Carsac-Aillac, Dordogne tourism & sightseeing

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Visit Carsac-Aillac (Aquitaine, France)

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Carsac-Aillac is a small village which is home to the beautiful water gardens of Carsac, les Jardins'd'eau de Carsac, and also to a charming roman church. The village is located about ten kilometers south east of Sarlat.

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France This Way comment: Carsac-Aillac and its church is worth a visit if you are here for the Jardins d'eau de Carsac

Carsac-Aillac is a small village with a pleasant centre which sits at the crossroads of the D703, which is the main road that runs along the Dordogne valley, and the D704 which runs south from Sarlat. A few shops and a couple of hotels provide for visitors but it is not really a tourist centre. However if you are here take a look at the charming church of Saint Capraise which sits on the edge of the village on the D703.

Carsac Aillac

The romanesque church has an arched doorway and square belltower and inside it has a gothic ribbed vaulted roof and beautifully carved capitals. Next to the church is a large beautiful house with a small turret and rising up behind the church there is a steep hillside with ruined remains on it. It is all very picturesque.

Elsewhere in the commune there are a couple of small chateaux and large manor houses and Carsac Aillac is the home to the caves of Pech-de-l'Aze, a prehistoric shelter, that was found to contain the skull of a young child. This skull has been important in our understanding of the Neanderthal era and was recently part of the "Neanderthal exhibition" at the Musée de l'Homme in Paris.

The abri also contained more than 250 blocks of manganese dioxide used in dyeing leathers and proving that Neanderthals used dyes and did not wait for Homo Sapiens to impart this knowledge. The abri is not open to the public.

The most likely reason for your visit to Carsac Aillac is to visit the wonderful Jardin d'Eau de Carsac. This is a water garden with stunning displays of waterlilies and lotus flowers.

In particular it has a water labyrinth which is a huge pond with a series of wooden walkways crisscrossing its surface and giving you a wonderful close up view of the waterlilies and other aquatic plants. This aquatic labyrinth is unique in Europe. The gardens also have a nice cafe on the edge of some of their ponds providing a lovely spot to stop for a coffee or ice-cream.

Water garden of Carsac Aillac

Attractions to visit nearby

There are two of France's 'most beautiful villages very close to Carsac-Aillac. One is Domme which as well as being very attractive has a set of underground caves under its centre and has stunning views over the Dordogne river.

La Roque Gageac is smaller but equally stunning and has been planted up with a large array of tropical plants such as palm trees, bamboo and banana palms.

Sarlat is a stunning medieval town and rivals any you could visit anywhere in France. It is also a good size for a base when visiting the area though it does get very crowded in July and August.

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

See also:

Map of Carsac-Aillac and places nearby

Visit near Carsac-Aillac with France This Way reviews

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

Address: Carsac-Aillac, Carlux, Sarlat-la-Canéda, Aquitaine, 24200, France || GPS: latitude 44.8408, longitude 1.2769

Plan your visit to Carsac-Aillac, Dordogne

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Jardins du château de Caudon: remarkable garden (7 km)
  • Domme: most beautiful village (7 km)
  • Cathédrale Saint-Sardos (Sarlat): religious monument (7 km)
  • Sarlat: town of art and history (7 km)
  • Eglise notre-Dame de Nativité (Cenac-et-Saint-Julien): religious monument (7 km)
  • La Roque-Gageac: most beautiful village (8 km)
  • Notre Dame des Cordeliers (Gourdon): religious monument (9 km)
  • Gourdon: recommended detour (9 km)
  • Jardins de Marqueyssac: remarkable garden (9 km)
  • Jardins de l'Albarède: remarkable garden (10 km)
  • Beynac: most beautiful village (11 km)
  • Jardins du Manoir d'Eyrignac: remarkable garden (15 km)

The French version of this page is at Carsac-Aillac (Francais)