Saint-Jean-de-Cole travel guide

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Visit Saint-Jean-de-Cole (Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France)

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The village of Saint-Jean-de-Cole is listed among the most beautiful villages of France, is north-east of Brantome and seven kilometres east of Thiviers in the north-east corner of the Dordogne department. It is an attractive  - a very attractive - village sat on the banks of the Cole river.

Explore Saint-Jean-de-Cole

France This Way review: the village of Saint-Jean-de-Cole is quite small but boasts a castle, a large church, a priory, an unusual shaped stone bridge over a lovely stretch of river, lots of colombage (half-timbered houses) and it once won the prize for ‘finest roofs in France’.

Old streets in Saint-Jean-de-Cole

You can start your visit in the main square in Saint-Jean-de-Cole, where the most important historic monuments are situated, and you will also want to explore the narrow paved streets around the square which contain less important, but equally beautiful, old houses.

Many of the houses in Saint-Jean-de-Cole are picture-postcard pretty, with many having the traditional tiled rooves of the region - the village has been said to have the most perfect roofs in France. As well as the quaint stone cottages you will also notice some very attractive colombage houses lining the streets in the village and dating from medieval times.

The castle, called the Chateau de la Marthonie, is a functional but attractive castle and sits on one side of the main square. The castle dates from the 12th century but what you see now dates from a 15th century reconstruction, with a wing added in the 17th century. The castle once belonged to the Marthonie family who later went on to build the more lavish Chateau de Puyguilhem in Villars.


The church of Saint-Jean-de-Cole, built in the 12th century and of a unique design in Perigord, is on another side making the square very striking. Next to the church the original market hall, in wood with a tiled roof, can still be seen.

Wander along from the square passed the lovely stone houses and you reach the river and its hump-backed bridge. The bridge over the river is a lovely arched, stone bridge dating from the Middle Ages and has a nice view back to the village. The views in both directions along this verdant stretch of the river Cole are also very pretty and there are some pretty houses along the river's edge.

One important building next to the bridge is the 15th century priory, which still retains part of it original cloisters.

There are a couple of cafes in Saint Jean de Cole where you can get a coffee or lunch and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the village.

Every year during the weekend closest to the 8th of May Saint-Jean-de-Cole has a flower fair (Les Floralies) where more than a hundred exhibitors exhibit and sell plants and garden products. It is a very colourful event and a great time to visit the village.

Imposing castle in Dordogne village of Saint-Jean-de-Cole

Local highlights and attractions

The Chateau de Puyguilhem is to the west of Saint-Jean-de-Cole. We also highly recommend that you visit Brantome, one of the loveliest towns in this part of the Dordogne and situated to the south-west of Saint-Jean-de-Cole.

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

See also: 

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Thiviers is a very typical Dordogne market town, best known for the foie gras produced in the surrounding countryside

Thiviers 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
Le Bouquet

Le Bouquet

The Jardin du Bouquet is a large park containing 50 different gardens of clipped box formed into different geometric patterns.

Le Bouquet guide


Sorges is a village in the Dordogne renowned for its truffles and has an ecomuseum dedicated to the history and cultivation of truffles.

Sorges guide


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

Brantome guide
Brantome Abbey

Brantome Abbey

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

Brantome Abbey guide

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

Tourist classifications for Saint-Jean-de-Cole

Saint-Jean-de-Cole is classified as a one of the most beautiful village in France (plus beau villages)

Address: Saint-Jean-de-Côle, Thiviers, Nontron, Aquitaine, 24800, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 45.421, longitude 0.8391

Plan your visit to Saint-Jean-de-Cole, Dordogne

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

The French version of this page is at Saint-Jean-de-Cole (Francais)