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Sarlat & Environs


Perched improbably on the side of a cliff, Chateau de Montfort is 4 km west of Carsac-Aillac (east of Beynac and la-Roque-Gageac).   It once belonged to one of the most famous Cathar lords, Bernard de Casnac who apparently swore to cut into pieces all the Catholics who lived in the region.  Not a terribly Christian attitude, but then again, the Catholics were doing the same to the Cathars, and eventually wiped them out. 

La Roc de Gageac

A bustling market town, just 6 kilometers away, the most famous in the region and one of the most renowned and visited in France. Don't miss the streets around the cathedral and to the north of the old town.  Frequently you will think yourself lost in the winding medieval streets - don't worry, it's essentially a small town, and sooner or later you will emerge into the light and find yourself somewhere familiar.

Try to time your visit for market days (wednesdays and saturdays), when the old town square comes alive with food vendors hawking their products.  Try to buy your vegetables here, not at the supermarkets, and take an opportunity to taste the many cheeses on offer.  Be warned though, the cheese vendors will try to cut you a humongous slice if you decide to buy, so try to restrain them.  You don't really want to pay 25 Euros for a hunk of cheese it will take two weeks to eat.


Yet another picture perfect village (it surely must be getting boring by now), perched on the cliff next to the Dordogne river, about 15 Kilometers south of Sarlat.  Visit the troglodyte dwellings in the cliffside, or just wander along the river front, marveling at the buildings built directly into the living rock.