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Ophorus Tours - Sarlat-la-Canéda

Dordogne

Sarlat-la-Canéda

We organize both half day and full day trips from Sarlat to the most famous landmarks of the Dordogne region. Our private or shared tours of the Dordogne will take you to the Prehistoric caves, small villages and mighty medieval castles of the region. All tours conducted by licensed guides that speak impeccable English.

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Learn more about Sarlat-la-Canéda

Sarlat-la-Caneda Beautiful Mediaeval Town Tours to Prehistoric Caves Visit Dordogne Valley  Discover Your Happy Place in the Dordogne Valley Come visit the beautiful town of Sarlat-la-Caneda, the pearl of the Périgord Noir and join us on our half day and full day trips from Sarlat to the most famous landmarks of the Dordogne region for a charming time. Our half day tours of the beautiful villages in Dordogne are a chance for guests to discover the charming mediaeval villages that are located along the Dordogne Valley. Our other private or shared tours of the Dordogne will take you to the famous sites of the region including the prehistoric caves and  small villages. All tours ...

Sarlat-la-Caneda

  • Beautiful Mediaeval Town
  • Tours to Prehistoric Caves
  • Visit Dordogne Valley 

Discover Your Happy Place in the Dordogne Valley

Come visit the beautiful town of Sarlat-la-Caneda, the pearl of the Périgord Noir and join us on our half day and full day trips from Sarlat to the most famous landmarks of the Dordogne region for a charming time.

Our half day tours of the beautiful villages in Dordogne are a chance for guests to discover the charming mediaeval villages that are located along the Dordogne Valley. Our other private or shared tours of the Dordogne will take you to the famous sites of the region including the prehistoric caves and  small villages.

All tours are conducted by licensed guides that speak impeccable English. We also organise guided tours of Sarlat or Périgueux and always include some great activities such as canoeing or a boat ride along the Dordogne River for your pleasure. So, if you’re looking for things to do in Sarlat-La-Caneda, you’ve come to the right place.

Your Travel Guide to Sarlat-La-Caneda 

Top 5 Things to do in Sarlat-La-Caneda

1. Discover its Beauty & Architecture

Because modern history has largely passed it by, Sarlat has remained preserved and is one of the town's most representative of 14th century France. Located in the heart of the Perigord Noir, the town possesses an outstanding number of buildings and houses dating from the 13th to 18th century.

The Saint Sacerdos Cathedral & Church of Sainte Marie, now a covered market, are among the architectural highlights that you will see in the central part of town. The bell tower of the church is also home to an elevator that will enable you to admire this charming small town from above.

Sarlat has been awarded the exceptional Three Star classification by the Michelin Travel Guide, making it one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Come and find out the history behind its beauty on one of our Sarlat tours.

Visiting Sarlat means you will admire lovely private mansions that were built in the glory days of the 16th century and 17th centuries. Another unique feature in Sarlat is the lantern of the dead that has still to reveal who built it and for what purpose.

Its evolution over the centuries has left it with an exceptional heritage. As the first city in France to be safeguarded by being restored under the Malraux law of 1964, its classification as a “Town of Art & History” is a testament to its high architectural value. 

2. Eat local Dordogne Food 

Capital of the Black Périgord, it is one of the most attractive and alluring towns in southwestern France and its name evokes to all French both gastronomic and cultural pleasures. Duck is especially popular in this part of France, see our useful tips for more information on what to expect in restaurants in Sarlat. 

3. Explore Sarlat la Caneda Market 

If you love your gourmet food, then the markets of Sarlat are set to be your paradise. These markets are an institution of the region and you can get lost in all the delicious produce on offer. Market days also offer an opportunity to meet the local farmers and enjoy a taste of their delicious goods. 

The market takes place on Wednesday and Saturday. The market is located in the historical center on Wednesday but covers the whole of Sarlat including rue de la liberté on Saturday.

4. Take a Day Trip to Discover Paleolithic Art of the Dordogne

No trip to this part of the world is complete without a visit to the incredible Dordogne prehistoric caves with paintings dating from 18,000 to 10,000 BC. In the land of painted caves, as there are 10 in the Dordogne, lovers of paleolithic art will be overwhelmed by the visit of the National Prehistory Museum in Les Eyzies de Tayac, Rouffignac Cave, Font de Gaume Cave and many others.

