Cadouin, Dordogne: tourism & sightseeing

Photo of Cadouin (Aquitaine region)

Visit Cadouin (Aquitaine, France)

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Cadouin is an attractive village a few kilometres south of the river Dordogne, in a wooded valley between Bergerac and Sarlat.

Explore Cadouin

The centre of the village is a small central square with a medieval market hall, a cafe and an ensemble of traditional Dordogne buildings, and of course the abbey. The village continues a little way up the hill in both directions and although small is a very pleasant place to explore.

Church in village

Cadouin is best known for its abbey which was founded by a hermit in 1115 and which in 1119 was given to an order of Cistercian monks. The church and buildings were constructed during the middle of the 12th century.

The Abbey became a major pilgrim destination in the Middle Ages because of a piece of cloth thought to be part of the shroud of Jesus Christ. Pilgrims visiting the shroud included Richard the Lionheart and Eleanor of Aquitaine. In the 1930s the cloth was shown to date from the 12th century and the abbey immediately lost its role as a pilgrimage destination

However, the abbey still continues to attract lots of visitors and the main attraction now is its beautiful gothic cloister and carved capital stones. Within the cloisters you can also see some medieval frescoes.

Cadouin Abbey is now listed as a World Heritage Site with UNESCO as part of the pilgrimage route to Compostella. The ‘shroud’ and details of eight centuries of pilgrimages can be seen in a small museum in the Abbey. Some of the original Abbey buildings now house a particularly beautiful youth hostel.

After a stroll in the village centre you can follow the road up the hill a short distance behind Molieres (direction Belves) for a view across the rooftops of the village.

Stone arch in centre of Cadouin

Visit near Cadouin

One very small but picturesque little village close by is Urval, and we also recommend you visit the 'incomplete" bastide town at Molieres.

Close to Cadouin, you can visit the Grottes de Maxange. Only discovered in 2000, these caves have a particularly impressive selection of rock formations to enjoy, spread out over about 200 metres. The large crystalline sections are very interesting - and all very carefully lit to make the most of the unusual shapes and designs.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Dordogne guide and the Aquitaine guide.

See also:

Map of Cadouin and places nearby

Visit near Cadouin with France This Way reviews

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Dordogne

Address: Buisson-de-Cadouin, Bergerac, Aquitaine, 24480, France || GPS: latitude 44.8111, longitude 0.873611

Plan your visit to Cadouin, Dordogne

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Le-Buisson-de-Cadouin eglise abbatiale (monuments on French pilgrim routes): heritage site
  • Jardin de Planbuisson: remarkable garden (5 km)
  • Jardins de la Bourlie: remarkable garden (6 km)
  • Saint-Avit Eglise (monuments on French pilgrim routes): heritage site (6 km)
  • Eglise de Saint-Hilaire et Eglise de Saint-Nicholas (Tremolat): religious monument (8 km)
  • Limeuil: most beautiful village (8 km)
  • Eglise Sainte-Croix (Beaumont-du-Perigord): religious monument (9 km)
  • Eglise de saint-Pierre (Audrix): religious monument (10 km)
  • Abbaye de Saint Martial (Paunat): religious monument (11 km)
  • Eglise Notre Dame de l'Assomption (Belves): religious monument (11 km)
  • Belves: most beautiful village (11 km)
  • Jardin de Conty: remarkable garden (14 km)

Market days in Cadouin, France

Regular market(s) are held in Cadouin each Friday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)

The French version of this page is at Cadouin (Francais)