Sightseeing in Bergerac
The Old Town is the area immediately North of the river, signposted 'Vieille Ville' and is the highlight of any trip to Bergerac. Its lovely, winding, medieval streets lined with half-timbered or terracotta houses are great for exploring and there is a good selection of boutiques along the way. The many open-air cafes make for a great place to sit with some fresh coffee and people watch.
In the heart of the Old Town you will find the National Tobacco Museum where you can learn about the region's history of cultivating the tobacco crop as well as discover more about Bergerac's history. Ironically this museum is non-smoking.
Bergerac is home to several other interesting museums including the Bergerac Museum of Religious Art. Housed in a 17th century building, it contains a large range of religious paintings, sculptures and objects including the incredibly old Pierre de Lauzerte statue.
The Musée Régional de la Batellerie is where you can find out more about the region's wine production and of course where you can taste and buy some of the best local wines. The Musée de Fouilles Gallo-Romaines ruins are also well worth visiting.
There are two main churches in Bergerac, St. Jacques Church, with its listed organ and the larger 19th century Notre Dame Church (not the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris!). Both are very different and worth visiting to examine their different styles and beautiful relics.
Dotted around Bergerac you will come across several statues and monuments of Cyrano de Bergerac the literary character from Edmond Rostand's play who had a highly amusing, misshapen nose making for a great photo opportunity. Several monuments are dedicated to this character although there is no evidence that the real Cyrano de Bergerac ever set foot in the town.
After you've explored the town why not head out to the countryside and get in touch with nature? Take an organised boat trip along the river to see the best sights of the town as well as the rolling hills and vineyards.
You could also hire a car and head out to the world famous Caves of Lascaux located a short drive away near the village of Montignac. These caves contain the earliest known cave paintings in the world and were only discovered by a group of teenagers in the 20th century.
Further a field there are many other places to explore in your hire car. Discover the other regions of the Dordogne Departmént as well as the popular nearby towns of Bordeaux, Brive, Pau, Toulouse and Limoges.
Fun Seekers in Bergerac
The Dordogne River is a great place to start for all of you fun seekers out there. Here you will find facilities for many different water sports including waterskiing, canoeing and kayaking.
The surrounding countryside in Bergerac also means that there are many opportunities for exhilarating outside activities such as mountain biking, hiking, horse riding, hot air ballooning and hang gliding so there really is something for everyone to try.
Bergerac is a true market heaven and the best place to stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables as well as local produce including truffles, pâtés, cheese and of course wine. The market is located next to the Notre Dame Church and is open every Wednesday and Saturday morning. There are also several other markets in the town including a flea market, farmer's market, antiques fairs and seasonal markets. You will also find many boutiques in the Old Town, perfect for shopping.
Located in the Perigord Pourpe, the region is well known for its acres of purple grape vineyards and that means wine tasting! With around 1200 vineries in the Dordogne Departmént there are plenty of places to choose from to sample some delicious local wines. why not make a day out of it and have a spot of lunch too.
Bergerac is not known for a lively night life, however there are a handful of good clubs and bars where you can dance and drink away your evenings. Le Windsor nightclub is one of the most popular with those looking to dance the whole night through with three floors of dance music and reasonably priced drinks. Le Dalacos is one of the most popular bars and the place to go to mingle with tourists and locals alike while enjoying a beer and some good music.
If you want live music then visit during July and August when weekly jazz nights are held at the Maison du Vin when musician from all over France come to showcase their talent. The Summer Classical Music Festival is also held in Bergerac every August.
Family Fun in Bergerac
A family holiday to Bergerac is perfect for children content with lazy days and picnics by the River Dordogne.
Explore the bustling markets and the beautiful Old Town to give the kids a flavour of real French life and don't forget to stock up on tasty treats and local produce such as baguettes, pastries and cheese to feed those hungry tummies.
Le Petit Train leaves from the old port in Bergerac and is a great scenic tour of the town and surrounding countryside. Alternatively take the whole family on a boat trip along the river for a great excursion into the surrounding regions.
A short drive to the outskirts of the town is the Aqua Park. The park has four swimming pools and two water chutes as well as pedal boats, facilities for fishing, mountain biking, canoeing and many more.
Parc en Ciel is also located a short drive from Bergerac but is a great place for children and big kids alike to blow of some steam and get rid of that excess energy. There are also themed gardens to relax in and an animal park.
Romantic Breaks in Bergerac
Bergerac is a wonderful destination for a relaxing romantic holiday with your loved one. The beautiful town is virtually unspoilt by tourism and its picturesque streets lined with half timbered medieval or terracotta houses make for the perfect setting for long afternoon strolls hand in hand.
The countryside is strewn with vineyards; Bergerac boasts over 1200 vineries which open their doors in an invitation for you to sample some of their delicious local wines. Why not spend a day learning more about wine-making, wine-tasting and enjoying a glass or three of specially selected wine over lunch.
To see more of the town take a romantic boat trip along the Dordogne River, admiring the scenery of pretty French villages and rolling hills. You can even take a picnic with you of local produce purchased at the market such as fresh baguettes, pastries, cheese and strawberries.
In the evening take advantage of the region's highly regarded gastronomy and dine out at a laid back restaurant in candlelight. Local delicacies are Tourins, wild boar, partridge and plenty of river fish such as trout. Don't be afraid to head off the beaten track, you will find some real hidden gems with a little exploring.
Top Tips for Bergerac
The best way to make the most of a holiday to Bergerac is to hire a car so that no area of the beautiful Dordogne Departmént is out of reach. You can also head further a field and explore Bordeaux, Brive, Pau, Toulouse and Limoges.
- Yes - Oui
- No - Non
- Hello - Bonjour
- Goodbye - Au revoir
- Please - S'il vous plaît
- Thank you - Merci
- My name is...- Je m'appelle...
- How are you? - Comment ça va?
- I'm very well - Ça va bien
- I feel ill - Je ne me sens pas bien
- How much does it cost? - Combien est-ce que ça coûte?
- Do you speak English? - Est-ce que vous parlez anglais?
- I don't understand - Je ne comprends pas
- Where is...? - Où est...?
- Entrance - Entrée
- Exit - Sortie
- Danger - Danger
- Open - Ouvert
- Closed - Fermé
- Toilets - Toilettes
- Doctor - Médecin
- Hotel - Hôtel
- Restaurant - Restaurant
- Beer - Bière
- Wine - Vin
Cost of a pint of beer: £2.10