Bastides, Villages and Towns


In the 13th Century, southern Périgord was split between the king of England and the king of France. It was a borderland, where each monarch sought to mark his territory. The two sovereigns founded ‘new’ towns, where each settler would be assured of land to build a house and plant crops. These ‘bastides’ were constructed according to a regular plan around a central square symbolizing their commercial vocation. Each bastide had its own charter of customs regulating town life. Certain bastides became forts during the 100 Year’s War (1337-1453).

Today, 300 bastides remain and those in our area are among the most beautiful and best conserved.

Take a guided tour, leisurely walk or a torch-lit tour. Explore the quaint streets of Monpazier, Beaumont du Perigord, Molieres and Villefrance du Perigord – towns that recall the social, political and military adventure of the 13th century.

Villages and Towns

Nearby are seven of the Most Beautiful Villages of France.  Visit dramatic viewpoints of BeynacCastelnaud and Domme built during the Hundred Years’ War and Sarlat La Caneda which has one of the biggest concentrations of delightful mediaeval buildings and it’s thriving gastronomic Sarlat market. On the bank of the Dordogne is the beautiful medieval village La Roque Gageac. Combine a stroll around a local market with a visit afterwards to one of the caves les grottes at Le Buisson de Cadouin or Proumeyssac where you will see incredible crystal formations.  Our own pretty little village of Cadouin is home to the beautiful cloisters and yellow-stoned former Cistercian abbey – a UNESCO site.  St Avit Senieur, a few kilometres away is another small village with a BIG abbey.