Sarlat.....jewel of the Périgord Noir.
With its rich architectural heritage and maze of medieval lanes and alleyways, Sarlat is renowned for being France's largest preserved medieval town. Having the highest density of historic and listed monuments in France, it's no surprise then that awe and delight await you at every corner of this fairytale-like town.
- Cathédrale de Saint-Sacerdos: rising above Sarlat, with its famous and much-photographed tower piercing the skyline, a church has stood on this site since the 10th century. The present cathedral was built in the 17th century.
- Lanterne des Morts (Lantern of the Dead): this mysterious structure stands just behind the cathedral. Dating from the 12th century, its purpose is unknown.
- Manoir de Gisson: Dating back to the 13th century, you can visit the manoir's vaulted cellars, apartments and exhibition and discover what daily life was like for the Sarlat nobility and the Gisson family in bygone days.
- Maison de la Boétie: built in 1525, this is the birth place of Etienne de la Boétie, French judge, writer, and founder of modern political philosophy in France.
- Covered market and 360° panoramic lift: both at l'Église Sainte Marie, take the panoramic lift for a 360° view over the rooftops of Sarlat. The covered market is open most days until 13:00.
- Sarlat Market: one of the largest and best in the region, the market takes place every Wednesday and Saturday. The farmers' market occupies Place de la Liberté (Wed and Sat) and an artisan market runs the length of Rue de République (Sat) where you can buy a diverse range of products made by local artisans.
- Gastronomy: the Périgord Noir is renowned for its 'produits du terroir': foie gras, truffles, duck, walnuts, cabecou and Rocamadour cheeses. There are a plethora of fabulous restaurants in Sarlat offering wonderful Périgourdine cuisine. However, should you eventually tire of duck then visit Chez Le Gaulois at 3 Rue Tourny where you can see the chef carve your ham and cheese platters. If you're short on time then you won't find a McDonald's in the medieval city but for fantastic burgers visit Les Tonons Burgers at 4 rue Lakanal where you can choose your own sauce from a huge selection. Be sure to make restaurant reservations in advance for Friday and Saturday evenings!
And best of all... simply take your time exploring this magical town, getting lost in the maze of narrow medieval lanes where you'll find an abundance of cafés and restaurants hidden away and small unique shops selling artisanal products and local gastronomic produce, as well as antique shops and numerous galleries.
For highlights of Sarlat and the Perigord Noir take a look at this short video produced by the Sarlat Tourist Office.
Click on any of the photos to view them in more detail or see the slideshow on our Photos page.