT PLUVIERS An important market has been held on Wednesday mornings since 1642, lining the pretty streets. A great selection of food from the Dordogne and Charente food and a great place to buy the famous Charente slippers.
- JUMILHAC LE GRAND is a small hillside village dominated by one of the finest chateaux in the Perigord, listed as a national monument. Its spectacular fairytale roof is unique in France and it also has beautiful terraced gardens.
What to do and see there:
- Chateau Jumilhac
- River walks
- Gold Museum
- ST YRIEIX LA PERCHE is a pretty medieval town located in the Limousin and is one of the ‘Plus Beaux Detours de France’. It was here that kaolin (white clay) was first mined in the 18th century from a nearby quarry in Marcognac and used to develop the famous Limoges porcelain. Kaolin was discovered in 1768 by J.B. Darnet at a site now known as the Village of Porcelain.
What to do and see there:
- 12th-century church
- Gardens of the Maison du Patrimonie
- Cultural centre with illustrated 12th century Bible
- Tourist Information office Heritage tour
- Porcelaine MP Samie outlet shop
- Saturday market
- Marcognac Terre de Porcelaine (Historic monument)
- Village de la Porcelaine outlet and museum
- Boule d’Or Madeleine factory visit and outlet shop
- LIMOGES is the 'capital' of the Haute-Vienne department and of the Limousin region. With a long history dating back to the early middle ages, its early status was closely linked to the porcelain industry. The town is large and is divided into two parts, the high village, and the cathedral and station area. In-between are many narrow cobbled streets full of artisan boutiques and charming eateries. Impressionist artist Renoir was born here, and his paintings can be seen at the L’Eveche Museum. There is much to excite porcelain lovers, including the Adrien Debouche Museum. This not only has the largest collection of Limoges porcelain in the world but also other works representing the greatest stages in the history of ceramics.
What to see and do there:
- Jardin d’Orsay
- Quartiere de la Boucherie
- Saint Aurelien's chapel
- Church of St Michel de Lions
- Place de Motte covered market
- Verdurier Pavilion
- Place Denis Dussoubs
- Saint-Etienne Cathedral
- Museum de Beaux-Arts
- L’Eveche Garden and Museum
- Resistance Museum
- Boulevard Louis Blanc – Porcelain makers street
- Limoges Benedictine Art Deco Railway Station
- Adrien-Debouche National Porcelaine Museum
- Casseaux Oven Museum (Porcelaine furnace)
- Bernardaud Porcelaine and outlet
- Limoges Town Hall
- ORADOR SUR GLANE is known in France as the village whose inhabitants and contents were destroyed in the last months of the 2nd World War. It has been preserved in its bombed and burnt out state as a poignant tribute and memorial to those that perished. Visit the museum to learn all the details about what happened of the events and then explore the village at your leisure with its rubble and burnt-out buildings and the places where more than 400 people lost their lives on that fateful day.
- PERIGUEUX the capital of the Dordogne is an ancient city, dominated by its UNESCO Byzantine cathedral a model for the Sacre Coeur, Paris. Many small streets radiate from here with Medieval and Renaissance buildings. Perigueux is also home to perhaps the best Roman remains outside Rome, including a glass-roofed Gallo-Roman villa that is part of the museum. The city’s most famous building is the 14th Century ‘Maison de Patissier’ from where Perigueux's ‘pate de foie gras’ is said to have been first made. Food is important here and nothing illustrates that better than the bustling market on Saturday morning. Afterwards, there's nothing better than to lunch and people-watching from delightful leafy corner cafes.
What to do and see there:
- Cathedral St-Front
- Saturday food market
- Maison de Patissier
- St Etienne Church
- Vesunna Gallo Roman Museum
- Vesunna Temple 2AD
- The Musee du Trompe de l'oeil (optical illusions)
- The Military Museum
- Perigord Museum of Art and Archaeology
- Tourist train
- ARNAC POMPADOUR is located just over the border in the Correze department is the home of the national stud. The racecourse opened in 1837 and is one of the most beautiful in France. Sun King Louis XV gifted the chateau there to his favourite, the Marquis de Pompadour.
What to do and see there
- Orangerie stables
- Puy Marmont equestrian stadium
- Domaine of Chignac
- Le Chateau de Pompadour
- Lubersac castle
- 14th Century Saint Yreix fountain
- CHATEAU DE CHALUS CHABROL This medieval castle open to visitors has a huge claim to fame, it was here in 1199 whilst Richard 1st (Richard the Lionheart) was besieging Chalus, that he was hit by a cross bolt and died days later. His entrails are preserved in the chapel and for those interested in this period of history, there is a ‘Richard the Lionheart Trail’ which includes a number of locations in the region that he may have visited in this period. There is another castle in Chalus called Chateau de Chalus Maulmart which is now ruined. In the village, there is an eco-museum and a village hotel where TE Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) stayed as a student studying 11th-century architecture.
- VELORAIL DU PERIGORD VERT offers a very different and fun way to spend an afternoon on an old disused railway line. The Velorail is basically a small coach on four wheels that move by pedal power. One or two people take the saddles whilst the others sit back in a hammock type seat. With minimal effort, the journey is a very pleasant one through the glorious countryside. There are a number of Velorails operating in the same manner in France, this one operates a number of different routes throughout the year between Cognac Sur L'isle to Thiviers.
There are so many places to discover when on holiday in our area that this top 12 serves only as a brief introduction to a few of our favourites.
If you have a look at our region, you will be amazed at the amount and range you can see within a 2-hour drive of Mialet.
Within our gite there is a more comprehensive guide to what’s available throughout the Dordogne and surrounding regions. To help our guests we also include recommended days away so that you can maximise sightseeing without having to spend precious time researching guidebooks.