Nontron travel guide

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Visit Nontron (Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France)

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Nontron is a small town located towards the north of the Dordogne department (Aquitaine region) of south-west France, and 16 km to the north of Brantome, in the region known as Perigord Vert.

A quiet town that is officially listed as a 'recommended detour', Nontron has a long history reputed to date back 3000 years, and evidence of prehistoric settlement in the area. There are several points of interest to discover during your visit.

Explore Nontron

France This Way review: Nontron is home to the famous 'Nontron knives' which have been in production for several centuries. It is also a thriving art and craft centre.

You will start your visit in the main square in Nontron, where you can see the town hall and a decorative fountain. Various restaurants, bars and shops can be found around the square and it is a pleasant place to take a break.

Pole d'Art of  Nontron

Inside the Pole d'Art building there is an excellent exhibition of art and contemporary crafts and also a shop where you can buy various items.  The Pole d'Art encourages artists in the area and those wishing to move here. There are now 300 craft-related business in the area.

Continue along to Place Albert, where you can visit the workshop where the famous Nontron knives are made - as they have been for more than 500 years. This is also one of the best places in Nontron for having views across the countryside.

From here you can stroll down through well maintained public gardens and the Jardin d'Art in the shadow of the 19th century Chateau of Nontron to the little Bandiat river that flows below the town. Substantial parts of the original fortifications for the town can be seen from Rue de Perigueux and there are various medieval half-timbered houses in the old town around Rue des Ecoles and Rue Picaud. 


Note that the square tower of medieval appearance on the edge of Nontron is an early 20th century addition, which was only granted planning permission if the council could tell the owner how it should look!

Moving forward a couple of centuries, don't miss the Hotel d'Albret on Rue Camille Chabaneau which is a fine 16th century renaissance style building with a decorative facade and a beautiful stone spiral staircase. You will see other renaissance period buildings as you explore the centre of Nontron.

Nontron knives

Nontron knives are famous throughout France and as well as the museum there are various shops selling the knives. Knives have been made here since the 17th century and producers here were the first in France to produce folding knives.

In August there is a knife festival and around a 100 knife producers from around the world come to display their knives and cutlery. This usually takes place the first weekend of August.

Attractions nearby

In a raised position overlooking the Bandiat Valley and the surrounding Dordogne countryside, and with the Regional Natural Parc of the Perigord-Limousin to the north of the town, Nontron is well placed for exploring the Perigord Vert.

Among the villages close by visit Bussiere-Badil and Varaignes, then head perhaps for the rock formations at Roc Branlant and Roc Poperdu. For traces of prehistoric life near Nontron visit the cave paintings at Villars Cave.

The lovely Renaissance Chateau de Puyguilhem is nearby as is the beautiful town of Brantome which is one of our favourites in the Dordogne area and definitely not to be missed.

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

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Photos of Nontron

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Map of Nontron and places nearby


Visit near Nontron with France This Way reviews



Javerlhac-et-la-Chapelle-Saint-Robert is a charming village with a church and castle and a lovely riverside area.

Javerlhac-et-la-Chapelle-Saint-Robert guide


Varaignes is a pretty village with a castle at its centre. The castle is home to a museum of textiles and slipper making.

Varaignes guide
Chateau de Puyguilhem

Chateau de Puyguilhem

Extensive renovation work at the Chateau de Puyguilhem has brought a new lease of life to this Renaissance style castle

Chateau de Puyguilhem guide
Brantome Abbey

Brantome Abbey

Brantome Abbey is an impressive abbey with troglodyte caves in the beautiful town of Brantome.

Brantome Abbey guide


In an idyllic setting on the Isle River and with an imposing abbey, Brantome is a very enjoyable town to explore

Brantome guide


Saint-Jean-de-Cole is a small but very pretty village with a nice church and beautiful riverside setting

Saint-Jean-de-Cole guide

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

Tourist classifications for Nontron

Nontron is classified as a recommended detour town (plus beau detour)

Address: Nontron, Aquitaine, 24300, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 45.529444, longitude 0.661944

Plan your visit to Nontron, Dordogne

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Perigord-Limousin: regional natural parc (14 km)
  • Abbaye Cistercienne de Boschaud (Villars): religious monument (14 km)
  • Chateau de Puyguilhem: national monument (14 km)
  • Saint-Jean-de-Cole: most beautiful village (18 km)
  • Abbaye Saint Pierre (Brantome): religious monument (18 km)
  • Grotte de Montgaudier: site of natural beauty (21 km)
  • Eglise Notre Dame de l'Assomption (Thiviers): religious monument (24 km)
  • Réserve naturelle régionale Étang de la Monnerie: site of natural beauty (26 km)
  • La Rochefoucauld: village d'etape (32 km)
  • Jardin de Liliane: remarkable garden (35 km)
  • Ancien Prieuré de Merlande (La Chapelle-Gonaguet): religious monument (36 km)
  • Abbaye Notre Dame (Chancelade): religious monument (36 km)

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