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Photo of Perigord Noir

Visit Perigord Noir

Perigord Noir (Black Perigord) is the most visited region of the Dordogne, and includes many of the sights that you will already have heard of. This part of the Perigord is the richest in terms of beautiful villages, magnificent castles, pre-historic cave paintings and caves rich in stalactites and stalagmites. It really is a wonderful area and well worth visiting.

It is so rich in sites that it is worth splitting your visit into two parts: the southern part of Perigord Noir follows the Dordogne valley as it flows from east to west, passing beautiful villages and dramatic castles as it goes and the northern part which follows the valley of the River Vézère which is world famous for its prehistoric sites.

Perigord Noir and the Dordogne Valley

Beautiful villages

La Roque Gageac

The dordogne river in the Perigord Noir stretches from the lovely town of Saint Cyprien to and on to the pretty village of Carlux on the Lot/Dordogne border.

Close to Saint Cyprien are the "most beautiful villages" of Beynac, Castelnaud-la-Chapelle, La Roque Gageac and Domme. A little further south is the most beautiful village of Belves.

Of course the highlight of a trip to the Perigord Noir is the beautiful town of Sarlat, packed with history and beautiful buildings. Sarlat is a small distance to the north of the river but close to the cluster of beautiful villages around Beynac.

Castles

Chateau de Milandes

The Dordogne is known as the land of the 1001 castles and many of them are found in the Perigord Noir.

Along this same stretch of river are the magnificent castles of Beynac, Castelnaud, les Milandes, Montfort and the Chateau de Fenelon whilst to the north is the magnificent Chateau de Hautefort.

Gardens

Jardins de Marqueyssac

Also in the Perigord Noir are the wonderful gardens of Marqueyssac, on the river near La Roque Gageac and the gardens of Eyrignac near Salignac. In between the two at Carsac-Aillac is a wonderful water garden, the Jardin d'Eau de Carsac-Aillac. Egalement proche d'ici est les Jardins de Cadiot.

Proche de Sarlat est le charmant Jardin de la ferme fleurie et à coté de Domme les Jardins de l'Albarède offre les idées pour jardiner sur un terrain très sec.

Caves

There are also some caves in this part of the Perigord Noir though most are along the Vezere valley. Along the Dordogne valley are the caves at Domme, and the troglodyte dwellings under the main square of Belves.

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Perigord Noir and the Vezere Valley

Caves

Lascaux caves

The Vezere Valley is UNESCO listed because of its enormous wealth in prehistoric paintings and dwellings.

Amongst the prehistoric caves and shelters are the Lascaux Caves, the Roque Saint Christophe, Laugerie-Basse, the Grotte de Rouffignac, Font de Gaume and the Cavern of Bara Bahau. At Les Eyzies is the Musée de la Prehistoire.

There are also the beautiful natural caves of the Grotte du Grand Roc and the Gouffre de Proumeyssac.

Beautiful villages

Saint Leon sur Vezere

Heading along the Vezere river from the lively market town of Le-Bugue you will soon reach Les-Eyzies which is at the heart of the many caves in the area. Further north-east is Saint-Leon-sur-Vézere which is one of the 'most beautiful villages of France and further along is the pretty riverside village of Montignac which is home to the Lascaux caves. Near to here is the pretty town of Terrasson and Saint Amand de Coly which is another 'most beautiful village of France'.

Castles

Chateau de Commarque

The Vezere Valley is also home to the charming Chateau de Losse and the impressive Chateau de Commarque.

Gardens

Terrasson is not only an attractive town it is home to the lovely modern gardens of  Les Jardins de l'Imaginaire.

Just Beyond the Perigord Noir in the Lot Department

Close to the Perigord Noir in the Lot department are the attractive towns of Souillac and Martel as well as the historic and UNESCO listed Rocamadour.

Also the most beautiful villages of Carennac, Autoire and Loubresac and the fabulous Gouffre de Padirac.

Just Beyond the Perigord Noir in the Correze department

The most beautiful village of Curemonte is not far from the Perigord Noir area and the countryside of the Correze is well worth a visit.

For the other parts of the Perigord see: Perigord Pourpre, Perigord Vert and Perigord Blanc.

See also: 

Map of Perigord Noir and places to visit

 
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Perigord Noir places to visit

Abri du Cap Blanc

Abri du Cap Blanc

A prehistoric shelter with a sculpture by prehistoric man.

Abri du Cap Blanc guide
Badefols-d'Ans

Badefols-d'Ans

Badefols d'Ans is a pretty visit with an attractive church and chateau.

Badefols-d'Ans guide
Belves

Belves

Belves is one of the most beautiful villages of France.

Belves guide
Beynac

Beynac

Beynac is one of the most beautiful villages of France.

Beynac guide
Campagne

Campagne

Campagne is a picturesque village with the grounds of a chateau to explore.

Campagne guide
Carlux

Carlux

Carlux is a pretty village with the ruins of a castle in the centre.

