Visiting around Sarlat without a car

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Do you tick any of these boxes?

  • You’re on a budget
  • You don’t have a driving licence
  • You don’t have a car
  • You’re traveling alone and don’t want to drive for miles
  • You hate driving
  • All the above

If you recognize yourself in at least one of these boxes, this post if meant for you

Traveling around Sarlat without a car isn’t the easiest thing to do; the public transport isn’t very elaborate. But, there are other alternatives in order to enjoy the various places the Périgord Noir has to offer.

If you wish to come to without a car but you have a driving licence then we advise you to rent a car.

You can reach Sarlat by train, bus or plane.

Traveling on foot

  • Guided visits of Sarlat 

From April to October, the tourist office organizes guided visits every day. We offer different types of visits in order to discover the town in different ways:

The “discovery tours”, with a qualified guide-lecturer, go and explore the winding streets, the small passages ways, the cathedral, and the private mansions from the fifteenth and sixteenth century.

The “dramatized tours”, a guide dressed in period costume will take you back through time to the thirteenth century. Throughout the centuries, “la belle sarladaise” will share the history of this town which makes it so unique.

The “travel notebook tour”, you will be amazed by an unexpected and interactive visit, where history will come alive through creative game and sensory experiences.

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  • Sarlat market

The sarlat market is a « must do » for any (food lover/foodie). Throughout the year and depending on the season, foie gras, wild mushrooms, confit and duck breast, truffles, walnuts and strawberries, are just a few of the delicious mouth-watering regional products that will find on the market. The friendly atmosphere, the coloured stalls, the heavenly smells, and all this with an exquisite medieval town as a backdrop. Not to be missed! This market takes place on Wednesday mornings and Saturday all day, all year long.

In addition, the covered market open every morning is situated in the old Sainte Marie church, recently renovated by Jean Nouvel.

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  • The panoramic lift

For a unique experience, hop into the panoramic lift nestled in the heart of the saint marie’s church bell tower. Once you reach the top, the lift’s glass walls allow you to admire a 360° view of Sarlat : the paved streets, the light colored stone buildings, and the traditional “lauze” stone roofs…

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Enter into the universe of Sarlat’s bourgeoisie from the sixteenth century. Classified as a historic monument situated in the preserved area of the city, the Gisson Manor is one of the most remarkable structures in the medieval town. Throughout the 15 room manor, the private world of the Gisson family is unveiled behind these facades, whose members where known to be royal notary, lawyers, consulates, captain of dragons, and knights of the royal and military order of Saint-louis.

gisson

The artisits of Sarlat invite you to come and discover their work in the many art galleries scattered around the town. Follow the « Chemin des arts » (the artists path) and visit the city through these unique art galleries.

About 5km (3miles) from the center of Sarlat, Pierre Shasmoukine, an artist who works with plastic, invites you to visit his 5 acres site composed of 3 nature trails and 8 galleries. Over 500 pieces of art from various artistic movements such as kinetic art, surrealisum, particular art, Land art, humoristic concepts and many more. This collection of creations assures an entertaining educational tour…

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  • The Salamander circuit

Behold a 6km (3.7 miles) walk scattered with important land marks and stunning view  points to discover, weaving in and out of Sarlat medieval lanes.

The map of this walk is for sale at the tourist office.

In the heart of the Perigord Noir, 2km (1.2 miles) north of the medieval town of Sarlat la Canéda, you can discover an authentic distillery. The distillery is open to the public, to have a free look around : the workshop, the cellars and the bottling process.

distillerie_salamandre

Sarlat’s public swimming pool is open in during the whole of July and August. This pool is surrounded by a solarium. Situated 2.5km (1.5 miles) out of the town center, it’s the perfect place to cool off on a hot summer’s day !

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Traveling by bike

The 25km cycle path is built along the old railway line, and goes from Sarlat to Peyrillac-et Millac. It continues for 3km (1.8 miles) on a rural path up to Cazoulès, about 3km away from Souillac. It’s possible to either use your own bikes or rent some at one of our many bike companies.

