Visit Domme (Aquitaine, France)
Domme is on the Dordogne river 8 km south of Sarlat, and listed as one of several 'most beautiful villages of France' in the Dordogne department. It is a very attractive bastide town, founded in 1283 and situated in an exceptional hilltop location.
Domme had an unstable early history, and changed hands several times between the English and the French during the Hundred Years War. The turbulent times continued in the later Wars of Religion, and even as recently as the Second World War the caves in the centre of Domme were used as a hideout.
The town is entered by a large fortified gate at the bottom of the main street (it is unusual for a bastide town to retain its fortifications as Domme has done), with huge towers either side of the entrance that also once served as prisons - you can see the religious symbols scratched like graffiti on the walls by the Templar prisoners during the 14th century.
Inside the walls, the main street then passes up the hill between lots of lovely honey-coloured old houses, now mostly used as gift shops. Some of the traditional houses are also attractively decorated with balconies and external stone staircases.
After being distracted by the side streets a little, at the top of the hill you will find a large open area with magnificent views, several cafes, and the entrance to Domme caves. The original open market hall, with impressive carpentry and stone supporting pillars, is also in this square, overlooked by the fine 15th century 'Hotel du Gouverneur'.
The position of Domme at the top of a fairly steep hill is a large part of why the village is so special. There are 180 degree views across the Dordogne river and surrounding countryside from the terraced belvedere area at the top of the village, from where you can also see other picturesque villages including Beynac and La Roque Gageac.
There are also cafes here which are a very pleasant place to recover from the hill and the heat!
There is also a small museum of arts and popular traditions in Domme called the 'Oustal du Périgord' which shows the typical lives of the locals over the last two centuries.
Entered in the centre of the main square, Domme caves themselves are a noteworthy attrcation. They are extensive and interesting caves, with almost half a kilometre of galleries containing carefully lit rock formations. The largest caves in the Perigord Noir region, the visit finishes with a ride in a glass-fronted lift up the cliff. Of course, visiting caves is also a lovely way to cool down on a hot summers day.
There are too many attractions close to Domme to list them here with numerous castles and beautiful villages (such as Beynac and La Roque Gageac), river and countryside scenery, and Sarlat, perhaps the highlight of a visit to the Dordogne, just a few kilometres to the north-east. See our Dordogne travel guide for many more suggestions.
Much less known and less visited, we suggest you also explore the countryside to the south of Domme, and in particular the area around the villages of Daglan and Saint-Pompont.
Photos of Domme
Click any picture to start the gallery
Tourist classifications for Domme
Domme is classified as a one of the most beautiful village in France (plus beau villages)
Address: Domme, Sarlat-la-Canéda, Dordogne, Aquitaine, 24250 || GPS: latitude 44.802, longitude 1.2146
Map of Domme & places nearby
Highlights close by
La Roque-Gageac 4km
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Domme, France
- Jardins du château de Caudon - remarkable garden
- Eglise notre-Dame de Nativité (Cenac-et-Saint-Julien) - religious monument
- La Roque-Gageac - most beautiful village (4km)
- Jardins de l'Albarède - remarkable garden (4km)
- Jardins de Marqueyssac - remarkable garden (5km)
- Beynac - most beautiful village (7km)
- Cathédrale Saint-Sardos (Sarlat) - religious monument (10km)
- Sarlat - town of art and history (10km)
- Jardin de la Daille - remarkable garden (12km)
- Jardin de Conty - remarkable garden (13km)
Market days in Domme: Regular market(s) are held in Domme each Thursday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Domme (Francais)