Carlux guide
Carsac-Aillac

Carsac-Aillac

Carsac Aillac is a small village with a picturesque roman church and a beautiful aquatic garden.

Carsac-Aillac guide
Castelnaud-la-Chapelle

Castelnaud-la-Chapelle

Castelnaud-la-Chapelle is one of the most beautiful villages of France.

Castelnaud-la-Chapelle guide
Chateau de Beynac

Chateau de Beynac

The Chateau de Beynac is an imposing heavily fortified castle.

Chateau de Beynac guide
Chateau de Castelnaud

Chateau de Castelnaud

The Chateau de Castelnaud has impressive collections of medieval arms.

Chateau de Castelnaud guide
Chateau de Commarque

Chateau de Commarque

The Chateau de Commarque is a partially renovated 12th century castle.

Chateau de Commarque guide
Chateau de Fenelon

Chateau de Fenelon

The Chateau de Fenelon is an attractive castle with decorated rooms.

Chateau de Fenelon guide
Chateau de Hautefort

Chateau de Hautefort

The Chateau de Hautefort is one of the most prestigious in the Dordogne.

Chateau de Hautefort guide
Chateau de Losse

Chateau de Losse

A Renaissance castle built inside medieval walls and with a charming garden.

Chateau de Losse guide
Chateau de Montfort

Chateau de Montfort

The Chateau de Montfort is private but is very picturesque.

Chateau de Montfort guide
Chateau des Milandes

Chateau des Milandes

A beautiful chateau that was once home to Josephine Baker.

Chateau des Milandes guide
Condat-sur-Vezere

Condat-sur-Vezere

Condat sur Vezere is a small village with a cascade of water next to the main square.

Condat-sur-Vezere guide
Coux et Bigaroque

Coux et Bigaroque

Coux et Bigaroque-Mouzens is three combined villages with some stunning houses.

Coux et Bigaroque guide
Daglan

Daglan

Daglan is a quiet medieval town with a weekly market.

Daglan guide
Domme

Domme

Domme is one of the most beautiful villages of France

Domme guide
Fanlac

Fanlac

Fanlac is a pretty village and setting of the Jacquou le Croquant novel and film.

Fanlac guide
Font de Gaume

Font de Gaume

One of the rare caves containing prehistoric paintings still open to the public.

Font de Gaume guide
Gardens of the Chateau de Campagne

Gardens of the Chateau de Campagne

The gardens of the Chateau de Campagne are very pretty as are the views of the stunning castle.

Gardens of the Chateau de Campagne guide
Gouffre de Proumeyssac

Gouffre de Proumeyssac

An impressive cave of natural formations.

Gouffre de Proumeyssac guide
Grotte de Bara Bahau

Grotte de Bara Bahau

The Grotte de Bara Bahau contains engravings made by prehistoric man.

Grotte de Bara Bahau guide
Grotte de Rouffignac

Grotte de Rouffignac

The Grotte de Rouffignac has over a hundred prehistoric engravings and drawings of mammoths.

Grotte de Rouffignac guide
Grotte du Grand Roc

Grotte du Grand Roc

A wonderful natural cave full of a rare form of tiny twisting stalactites.

Grotte du Grand Roc guide
La Grotte du Sorcier

La Grotte du Sorcier

Home to one of the rare representations of a human figure by prehistoric man.

La Grotte du Sorcier guide
La Musee de la Rue du temps qui passe

La Musee de la Rue du temps qui passe

The Museum of the Rue du temps qui passe is a museum recreating life in the early 1900s.

La Musee de la Rue du temps qui passe guide
La Roque Saint Christophe

La Roque Saint Christophe

La Roque Saint Christophe is a troglodyte town carved out in the cliffs.

La Roque Saint Christophe guide
La Roque-Gageac

La Roque-Gageac

La Roque-Gageac is one of the most beautiful villages of France.

La Roque-Gageac guide
Lascaux caves

Lascaux caves

The Lascaux caves are filled with awesome prehistoric paintings.

Lascaux caves guide
Laugerie-Basse

Laugerie-Basse

Laugerie-basse is a rock shelter used by prehistoric man.

Laugerie-Basse guide
Le Bournat

Le Bournat

Le Bournat is a theme park depicting life in the early 1900s.

Le Bournat guide
Le Bugue

Le Bugue

Le-Bugue is a vibrant market town on the edge of the river Vézère.

Le Bugue guide
Le Moustier

Le Moustier

A small village with two prehistoric rock shelters.

Le Moustier guide
Le Thot

Le Thot

The Le-Thot is a museum of prehistory and has reproductions of cave paintings from Lascaux.

Le Thot guide
Les Eyzies

Les Eyzies

Les Eyzies is an attractive village at the heart of the prehistoric sites of the Vezere valley.

Les Eyzies guide
Les Eyzies caves

Les Eyzies caves

Overview of the caves near to Les Eyzies.