  • Take a canoe trip

When taking the cycle path you could end up in the village of Carsac-Aillac, about 4km away from Sarlat. In this village, you can cycle down to the river in order to start your canoe trip. There, you will have the choice between various trips, it’s up to you for how long you want to row for! Once you arrive at your desired destination, a bus will take you back to the starting point, where you can jump back on your bike, and stroll back to Sarlat again.

Take into account about a 10km (6.2 miles) trip (one way).

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  • The romanesque church in Carsac

In the village of Carsac, you can discover a beautiful roman church called Saint Capris de Carsac.

Take into account about 10km (6.2 miles) trip (one way).

Again, taking the cycle path to Carsac, go off the path for about 500meters until you reach the water gardens. These gardens are devoted to the richness of the lotus flower, tropical and exotic water lilies. The array of flower variaties and colors illuminate these stunning gardens.

About 10km (6.2 miles) trip (one way).

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Still on the cycle path, this time you will go a bit further until you reach Aillac. There, you can take the main road (D704) for about 1km to get to to zoological park

The park is specialized in rare and endangered species, the zoological park in Calviac shelters over 200 animals from 4 different geographic zones. The special aspect of this park is that you can go into the cages with some of the animals such as the lemurs, wallabies and some bird species.

Also, the park has an “eco-visitor” tariff, for visitor whom come by bike or by public transport.

Take into account about a 14km (8.7 miles) trip one way (with 1.5km of the cycle path).

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Along the cycle path, if you turn of at Rouffillac. After a couple of kilometers you will reach the castle of Fenelon, in the village of Sainte Mondane.  Dominating the valley of the Dordogne, the castel hides its strong archetecture behind 3 fortified walls.

About 19km (11.8 miles) trip one way– (with 4km (2.4km) of the cycle path).

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The cycle map « les châteaux de la Dordogne à vélo » will help you locate different routes you can take to explore the region by bike. Amongst these routes, the route C will take you to the quaint village of Montfort, which is part of Victrac’s commune. Recently restored, Montfort is a charming small village with a private castle overhanding a cliff above the Dordogne river

In July and August, the tourist office organizes special visits of the village “Your travel notebook”. Let yourself be lead on an unexpected tour, that will use your creative side and open your eyes to different sensations. For further information, and reservation please call 05 53 31 45 45 or email us at visites@sarlat-tourisme.com

Count about a 7km (4.3 miles) trop. The circuit can also take you to the village of La Roque Gageac, classed as one of the most beautiful villages in France. Beware, it’s a route marked as difficult, and take into account about 10 more km (6.2 miles).

montfort ipiccy

  • The Valley of l’Enéa

Discover the Enéa Valley: a streem that trickels down into the Dordogne river. Along this trip you will go through little villages such as Saint Vincent le PaluelSainte Nathalène et Proissans. To get there; take the cycle path until you reach the circuit D on the cycling map

About a 20km (12.4 miles) trip (one way).

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Traveling by bus

The public bus network of the Dordogne department has two main bus lines leaving from Sarlat. One bus goes in the direction of Souillac and another in the direction of Perigueux. We also have shuttle buses in the center of Sarlat.

You can discover this unusual site by taking the Sarlat bus, getting of at « La Canéda » bus stop.

  • Carsac-Aillac and Calviac en Périgord

By taking the line 6 that links Sarlat and Souillac, you can stop off in the center of Carsac et Aillac and visit the sites we talked about previously: canoe trip, roman church, water gardens, zoological park in Calviac.

From the bus stop, walk for about 800 meter to get to the canoe bases; 2km (1.2miles) to reach the water gardens and 1.5km (0.9 miles) to the zoological park in Calviac.

You can also get to the castle on the bus ligne 6, stopping at « Carlux-Rouffillac bourg ». From the bus stop, walk about 4km (2.4 km) to reach the castle.

From the bus stop, walk about 4km (2.4 km) to reach the castle.

  • Souillac

On the same bus line (number 6), you can go all the way to the end of the line in Souillac. In this town you can visit the abbey, the belfry, and walk through the street full of history. You can also visit the automation museum, la Vieille Prune…

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  • The international Center for Cave Paintings in Montignac

The bus line 7 that goes to Perigueux allows you to have a stopover in Montignac. From the bus stop, you can walk a couple of kilometers to the international center of Cave painting art.

