Dordogne is a massive region in the Southwest of France with a variety of attractions and places to visit. In this article, I want to help you decide where to stay in Dordogne so you can visit as many places in the region as possible without driving too much.
My list includes towns and villages in Dordogne that can be the best base for your family or solo trip. Some are a great fit for history lovers, some for people who must be surrounded by stunning views, and others are lively places that will help you discover the good life in Dordogne. In every one of my suggestions are also added a few accommodation recommendations.
Before deciding where to stay, check out my article about how to get to different parts of Dordogne.
Get familiar with the different parts of the Dordogne department
Dordogne (historically called Périgord) is divided into four parts, named by color after each one’s resource. Here’s a good map just to give you an idea of where every part is located.
Perigord Noir (black), named for the dark oak forests rich soil, and the decadent truffles found there, is where most of the stunning villages of Dordogne (and maybe even France!) are located.
Périgord Pourpre (purple) is the second-largest wine region in Nouvelle Aquitaine, after Bordeaux, and so the color of the grapes is where it draws its name from.
Perigord Blanc (white), the central part of the department takes its name from the white chalk used to build the houses in many of its towns.
Périgord Vert (green) known for its green scenery is filled with lush meadows due to the high amount of rainfall in the area. It’s the northern quiet part of Dordogne, that offers quite a few hidden gems.
Where to base yourself when you’re visiting Dordogne, France
Sarlat – one of the liveliest places in Dordogne
If you like vibrant places but still want to feel cozy and safe, Sarlat le Canada (Sarlat) is your place. This small city is booming with cafes, restaurants, and regional food boutiques so be sure you can always get something delicious to eat. A big part of the historic center is kept pedestrian with charming narrow cobblestoned streets. It’s a perfect place to stroll around with your kids.
Sarlat is the capital of Périgord noir, the part where most of Dordogne’s landmarks are located. Staying there will position you just a few minutes’ drive from some of the most beautiful villages in France like La Roque Cageac and Beynac. You’re also in proximity to famous castles like Château de Castelnaud and to several amazing gardens in Dordogne.
Check out this article for all the best day trips you can do from Sarlat.
It is a perfect base, especially for families visiting the region. It’ll help you visit plenty of kid-friendly places in Dordogne without having to drive a lot.
What’s not to miss in Sarlat:
One thing you shouldn’t miss when staying in Sarlat is its amazing market which takes place on Saturday and Wednesday mornings. You can even take a food tour at the market to discover the best gastronomy in the region. Sarlat gets very busy and crowded in the summer so be careful if you’re traveling with little kids.
I have a detailed guide on Sarlat, so you can read about everything to do in the town there.
Recommended hotels in Sarlat
Le Royere – if you rather rent an apartment while you’re discovering Dorodnge, this is a great option. The apartment is set in a beautiful 16th-century mansion and is very centrally located.
You can book the apartment here.
La Maison du Notaire Royal -A B&B in the center of Sarlat is a nice place to stay with kids if you’re looking for something central. It includes breakfast and has a picnic area at the property. You can book a room here.
Domme – one of France’s most beautiful villages
A stunning village in the Perigord Noir, that you shouldn’t miss whether you’re staying here or not. Domme is listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France and it’s easy to see why.
The center of Domme is abundant with ancient houses covered with flowers in vivid pottery. It offers plenty of restaurant options, from fancy ones to a cheese bar and a light lunch cafe. It’s known for its mesmerizing view of the Dordogne Vallee and I absolutely enjoyed my scenic quiet walks there.
Apart from the stunning center, there’s no lack of entertainment nearby. Within a few minutes’ drive, you get to go kayaking on the river and visit one of the charming villages in the region, Daglan.
Where to stay in Domme
The last time we visited Domme, we stayed in a charming B&B in the center of Domme, called 1 Logis à Domme. It’s owned by a lovely couple that created a magical garden where you can have a drink/ or a picnic, admiring the view of the Dordogne Valley. The place also has a pool and a Jacuzzi and we had a marvelous time there. Book your stay here.
Le Bugue – the perfect location for families
Le Bugue is the perfect location for families traveling in Dordogne. Most days you won’t even have to use your car as most of the attractions are within walking distance from the city center.
Some of the attractions that your kids will absolutely adore are Le Bournat amusement park, canoeing on the Vézère River, Aquarium Noir du Perigord, Le Labyrinthe Préhistorique, and more. See all the best things to do with kids in Dorodgne in my article.
Every Tuesday le Bugue hosts a lovely market in the city center. You can enjoy plenty of local delicacies and even some food trucks with great ready food. The last time I was there with my kids, we bought food at the market and went for a picnic on the other side of the river (near Aire de Camping Car du Bugue).
