Photo of Cadouin

Visit Cadouin

Cadouin is a beautiful little town about 35km from Bergerac and 40 km from Sarlat. It is not far from Le Buisson de Cadouin on the Dordogne River.

Explore Cadouin

Cadouin is famous for its abbey. Cadouin Abbey was founded in 1115 by Robert d'Arbrissel and taken over by Cistercian monks in 1119 it became one of the most important in the area. It became a pilgrim centre due to a piece of cloth said to be part of Jesus Christ's shroud. Pilgrims flocked to the Abbey which became part of the pilgrim route to Saint Jacques de Compostelle in Spain. Important pilgrims welcomed by the abbey included Eleanor of Aquitaine and Richard the Lion Heart.

Cadouin Abbey

The shroud is now known to date from the 11th century from Egypt. A copy is on display in the small museum next to the cloister. The original is in the Museum of Perigueux. It is beautifully preserved and on display. Even if the shroud turns out not to be part of Christ's shroud the Abbey remains worth a visit.

The main attraction is the beautiful cloister in flamboyant gothic style dating form the 15-16th century. There are many fine pieces of stone sculpture inside though many are damaged. In the French Revolution faces of religious statues were systematically destroyed throughout France. Cadouin Abbey is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the pilgrim route to Compostella.

Part of the Abbey buildings, now beautifully renovated, now house the youth hostel in Cadouin. Take a look the buildings are lovely.


Next to Cadouin Abbey, the Halle at Cadouin is different to many in the area as it is set on stone rather than wooden pillars. Around the halle and wandering through the streets there are lots of lovely buildings and there are some very interesting shops with furniture, pottery, pictures etc made by local artists. Some pieces really are very good.

Cadouin is also a good place to eat and I can recommend the restaurant opposite the abbey, on the other side of the road for a good and very reasonably priced meal. The other restaurant looked good too.


Cadouin has a medieval festival every year during the second fortnight of August. This is a great time to visit the town and many people will be dressed in medieval costume. There is often also a plant fair in Spring when the village looks lovely with plants and flowers everywhere.

Where to visit near Cadouin?

Le Buisson de Cadouin sits on the edge of the Dordogne river and there are river beaches here making it a good spot to stop for a swim and a picnic.

There is an excellent bamboo garden at Le Buisson de Cadouin calld the 'Les Bamboos de Planbuisson'. This garden contains more than 180 species of bamboo and 200 species of ornamental grasses and has been wonderfully laid out.

The Grottes de Maxange are caves with a great display of stalactites and stalagmites. These are also situated at Le Buisson.

See also: 

Photos of Cadouin

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Map of Cadouin and places to visit


Cadouin places to visit

Les Grottes de Maxange

Les Grottes de Maxange

The ceilings of the Maxange cave are covered in a tiny and rare from of twisting stalactites.

Les Grottes de Maxange guide
Cadouin Abbey and Cloister

Cadouin Abbey and Cloister

Cadouin Abbey is a 12th century Cistercian abbey with a beautiful Gothic cloister.

Cadouin Abbey and Cloister guide
Les Jardins de Planbuisson

Les Jardins de Planbuisson

The Jardins de Planbuisson is a garden almost entirely planted with bamboo.

Les Jardins de Planbuisson guide
Les Jardins Panoramique de Limeuil

Les Jardins Panoramique de Limeuil

A large park with a stunning view over the river confluence below.

Les Jardins Panoramique de Limeuil guide


Limeuil is a most beautiful village of France.

Limeuil guide


Urval is a charming village with a communal bread oven.

Urval guide