Les Jardins d'eau, Dordogne visitors guide

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Les Jardins d'eau in Carsac-Aillac is a beautiful water garden in Carsac-Aillac in the Dordogne department of France. The garden is a classified 'Remarkable Garden' and has a beautiful and rare collection of aquatic plants.

Explore the Jardins d'eau of Carsac-Aillac

The Jardins d'eau was created in 1999 and sits on the edge of the Dordogne river near to the beautiful village of Domme.  You enter the gardens through a very attractive glass-sided cafe and shop surrounded by a wooden deck with seating on the edge of large ponds filled with a range of aquatic plants and some large koi carp. It is a charming spot to stop for a coffee before or after your tour of the garden.

Next to the koi pond is a pond full of exotic waterlilies many of which are beautiful colours. Also next to the cafe is a heated pond which is home to the large tropical waterlily Victoria which has large flat leaves with raised edges and can reach a diameter of 1.5 meters. These are very rare in Europe and are native to Bolivia and Northern Argentina.There is also a natural-style swimming pool showing just how attractive a natural pool in a garden can be.

Cafe and shop on the edge of the water garden of Carsac Aillac

A path surrounded by attractive plants winds down to a large pond with a blue bridge reminiscent of that in Monet's water garden in Giverney. This pond is full of lovely white and pink rustic waterlily and at one end has a section devoted to stunning lotus plants.

Lotus plants are similar to waterlilies though both the leaves and flowers stand proud of the water and at the centre of the large white or pink flowers is a distinctive seed head that you will recognise from flower arrangements. When the flowers are open they also have a lovely scent.

A zigzag walkway above a long narrow pond planted with lotus and waterlily leads you to a bamboo garden and from here a terraced garden leads you up past a stream and pond with a Japanese theme and on to the garden's highlight, a huge water labyrinth with walkways crisscrossing a huge pond planted with lotus, waterlilies and various other aquatic plants. This garden also has fountains and water jets that you can control with an app on your phone and some parasols providing both shade and an attractive vertical dimension to the gardens. It really is quite superb!

Pond of the water gardens of Carsac-Aillac

As you wander around the water gardens there is a constant background sound of hundreds of frogs enjoying the water and sunshine.

To finish your visit head to the tactile aquarium which is new to the garden. This large glass-sided koi pond allows you to see the beautiful koi carp from above and also to see through the glass to them swimming. Children are given fish food to feed to the koi carp, quite an impressive spectacle as they are greedy feeders!

Where to visit nearby?

There is another beautiful water garden in Temple sur Lot in the Lot et Garonne department. It is a bit of a drive but well worth it if you like waterlilies. The Latour Marliac water garden in Temple sur Lot has a wonderful collection of waterlilies and is the nursery that once supplied Claude Monet when he was creating his water garden at Giverny.

Closer to home the Jardins de Cadiot is a lovely garden seperated into 10 distinct garden styles and a collection of over 1000 plant varieties.

The nearby villages of Domme and La Roque Gageac are both "most beautiful villages of France" and definitely worth a visit.

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

See also:

Map of Les Jardins d'eau and places nearby

Visit near Les Jardins d'eau with France This Way reviews

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

Plan your visit to Les Jardins d'eau, 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)
  • Gourdon: recommended detour (9 km)
  • Notre Dame des Cordeliers (Gourdon): religious monument (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 Les Jardins d'eau (Francais)