©Dan Courtice

The 10 things to do for free around Sarlat

On the way to Sarlat and the Périgord Noir!”

We’ll grant you, there are many beautiful things to see in the Périgord Noir: perched villages, strong castles, prehistoric caves or natural caves, gardens or nature activities

We have listed for you plenty of cool activities and real good plans to visit the region without breaking the bank.

Published on 8 December 2022

1. Stroll on the markets

The Black Perigord, it is THE land ofgastronomy. Visiting Sarlat and the Périgord Noir means awakening all your senses and those of taste in particular.

The Sarlat Market is a must-see for all gourmets and foodies. All year long and depending on the season, foie gras, porcini mushrooms, confits and magrets, truffles, walnuts, strawberries and other delicious local products awaken the taste buds of visitors.

Without forgetting, the markets of the other villages! But also the gourmet markets in summer where you can also eat on site.

2. Discover our classified villages

What could be better than walking through the maze of alleys of small typical villages? The Dordogne counts 10 villages classified by the label of the Plus Beaux Villages de France which makes it the department with the most!

Go on a tour of these picturesque villages:Beynac-et-Cazenac, la Roque Gageac, Castelnaud la Chapelle, Domme, St Léon sur Vézère, St Amand de Coly, Belvès, Monpazier, Limeuil and a little further on St Jean de Côle.

3. Bathing in the Dordogne

The Dordogne Riverhas wide meanders and charming beaches, making it the perfect spot for your swim!

Take a refreshing break on the pebble beaches surrounded by beautiful scenery and picturesque villages some of which are classified as Plus Beaux Villages de France.

Where to bathe?

4. Riding a bike on the Voie Verte

Developed on the right-of-way of an old railroad, this pretty Voie Verte goes from Sarlat to Peyrillac-et-Millac, and is extended by 3km of staked rural path to Cazoulès, 3km from Souillac.

The pavement is good, and the safety excellent. The course is fairly shady, and allows you to discover the Dordogne Valley, pretty villages, and a magnificent viaduct over the river. It allows multiple activities: running, walking, roller-skating, racing or road bikes, VTC, mountain biking. It is also wheelchair accessible.

Discover the greenway and download the map

5. Visit livestock farms

Visit a goose or duck farm; taste foie gras in a store in Sarlat or on the Covered Market; sip a good glass of wine from Domme, Bergerac or Cahors, be tempted by the liqueurs or aperitifs of the region … It is also that to discover the gastronomy of Périgord!

Many farms open their doors for free and even offer a tasting at the end of the tour!

Gourmet Tours in the Black Perigord

6. Participate at village festivals

Throughout the season, and especially in July and August, many villages in the territory hold their “vocal festival

This patronal feast, still called a vote, is specific to the South of France. Initially, the votes were always linked to the feast of the parish saint. They were spread out over the whole summer and attracted to the village all the youth of the neighboring communes who arrived in bands and on foot. These festivities, depending on their date, marked either a truce in the heavy work in the fields, or the joy of the first harvests returned.

These festivities are an opportunity to participate in fairground attractions, share a meal in the village square, take part in a petanque contest, and end the day with a ballet.

In 2021, a few festivities have been canceled due to the COVID outbreak.

Check out the events calendar

7. Admire fireworks

For our greatest happiness, this year fireworks will light up the sky of the Périgord Noir!”

During the village festivals, you will also be able to enjoy fireworks.

In 2021, due to the COVID epidemic some fires have been cancelled. Nevertheless, you can enjoy them during the evenings of Puymartin, the picnics in white at the Gardens of Eyrignac, the nocturnes of Bournat and many others!

Check out the events calendar

8. Take part to the festivities of Sarlat

As you arrive in Sarlat, you have understood, everything is a matter of taste.

The market and farm visits as we mentioned a little earlier, but also the gourmet events offered outside the months of July and August, when strolling around Sarlat is most enjoyable.

Among these events: Truffle Festival, Sarlat Fest’Oie,the Journées du Terroir, the Journées de la Gastronomie

These gourmet gatherings offer many completely free workshops and discovery booths that will satisfy every palate.

Like any self-respecting gourmet, make a note of these dates in your calendar and, above all, come and enjoy these pure moments of happiness!

Alongside the gourmet events, the city is organizing a number of festivities with free activities. La Ringueta, a festival of traditional games welcomes you on Pentecost weekend in even-numbered years. The Heritage Days, the third weekend of September are an opportunity to go and discover sites usually closed to the public. Finally, the Christmas Market, colors and animates the city during the whole month of December. The village comes alive and lives to the rhythm of craftsmen from all over France who have come to exhibit their works in the medieval city. A very eclectic craft awaits you to offer unforgettable gifts.

All year long and even more in season, Sarlat offers you many quality cultural events. Discover them.

9. Living in rhythm street entertainment

In the middle of the summer season, Sarlat lives to the rhythm of its street animations.

Even before sunset, everyone rushes to attend the show of the street performers.

That’s when they take over the alleys and squares of the historic city, just as the soft light of the gas lighting makes Sarlat so magical. This lively show with a thousand facets is always a joy for young and old alike.

There is no programming for these spontaneous shows.

Only one piece of advice: come and take advantage of the warm and friendly atmosphere and … come back for another stroll in Sarlat “by night”!

10. Discover artists and craftsmen from here and elsewhere

Numerous are the painters, sculptors, engravers (etc…) and art craftsmen who have taken up residence in Sarlat.

Our little city abounds with workshops and galleries… to the great delight of all lovers of Art, with a big or small “A”! The leaflet “Le chemin des arts” offers you a route in the city to discover all the galleries.

If you want to go on a discovery of the art workshops of the department, the “Carnet de route des Métiers d’art” invites you to stroll through the art workshops and the high places of tourism in Périgord. These craftsmen will share with you their passion for exceptional objects.

Bonus : Discover the region with Terra Aventura

Geocaching is a connected treasure hunt that is done outdoors using a GPS or smartphone. Boxes called “caches” are hidden and the goal is to discover their location and the treasure they contain.

Inside you will find badges to collect. Each of these badges with the effigy of a Poï’z represents the theme of the proposed course: history, tales and legends, nocturnal, Gallo-Roman, know-how, and many others!

Each season sees the appearance of new courses and … new Poï’z that you will love to collect!”

Discover without further delay our courses of Beynac and La Roque Gageac!”