Dordogne’s hilltop villages

We hadn’t been in the Dordogne long to realise there was so much to see and we hadn’t allowed enough time to see it. I guess that means we will be coming back sometime in the future. Anyhow we started our tour of some of the lovely little villages and hilltop towns with a quick drive through Montfort. Montfort was a cute little town with an equally cute chateau.

DSCN1197

Next we headed to Domme which had been highly recommended. Up the hill we drove. The gateway was quite narrow and the streets were also quite narrow. Fortunately no one came towards us. Some of the streets were one way streets so we ended up doing a couple of circuits looking at the town. The town square was really neat and the cafe looked inviting but we had stocked up on picnic goodies at Sarlat market so we didn’t stop there for lunch.

DSCN1202

DSCN1207

We drove back down to Cénac and ate our picnic lunch by the river. It was very peaceful and made all the more scenic with a steady flow of kayakers going downriver.

DSCN1217

After lunch we drove to La Roque Gageac, one of the many touristed towns in the area. It was right on the river and streets rose up and along the side of the rocky hillside. We parked our car and paid the inevitable parking fee and made our way along the main street. There were lots of cafes, galleries, souvenir shops and clothing stores to look at as we walked.

DSCN1233

DSCN1243

After walking end to end we decided to go up into the streets above.

DSCN1238

However we came to a point where we felt continuing up wasn’t such a good idea, especially if we needed to go up the less than safe stairs we could see.

DSCN1250

Karen managed to find a summer sale bargain. While she tried on a dress I had a chat with the helpful shopkeeper, mostly in French I’m proud to say. In the end Karen purchased a lovely summer dress. However at one other shop the sales assistant was definitely not on the job!

DSCN1254

We continued our drive to the Chateau La Malides but didn’t go in as we felt it would take valuable time we needed to complete our tour.

DSCN1258

The next town we came to was Beynac et Cazenac, probably two small villages melded together over time. We parked at the edge of the town and walked towards the centre.

DSCN1264

However before we crossed the bridge we decided to follow a path leading along the river bank. The detour proved well worthwhile as the reflections were fantastic.

DSCN1265

It was lovely. As this was our last village we decided to explore further here too.

DSCN1272

Up a main street we walked then we followed a direction sign up the narrow road. It was a very quiet village, although I suspect in the height of August holidays it wouldn’t be so quiet.

DSCN1275

The path took a turn and continued to rise. The houses and cottages were all very well preserved and neatly kept.

image

As we reached a good viewpoint we could see more château across the valley.

image

Once our walking explorations were over we drove back to Sarlat for dinner, impressed at how amazing the villages we had seen in our afternoon excursion had been.

To top the day off I ordered cassoulet, a French speciality, for dinner. The dish comprised duck, pork sausages and white beans. Although a little fatty due to the duck fat it was really delicious.

image

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Dordogne’s hilltop villages

    • Yes it is. We are suckers for these lovely little villages. Just love wandering around them even if there is quite a bit of uphill walking to get some of the better photos. Thanks for your comment. Cheers, Mark

    • Yes there are so many amazing villages to visit in Provence and I’m sure I took too many photos, or did I! We are already making plans to return to France and Spain in 2017. Cheers, Mark

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s