Sainte-Foy-la-Grande travel guide

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Visit Sainte-Foy-la-Grande (Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France)

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The town of Sainte-Foy-la-Grande is situated in the north-east corner of Gironde, very close to the border with both the Dordogne and Lot-et-Garonne departments.

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France This Way review: for years I had driven straight past Sainte-Foy-la-Grande on the busy road from the Dordogne to Bordeaux without even realising there was a town worth visiting hidden behind the commercial development...but there is, and Sainte-Foy is an attractive 13th century bastide town, with the additional highlight of directly facing onto the Dordogne river.

In Sainte-Foy-la-Grande town centre you will discover all the characteristics you expect in a medieval bastide such as half-timbered houses, a central square with stone arcades around the edges, and a nice church.

arcaded houses in town centre

The central square now also contains a substantial 'town hall' building instead of a traditional market hall, which makes it a little harder to appreciate the original layout than in some bastide towns and deprives the centre of the openness we associate with bastide towns.

Sainte-Foy has a good selection of shops and cafes and all facilities and the lively weekly market takes place in the centre each Saturday morning. Because it is slightly away from the main tourist routes it is a 'living town' rather than a 'tourist town', which brings both benefits and disadvantages from a visitor's point of view.


Sainte-Foy-la-Grande also has a feature that most of the bastide towns don't, because the Dordogne river runs through the town (Eymet to the east of here shares this honour). This is unusual because bastide towns were more commonly situated on hilltops, hence some distance from larger rivers.

It is pleasant to take a short stroll around the quais or even take a boat trip on the river. There is a small river beach called the Plage des Bardoulets where children can have a paddle.

You can see some remains of the original defensive ramparts that once surrounded the medieval centre of Sainte-Foy-la-Grande.

Dordogne river in Sainte-Foy-la-Grande

Attractions nearby

The region around Sainte-Foy-la-Grande, to the west of the Dordogne and east of Bordeaux, is a region of vineyards and quiet countryside that we found to be an excellent region for cycling.

The principal local highlights include a Roman villa at Montcaret where we thought the mosaics in particular were very impressive, and the Chateau de Montaigne, which we were less impressed by but we have to admit to not being great students of Michel de Montaigne.

We strongly recommend a visit from here to the world heritage site village and vineyards of Saint-Emilion , and Sainte-Foy-la-Grande is also well placed to explore the quiet Dropt valley.

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

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Photos of Sainte-Foy-la-Grande

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  • 19th-century-houses
  • medieval-arcaded-houses
  • river-frontage
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  • town-centre

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Visit near Sainte-Foy-la-Grande with France This Way reviews



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
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


At Montcaret you can visit the archaeological site of a Roman villa to see ancient mosaics

Montcaret guide


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

Pellegrue guide


Duras is a quiet town that is above all known for the local wine and the Chateau de Duras in the town

Duras guide
Chateau de Bridoire

Chateau de Bridoire

Visit the Chateau de Bridoire, a medieval chateau with lots of games for all the family.

Chateau de Bridoire guide

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

Address: Sainte-Foy-la-Grande, Libourne, Aquitaine, 33220, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 44.841111, longitude 0.218056

Plan your visit to Sainte-Foy-la-Grande, Gironde

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Jardins du Sardy: remarkable garden (9 km)
  • Montcaret Archaeological site: national monument (12 km)
  • Bergerac: ville fleurie 4* (21 km)
  • Parc et potager de Pouthet: remarkable garden (24 km)
  • Jardins du château de Montréal: remarkable garden (27 km)
  • Eglise de Saint Pierre (Petit-Palais-et-Cornemps): religious monument (27 km)
  • Collégiale et chapelle de la Trinité (Saint-Emilion): religious monument (30 km)
  • Saint-Emilion: heritage site (30 km)
  • Jardins de Beauchamp: remarkable garden (37 km)
  • Jardin du cloître Notre-Dame: remarkable garden (37 km)
  • Jardins du château de Vayres: remarkable garden (42 km)
  • Sauve-Majeure Abbey: national monument (43 km)

The French version of this page is at Sainte-Foy-la-Grande (Francais)