Claudine GAMOT invites you South-East of Zone 53 District 103 South-West, 180 km East of Bordeaux

If the Dordogne and even more, the Périgord Noir could be told to us, we would walk on the paths of the Paleolithic and the medieval treasures available endlessly in the “Land of Man”.

Sumptuous nature than that of the Dordogne; lush and diverse vegetation, chestnut groves, walnut groves, oak forests whose chiaroscuro magnifies the growth of mushrooms (porcini mushrooms, chanterelles), but also plantations of truffle oaks, certainly growing slowly but ultimately offering the incomparable Tuber Melanosporum: the Black Truffle.

These products, fruits of authentic nature, happily enhance the other jewels of the Périgord culinary art: blanched tourain, goose and duck foie gras, confits, enchauds, truffle omelettes, Sarladaise potatoes, walnut cakes, etc.

Homo Sapiens was not mistaken, enjoying secure natural shelters in the heart of countless cavities and caves in a countryside rich in fauna and a land suitable for life.

A first stop in the Vézère valley, slightly upstream of the Dordogne, at Montignac, seat of the internationally renowned Lascaux Caves. It is an immersion in the heart of the masterpiece of cave art where Homo Sapiens lived some 20,000 years ago. We don’t talk about Lascaux, we visit it, we experience it!

Along the Vézère River and under the eye of Cro-Magnon Man, overlooking the village, Les Eyzies is home to many sites, caves, museums, and constitutes one of the main sanctuaries of cave art.

Let’s take the route of the bastides, among others Monpazier, Belvès, Domme; These villages created in the middle of the 13th century, some of them feature colossal surrounding walls called fortifications decorated with ancestral Tower Gates (protecting the entrance to the village).

Leaving the bastide village of Domme, its concretion caves, its picturesque streets and the exceptional view of feudal castles erected on rocky acres (Beynac, Castelnaud), we reach La Roque-Gageac, one of the most beautiful villages in France, then Catelnaud-Fayrac, with the well-known Château des Milandes, domain of the charismatic Joséphine Baker, pantheonized in 2021, who took in 12 children from around the world, over 20 years, creating the Arc En Ciel Tribe. The castle, heavy with this history tinged with humanism and humanity, is open to visitors for a moment of peace, contemplation and emotion.

The route of the 5 castles naturally leads us to Sarlat, capital of Périgord Noir, which opens its doors to us.

Land of choice for filming as the vestiges of the past allow you to tame the medieval treasures which flourish at the bend of the alleys. In fact, each year, filmmakers come to the Sarladan city which becomes the headquarters of the Film Festival (32nd edition in November 2023).

Every summer, for more than 70 years, the heart of medieval Sarlat serves as a natural setting for the popular Games and Theater Festival (outdoor), offering 18 shows, meetings and debates.

From the middle of the 20th century, intellectuals were interested in this exceptional heritage, such as Henri Miller “one day France may cease to exist but Périgord will survive just like the dreams on which the soul is nourished human.”

There are a thousand and one ways to understand this city of art and history. Captivated by the site, André Malraux, then Minister of Culture, made Sarlat one of the first cities included in the French heritage rehabilitation program in 1964.

Sarlat, magnificent during the day, just as beautiful at night thanks to the gas lighting system and the lanterns distilling luminous halos which enhance the architecture of the buildings, some of which date back to the 13th century.

The Périgord Noir and Sarlat await you for a cultural, bucolic and gourmet getaway in friendly land.