Domme is a charming town in southern France, packed with medieval honey-colored houses with Lauzes-style roofs. Thousands of visitors coming to Domme are transported to the past by the quaintness seen in all its corner.
Perched on a hilltop, Domme overlooks the mighty Dordogne River together with the vast fields of south-central France. This, together with its splendid appearance, has convinced many travelers and tourists that Domme is indeed one of the most beautiful villages in France.
But does it make Domme worth visiting?
In this blog post, I will tell you the reasons why you might want to visit the village of Domme in Dordogne, France. All the information, facts in this article can be verified on the official website of Domme, France.
Then, all the recommendations are based on the actual experiences of travelers and tourists who have visited Domme. You may double-check the tips and suggestions in the reviews posted in Tripadvisor and Google Maps.
This post was created out of inspiration. I am really interested in quaint villages and fantastic landscapes. Since Domme falls in both categories, I decided to write a post about it.
May this help you decide if you will visit Domme or not. Alright! Let’s begin.
Reasons Why Visit Domme, France
Satisfying our wanderlust is one of the best things that we can do for ourselves. It gives us an unexplainable ecstatic feeling we can’t just get anywhere. There are just different ways how we can attain it.
For Domme, France, I found 10 ways we can satisfy our wanderlust. These are also the reasons why we would like to visit Domme:
By the way, I wrote a post about the 10 most beautiful villages in the south of France. There, I give you a summary of things to expect, to see, or to experience from each place. The article provides you an idea of which village to go to and what fits your personality as a traveler. Just click the link above to proceed. 🙂 Have safe travels!
Reason #1: Charming village of Domme
What really inspired me to write this post is this image.
It looks like heaven isn’t?
This is the first reason why visit Domme. By its quaint appearance, we’re like being transported back in time when life wasn’t in a rush for success, and the rat race didn’t yet exist.
Anyhow, thanks to the preservation efforts of the government and of the people of Domme. They saved the charm and the heritage of Domme, which allow travelers to have a glimpse of the past.
When travelers come to Domme, they arrive at a historical site established by King Philip the Bold in 1281. Domme was built as a bastide or a fortified medieval town, supposed to be rectangular in shape when seen from above. However, it instead adopted the surrounding terrain, falling short into a trapezoidal city.
Evident on Domme’s narrow streets, intersecting at right angles, the age when it was constructed. Following the architectural principles laid down for a bastide, it is clear that Domme has been existing for nearly a millennium now.
Imagine yourself walking along these narrow lanes. You see lovely honey-colored houses made from bricks and stones. Walls decorated with flowers. It is indeed a magical place, isn’t it?
If you’ve decided to come to Domme and do a stroll in town, you would also see several landmarks that have been in Domme for several centuries now. These buildings below have survived the test of time since the 15th century:
- Governor’s house
- Paul Reclus Museum
There are two public spaces of medieval origin in Domme:
- Place de La Rode – the part of town where the breaking wheel and execution took place.
- Place de la Halle – the marketplace of Domme.
These are the places in Domme that can help you imagine the life the ancestors of the current citizens of Domme had. One really quaint building that you can find in Place de la Halle is Domme’s Library:
In Domme’s Place de la Halle, you can also find the church called Église catholique Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption, built in the 16th century. Here’s how it looks from outside and inside:
There is also a museum in the town center, where you can learn more about the history of Domme.
Reason #2: Gate Towers of Domme
Aside from the quaint houses and centuries-old buildings in Domme’s Place de la Halle, several monuments remain in town. These are the city walls and gates that are still intact and standing by today.
Gates of Domme
These are names of the gates in Domme:
- La Porte Del Bos – located on the west wall of Domme
- La Porte De La Combe – built on Domme’s south wall
- La Porte Des Tours – the gate at the eastern portion of Domme’s wall
Here are the 360 images or Streetview of the following gates. You can move the image in any direction or click the arrows to explore the area virtually:
La Porte Del Bos
La Porte De La Combe
La Porte Des Tours
For me, these gates, especially La Porte Des Tours, are a reason to visit Domme. It’s an excellent emblem of the stories that happened in history. Here, we can realize our fantasies inspired by the medieval movies we watched on a screen.