Lascaux caves reveal themselves in a new spectacular structure: the 8500m² new Lascaux International Centre for cave paintings contains a complete replica of the original cave and its paintings as well as 6 galleries retracing the history of the Lascaux discovery and exploring the world of cave paintings . Prehistory is brought to life using the most up to date technology. We recommend to reserve your tickets in advance online at www.lascaux.fr

From the bus stop Montiganc Place Tourny, walk about 800meters to reach the center.

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  • Périgueux

The bus line 7 will take you all the way to Perigueux, terminus of the line.

In Périgueux, go back in time and discover the history of this city. Many prehistoric exhibits that go back to the start of humanity are on show at the museum of Art and Archeology. The patrimony of the city will take you back to the lavish Roman Empire period, with many remains to see and not to forget the museum of Gallo-Roman Vesunna that will reaval the richness of the antique city of Vesunna. Vesunna, as well as being a goddess, was also a famous city built around it’s grand temple. .

Traveling by train

Sarlat has a railway station that links the town with Bordeaux. You can buy all your direct tickets and connexion tickets online: www.voyages-sncf.com or at any railway station.

  • Bergerac and Saint Emilion

On the line from Sarlat to Bordeaux you can stop at either of these two major tourist destinations.

At Bergerac, take a wander through the beautiful old streets and admire the architecture and the history of the town: cloister of Récollets, the wine house of Bergerac, the Saint-Jacques church, the museum of tobacco or the museum of the town….  Not forgetting to take a stroll through the traditional markets. It’s almost impossible to not rub noses with Cyrano de Bergerac (famous character from the play written by Edmond Rostand in 1897). Or opt for a “gabarre” boat trip on the Dordogne: an alternative way to discover the city, coming back up stream surrounded by nature, wildlife and flora. The canal towpath allows you to walk all the way along the riverbank, up to the dam. Be sure to notice the small side paths that are all linked with a large array of cycle and pedestrian routes.

The Saint-Émilion site is a really an open air museum, based upon a legend created by a hermit … A town full of history, perched on top the hills, Saint-Émilion and its vineyards get their originality from the calcareous stones that creates exceptional soil in which vines grow.

  • Les Eyzies, Belvès, Le Bugue, Périgueux

On the same train line from Sarlat to Bordeaux, if you stop off at the Buisson de Cadouin, you can catch another train that links Agen to Périgueux along this journey you can stop off at various town or points of interest.

The commune of les Eyzies de Tayac-Sireuil, a town full of charm: troglodytic architecture, a nature reserve, the way of life, genuine friendliness, and of course prehistory omnipresent in this small village. This town is known as the world’s capital of prehistory. The local tourism was born from the first archeological discoveries. In les Eyzies you can visit the international center of prehistory, the national prehistory museum, the original caves of Font de Gaume and Combarelles, the Grand Roc and the Laugerie Basse, l’Abri Cro-Magnonl’Abri Pataud

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Le Bugue, occupied during the ancient times, this town has stayed true to its history and traditions including its amphitheater. Today, le Bugue withholds very little remains of its passed, but you may notice a couple of old houses down the small alleyways. At Bugue, you can visit the Village du Bournatthe aquarium of the Périgord Noirthe prehistoric maze….

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Belvès, labeled one of « the most beautiful villages in France » this town is called “the city with seven bells”. Perched at the top of a hill dominating the green valley of the Nauze, the town’s belvedere offers a stunning panorama of the Perigord Noir. In the medieval town’s center, by visiting the underground market from the 15th century  and the traditional houses you will discover just how the people used to live during the 13th and 14th century.

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Périgueux, voir ci-dessus, rubrique « Voyager en bus ».

Take a taxi

If you wish to go to a specific site that has not been mentioned in this article, they only way to get there is by car. If you can’t rent a car then one of our many taxi companies can take you where ever you wish to go. We advise you to contact the taxi company in advance in order to reserve your taxi.

The taxi companies might also offer excursion visits for a day or half a day.

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