Places to Visit

Chateau de lai Colline Chateau des Vingiers Chateau Seignout les Ceurs

The house is a spacious, cool, and private retreat set on the 1000ft plateau, some 45 minutes drive North of the Dordogne valley. The house is set 5 minutes outside the pretty village of Rouffignac St Cernin de Reilhac, midway between Perigueux to the North, the departement’s Capital town, and Bergerac, to the South. The Dordogne is a departement of good weather, gourmet foods, plentiful good wines, Chateaux, caves, rivers, and pre-history in the form of cave paintings, troglodyte dwellings and museums.

Perigueux is a busy town with some industry, harbouring a delightful ‘old town’ of winding streets and beautiful shops and tempting restaurants, overlooked by a 7 domed, eastern-influenced cathedral of some magnificence. A Saturday market attracts producers of local fare from the whole Departement. Boat trips are available on the Perigueux’s river, l’Isle.

Bergerac is a town known mainly for it’s name lent to the Appelation d’Origine Controlle that provides a quality marker for its most famous produce, wine. Red, White (both sweet and dry), and Rose, are all produced. The Dordogne river supplies the mist which induces growth of botrytis, the mould causing the ‘noble rot’ on the skins of white grapes in Autumn, which, when picked and crushed, produces the deep, rich, long tasting sweetness of wines such as those made at the Chateau Monbazillac.

Rouffignac itself is a small village supporting a market every Sunday morning throughout the year. Summertime sees fetes, travelling circuses, and fireworks displays. The village has 2 Bakers, one Butcher, a post office, Bank, ATM, tabac (selling stamps for post cards), card phones, café, and restaurant. There is also a very adequate supermarket (Shopi) and DIY store (Bricojem) just on the outskirts of the village along with a petrol station.

Market Sunflowers

Being at 1000ft, Rouffignac offers a climate much less humid and a few degrees cooler than the Dordogne valley. Many of the summer thunderstorms drifting down from the Massif Central pass by at some distance without causing too much disturbance. Rouffignac also has the advantage of being well within travelling distance of the major attractions but without the vast numbers of tourists that flock to the valley.

Rouffignac market, Sunday morning. Fresh produce, friendly tradesmen.

Lascaux Caves. 25 minutes to the East at Montignac, which itself is a lovely town to visit, situated on the river Vezere. Lascaux is 7 minutes out of town on the hillside but you must buy your tickets in Montignac centre. Lascaux is the cave found by a boy walking his dog only a few decades ago, famous for its 15000+ year old cave paintings. The cave you visit is a replica of the original, located close by. Your visit is only 25 minutes, but is breathtaking.

Grotte de Rouffignac. This is Rouffignac’s answer to Lascaux. Mammoth paintings here are 13000 years old and are discovered on a ‘Journey to the centre of the Earth’ style train journey. Your visit is about an hour. It is far more atmospheric that Lascaux, much more exciting for children (and adults) and is much cheaper than Lascaux! Find the Grotte leaving Rouffignac, about 3kms towards Le Bugue.

Mammoth Painting Hourse Painting

Sarlat. A UNESCO heritage sight, Sarlat is a wonderfully preserved medieval town with a busy market on Saturday. 45 minutes south of Rouffignac, you pass a couple of Chateaux worth visiting (Chabans and Puyguillhem). Sarlat will provide a wealth of local produce food shops selling foie gras, confits, wines and gateaux.

Le Bournat at Le Bugue. This is a Victorian style village recreation with educational, interesting exhibits. You spend a day wandering around while the children ride on old fashioned amusements.
Very good fun.

Bread Chateau des Vigiers