Sarlat (also known as Sarlat-la-Canéda) is in the Perigord Noir area of the Dordogne in the region of Aquitaine. It’s one of those special places which once seen is never forgotten.
This beautiful little town almost looks as if time has stood still. It is a medieval town which developed around a Benedictine abbey and the warren of winding little streets and squares are truly pickled in the past. The yellow stone buildings, many dripping with flowers in the summer months, cobblestone streets and ancient shop signs provide endless photo opportunities.
The reason for Sarlat’s fabulously preserved good looks is due to the fact that for almost two centuries from the 1700’s, a lack of road access meant that hardly anyone went there. So, cut off from the rest of the world, people simply went about their business and nothing much changed.
This is no fusty museum town though, it’s very much alive and thriving. In the summer months it’s become a real tourist magnet – but outside of the peak visiting times, Sarlat reverts to being a rather tranquil but spectacular time warp town.
5 Must sees in Sarlat
Don’t miss the Saturday morning market – it’s got a great atmosphere and fabulous products. In winter there’s a wonderful little truffle market.
Enjoy a wander: It’s a hilly town and once you get off the main drag you’ll find yourself climbing steep steps and meandering down medieval streets until you come to the top of a hill and discover unexpectedly spectacular views over the rooftops of Sarlat.
Take the lift: If being up high doesn’t bother you, take the glass lift you’ll find inside the church of Sainte-Marie in town for a hair-raising ride and a fabulous show-stopping outlook. You have to have the weather on your side to be able to take the lift, it closes in bad weather.
Take a selfie in the Place du Marche aux Oies: This little square is famous for its bronze geese sculptures, surrounded by beautiful houses, it’s a beautiful little oasis.
Wine and dine: There are loads of places to enjoy a glass of wine, a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and watch the world go by. And, as for the restaurants with fresh cooked local food – you’re truly spoiled for choice.
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