Our wonderful stay in the Périgord

During a 4-day stay, we discovered the Périgord and its treasures centered around the Dordogne river. The region is rich in heritage, with its cliff-side castles, exquisite gardens and lush greenery, it’s a real nugget in France that won us over. Between canoeing, tasting foie gras and other local specialties, and cultural visits, we had an exceptional stay that made us want to come back without hesitation.


Gateway to Périgord: Marqueyssac garden

As soon as we arrive in Périgord, our first stop is the famous Marqueyssac garden. Known for its century-old boxwoods, pruned into curves and offering a breathtaking view of the Dordogne. Conquered by the site, we stayed for hours to visit the entire garden and have lunch there.

It is near La Roque Gageac and overlooking the Dordogne river, that stands the splendid Marqueyssac garden, 130 meters above the valley.

From its rocky spur, the 22-hectare garden dominates the entire Dordogne valley, offering spectacular views. The castles of Castelnaud, Beynac and La Roque Gageac, among the highlights of the Périgord region, are also visible. The Marqueyssac garden is therefore the ideal starting point for a stay in this wonderful region. A stroll through the gardens of Marqueyssac offers a lovely and bucolic stroll of several kilometers through hand-trimmed boxwood and natural gardens. 

The special characteristic of the gardens are the hundred-year-old boxwoods, which are trimmed to create a romantic atmosphere.

We did the grand tour of the garden, and we finished with a lovely lunch in the restaurant, on the castle’s terrace. The restaurant is delicious and offer a first look of the Perigord’s gastronomic treasures and also offers an incredible view of the Dordogne, accompanied by blue peacocks

Canoe down the Dordogne to admire the castles

What better way to visit a region than to follow its rivers, and that’s what we did, canoeing down the Dordogne. We set off early in the morning to have the early morning light and the Dordogne all to ourselves. There was virtually no need to paddle, as the canoe descended on its own, allowing us to quietly admire the view over the villages and castles.

On the program: La Roque Gageac, Château de Beynac and Château de Castelnaud. The scenery is exceptional, and we take our time admiring these treasures of the Périgord. We also come across Gabares, typical boats of the Dordogne, which are an alternative for those who don’t want to paddle.

It’s not unusual to find little beaches along the way, so don’t hesitate to stop and take a dip in the Dordogne, overlooking the castles. Our secret spot is in front of Château de la Roque Gageac.


Iconic village : La Roque Gageac

La Roque Gageac is a must-see when visiting the Périgord region. This troglodyte village runs alongside the Dordogne, offering breathtaking panoramic views.

Known as one of the most beautiful villages in France, and built in the Middle Ages, it impresses with its troglodytic fort high up in the rock, and its castle on the banks of the Dordogne.

You’ll enjoy strolling through the narrow streets of La Roque Gageac and admiring the panoramic views from the banks of the Dordogne. The scenery is splendid, with the Gabares (typical boats of the Périgord) passing in front of the village.

Sarlat in the heart of Périgord

Before arriving at our guesthouse, we passed through Sarlat la Caneda, also called Sarlat, a town we fell in love with.

A medieval town with cobbled streets and ancient houses such as the Maison de la Boétie, Sarlat exudes a warm atmosphere.

The town boasts many heritage buildings, including the Cathédrale Saint Sacerdos and the Manoir de Gisson.

In Sarlat, you’ll find plenty of stores, especially those selling local produce, to delight you and your taste buds. We stock up on foie gras and duck products from the region’s many producers, as well as Périgord truffles and walnuts.

Tasting of the local products

Foie gras, truffles, strawberries and cabécou

Périgord is rich in local produce and gastronomy, and is one of the regions where we had the most fun to eat and taste so many restaurants. The dishes are a delight, between duck breast, foie gras and cabécou cheese.

Every opportunity is good to sample new recipes in the region’s restaurants. We went shopping for local produce, and the suitcase was full of foie gras, truffle products and walnuts.

Along the way, we passed several markets, the perfect opportunity to taste the famous Périgord strawberries. The region is a gastronomic symbol for France, and well worth a visit for its cuisine.

Crush of the heart for the Bel Estiu brownies with Périgord walnuts.