Some of the main attractions nearby are Limeuil (6km), Les Eyzies and some of the prehistoric caves (10km), Beynac (24 km), Château des Milandes (25km), and more.
Recommended hotels in Le Bugue
If you’re looking for a camping site, Camping du Bournat is your best option.
Les Eyzies de Tayac – the prehistoric center of the Dordogne
Les Eyzies is the prehistoric center of Dordogne, so if you’re interested in that aspect of the region, this is definitely a place to consider. In one small town, you’ll find a few prehistoric caves, the Prehistoric National Museum, and the Cro-Magnon Museum.
As the town attracts many tourists during the season, it’s also a rather lively place with plenty of cafes and restaurants along the main road. Every Friday evening in the summer, Les Eyzies is hosting one of the best summer markets in Dordogne.
In my opinion, the town is less charming than Sarlat but there are plenty of things you can do here without even using your car. So it’s a great place to base yourself when visiting the Dordogne region.
Some of the best places to visit nearby include Font de Gaume caves (1 km), Sarlat (25 km), the beautiful village of Saint Léon sur Vézère (15km), Le Bournat amusement park, la Roque Saint-Christophe (10km), Château de Commarque (10 km), Château et Jardins de Losse (17km) and many more.
Recommended hotels in Les Eyzies
Hôtel Le Cro-Magnon – A three-star hotel with the most lovely owners. The hotel is relatively simple but has a great restaurant (with one of the owners being the chef) and a pool. I really enjoyed my stay there on one of my many visits to Perigord Noir. Book your visit here.
Ferme de Tayac – One of the most charming B&Bs in that part of the Dordogne. The place is hidden in the more quiet part of town, just next to the church of Tayac. Book your stay here.
Bergerac – the heart of Purple Perigord, the wine capital of Dordogne
For those interested in discovering other parts of the region, Bergerac is a great base. This picturesque town is the capital of Purple Perigord, the western part of the Dordogne department. The town is renowned for its charming medieval architecture and its red wines.
It is one of the most active and lively towns in the Dordogne. The center is packed with great restaurants and local delicacies shops. A big market takes place in the city center twice a week (Saturday and Wednsday) and a beautiful covered daily market adorns the historic center (currently under construction).
Bergerac is perfectly located to discover some of the most beautiful villages in Dordogne. Villages like Monpazier and Limeuil are considered among the most beautiful villages in France. It’s also the best part of Dordogne for wine tasting with many great wineries to visit near Bergerac and the stunning Château de Monbazillac.
It is also perfectly located for you to discover not only the Dordogne but the neighboring departments as well. Within less than an hour’s drive, you’ll get to Saint Emilion, renowned for its wines. A little farther to the west you’ll get to the capital of the Southwest, the city of Bordeaux. Here’s all the info about the best day trips from Bergerac.
Bergerac is also situated close to the beautiful Lot et Garonne department. There you’ll find hidden gems like Duras, Villeréal, and Monflanquin. One of the biggest advantages of staying in Bergerac is the airport, which is located less than 5km from the city center and makes the arrival there very easy.
Where to stay in Bergerac
R & R Bergerac – About 10 minutes walk from the center of Bergerac you can find this stunning B&B with an outdoor pool. This little gem has only three rooms and is located in a quieter part of town. Book your stay here.
Terrasson-Lavilledieu – a stunning town for avid explorers
Terrasson-Lavilledieu is another beautiful town in the northern part of Perigord Noir. While the town is not as famous as Sarlat or Bergerac it’s not less attractive as a base for exploring the region. With a relatively short drive, you can visit places like the beautiful village of Coly Saint Amand and the famous Lascaux caves or the town of Sarlat.
The old town of Terrasson is buzzing with cafes and many art galleries. It’s built on a hill and boasts incredible architecture that you’ll enjoy exploring during your stay there. The city is also home to one of the most beautiful gardens in Dordogne, Jardins de l’Imaginaire.
I recommend staying in Terrasson-Lavilledieu if you’re after a less touristy destination than all the destinations I previously mentioned on this list. It’s also a great base to discover other parts of Dordogne Valley due to its proximity to the Corezze department. Within less than an hour you can visit the town Brive with its buzzing market or the beautiful villages of Collonges-la-Rouge and Turenne. You’re also not far from the Lot department where you can spend a lovely day in Martel.
Where to stay in Terrasson-Lavilledieu
One of the best place to stay in Terrasson is la Maison d’Hôtes La Maison de Léopold. It’s a stunning B&B, situated in a 19th-century building with gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside. You can book it here. Another option is Domaine mon doux rêve, an excellent B&B that also offers a Spa. You can book a room here.
