On the serene Dordogne River, Bergerac is a medieval town of corbelled houses surrounded by green countryside with vineyards and farms. You’re in an eminent wine region here, and have days-worth of châteaux, cooperatives and museums to tour, while the wine council for the entire region meets at a dignified renaissance cloister in the town.
The river should be in your holiday plans, for canoe trips, peaceful walks and cruises in the old barges that once shipped wine along its course. Bergerac is a name that may ring a few bells: Cyrano de Bergerac, the 17th-century musketeer and writer, never actually visited the town, but Bergerac has still adopted him and has put up two statues in his honour.
Lets explore the best things to do in Bergerac:
1. Old Town
On the right bank of the Dordogne, Bergerac’s medieval quarter is an angular jumble of streets sloping down to the river.
You’ll adore the half-timbered houses, like Maison Gaudra on Rue des Fontaines dating from the 1300s.
Down Rue Gaudra is “Le Cadeau”, a stream that once powered the city’s seven water mills and even today runs a disguised little hydroelectric plant on Rue des Fontaines.
Place Pélissière gets its name from the skin and hide traders that used to work on the square and is where you can see the Church of Saint-Jacques, and look up at the wooden perch made for the bell-ringers.