Visit Les Jardins d'eau de Carsac-Aillac
Les Jardins d'eau de Carsac-Aillac is a beautiful water garden in Carsac-Aillac about 8 kilometers from Sarlat. The gardens have been awarded the 'Jardin Remarquable' status which is richly deserved in our opinion. The garden has lots to offer including a unique water labyrinth.
Explore the Jardins d'eau
The Jardins d'eau is a stunning water garden on the edge of the village of Carsac. The water garden was created in 1999 on the edge of the Dordogne river.
The entrance to the gardens is through a modern, glass-sided shop and cafe which is surrounded by wooden decking on the edge of the fish pond and exotic waterlily ponds which are the first you will see as you explore the gardens.
The exotic water lilies are the most colourful with a range of colours including some lovely blue and purple waterlilies whereas the hardy waterlilies in other ponds are generally white or pink. The cafe tables on the decks next to these ponds is a lovely place to stop for refreshments before or after your visit.
Next walk past a heated pond filled with the giant leaves of the Victoria waterlily. This is an exotic waterlily with leaves that reach up to 1.5 meters in diameter. The Victoria water lily is originally from South America and can be seen here with its large white flowers.
Next take a walk down to the large pond planted with pink and white hardy waterlilies and with a little blue footbridge giving a nod to Monet's waterlily pond in Giverny in northern France. As you walk down towards this large pond admire the lovely scenery of the surrounding Dordogne valley with the tree-lined slopes of the valley rising up beyond the garden.
From here the path leads to the remains of a Gallo Roman aquaduct which used to irrigate this site from 27BC to 480AD.
A zig zag wooden walkway over a long narrow pond planted with beautiful lotus plants with huge pink or white flowers leads towards a winding pathway back up hill and past a stream and waterfall beautifully planted at the edges with trees and shrubs and herbaceous plants.
The path then leads to the highlight of the garden, a stunning aquatic labyrinth. A criss-crossing pattern of wooden walkways above a huge pond planted with waterlilies, lotus plants and a wide range of other aquatic plants allows you to stroll above the pond to get a range of different views of the plants and the pond.
Fountains, water-jets and umbrellas add to the beautiful views. The water jets and fountains can even be controlled by an app on your phone if you are so inspired! The aquatic labyrinth is unique in Europe.
Back towards the shop and cafe area you can enter the heated green house where more exotic and Cruziana water lilies are kept. You can take inspiration from a beautiful natural swimming pool that is next to the house and you can visit the tactile koi carp pond whose glass sides allow you to see the huge fish underwater. Fish food is given to visiting children for free so that they can feed the fish.
Les Jardins d'eau guide
The address of the Jardins d'eau is: Saint-Rome, 24200 Carsac-Aillac. It is about 8km south-east of Sarlat. The gardens are open every day from May to August from 10.00 to 19.00 and in September from 11.00-18.00. Prices are 8 euros for adults and 4.50 euros for 6-11 year olds.
Where to visit nearby?
The stunning medieval town of Sarlat is a highlight of any visit to the Dordogne. The nearby villages of Domme, La Roque Gageac, Beynac and Castelnaud are all "most beautiful villages of France".
You can find more local travel ideas in the guide.