SARLAT, DOMME & ROCAMADOUR
A visit to the Dordogne would not be complete without a visit to Sarlat. Take the D704 direct, or combine it with sight-seeing around Les Eyzies, taking the D47 from there. Certainly, leave adequate time to explore, for every street in Sarlat is packed with houses of historical and architectural interest. Sarlat has managed to preserve, better than any other town in the Dordogne, the atmosphere of a thriving Renaissance community. Often described as a Medieval city, for its layout certainly is, all its buildings are of a later date. Sarlat is an excellent tourist centre and the Saturday morning market is one of the best of the region. There are excellent shops which specialise in local produce and wines, not to mention a dearth of first-class restaurants. In the summer there is a renowned arts festival.
Domme is most often described as one of the most attractive and dramatic of all the Bastides. From the Belvédère it enjoys the most commanding view of the Dordogne River. To the west, Beynac and La Roque-Gageac are visible on a clear day and you can follow the loops of the river past Vitrac, more or less opposite, and eastwards, towards Montfort and Groléjac. Domme is a town to be wandered through and savoured, for it is dotted with attractive streets and well-tendered balconied houses of golden stone. Its history goes back to 1280, so there is much to see and marvel at. Enjoy a good lunch or dinner for there is an excellent choice of restaurants. As there are art galleries and craft shops.
Rocamadour has been a shrine since the Middle Ages. Today, tourists outnumber
pilgrims, for the setting of the town, which hugs the sheer cliff in tiers along
narrow terraces, is indeed a spectacular sight. Best seen from the L'Hospitalet,
where the shrine hospital used to stand. Here its best to park your car and
use the lift down to the village, or make your way on foot. This is a medieval
town on three levels. Walk along the oldest street in Rocamadour, the Rue de
la Mercerie, where medieval pilgrims bought badges to wear in their hats. A
place to steep yourself in history.
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