Les Eyzies caves guide
Les Jardins d'eau de Carsac-Aillac

Les Jardins d'eau de Carsac-Aillac

The Jardins d'eau in Carsac-Aillac is a very special water garden with a unique aquatic labyrinth.

Les Jardins d'eau de Carsac-Aillac guide
Les Jardins d'Eyrignac

Les Jardins d'Eyrignac

The Jardins d'Eyrignac are a stunning display of clipped hedges and topiary.

Les Jardins d'Eyrignac guide
Les Jardins de Cadiot

Les Jardins de Cadiot

The Jardins de Cadiot is a beautiful, romantic garden with ten themed gardens.

Les Jardins de Cadiot guide
Les Jardins de l'Imaginaire

Les Jardins de l'Imaginaire

An attractive contemporary garden above the town of Terrasson.

Les Jardins de l'Imaginaire guide
Les Jardins de Marqueyssac

Les Jardins de Marqueyssac

The Jardins de Marqueyssac are the most famous in the Dordogne and have magnificent swirling box hedges.

Les Jardins de Marqueyssac guide
Maison Forte de Reignac

Maison Forte de Reignac

The Maison Forte de Reignac is a fortified house built into the cliff.

Maison Forte de Reignac guide
Manoir-de-Gisson

Manoir-de-Gisson

See the inside of a beautiful medieval mansion.

Manoir-de-Gisson guide
Montignac

Montignac

Montignac is a lovely riverside village and home to the Lascaux caves.

Montignac guide
Musee National de Prehistoire

Musee National de Prehistoire

The Musee National de Prehistoire in Les Eyzies contains a wealth of information and exhibits relating to the French paleolithic period.

Musee National de Prehistoire guide
Plazac

Plazac

Plazac is a charming small village with an interesting church.

Plazac guide
Prats-du-Perigord

Prats-du-Perigord

Prats du Perigord is a pretty village worth a visit.

Prats-du-Perigord guide
Saint Amand de Coly

Saint Amand de Coly

Saint Amand de Coly is one of the most beautiful villages of France.

Saint Amand de Coly guide
Saint Crepin et Carlucet

Saint Crepin et Carlucet

Saint Crepin et Carlucet is a charming village and home to the Chateau de Lacypierre.

Saint Crepin et Carlucet guide
Saint Cyprien

Saint Cyprien

Saint-Cyprien is a charming town with a medieval centre.

Saint Cyprien guide
Saint Genies

Saint Genies

Saint Genies is a lovely village with a small castle and church at its centre.

Saint Genies guide
Saint Vincent de Cosse

Saint Vincent de Cosse

Saint Vincent de Cosse is a small but charming village in the Dordogne valley.

Saint Vincent de Cosse guide
Saint-Leon-sur-Vezere

Saint-Leon-sur-Vezere

Saint Leon sur Vezere is one of the most beautiful villages of France.

Saint-Leon-sur-Vezere guide
Salignac-Eyvigues

Salignac-Eyvigues

Salignac Eyvigues has an attractive stone halle in its centre.

Salignac-Eyvigues guide
Sarlat

Sarlat

Sarlat is one of the most beautiful medieval towns in France.

Sarlat guide
Siorac-en-Perigord

Siorac-en-Perigord

A quiet village close to the Prehistoric sites of the Vezere Valley.

Siorac-en-Perigord guide
Terrasson

Terrasson

Terrasson is a very attractive town with its pale stone walls and slate roofs.

Terrasson guide
The Abri Cro Magnon

The Abri Cro Magnon

The Abri Cro-Magnon is a prehistoric shelter and visitor centre and is the place where the first Cro-Magnons were discovered.

The Abri Cro Magnon guide
The Aquarium

The Aquarium

The Aquarium at Le Bugue is a freshwater aquarium and also has an alligator park.

The Aquarium guide
The International Centre of Prehistory

The International Centre of Prehistory

The International Centre of Prehistory has exhibitions about prehistoric man.

The International Centre of Prehistory guide
The Jardin de la Ferme Fleurie

The Jardin de la Ferme Fleurie

The Jardin de la Ferme Fleurie is a colourful garden surrounding attractive farm buildings in the Dordogne Valley.

The Jardin de la Ferme Fleurie guide
The Jardins de l'Albarede

The Jardins de l'Albarede

The Jardins de l'Albarede is a pretty garden near to Domme

The Jardins de l'Albarede guide
The Prehisto Park

The Prehisto Park

The Prehisto Park is an outdoor park with recreations of life in prehistoric times.

The Prehisto Park guide
The troglodyte village of La Madeleine

The troglodyte village of La Madeleine

A troglodyte village that was inhabited in prehistoric times.

The troglodyte village of La Madeleine guide
Tourtoirac

Tourtoirac

Tourtoirac is a pretty village with an abbey and caves.

Tourtoirac guide
Vitrac and Vitrac Port

Vitrac and Vitrac Port

Vitrac Port is very popular for its river beach and nearby is the quiet village of Vitrac.

Vitrac and Vitrac Port guide
 
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