Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sarlat, Dordogne, France



Sarlat Sunset, originally uploaded by Viton.
Sarlat - Now we're talking! The most famous town in the region and one of the most renowned and visited in France. It is also one of the most attractive. Often called just Sarlat, the town is actually twinned with its less famous neighbour and is more correctly called Sarlat le Caneda.

Destined to be besieged by tourists at almost all times of the year Sarlat is a beautiful, well restored town a few kilometres north of the River Dordogne. The old town, dating from both medieval and renaissance times is a pleasure to visit, especially during the spring and autumn, or early in the morning. If you can catch the early morning sunshine on the yellow sandstone buildings, so much the better.

Don't miss the streets around the cathedral and the streets to the north of the old town when you visit Sarlat. You will soon become lost in the maze of narrow lanes, with something new to see around every corner. No major sights perhaps - the cathedral in Sarlat is not very exciting, for example - but as a whole town is very attractive.

Before setting off for your walk around Sarlat, visit the tourist office which can provide a suggested walking tour to take in the key attractions. Broadly, the pedestrianised Rue de la Republique runs the length of the old town, with mazes of narrow streets either side. The cathedral is to the south-east of Sarlat, with the attractive Cour des Fontaines and Cour des Chanoines behind.

Frequently you will think yourself lost in the winding medieval streets - don't worry, it's essentially a small town, and sooner or later you will emerge into the light and refind your path!

Don't forget to glance up from time to time as you explore the medieval cobbled streets - the rooves of the buildings in medieval Sarlat are often in 'lauze' - carefully cut stone - and are unusual elsewhere.

Market day in Sarlat is a Saturday.

"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." -- Lao Tzu
Copyright © Demetrios the Traveler


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