Discovering beautiful villages in the southwest of France is one of my favorite parts of living here and with all my traveling lately, I decided that it’s time to write a little bit about the Dordogne as well. So today I’m taking you to Eymet, located in the Bergerac region about 100 km from Bordeaux. While it’s not as famous as some of the villages in the Sarlat region, this cute little village with its picturesque houses and abundance of restaurants is a great option for a day trip from Bordeaux or from Bergerac. In this article, I’ll give you all the info on things to do in and around Eymet including an amazing chateau you can visit with your kids.
If you’re looking for more ideas for day trips in the Bordeaux region here are a few other articles you might want to read:
The best beaches around Bordeaux
Day trips around Bordeaux – wine, beaches and villages
10 day trips from Bordeaux by Public transport
A weekend in Medoc – Bordeaux wine tours
What to do and eat in Saint Emilion
You can also join my Facebook group “Travel in the southwest of France” where many enthusiasts of the region share their recommendations for places to visit and things to do in the southwest of France. Now let me take you to this beautiful part of purple Perigord and the village of Eymet.
What to see in Eymet
Eymet is a typical bastide town founded in the 13th century by Alphonse de Poitiers, Comte de Toulouse. Bastide towns that can be recognized by their arched central squares were created from the 12th to the 14th century in the southwest of France by both the French and the English kings. These were new towns (or “villes neuves” in French) built to encourage settlements of empty areas. There are many of them in the old Gascony region with most being small sleepy towns. Eymet, however, is a rather lively little town with plenty of restaurants and a small cultural scene. Ironically, while the town was originally established by the French as part of a defensive strategy against an English invasive, today it’s one of the most “British” towns in Dordogne with a 20% British population.
When you arrive in Eymet, start your tour at Place des Arcades, the central square with well-maintained houses. Take some time to admire the beautiful arched houses with stone or timber framed (colombage) fronts. The tourist office of Eymet is located on the square as well. They are very helpful and can give you a map of Eymet with all the interesting houses to see on your little tour. There’s also a map on display near the tourist office so you can see some of the main points of interest even if the tourist office is closed.
From here you can take some time to stroll the narrow charming streets of Eymet. The center of town is very small and many of the more interesting houses are located on rue Traversiere and rue de Veau. Don’t miss the beautiful temple on rue du Temple and the cute flowery passage between rue du Temple and rue Portanel.
There’s also an impressive château in Eymet, however, it’s usually closed unless there’s an exhibition in one of the rooms. It’s still worth taking a stroll through the garden and admire the chateau from the outside.
Where to eat in Eymet
The only problem regarding food in Eymet is that for such a small town there are just too many restaurants to choose from 🙂 There are plenty of restaurants located under the arched houses on the central squares, these are especially fun on sunny days as you can sit outside and absorb the beauty of the village. Two recommended restaurants in Eymet are Le Gambetta on Place Gambetta as well as Walnut which is slightly out of the center.
Markets in Eymet
Every Thursday morning, a lively market with the best products of the region takes place at the central square. You can buy baguettes, cheese, and regional fruits at the market and find a nice spot for a picnic on the banks of the Dropt river. That’s what we do many times as we travel with little kids and picnics are always a bit easier than sitting in a restaurant.
Every Tuesday during July and August a lively night market is taking place here with live music and plenty of food stands. The market is taking place at Place de la Bastide starting from 19:00.
Hiking around Eymet
Besides a stroll in the city which will take you 1-2 hours (if you’re slow like us), you can also go on a short hike to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Eymet. There are two hiking routes you can take around Eymet. One called Sentier du Dropt – a 3km hike that takes you through the port, the old windmill, and other nice spots close to the Dropt river.
Another hike is the Balade Patrimoine au fil du Dropt – an 11.5km route you can also do by bike. I took a picture of my map but you can get it at the tourist office.
Chateau de Bridoire – the chateau of games
If you’re traveling with kids you absolutely must include this place on your trip to Eymet. Château de Bridoire is located at the heart of the Monbazillac wine region about 15 minutes by car from Eymet. The beautiful château is a private historic monument dating back to the 15th century. You will visit 15 different rooms from the kitchen to the dining room and the working office but what makes this château special is that it’s much more interactive than the other castles you’ll visit in the southwest of France. For example, one of the rooms you’re going to visit is the games room where you can touch and play with all the fun wood games. The best part is the garden of the château where plenty of huge games were put in place to be played by the visitors of the chateau.
Needless to say, we spent hours there and they actually had to kick us out as my daughter refused to let go of the bow and arrow.
The château is open daily during the summer, you can see more details here.
What else to see around Eymet
One of the main attractions in the region is Chateau de Duras, a 12th-century impressive castle with an amazing view of the Dropt valley.
If you’re looking for a bigger livelier city, be sure to visit Bergerac, which is located on the Dordogne river only 20 km from Eymet. On the way, you can also visit Chateau de Monbazillac, famous for its white sweet wine.
If you’re visiting the region on a Sunday, you can start your day in Issigeac, yet another beautiful village in Dordogne that holds one of the best markets in the area on Sundays.
If you want to stop somewhere on the way to Bordeaux, don’t miss Castelmoron d’Albret, which happens to be the smallest village in France. You can read more about it in my article about my visit to Castelmoron d’Albret.
You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here: