Monpazier + Area
Monpazier is classified Un des Plus Beaux Villages de France – or ‘One of the Most Beautiful Villages of France’ – a title earned by just over 150 villages across the nation. This 13th century bastide (‘fortified village’) is considered the best preserved and most beautiful of all the bastide villages in South-West France. It is also ranked a “Grand Site National” for its historical significance, and is considered a must-see village of the Dordogne.
Each Thursday morning Monpazier’s evocative central square Place des Cornieres comes alive for the bustle and buzz of market day. And you can almost guarantee any given month will feature a festival or fete to celebrate anything from roses or strawberries, to Bastille Day, to cepes and truffles. In France, there’s always a reason for a fete!
Monpazier is a well-serviced village, complete with excellent charcuteries, patisseries, pharmacy, two well-stocked mini-markets, wine cellars, doctors, dentist, bank and petrol station. Many talented artisans have also made Monpazier their home. Explore the woodwork, ceramics, glassblowing, print framers, traditional soaps and perfumes, and leatherwork ateliers and artists galleries, as well as an antique clock restorer and an ostrich egg engraver. Or simply watch the world go by from the open cafe terraces on the square.
The advantage of Monpazier is that it’s a living, working village, complete with excellent charcuteries, patisseries, pharmacy, two small well-stocked supermarkets, wine cellars, doctors, dentist, bank and petrol station. Many talented artisans have also made Monpazier their home. Explore the woodwork, ceramics, glassblowing, print framers, traditional soaps and perfumes, and leatherwork ateliers and artists galleries, as well as an antique clock restorer and an ostrich egg engraver. Or simply watch the world go by on the open cafe terraces by the Place.
Monpazier is considered one of the ‘must-see’ villages of this region. It’s featured in this beautiful short clip…so take an armchair tour of the Dordogne right here!
There’s so much to see & do in this part of the Dordogne! Here’s a sample of activities within an easy 30-45 mins drive:
- Chateau Biron (8km south); Chateau Monbazillac (25km west); Chateau Beynac (24km north); Chateau des Milandes (20km northeast); Chateau Bonaguil (19km southwest); Chateau Castelnaud (24km north)
- Gardens: Marquessac or Eyrignac (both 35 & 50 mins drive north);
- Amazing prehistoric Caves: Grottes de Maxange (15km northwest) Grotte de Font-de-Gaume & Les Combarelles (38km north); Gouffre de Proumeyssac (25km north);
- Horseriding near Belves (16km north) or Issigeac (20km west);
- UNESCO listed Cadouin Abbey & Cloisters (15 mins north);
- Treetop adventure park for children: Lacapelle de Biron (8km southeast);
- Enjoy the river: canoeing, river beach & gabarre cruises: Limeuil, Bergerac, La Roque Gageac, Tremolat.
- Stunning ancient villages nearby: Sarlat, Domme, Castelnaud, Beynac, Issigeac, Monflanquin, Villereal
- Golf course at Belves (16km north)
Foodlovers, rejoice! You are in ‘Michelin territory’ in this corner of the Dordogne. A stroll into the village will bring you to a Michelin Assiette Gourmand restaurant, the elegant Restaurant Eleonore, in the Hotel Edward 1er. Only 12km north is the innovative one Michelin star restaurant L’Etincelles, in Ste Sabine Born, where husband & wife team Vincent & Anne will welcome you warmly. Head further north over the river to Tremolat, and you’ll find the renowned one-star Le Vieux Logis, and its ever-popular casual venue, Bistro de la Place. And 25km west, a few steps from Chateau Monbazillac is the stylish one-star La Tour des Vents, offering magnificent views across the vineyards below.
Wander over to the village any day to enjoy several other great-value restaurants, ranging from excellent bistro fare to simple, tasty wood-fire pizzerias.