From Limeuil, at the confluence of the Vézère river, the Dordogne river meanders among its limestone cliffs to Bergerac. At Limeuil and Trémolat, on the heights above these bends, you’ll discover a natural lookout point with an exceptional view of the region. Looking to the south, you’ll have a birds’ eye view over a mosaic of forests and farmlands. From these landscapes arise the medieval cities and fortified towns or bastides. Take your time venturing into this Bastide Country by visiting Beaumont du Périgord, Eymet and, the one which is probably the most beautiful of them all thanks to a campsite in Monpazier. It is an architectural masterpiece and one of the most perfect and best preserved fortified towns of the Southwest. It is also classified as one of the "Most Beautiful Villages of France”.
Founded in 1284 for the King of England, it has perfect orthogonal layout and, of course as it is something of a trademark in all bastides, beautiful arcades. Its local farmers market has been taking place at les Cornières square every Thursday morning... for over 700 years now! You can always tour the town with a guide to learn more about it. You should also visit Bastideum, a unique centre dedicated to bastides in France, with fun, educational activities, games for children and a medieval garden… An absolute must-go, all the more so if you're staying on location, at a campsite of Monpazier !
Bastides are not the only architectural wealth of southern Perigord. The Abbey of Cadouin is a UNESCO Heritage Site. It is an important stage for pilgrims on the way to Santiago de Compostela in Spain and its cloister features sculptures of great finesse. Cadouin also deserves a stop because of its lovely XIIth century gate of Saint Louis and XVth century covered market.
The Bastide Country is also a land of old traditions and good food. Enhance your vacation at a campsite in Monpazier by attending one of the many medieval festivals. The streetmarkets are numerous and they always offer the opportunity to sample some gastronomic specialties of the region. Sainte Alvère, in particular, is renowned for its truffle market. Besides the architectural highlights, the Bastide Country is equally a treasure trove of nature, i.e. do not miss exploring the Caves of Maxange with its amazingly formed concretions.