Photo of Saint-Leon-sur-Vezere

Visit Saint-Leon-sur-Vezere

Saint-Leon-sur-Vezere is in the Vezere valley between Montignac and Les-Eyzies.

It is a beautiful village, set in a curve in the Vézere River. It is a small village, of houses in the attractive local stone joined by narrow meandering pathways and alleys. Remarkably for a village of this kind in this location, Saint-Leon-sur-Vezere has not been overly renovated - rather 'sympathetically restored'.

Explore Saint-Leon-sur Vezere

The church in the village is small but perfectly formed. The church in Saint-Leon-sur-Vezere is built on the site of an ancient Gallo-Roman villa and you can see some traces of these on the side of the church next to the river.

It is on the pilgrim route that led from the Abbey of Vezelay in Burgundy and on towards the abbeys at Cadouin and Saint-Avit-Senieur. Around Le-Bugue the paths lead to various attractive churches including this one at Saint-Leon-sur-Vezere.

Saint Leon sur Vezere chateau

Beautiful on the outside with its lauze (stone) roofs and round sections as well as its lovely square bell-tower with lots of arched openings. Make sure you also look inside as the round domed ceiling also has the remains of some lovley frescoes.

The church is one of the oldest roman-style churches in the Dordogne area, dating back to the 12th century.

The church sits on the riverbank where there are beaches and grassy areas as well as a few picnic benches. Stroll along the riverside a little way to get some of the best views of the castle and enjoy the riverside cafe.

The Chateau de Clerans has a beautiful slate roof with spires and ornamental stone work. It is private but very attractive and can be seen from various points around the village as well as from the riverside path.


There is another chateau in the village, the Chateau de Chaban is on the edge of the village and is in a picturesque setting with attractive French-style gardens. It has a beautifull round crenellated tower with a pointed roof. It is private but interesting to see.

Another notable house in the village is the 15th century Manoir de la Salle in the centre of the village. The manor house is very attractive and there is a large square dungeon built in the 14th century in the garden.

Wandering through the village there are lots of charming houses to admire and many of the houses still have parts of their roofs made of stone which was the traditional roofing at one time. You will find a couple of cafes and restaurants in the centre of the village plus a little cafe hidden away on the edge of the river.

Saint Leon sur Vezere

There is an interesting legend in the village that a servant who shot an arrow at the cross fell down dead with his head turned the wrong way round. His grave was opened in 1890 by members of the Archealogical society and indeed there was a body with a head which was back to front.

Saint-Leon-sur-Vezere is listed as one of the 'most beautiful villages of France'.

Places to visit nearby

The Vezere Valley itself is, of course, the cradle of civilisation in Europe, so there are a large number of caves and prehistoric dwellings to explore in the region. - not least, the renowned Lascaux II Caves which are close by at Montignac (see Dordogne caves section).

The Chateau de Losse is a very charming castle with a pretty garden and is close by too.

See also: 

Photos of Saint-Leon-sur-Vezere

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Map of Saint-Leon-sur-Vezere and places to visit


Saint-Leon-sur-Vezere places to visit

Le Moustier

Le Moustier

A small village with two prehistoric rock shelters.

Le Moustier 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
Château et Jardins de Losse

Château et Jardins de Losse

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

Château et Jardins de Losse guide
Le Thot

Le Thot

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

Le Thot guide


Plazac is a charming small village with an interesting church.

Plazac 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