For a more unique experience head to Kozi Dome. This site is nestled on the hillsides of the Périgord countryside, in a hilly setting and is made up of numerous walnut groves, meadows, and forests. You can book your hut here.
Brantôme en Périgord – the Venice of the Dordogne
For those who have already been to Perigord Noir and want to discover another magical part of the Dordogne, I recommend Brantôme en Périgord. The charming town nicknamed the Venice of Perigord is located in Green Perigord, the northern and less discovered part of the Dordogne department.
Brantôme is home to the Benedictine abbey, which together with its 11th-century Romanesque bell tower is considered one of the most important sites in Perigord’s heritage. The town is situated in the Dronne Valley where you can enjoy various activities from kayaking to beautiful villages and stunning castles.
Brantome is a great place to stay in the summer season, with plenty of fun summer activities in Perigord Noir. However, if you’re coming out of the tourist season I recommend staying near Sarlat or Perigeux.
Some of the best places to visit nearby include the beautiful village of Saint-Jean-de-Côle (21km), the Villars caves (17km), Château de Bourdeilles where you can visit a medieval defense castle as well as a renaissance palace in one place (9km), the market town of Thiviers (26km) and many more.
Where to stay in Brantôme
L’escapade is one of the best places to stay in Brantome. A charming beautifully furnished B&B, located in a quiet scenic part of town, hosted by the lovely Isabelle. Book your stay here.
Moulin de l’Abbaye – One of the most famous hotels in that part of Dordogne is located in the center of Brantôme. The is also home to a 1-star Michelin restaurant. Book your stay here.
Hostellerie Les Griffons – This beautiful 17th-century house is located just a few minutes’ drive from Brantome, in the charming villages of Bourdeilles. It’s a 3-star hotel with shared living rooms and a stunning flowery garden with a swimming pool. Book your stay.
Le Petit Coin is located about 20 minutes north of Brantome so a bit far from most of Dordogne’s main landmarks but it’s greatly located for those who want to taste some of the other parts of this region such as Charente and Haute Vienne. The site is reserved exclusively for two adults which makes it a perfect location for a romantic vacation. Book your stay here.
Perigeux – White Perigord
Perigeux is the official capital of the Dordogne so it’s relatively a big city for this region. It’s also the capital of Perigord Blanc (White Perigord), the central region of the Dordogne departments.
I find this city particularly pretty and unique in the region and it’s one of my favorite places to go back to. Every Saturday the town hosts one of the best markets in the region.
The city is a bit far from the main landmarks that first-comers to Dordogne tend to visit like Sarlat and many of the prehistoric sites. It takes about an hour to get to Sarlat, Lascaux, and Les Eyzies. But it’s an amazing base for discovering the less-known parts of the Dordogne department, especially if it’s not your first time in the region.
Recommended hotels in Périgueux
Apparts Limogeanne – If you’re just heading there for a short weekend, this cute little apartment in the city center is a great place to stay.
If you’re on a family trip, this villa in the Vesone neighborhood in Périgueux is a good option. It has free parking and is located in a quieter part of town within walking distance from the center. Book the house here.
Lot et Garonne -a scenic quiet region close to the Dordogne
Lot et Garonne is a less-known department in the southwest of France, bordering the Dordogne from the south. It’s a stunning region with a rich heritage, amazing gastronomy, and some of the most stunning villages.
It’s less expensive than the Dordogne and it allows you to enjoy amazing accommodation while staying in a magical place close to the south of the Dordogne department. In this article, I’m referring only to the north of the Lot et Garonne as the goal is to discover places in the Dordogne too.
There are a few interesting villages to stay in the Lot et Garonne that will also permit you to visit the Purple Perigord. Among these, you can find Villereal, Monflanquin, Duras, Lauzun, and more.
Recommended accommodation in the region:
Labarthe – this magical B&B is located a few minute’s drive from Duras, one of the most interesting towns in the region. The hosts are amazing, I highly recommend it. Book your stay here.
If you like campsites there’s a cute one in Gaugeac, near Monpazier, called Camping le Moulin de David – take a look.
If you need advice about how to get to Dordogne by car, plane, or train – check out my guide on getting to Dordogne.
I have plenty of other articles about the Dordogne you may find useful when planning your trip, so be sure to check them out!
What to do in Bergerac
What to do, see and eat in Sarlat
The most beautiful villages to visit in Dordogne
The best castles (chateaux) to visit in Dordogne
The most beautiful gardens in Dordogne
The best things to do with kids in Dordogne
The most beautiful villages in Purple Perigord
The best places to do Kayaking on the Dordogne River
A day trip to Eymet, a beautiful village in Dordogne.
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:
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*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