Photo of A weekend in Bergerac

There are cheap flights to Bergerac Roumanieres airport all year around, making it the perfect destination for an escape from the winter blues (or autum, summer and spring blues!)

You will also find that there is a lot to discover in the surrounding countryside, making it perfect to combine a stroll around an attractive historical town with meals in quality French restaurants and an excursion or two into the countryside of the Dordogne.

Bergerac town

For convenience you might prefer to actually stay in Bergerac town centre, although the nicer (more expensive) hotels are to be found in the surrounding countruyside. Out of high season, you are more likely to find a good selection of restaurants and cafes in Bergerac itself, and if you do stay in the town you will have a chance to wander through Bergerac old town after dark, when it looks completely different.

bergerac old townThe old town in Bergerac is the region immediately north of the river, and is quite extensive with lots of medieval houses and streets to explore and plenty to detain you.

Allow plenty of time to visit one of the cafes in the central square...we like the Imparfait restaurant for a special occasion but there are several other interesting restaurants to choose from...

A little further north in Bergerac, around the church, there are more shops and cafes. The town centre is quite compact so staying in the 'new' town doesn't mean you have a long walk to the old town!

You can see more details about Bergerac, its historical monuments and museums, in our detailed Bergerac guide.

Countryside around Bergerac

Note that car hire will be necessary if you are travelling around because public transport is almost non-existent. Your main challenge outside Bergerac is deciding which direction to take and what to see, a decision that depends in part on how much time you have available and in part on what time of year you are visiting.

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South of Bergerac

MonpazierA loop to the south of Bergerac passes through the vineyards of the region and also the medieval bastide towns of Eymet and Villereal. Each of these is interesting to explore and has a selection of cafes - ideal for your morning coffee break!

This route is very interesting, and might include side trips to Monpazier (as someone who has visited many hundreds of villages across France I can tell you this is one of the loveliest!) and perhaps the Chateau at Monbazillac, producer of a famous sweet white wine.

Instead of taking the direct route from Monpazier to Villereal we highly recommen the longer route that goes from Villereal to the bastide town of Monflanquin, then back through the valley of Gavaudun passed the castles at Gavaudun and Biron to reach Monpazier - but this is starting to make a bit of a long day out for a relaxing weekend!

This route also passes through the village of Issigeac, one of the most photogenic villages in the region. For much of the year it is very quiet, but every Sunday through the summer it is transformed by one of the most popular markets in the Dordogne (the market is much quieter in the winter).

East of Bergerac

Following the Dordogne river upstream from Bergerac you might like to stop and see the locks on the canal at Mouleydier and to see the chateau at Lanquais.

Soon you will come to one of the scenic highlights of the department at the Cirque de Tremolat, with lovely views across the river and countryside (even better in autumn). Tremolat villageThe village of Tremolat itself is also pleasant to stroll around, if rather small.

Close by, the riverside village of Limeuil is among our favourites in the Dordogne with steep streets running up to the park above the village.

For the return journey we suggest you head a little way south of the river to pass through the medieval bastide village at Molieres and to see the abbey in the centre of Cadouin.

Leaving Cadouin be sure to take the picturesque route through the woods to reach the abbey at Saint-Avit-Senieur before heading back towards Bergerac.

Further afield

Note: if this is your first trip to the Dordogne and you don't plan to come back (why not?!) or if you have an additional day free you might decide to be more ambitious in your travels.

Slightly further to the east than the places mentioned, Sarlat is one of the most beautiful and well preserved medieval towns in France, while villages such as Beynac and La Roque-Gageac are exceptionally pretty and on the banks of the Dordogne river. Many of the most famous castles of the Dordogne such as Castelnaud and Milandes are also in this region.

Visitor and travel information

- there are a good number of hotels in and around Bergerac. If you want to stay in a central part of the town the choice is quite limited - our friends always stay in the Hotel de France and tell us it is clean and friendly (we live close to Bergerac so don't need to find a hotel to visit!). In the surrounding region there is a wide choice, often in converted chateaux where you can pass the weekend in luxury see Bergerac hotels for a wide choice.