Nestled in the picturesque Dordogne valley and only a stone’s throw away from outdoor adventures and chocolate box villages, the city of Brive is the ultimate spot to kick off a French road trip.
The following are a few of our favourite day trips and villages near Brive that are guaranteed to make you fall in love with this region.
Known for its medieval miracles and cliffside setting, the once fortress village of Rocamadour is considered a pilgrimage holy grail. The Black Madonna (a small black statuette located in Rocamadour’s Chapelle Notre Dame depicting the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus on her left knee) was thought to have healing powers, attracting thousands of pilgrims from the western Christian world, from kings to seamen and everyone in between.
Nowadays, Rocamadour is considered as one of UNESCO’s heritage sites and still attracts a strong pilgrim following, especially for those walking the Camino de Santiago route.
Step back in time and surround yourself with striking medieval scenery and renaissance facades when exploring the beautiful, cobbled streets of the town of Sarlat. It should come as no surprise that this beautiful town has captured the interest of numerous Hollywood movie producers over the years. This is the ideal starting point for those wanting to experience village life - visit local markets, join medieval history talks or simply have some quiet time.
About 8km away from Sarlat lies the visually pleasing town of Roque Gageac. Located on the North Bank of the Dordogne River, it was once considered an important trading point on the river, but nowadays offers visitors an array of water sports activities and scenic walks.
The town of Terrasson is the epitome of fairy-tale charm. Known for its unusual blue slate rooftops, Terrasson is truly mesmerising. Its strong artisan production reinforces the individuality of this area - unique arts and crafts goods made by locals can be found on pretty much each and every corner of this town – a true gem for those seeking character and creativity merged into one.
No mention of Terrasson should be complete without referencing the Gardens of the Imagination which are located just a short distance from the town. This public park and interactive garden is filled with carefully selected sights, smells and sounds curated by designers Ian Ritchie and Kathryn Gustafson.
The Lascaux cave is a must-do for history lovers. Located near the village of Montignac, the cave was accidentally discovered by a group of teenagers in 1940 and is home to one of the most famous prehistoric cave paintings in the World (Lascaux became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979).
Nowadays visitors wanting to get a glimpse of these historic paintings are invited to visit the cave’s exact replica located close to its original grounds.
Located about an hour and a half from Brive airport lies the Pays de Pompadour; a place filled with rich history, scenic walking trails, frequent social events - and a horse lover’s utopia. From racing, to dressage and show jumping, Pompadour offers its visitors an unforgettable equine experience. During the summer period, regular national and international shows are held on its premises, attracting the likes of novices to Olympic riders. Nowadays it’s the home of the French, National Stud or ‘Haras National’ , breeding the worldwide champions of tomorrow.
It should come as no surprise that this village has been awarded the title of ‘one of the prettiest villages in France’. Its vibrant flora, distinctive red coloured buildings and picture perfect terraces make a visit to Collonges La Rouge unmissable.
Flights to Brive
- Donna Tzaneva