Sarlat-la-Caneda is a beautiful town set in the French commune of the department of the Dordogne and Aquitaine region. The city is known to have the largest number of historical monuments and is regarded as one of the most picturesque trips in the whole of France. Apart from being renowned as a city with a rich, well-preserved architectural heritage, tourists to Sarlat-la-Caneda are also in for a gastronomic experience. Below are 7 things that you can enjoy if Sarlat-la-Caneda is on your itinerary.
1. Sarlat Vue Du Ciel
This is the best place to be to view Sarlat-la-Caneda at its best. Vue Du Ciel is a panoramic lift housed within the bell tower of the old Church Sainte-Marie. This church dates back to the 14th-century and was turned into a post office in 1905. Finally when it was abandoned, the municipality got famous architect Jean Nouvel to renovate the building. This lift built in the bell tower has walls made of glass and offers visitors a 360 degree view of the city. The lift takes a maximum of 7 people and as it goes up, explains the history of Sarlat in the 10 minute journey. Information booklets can be picked up at the entrance. Languages available are English, Spanish, Dutch and French.
Sarlat Vue Du Ciel
Address: Le Belvédère de Sarlat Eglise Sainte Marie, Sarlat-la-Caneda
Opening Schedule: April to September
2. Château de Marqueyssac
Château de Marqueyssac is a chateau and gardens dating back to the 17th-century and is located in Vezac, the Dordogne Department of France. Built by Bertrand Vernet de Marqueyssac, the gardens overlook the Dordogne Valley. This chateau is interesting in that there are box hedges carved to form swirling patterns which is a visual delight to the eye. Within the chateau compound, one can do walks like the Cliff Walk, High Walk and Great Walk. You can take the path leading to the belvedere and absorb the spectacular views of the plains and river below. This chateau is a great getaway, especially for those with kids as there are playgrounds for them to use. All in all, it is a great place to spend some hours out in the open.
Château de Marqueyssac
Address: Les Jardins de Marqueyssac, 24220 Vezac
Opening Hours: 10.00 am to 7.00 pm (April, May, June, September), 10.00 am to 6.00 pm (February, March and October), 9.00 am to 8.00pm (July and August)
Website: Château de Marqueyssac
3. Shop at the weekly markets
Visiting the Sarlat markets is a must for any food lover. These markets are held all year long across the city. Local specialties and food produce unique to the region can be found in these markets. For instance, when in season, you will be able to find foie gras, cepe or porcini mushrooms, truffles, walnuts and other numerous local products.
If you are new to the French region, then this local produce would be a new experience for you and your taste buds. Walk around these markets and enjoy the lively ambience and aromas that would fill the air. Day markets operate on Wednesdays and Saturdays while the night markets take place on Wednesdays and Thursdays. There is also a covered market which is held at the former Sainte Marie Church.
Website: Popular Markets
4. Have an outing with the family at Manoir de Gisson
Located in the historical centre of the city and one of the most prominent monuments in the city, this manor house is the combination of two buildings constructed such that they are interconnected by hexagonal tower stairs, and date back to the 13th-century. The marvelous, majestic building impresses one from the exterior itself. Do not miss noticing the mullioned windows and tastefully decorated door frames.
The vaulted basement which is the first point of entry for visitors would be the home to a collection of curiosities belonging to the wealthy class at the end of the Renaissance. There is a huge variety of plants, animals and cultural artifacts which will leave visitors amazed. The upper parts of the manor are private apartments, offering insight into the houses of the noble class of Sarlat, in particular, the Gisson family. This Manoir de Gisson makes a good trip for you and your family.
Manoir de Gisson
Address: Place des Oies, 24200 Sarlat en Périgord Noir
Website: Manoir de Gisson
5. A walk down the western district
The old town in Sarlat is typically divided into 2 sections and separated by the Rue de la République. While the eastern district is more aristocratic, the western district is known to be more middle class in nature. It is less touristy and is going through a phase of restoration. Despite not being bourgeoisie like the eastern district, the western district is worth a visit.
Walk through Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the narrow, windy lanes and you will notice that this side of town is visibly quieter. It is home to an ancient tower known as the Tour du Bourreau or the Executioner’s Tower. It now serves as an art gallery and is open to the public. While in the western district, pay Tour de Guet (Watchtower) and the Chapel of the Pénitents Blancs a visit.
6. Awaken the palate
The cuisine of Sarlat is something that visitors must experience. It is an awakening of your taste buds and senses. With high quality restaurants around the town, you are bound to enjoy any local food item. Items like duck, goose and truffle are the most common items found in this region. Nonetheless, the cuisine in Sarlat is also varied. After a hard day out, settle down in one of the quaint restaurants and enjoy a well-deserved meal.
Website: Sarlat Tourisme - Where To Eat
7. Enjoy the gardens at Les Jardins d'Eau
If you are up for it, get away from the town of Sarlat and head to Carsac-Aillac for a visit to the Les Jardins d'Eau. This is a botanical garden located in Carsac-Aillac to the south of Sarlat. Being a water garden, there are tons of water lilies for one to enjoy. Enjoy the various species of lilies as well as other water plants in the various ponds and lakes around the gardens. You will be able to get up close to the flowers and even take a moment to capture some lovely photographs. Besides the flowers, you can also admire and feed the koi carp, hear the croaking of the frogs and the buzzing of the dragonflies.
Les Jardins d'Eau
Address: 24200 Carsac-Aillac
Website: Les Jardins d'Eau (in French)
Pay Sarlat-la-Caneda a visit
So if France is on your itinerary, you might want to seriously consider adding Sarlat-la-Caneda to your plans. With so many varied attractions and things to do, you will not be bored. Enjoy the charm of the town whilst experiencing true French hospitality.
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