Visit Les Jardins de Marqueyssac
"The gardens of Marqueyssac are an enchanting swirl of box hedges set high above the Dordogne river."
Les Jardins de Marqueyssac
The gardens of Marqueyssac are one of France's listed 'Jardins Remarquable'. They sit high above the Dordogne river and as you wander through the gardens you get some amazing views of the river below. These gardens are the most visited in the Perigord area.
The gardens were designed by a student of André Le Notre - famous designer of the gardens of the Chateau de Versailles.
When you enter the gardens by the Chateau of Marqueyssac the surrounding garden is a sort of crazy formal French style garden. Laid out in traditional French style as far as lots of clipped box goes this has been given a dramatic twist by clipping the box hedges into a mass of swirls, whorls and rounds giving the areas a dynamism not often seen in this type of gardening.
Wander a bit further from the chateau and you will see the long promenade added to the gardens at the end of the 18th century. This is bordered with immaculately manacured clipped rosemary and santoline.
Wandering a bit further and the garden becomes a pleasant stroll along the wooded cliff top with lots of box planted in the woods. Altogether there are 150 000 hard pruned box trees in the gardens! Clearings reveal picnic areas and swings and quiet areas to sit and contemplate the views. Altogether there are 6 km of walks some parts with easy access for pushchairs or wheelchairs.
There is a restaurant with a terrace overlooking the views, as well as a tea-room and a bookshop.
Les Jardins de Marqueyssac were one of the first of the sites in the Dordogne to offer evening visits. A trend which is becoming more and more popular. Evening visits allow you to visit in the comfortable evening temperatures and to experience a quite different atmosphere.
Marqueyssac evening visits, called Marqueyssac aux Chandelles (Marqueyssac by candlelight), are on Thursday nights in July and August and you can explore Marqueyssac by candlelight. With music and animations as well as some entertainment for children. These start at 7 pm and go on until midnight.
Other sites with night time visits in the summer are:
Tuesdays - the Chateau de Biron
(information correct 2013).
Visiting the Jardins de Marqueyssac
The gardens are about 9 km SW of Sarlat in the commune of Vezac.
The gardens are open every day of the year.
July and August: 09.00-20.00 (plus Thursday evenings 19.00-24.00, see above)
April, May, June and September: 10.00-19.00
February, March and October-11 November: 10.00-18.00
12 November until 31 January: 14.00-17.00
Costs: 7.60 euros adult, 3.80 euros 10-18 year olds.
Places to visit nearby
Garden lovers will also enjoy a visit to the Clos des Sources garden at Vitrac near Sarlat and not far from the Jardins de Marqueyssac. A visit to the village of La Roque Gageac is also great as the whole village has been planted with an amazing display of banana palms and other exotic plants. Wonderfull!
Map of Les Jardins de Marqueyssac with places to visit
To visit close to Les Jardins de Marqueyssac
This page in French: Les Jardins de Marqueyssac (version Francais)