A Picturesque City in South West France
If you are looking for the perfect holiday gite, why not look for accommodation near Bergerac, a picturesque city that lies on the banks of the Dordogne? It is a small but attractive destination, surrounded by vineyards and farmland. You can wander the medieval streets, visit the ancient, pedestrianised squares and enjoy seeing some of the city’s landmarks.
Bergerac is vibrant, and although it has a population of just 30,000, you will never be short of things to do here during in the summer months. There is plenty on offer for tourists including the fireworks on Bastille Day, concerts, bus tours, art exhibitions, flea markets and in July 2014 Bergerac hosted the city stage of the Tour de France. Enjoy meandering down the ancient streets in the old town to see the half-timbered houses, or venture further afield to sample the famous wines in the surrounding vineyards.
Kingfisher Holidays – Gites with pool near Bergerac – click here to book our cottages, villas and farmhouses in South West France.
The History of Bergerac
Bergerac was built around a castle which was constructed in the 10th century and it soon attracted merchants, travellers and pilgrims who settled there, forming part of its early population. By the 13th century, it became a prosperous market town and a bridge was built to help boost trade by providing vital transport links.
A turbulent period followed in the 14th and 15th centuries where many churches and convents were destroyed, although the town continued to prosper. Under Louis XIII (1601 – 1643), the original fortifications were dismantled, and a fortress was built in the east of Bergerac. An army was stationed here, where they remained until the end of the 17th century, until a violent persecution of Protestants began, ridding the city of its forces.
Bergerac continued to be an important market town and it eventually became a centre for the tobacco industry. The National Tobacco Museum is testament to this and the various exhibits spread over three floors show the role played by the city. Interestingly enough, no smoking is allowed in this museum!
Tourist Attractions in Bergerac
If you enjoy fine wines, not to be missed is a visit to one of the vineyards of Bergerac where you can stock up on the local produce and enjoy a vineyard tour. The city lays claim to the finest wines of the Bordeaux region and it is well worth investing in a few bottles to take back home.
The town’s wine museum is housed in an old converted convent which has a wonderful cloister in the centre. The museum, along with the wine tasting opportunities, is closed on Monday, but the cloister remains open to tourists.
On the outskirts of the old town is the Notre Dame cathedral, which was built in the 19th century. It has an 80 metre high clock tower which is a town landmark, although the inside of the cathedral is considered slightly less impressive. St Jacques Church is also worth a visit and still has its original ancient clock tower.
If you are planning on exploring the area, there are plenty of car hire companies available in and around Bergerac including www.buggscarhire.com
Gites, Villas and Cottages near Bergerac
The four bedroom property Pepau, which also sleeps six, is situated in Cancon, and enjoys wonderful views across open countryside. The village has shops, a restaurant and weekly markets on a Monday and Bergerac is just a 40 minute drive away.
Holiday Lets Near Bergerac – Click here to find out about our villa availability.