A trip to a weekly market is a great thing to do in the Dordogne. There are so many fantastic Dordogne markets on different market days to choose from. A good number of these markets have been held at the same place and on the same day of the week for hundreds of years.
For us, (and many of our guests) the main reason to visit one of the Dordogne’s markets is to buy the incredible local food. Timing can be crucial and produce on the stalls obviously varies depending on the season. Love the taste of truffles, foie gras or walnuts? Then you need to visit one of the département’s markets in December, January or February (Sarlat even has a festival dedicated to the truffle). May is usually good for strawberries while poultry is typically at its finest from November to March.
The town of St Cyprien (around 20kms from Sarlat) is home to one of the area’s best and closest markets to Les Milandes. Here you will find medieval houses in the lanes of the old centre. Take an amble up the hillside and experience the charming narrow streets. Wander towards the Abbey church with 12th century bell tower situated at an elevated position over the Dordogne river and valley. St Cyprien has a fascinating history and suffered due to its position between English Aquitaine and the Kingdom of France during the Hundred Years’ War.
Running the length of the Rue Gambetta in the centre of the town, the market held on a Sunday morning, is an experience for the senses with abundant fresh fruit and vegetables, a fine array of French cheeses, charcuterie, freshly baked breads and croissants and local delicacies including foie gras, Pecharmant wine and walnuts. The market is also an opportunity to purchase gifts for those back home including brightly coloured woven baskets and gorgeously scented soaps (our favourite is lavender). Reward your efforts with a ‘café au lait’ at one of the many bistros lining the Rue Gambetta. Our advice is to allow good time to leisurely pace through the market and arrive early to find a parking space, particularly in July and August.
Other local markets
The following other local markets are well worth a visit. You could combine a shopping expedition with some sightseeing;
This small town attracts people wishing to visit the Vézère valley and is also home to the Musée National.
Around a kilometre away are the Grottes de Maxange. These caves (which were only fairly recently discovered) are home to incredible stalactites called .
Wherever you stay in the Dordogne you are bound to have a market fairly close by. Enjoy!