The village of Montcaret is in the west of the Dordogne department in south-west France, between Saint-Emilion to the west and Sainte-Foy-le-Grande to the east (so quite a substantial distance west of the more famous places usually associated with the Dordogne).

Explore Montcaret and Roman Villa

It is true that the ruins and mosaics at Montcaret are quite modest compared to some you might have seen, but Montcaret makes an interesting diversion if you are nearby

The village of Montcaret is a small traditional village of the region and would probably go unnoticed by visitors, except here at Montcaret there are two sites of interest: the Roman style church and the archaeological site based around the excavations of a Roman villa. The two sites are adjacent in the heart of the village.

The two buildings are more closely linked than you might at first imagine - the church was built by Benedictine monks in the 11th century using stone that came from the collapsed Roman villa.

Montcaret Church of Saint-Pierre-ès-Liens

First visit the Church of Saint-Pierre-ès-Liens. This church is typical of the village churches built in the region in early medieval times, small yet preserving several characteristic features.

medieval stone carving on church wall in Montcaret

On the outside you can see a stone carving that represents Adam and Eve, while inside the the church you can see carved capital stones typical of roman style architecture. Attached to the church there is an ancient stone tower.


Montcaret Archaeological Site and Roman Villa

The important villa in Montcaret was occupied from the 1st century to the 5th century. Although the main structure of the house has long since disappeared, you can still see the layout with the position of such rooms as the courtyard and baths. The surface area of the floor was very extensive and it was clearly the property of an important local dignitary.

Fish mosaic in Montcaret villa baths

However it is the villa floors that make it interesting because there are a large number of the original mosaics that can be seen following extensive archaeological excavations. These are considered so important that Montcaret Roman Villa is now listed as one of less than 100 National Monuments in France.

You can see small fragments of mosaics in various places here but there are two areas, the baths and the eating area, where the most important mosaics are found. Note in particular the mosaic in the baths, which incorporates pictures of fish and other marine animals.

The mosaic in the eating area is larger and more complete than the others but shows various patterns rather than pictures, so is less interesting.

extensive mosaics in eating area of Montcaret roman villa

At the same site you can also visit a small museum which contains other artefacts found during the excavations. The entrance fee to visit the villa site is five euros.

Attractions nearby

As well as exploring the vineyards in and around Montcaret, a visit to the UNESCO listed town and famous wine region of Saint-Emilion is an indispensable part of a trip to this area.

Other local attractions include the medieval bastide town of Sainte-Foy-le-Grande and the lovely gardens set around a traditional farmhouse at Jardins de Sardy (just a few kilometres from here).

Explore elsewhere in the Perigord Pourpre. You can find more travel ideas in the Dordogne guide and the Aquitaine guide.

See also Find Montcaret hotels

Photos of Montcaret

Click any picture to start the gallery

  • dining-room-mosaic
  • fish-mosaic-in-baths
  • roman-style-church-decoration

Arrange a visit to Montcaret

Book hotels, car hire and flights

Organise your visit using the options shown...

Hotels in Montcaret best prices

See Montcaret hotels

Reserve excursions

Map of Montcaret and places nearby


Visit near Montcaret with France This Way reviews

Les Jardins de Sardy

Les Jardins de Sardy

The Jardins de Sardy to the wet of Bergerac are one of our favourite gardens to visit in the region

Les Jardins de Sardy guide


A nice place to stroll down to the banks of the Dordogne river - although there is not much else in this tiny village

Eynesse guide


Sainte-Foy-la-Grande, on the Dordogne river west of Bergerac, has an attractive medieval centre with several houses of interest

Sainte-Foy-la-Grande guide


Pellegrue is a very small village but well worth exploring when you are visiting this part of the Dropt Valley

Pellegrue guide


Saint-Emilion is an exceptionally scenic town, and most unusual in being listed as a UNESCO heritage site

Saint-Emilion guide


The layout of the town of Sauveterre-de-Guyenne still follows its original medieval plan almost exactly

Sauveterre-de-Guyenne guide

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

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