Château des Milandes, in the Joséphine Baker’s house

Did you know that Josephine Baker lived in the Périgord? We discovered this by chance while visiting the sumptuous Château des Milandes.

Built in the 15th century in Renaissance style, Château des Milandes originally belonged to the Caumont family. It was in 1947 that Joséphine Baker, the most French of Americans, fell in love with the Château des Milandes and bought it to make it her haven. Together with her husband Jo Bouillon, she founded a “world village” at the Château des Milandes, where she lived with her 12 adopted children of different nationalities, to show that we can all live together in peace.

It was in the heart of the château that she was awarded the Légion d’Honneur in 1961 for her courage and services to France during the war.

On the verge of ruin, Josephine Baker was forced to sell the château des Milandes in 1969.

The tour of the château takes place room by room, with the new owner narrating the story, an immersive experience we thoroughly enjoyed and learned a lot from. You’ll learn all about Josephine Baker, her stage costumes and her decoration of the château’s rooms. The gardens and chapel are also well worth a visit, as they are imbued with the soul of Josephine Baker.

Visit the gardens of Eyrignac

During our stay and on the way to Rocamadour, we visited the splendid Manoir d’Eyrignac garden, a true jewel of the Périgord. The Eyrignac garden is a gentle blend of poetry and grace.

The golden-colored Manoir d’Artaban at the heart of the garden is a family property that has been home to 22 generations of Costes de la Calprenède. Surrounding it are 10 hectares of greenery and 7 gardens of singular inspiration. The best-known are the plant sculptures, known as topiary art. Eyrignac is the master of this art, with numerous sculptures in spherical, circular, cubic, animal or free-form shapes, depending on the imagination of the gardeners. The white garden, a parterre à la française, also adorns the Eyrignac garden, combining pruned boxwood and water basins to create a poetic setting of the finest effect.

A stroll through the gardens of Eyrignac is an invitation to dream and romance, we feel like Alice in a Garden of Wonders, a must-see in the Périgord.

Rocamadour, the eternal city

The last stop on our tour is Rocamadour. Standing on its rocky spur, the medieval town, a symbol of pilgrimage, dominates the valley, offering visitors a dazzling spectacle. On the route to Santiago de Compostela, it is a must-see for pilgrims.

Rocamadour is divided into several levels, with the rock itself, so we choose to visit Rocamadour on foot, starting at the bottom. We pass through the Porte du Figuier, and cross the town’s shopping street. We climb the 216-step Grand Escalier to the religious sanctuary. Here, with our guide recounting the stories of Rocamadour pilgrims and miracles granted, we discover the Vierge Noire (Black Madonna) in La Chapelle Notre-Dame, who watches over this thousand-year-old sanctuary. We continue our visit by following the chemin de croix (Way of the Cross) to the castle.


Now we understand why Rocamadour is one of France’s most beautiful villages, and we’re won over by the place and the atmosphere it exudes. The view of the village from the heights is equally impressive – we’ll be back for a hot-air balloon ride, that’s for sure!

Our dream stay at Bel Estiu

We stayed at the Bel Estiu guest house in the heart of the Périgord, ideally located and a true haven of peace.

It’s a magical place with a very family atmosphere. Few rooms, a kitchen where you can cook with local produce, a magnificent garden with several areas for breakfast or a cup of tea while gazing at the stars, and the swimming pool is a major asset for relaxing after a day’s sightseeing. Emilie is an exceptional host and will offer you all the comforts you need for a perfect stay. Her breakfasts are incredible and prepared with local produce – a delight. There are a number of gourmet restaurants in the vicinity.

A perfect stay where we felt right at home, our only regret being that we didn’t stay longer to enjoy it even more.

In conclusion, we had an incredible stay in the Périgord, the region is rich in natural and cultural heritage, and the gastronomy here is a major asset. The region is the perfect combo of relaxation, cultural visits and nature excursions. We loved it so much, everything was so perfect. We absolutely must return to discover other treasures of the Périgord and stay longer.

If you too would like to stay in the Périgord, please contact our Travel Designer, who will be delighted to create a tailor-made trip for you to this sublime region.



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