Be sure to take a tour with Ophorus for the best experience, with knowledgeable guides who have impeccable English. Visit the Vézère valley to admire the Lascaux cave paintings

5. Take a Day Trip to Discover the Best Castles in Dordogne

Coined as the land of 1001 castles, the Dordogne region of France is dotted with castles that date back to medieval times. These mighty fortresses are a delight for both adults and children making the Dordogne a prized destination for family travel. Among the most impressive is Commarque Castle Dordogne, Castelnau Castle as well as Beynac Castle. One of the most popular for visits though is Josephine Baker Castle Dordogne especially since the Franco-American artist was inducted in the French Pantheon on November 30, 2021.

Sarlat La Canéda Travel tips

Sarlat is not the easiest town in France to reach and this was done on purpose to limit the number of visitors. If this destination is on your bucket list then be prepared to earn it. Once you arrive, you will not be disappointed. 

If possible, keep away from the destination in July and August when the French are on vacation. This is a very popular destination for the French as many parents bring their children here to introduce them to Prehistory and Medieval architecture. August should definitely be avoided because of traffic (small, winding roads), crowds and horrendous queues for all activities or attractions. 

For Sarlat market (especially the Saturday market), unless your accommodation is in Sarlat, don't arrive at 11.00am or after. You will probably end up wasting time finding a parking space and just move on to something else. Starting from April until the end of October, the Sarlat market is one of the most popular in the whole region and attracts both French and foreign visitors. If you want to spend a really nice time at the Market, arrive early - the market starts at 7.00am. 

Dordogne is a magical destination and certainly one where you can take a leap back in time. This means that you will visit mediaeval villages & castles that have remained pretty much the same for centuries. Narrow cobblestone streets, uneven paths, steep walks, damp and cold caves are just a few examples of what to expect on many of your day trips while in the Dordogne.

If you have walking issues or health problems, then Dordogne might just not be the right destination for you. Keep this in mind and choose your visits carefully. 

Not a fan of eating meat? Then a trip to the Dordogne might become a bit of a stress for you. Of course you will always find some type of solution with salads, pizzas, cheese and so on. But be careful, locals sometimes don't include ham or lardons (bacon bits) as meat and will do everything they can to have you taste gizzards if you choose a salad.

Remember that you are in a rural area of France where DUCK is king. Duck breast, duck confit, duck foie gras, dried magret duck - as many guests comment at the end of their stay, they are ducked out! Fortunately, this is changing and there are now a few vegetarian restaurants in Sarlat.

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FAQ

  • Where is Sarlat la Canéda located in France?

    Sarlat la Canéda or simply Sarlat is located in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region of France in the Dordogne department, between Paris and Toulouse in the South of France. The town is also located East of Bordeaux. Sarlat is famous for its historical city centre and home to one of the most unique markets in France.
  • How do you get from Paris to Sarlat la Canéda?

    There are different ways to get from Paris to Sarlat la Canéda. By train there are two options: one is to leave from Paris and take the TGV train to Bordeaux. Once arrived in Bordeaux, you will need to change trains (without changing stations) and take the train that links Bordeaux to Sarlat. Even though the fast train will take you from Paris to Bordeaux in approximately 2 hours, the train from Bordeaux to Sarlat is a regional train that usually stops in every single village and town on the way. Because of this, the train journey can take up to 3 1/2 hours. Another option is to take the train from Paris to Toulouse and stop in Souillac. This will take around 5 hours. Once arrived in Souillac you have an option for a bus transfer to Sarlat (on certain hours) or you can program a private transfer with our company. In this case, we will come and pick you up at Souillac train station and transfer you to your accommodation.
  • What is there to see & do in Sarlat la Canéda?

