After one day of exploring my historic Sarlat on my own, I want to go to La Roque-Gageac – one of the most beautiful villages in France, not far from Sarlat. The lady in Sarlat’s tourist office nicely booked for me a taxi-van for a round trip to the village, I shared the van with a couple from UK, so the full fare was only 20 Euros per person and 4 hours at La Roque-Gageac : from noon to 4:00 pm. Perfect!
La Roque-Gageac not far from Sarlat, only 8km, 15′-20′ by car, the taxi driver kept telling me “You should go uphill along the road behind the village, it’s beautiful up there!” I followed his advise and it was truly spectacular view!
The view from the park near to the car park and the piers.
Located in a stunning position on the north bank of the Dordogne river, backed by a steep hill and cliffs, La Roque-Gageac is truly picturesque village. I couldn’t describe my feelings when I saw it – a kind of excitement, joy or surprise?
I was greatly overwhelmed with the beauty of this scenery: a nice long street along the river and on another side – all the golden stone houses with typical red roofs. It was a peaceful sunny afternoon with a fresh breeze from the river. Beautiful!
I spent most time to climd up the hill behind the village, no time for the boat cruise.
The old golden houses line the river Dordogne and spread up the hill behind, some houses here quite modest but some – grandiose. One of these big houses was near to the road when I just entered into the village – Châteaux de La Malartrie, newly built in 19th century, in Renaissance style, a nice hotel to stay.
The view from the park with Château de La Malartrie in background.
The old stone houses along the main road, with a nice view down to the river Dordogne.
I would try to walk along this road to the end…but it was impossible.
Mid September, early October could be the best time to visit this area
While I was wandering around the village uphill, I found this beautiful mansion, located on the mid-hill. I was sitting in front of this gorgeous house, looked down to the Dordogne river to enjoy the amazing panorama.
One of the beautiful mansions in this old village with a great view…
to the river Dordogne downhill…
or a wonderful panorama with the famous Château de Castelnaud in background.
From the main road I found a staircase leading uphill. Following this stairs, I started to discover the village. It was very quiet, very few tourists…and that made me feel better as I don’t like the crowd, especially while walking through the narrow alleys.
I started to follow the stairs uphill…
Few souvenir shops along my way, very few visitors, September – not high season.
Mid September still very green everywhere.
Looking at the rainwater gutter, I remember my old house back in Saigon
Wondering how old are these houses, more than hundred or few hundreds?
Pretty with the tiny balcony, people still living in there…
the same house shown above, but the view from another angle
This main door probably no more than 2 my handspans!
the road in the village seemed sometime endless, the summer heat became stronger…
If I follow downhill, I may go back to the main road leading to the car park
I continued uphill and found another lovely house, but private property…no photos!
This gorgeous mansion, covered in green, some red, creeper up all-over the walls
I looked down I could see other house with nice pool in the backyard.
Talking about houses in this region, I saw notices at the real estate agents – a nice old stone house with 4 bedrooms, spacious and beautiful kitchen, living room with a fireplace, chimney, with a 20m x 5m pool in 1800 m2 garden…in South of France, the market price is about 200-250k USD! It would be far from the center but I would love to have one!
I didn’t go up to the top where I could see a fascinating troglodyte fort.
The nice sleeping cat followed me for a while when I woke him up…
et voilà …a 4-leg resident of La Roque-Gageac – Laroquoi!
Time for me to go down, it was getting hotter, I tried to find a place in the shade to sit down, to enjoy these fabulous cakes that I bought in Sarlat this morning. It was super delicious, I didn’t expect at all. Not because I was hungry, but by chance I got these cakes from the patisserie that has been voted as the best in the world on TripAdvisor.
Macaron noisette – the outside was good but the creme inside was terribly good.
Chausson aux pommes – forgot to take a photo after a bite – the layers inside were amazing!
La Roque-Gageac is a small village with their own church, even a Mayor in his small office building. Not far from the church I found a kind of “tropical style” garden, with a lot of bamboos, it surprisingly brought me back somewhere in Asia, deep inside the garden I found a small lonely house, a family restaurant…with only two guests.
Not only bamboos, along the road I still saw familiar tropical plants like banana trees, other flowers…thanks to the cliff behind the village protecting it from the Northern cold air, and with the open view to the South ensuring the village to catch a plenty of the sunshine…that explained why many tropical plants in this village.
We could explore La Roque-Gageac from the river, I wish to have more time to take one-hour cruise down the river on the traditional flat-bottomed boat which used to transport the merchandise along the Dordogne long in the past. As tradition these boats once reached this area of the river would never return, as they all were dismantled to be sold as firewood.
Traditional boat – cargo barges of the old times, now carry only visitors
I went down to the main road around 3:30 PM, I didn’t believe that I spent almost three hours wandering through all narrow alleys in the village. I didn’t have time or more precisely “energy” to go more uphill. Most of time was spent for taking photos but more of it – I was amazed at the beauty of this village and the wonderful panorama while standing up there.
People enjoying the summer sail on the peaceful river, I wished I could do some day.
Time to say goodbye to my beautiful Sarlat, beautiful Roque-Gageac, I hope to come back here next year, if no change in my career plan, to visit this village again and some other neighbourhood. Tomorrow I will be heading to Carcassonne – a real medieval castle! Will see you there!