Sarlat travel guide

About Sarlat

Sarlat in Aquitaine is a pretty medieval market town surrounded by lush forests and countryside that is famous for its culinary delights of foie gras and truffles. 

More correctly known as Sarlat la Canéda, Sarlat is the jewel in Dordogne's crown, a gastronomic hub in an idyllic rustic setting. Inhabited since Gallo-Roman times the town has had a tumultuous history oscillating between periods of prosperity and the suffering of war during both the Hundred Years War and the Wars of Religion. After the building of the cathedral, Sarlat again prospered, becoming an important market town in the Middle Ages and its markets are still well-known today. The Old Town is well-preserved thanks to Sarlat being largely isolated by transport links in the 19th and 20th century, a fact which stopped the signs of progress that often result in such old buildings being torn down. Now accessible by road, Sarlat is a wonderful time capsule into medieval France that is just waiting to be explored! It has even been used many times as a filming location in movies such as Ridley Scott's The Duellists and numerous French films.

Art and culture are an important part of Sarlat with many festivals celebrated in the town including the Sarlat Film Festival in November, an Arts Festival in May, the Theatre Games Festival (one of the oldest theatre festivals in France) at the end of July and several different food festivals throughout the year. Sarlat is a town that loves its food and is perfect for those appreciating the finer tastes of French cuisine with festivals and markets dedicated to the area's outstanding and traditional foie gras and truffles. Why not take advantage of the gastronomic visits available and visit the producers of the region's fine produce on their geese farms and vineyards, or maybe meet the dogs who go truffle-hunting? The Sarlat tourist office also provides some greatd tours of the town and a few of the nearby villages. If you feel the need to work off some of the rich cuisine of the area perhaps you'd like to take a walk in the countryside of the beautiful Dordogne region? There are many different walking routes aimed at everyone.

Nearby are the pretty towns of Beynac and Domme, both awarded the 'most beautiful villages in France' mantle. There are many châteaux in this region and the Château de Marqueyssac and the Château de Puymartin are both close by whilst several cave systems can be found less than 45 minutes drive away.

Sarlat is located in Aquitaine a few kilometers from the River Dordogne. The nearest places of interest are Beynac, Domme, the Parc et Château de Marqueyssac, Château de Puymartin and several cave systems.

Why visit Sarlat?

  • Food and Drink
  • The Architecture
  • Festivals
  • Countryside
  • Châteaux


  • Country: France
  • Region: Aquitaine
  • Department: Dordogne
  • Population: 9,300
  • Coordinates: 44.893093,1.216564

Coordinates shown are based on the WGS84 system, please check driving directions before departing.

Places to visit nearby

Rocamadour in the Midi-Pyrénées is a dramatic village built on a cliff face, famed through the centuries as a place of pilgrimage and for its Rocamadour goats cheese.

Cahors in the Midi-Pyrénées is the home of black wine from the malbec grape and is uniquely built on a twist in the River Lot.

Limoges in Limousin is a pretty historical city known for its porcelain and enamels.

Nearby attractions

The remarkable valley of the Château de Commarque can trace a long history back to prehistoric times with sculptures and caves forming an unusual backdrop to the medieval château.

The fantastic cave complex, the Grottes des Lascaux II, is famous for its Paleolithic cave paintings. Inside, it contains some of the world's best-known Upper Paleolithic art with the paintings estimated to be around 17,300...

The village of Le Bournat gives you a taste of rural life in 1900 with attractions including dramatised tours, children's workshops and one-day themed events. See traditional crafts and skills being used with breadmakers,...