Photo of Tourtoirac

Visit Tourtoirac

Tourtoirac is a pretty village which developed around its abbey and church. The abbey was benedictine and several buildings remain. Inside the 'logis abbatail' take a look at the amusing chapters which show the monks pulling each other round and round by the beard.

Explore Tourtoirac

When in Tourtoirac take a look in the cemetery and you will find the grave of a native of Tourtoirac who, in 1850, gave up his destined career as country solicitor, set sail for Chile and had himself crowned king of Patagonia and Araucanie. Orelie-Antoine did not sit for long on the throne before the Chileans threw him out. He died in Tourtoirac in 1878 and his grave is in the village cemetery.

There is a monument to him outside of his house and a museum dedicated to the Kings of Araucanie.

Tourtoirac abbey

Apart from this claim to fame Tourtoirac is a quiet but pretty village which is dominated by its Benedictine abbey, The Abbey of Saint Peter. The church unusually has two belltowers and dates back to the 12th century though it has been altered during the gothic era and restored at the end of the 19th century. It has an attractive doorway and inside the church are some interesting murals.

This area has been inhabited since pre-historic times and inside the abbey is a small museum containing tools and weapons that have been found during excavations in the village. Outside of the abbey is a public garden making this a pretty spot.


There is also an 18th century manor house - the Manoir de la Farge and a tannery to see in the village.

The village has an attractive spot on the edge of the river Auvezere and there are plenty of picnic spots on the rivers edge.

river at Tourtoirac

The Grotte de Tourtoirac

Close to the village are the Grottes de Tourtoirac which were only discovered in 1995 and opened in 2010. Inside are an excellent collection of stalagmites and stalactites illuminated to reveal their beauty.

The grotte also contains the quite rare tiny twisted stalactites known as excentriques. Whilst it is easy to imagine how a stalactite forms from the slow downward dripping of calcium rich water it is hard to imagine how the excentriques grew in all different directions!

The caves are accessed by a lift that descends 25 meters and then there is a flat walkway around the cave system that is suitable both for wheelchairs and pushchairs. Visits last about one hour. Remember to bring a jumper, it is quite chilly in the cave, the temperature is about 13 degrees.

Grottes de Tourtoirac opening hours

The caves are open from March to November.

March and November, weekends only: 14.00 to 18.00

April and October, every day: 14.00 to 18.00

May, June and September: 10.00 to 12.00 and 14.00 to 18.00

July and August: 09.30 to 19.30

Tours are guided and adult prices are 8,50 euros.

Places to visit near Tourtoirac

The splendid Chateau Hautefort is 8 km from Tourtoirac. Nearby Excideuil is an attractive town with one of the oldest buildings in the Dordogne.

See also Find Tourtoirac hotels

Photos of Tourtoirac

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Map of Tourtoirac and places to visit


Tourtoirac places to visit



Excideuil is an attractive town with a small castle.

Excideuil guide
Chateau de Hautefort

Chateau de Hautefort

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

Chateau de Hautefort guide


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

Badefols-d'Ans guide
The Le Bouquet garden

The Le Bouquet garden

The Le Bouquet garden is a unique garden with 50 parterres and motifs created with clipped box hedges and other plants.

The Le Bouquet garden guide


Sorges is known as the truffle capital of France.

Sorges guide


Thiviers is the capital of foie gras and has a foie gras museum.

Thiviers guide