    Sarlat is a charming small town of France. Located in the heart of the Dordogne region, modern history has largely passed it by. Sarlat has remained preserved and is one of the towns most representative of 14th century France. Located in the heart of the Perigord Noir, the town possesses an outstanding number of buildings and houses dating from the 13th to 18th century. Its name evokes to all French both gastronomic and cultural pleasures. Its worldwide reputation is linked with its rich history dating from Paleolithic Ages onward. Its evolution over the centuries has left it with an exceptional heritage. As the first city in France to be safeguarded by being restored under the Malraux law of 1964, its classification as a “City of Art & History” is a testament to its high architectural value. Sarlat has been awarded the exceptional Three Star classification by the Michelin Travel Guide, making it equal to Europe’s most beautiful cities. During one of our Sarlat small group sightseeing day tours, you will have the opportunity to visit the fabulous Dordogne region.
  • What are your most popular day trips from Sarlat?

    Our most popular day trips from Sarlat are the half day most beautiful villages tour where our guests discover charming medieval villages that are located along the Dordogne valley and that includes a boat ride on the River Dordogne. Our other most popular day trip from Sarlat is our Paleolithic Art tour of the Dordogne that includes the visit of the National Prehistory Museum, the visit of the original cave of Rouffignac and the visit of Lascaux IV International Center of Parietal Art that also includes the visit of Lascaux IV cave.
  • How long should I stay in Sarlat?

    Sarlat is one of our destinations where people stay the longest. The area is so diverse and our day trips so different one from another that the average number of days that guests stay in Sarlat is 4 days. You can admire beautiful castles and villages on one day, cave art & prehistory on another and add Padirac chasm & Rocamadour village on a third day and all three day trips are completely different and unique. If you are into food & wine or gardens, then a 4th day is a must. What also makes guests stay longer here than in other regions of France is the very good value for money when it comes to accommodation and dining options. Sarlat is without a doubt one of the most popular food destination in France and the high number of restaurants in town insure very affordable meals.
  • As a Dordogne destination specialist, what are some tips you think are useful?

    As a local operator of tours, activities & day trips from Sarlat for more than 10 years now, we certainly have some very helpful tips that we would love to share with you. 1. Sarlat is not the easiest town in France to reach and this was made on purpose to limit the number of visitors. If this destination is on your bucket list then be prepared to earn it. Once arrived, you will not be disappointed. 2. If possible, keep away from the destination in July and August when the French are on vacation. This is a very popular destination for the French as many parents bring their children here to introduce them to Prehistory and Medieval architecture. August should definitely be avoided because of traffic (small, winding roads), crowds and herendous queues for all activities or attractions. 3. For Sarlat market (especially the Saturday market), unless your accommodation is in Sarlat, don't arrive at 11.00am or after. You will probably end up wasting time finding a parking space and just move on to something else. Starting from April until end of October, the Sarlat market is one of the most popular in the whole region and attracts both French and foreign visitors. Want to spend a really nice time at the Market, arrive early - market starts at 7.00am. 4. Dordogne is a magical destination and certainly one where you can take a leap back in time. This means that you will visit medieval villages & castles that have remained pretty much the same for centuries. Narrow cobblestone streets, uneven paths, steep walks, damp and cold caves are just a few examples of what to expect on many of your day trips while in the Dordogne. If you have walking issues or health problems, then Dordogne might just not be the right destination for you. Keep this in mind and choose your visits carefully. 5. Not a fan of eating meat? Then a trip to the Dordogne might become a bit of a stress for you. Of course you will always find some type of solution with salads, pizzas, cheese and so on. But be carefull, locals sometimes don't include ham or lardons (bacon bits) as meat and will do everything they can to have you taste gizzards if you choose a salad. Remember that you are in a rural area of France where DUCK is king. Duck breast, duck confit, duck foie gras, dried magret duck - as many guests comment at the end of their stay, they are ducked out! Fortunately, this is changing and there are now a few vegetarian restaurants in Sarlat.

Reviews from our Sarlat-la-Canéda trips

  • by Anonymous (United Kingdom)

    15, Sep 2019

    We have been to Sarlat before however our guide took us into streets we hadn’t explored and gave us a good overview of the history and the food of the...
  • by Paul (Netherlands)

    01, Aug 2019

    Ben , onze gids deed het geweldig . Kon mooi vertellen over Sarlat en alle lekkernijen .
  • by Steve (United States)

    21, Oct 2019

    Emil was very well informed and teaching us the history of Sarlat-la-Canéda.
  • Bob C

    27, Oct 2019

    Endless Selections Great market with many excellent products available. Le PezeLocal wines were especially good value. Great venue to stock up for a pic...
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