- February 23, 2014
Travel Videos & Interviews
Sarlat, is a medieval town in the Dordogne department of Aquitaine in southwestern France. This beautiful town has developed around the large Benedictine Abbey of Carolingian origin. Sarlat Cathedral is a Roman Catholic Church and former cathedral. This important national monument of France is dedicated to Saint Sacerdos.
Sarlat has miraculously remained preserved. It is one of the towns that is most representative of 14th century France. The town looks as if it has been frozen in time because of its restoration by resistance fighter and politician André Malraux, who, as Minister of Culture (1960–1969), restored many historical sites throughout France.
The old town center gives the appearance of an open air museum of immaculately restored stone buildings and is mainly pedestrianized. The towns’ breathtaking architecture, narrow pathways, passages and hidden courtyards combined with yellow and grey coloured stone could quickly become a large film set.
The recommended sites in Sarlat are St Sacerdos Cathedral, The Fountains Courtyard, Chapel of St Benoit, Jardin Des Enfeus, La Lanterne Des Morts, Le Presidial, Hotel De Gerard, St Mary’s Church and many more interesting sites. There are lots of things to see, explore and do in Sarlat.
HOW TO GET THERE
The most convenient way to get to Sarlat is to fly from London to Brive. Cityjet (0871 663 3777, www.cityjet.com ) flies direct from London City Airport to Brive. Ryanair (0871 246 0000, www.ryanair.com) will also run flights from London Stansted to Dordogne Valley from 2nd April 2014.
Sarlat is only 39 km from The Brive Dordogne Valley Airport (www.aeroport-brive-vallee-dordogne.com/en). You can get a taxi from the Airport to Sarlat.
If you are interested in sightseeing, it is useful to hire a car to drive around the Dordogne Valley countryside. Avis (www.avis.co.uk), Europcar (www.europcar.co.uk) and Hertz (www.hertz.co.uk) offer competitive rates.
WHERE TO STAY
If you are looking for budget accommodation, but wish to stay closer to the old town, the hotel Le Renoir (+33(0)5 53 59 35 98, www.hotel-renoir-sarlat.com) which is just 200 meters from the heart of Sarlat is a good choice. Parking is possible in adjacent streets, and the attractions are easily accessible on foot.
WHERE TO EAT
Le Bistro de l’Octroi (+33(0)5 53 30 83 40) is a convenient and popular restaurant, which offers a comprehensive menu of authentic regional dishes, cooked with true gastronomic passion at reasonable prices to satisfy your appetite.
There are so many other restaurants, brasseries and bistros in Sarlat, which give a wide choice to visitors for lunch or dinner.
There are a variety of markets in Sarlat. They are held twice a week in the old town. The local food producers set up their stalls in andaround Place de la Liberte on Wednesday morning. The farmers come back again on Saturday and stay around Place de la Liberte until 1pm to market food products to locals and tourists.
There is also a market for general traders with a variety of goods along rue de la Republique for the entire day on Saturday. There is a good selection of other shops and boutiques, which are open weekdays.
If you’re staying for several days or weeks, a trip to do your grocery shopping in the nearby Lidl is a must. It’s also good to look in the souvenir shops for affordable gifts for friends and family back home.
The best nearby attractions around Sarlat include Manoir De Gisson, one of the most remarkable 13th century buildings, Chateau De Puymartin constructed in 13th century, Chateau De Fenelon constructed on a succession of rocky terraces.
The gardeners of Sarlat take great pride in the gardens that come under their care – even the roundabouts within the town are a work of art. The beautiful gardens around Sarlet include Jardins De Cadiot, spread over two hectares of terraces coloured with over 1500 variety of flowers, Jardins Du Manoir D’Eyrignac, kept in the same family for 22 generations, represent unique collection of sculptured bushes.
There is also the Reserve Zoologique De Calviac, devoted to saving species in danger.
Fete de la Truffe (Truffe Festival): It takes place 2nd or 3rd week in January. The town submits itself to the refined aromas of foie gras and the subtle of fragrances of the truffle. It includes cooking demonstration with a focus on Foie Gras and Truffles.
Fest’Oie (Geese Festival): Sarlat celebrates its emblem with a goose fair on third Sunday in February. Fully grown geese march in the heart of the town. Market Stalls, farmers’ products, farm visits, culinary demonstrations, traditional games, entertainment and workshop activities for children. Traditional festivities, geese and fun are everywhere.
Journees Du Terrior: It is held in the middle of May. In all the streets you will feel the festive atmosphere and organizations representing the best of Black Perigord agriculture will present numerous events and entertainment.
Sarlat Theatre Festival: One of the oldest theatre festivals in France with open air performances held in the heart of historic Sarlat. It takes place from the second week in July to the first week of August.
The Tourist Office of Sarlat (www.sarlat-tourisme.com), can give directions to all the things to see and do in Sarlat and many more interesting places in the Dordogne Valley region. (Email Katia Veyret: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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