Photo of Villars

Visit Villars

Villars is a small village in the north of the Dordogne department, about 30 kilometers north of Perigueux. The main sights are the ruined Abbaye de Boschaud, the Grotte de Villars and the Chateau de Puyguilhem.

Explore Villars

Villars itself is a small village with a fortified church dating back to the 12th century though with renovations in the 16th and 19th century. In its graveyard is a large 'chapel of the graveyard'. The church is in the main square of the village which is a quiet square with a couple of shops and the halle under which has been built a long building that does rather spoil it!

In the village is also the small but attractive Chateau de Villars which is more of a grand house than a castle but prettily decorated with patterned bricks. It was built in the 19th century and is now a bed and breakfast accommodation.

The main attractions of Villars are the attractive ruins of the Abbaye de Boschaud, the Villars cave, Grotte de Villars, which can be found on the edge of the village and the stunning Chateau de Puyguilhem.

Visit the Abbaye de Boschaud

Abbey de Boschaud

The Abbaye de Boschaud was built between 1154 and 1159 with money from the nearby Abbaye de Peyrouse. At the time of its construction an Abbey was supposed to house the relics of a great saint and indeed there is talk of a 'body under the alter or in the wall' but nobody knows the name of the saint in question.

Since its glory days as a Cistercian abbey it has been attacked, robbed and ultimately abandoned.

After some time covered in vegetation it was bought by the French state, restored and classified a 'Historic Monument'.


Grotte de Villars

Also on the edge of Villars is the lovely 'Grotte de Villars', a huge natural cave full of stalactites and stalagmites and also a couple of pre-historic paintings including an extremely rare one of a human figure. There is also a prehistoric trail with plants prehistoric man would have eaten and information boards about how he lived.

grotte de villars

Chateau de Puyguilhem

On the edge of the village of Villars is the impressive Chateau de Puyguilhem, an attractive chateau in the style of the Chateaux of the Loire Valley though on a much smaller scale. The chateau was built in the 16th century in Renaissance style and is open to visitors.

Places to visit nearby

Saint Jean de Cole is a charming village nearby which is classed as one of the "most beautiful villages of France". In the village lots of stone and half-timber houses sit alongside the river Cole. Its roofs come in all shapes and sizes and the village once won a "finest roofs in France" competition.

Brantome with its gorgeous riverside setting and impressive abbey is one of our favourite villages in the Dordogne.

See also: 

Photos of Villars

Click any picture to start the gallery

  • abbaye-boschaud-1
  • abbaye-boschaud-2
  • abbaye-boschaud
  • villars-abbaye-boschaud
  • villars-church
  • villars-square

Map of Villars and places to visit


Villars places to visit

Chateau de Puyguilhem

Chateau de Puyguilhem

The Chateau de Puyguilhem is similar in style to the Loire Valley castles.

Chateau de Puyguilhem guide
Grotte de Villars

Grotte de Villars

A natural cave of stalactites and stalagmites with some Prehistoric drawings too.

Grotte de Villars guide
La Chapelle Faucher

La Chapelle Faucher

La Chapelle Faucher is a quiet village with a pretty square.

La Chapelle Faucher guide


Saint Jean de Cole is one of the most beautiful villages of France.

Saint-Jean-de-Cole guide
Saint Pardoux la Riviere

Saint Pardoux la Riviere

Saint Pardoux la Riviere is a pleasant village on the edge of the River Dronne.

Saint Pardoux la Riviere guide
Les Jardins Tranquille

Les Jardins Tranquille

A pretty river side garden on the edge of Brantome.

Les Jardins Tranquille guide