With the ancient appearance of the gate, I think anybody would be able to easily imagine a fantasy of their own. You can imagine that you are a champion, knight, or princess roaming your kingdom. Or, it depends on your type!
Regardless, it’s a fantastic spot to satisfy your wanderlust… seeing new things, discovering historic places.
Actually, one of Domme’s gates, La Porte Des Tours, is more than just a monument to see. There’s an intriguing tale embedded in its towers.
Seven hundred years ago, in the early 1300s, La Porte Des Tours served as a prison of the Knight Templars during the trial against them. A Knight Templar is a fearless warrior belonging to a religious knighthood military order established during the Crusades.
While the Knight Templars were imprisoned, they have carved Templar graffiti on the walls of their prison. Today, hundreds of these Templar graffiti bear witness to the knights who lost their freedom.
These Templar graffitis were the proof of the knight’s devotion to their calling, even if they were imprisoned.
The Templar graffitis come with a code system involving series of geometric figures:
- Octagon – means the Grail
- Triangle surmounted by a cross – represents Golgatha
- Square – suggests Temple
- Circle – describes the Imprisonment
Reason #3: The Hidden Caves of Domme
Believe it or not, there is actually a cave within Domme. Guess where?
Well, the answer lies in the heart of the Domme, in its marketplace! There, you can find an entrance to a spectacular cave that was once used by the people of Domme as a hiding place during unsafe moments like battles and sieges.
You’ll be surprised that the entrance to the cave is inside a structure that seems like an ordinary beautiful town building.
What’s even more fascinating? Domme’s cave is the largest natural cave in Perigord Noir! Inside, there are stalactites and stalagmites to behold.
The “surprise” that there is a cave and the cave itself is another reason why visit Domme.
The tours inside the cave last for 45 minutes, and it ends on a lift that brings you to a viewpoint where you can view the best sceneries of Dordogne valley.
Picture taking is not allowed inside the cave. It’s a bummer because you cannot give yourself a photo souvenir. But, at the same time, it is a good thing as you can focus on admiring the rock formations inside the cave.
The tour is in French, though. But you can borrow English pamphlets to learn details about the cave.
Reason #4: Scenic view from Domme
After the cave tour, you’ll arrive at the northern portion of Domme, where you can have a panoramic view of the surroundings. Below, you’ll see the Dordogne River… and beyond that, there’s the view of the great plains and other towns.
Walk to the east of the viewpoint, and you’ll arrive at the public garden (Le Jardin Public). It is a place to be if you want to look at Dordogne Bridge much closer from above. Along the way to the public garden, you will encounter parts of the wall that surround Domme.
Though the garden needs a level-up on maintenance, this is perhaps the best part in Domme to have a picnic while watching the sunset. If the sky is clear, you can see the sky turn golden over the vast fields of Dordogne and its glitter river.
At the easternmost portion of the public garden, you can find a picturesque mill that shall complete your trip to Domme.
Reason #5: Fun in Dordogne River along Domme
Going to Domme could be advantageous for you if you want to have a trip with your friends and family. Camping sites and water sports activities in the Dordogne River will be there for all of you to have fun!
There are literally tens of campsites and resorts along the Dordogne River available for some kind of wild experience. Some have swimming pools in case you prefer not the running water.
You can rent a kayak or a canoe from the resorts and boat rentals all over the Domme to explore the Dordogne River. Pass under the bridge or drift further into other parts and see other really picture-perfect spots along the river.
Reason #6: Domme’s picturesque castles and nearby villages
From Domme, you can drift along the Dordogne River to explore different attractions near it. These attractions are a compelling reason why visit Domme.
Just look at this impressive cliff. It is just one of the sights you will see in kayaking or canoeing in the Dordogne River:
You can also visit the attractions by car. Most of these spots can be reached within minutes from Domme’s town center.
Here are some of the awe-inspiring places or castles that you can find during your Dordogne River cruise from Domme:
- Château de Montfort
- Château de la Malartrie
- Village of La Roque-Gageac
Château de Montfort
It is a majestic castle in the Dordogne River’s promontory overlooking Montfort Meander. When it was built in the early 13th century, people who wished to rule Perigord envied the grandiose it displayed.
Village of La Roque-Gageac
La Roque-Gageac is another beautiful village you can visit from Domme by kayak or canoe. It sits between a cliff and the river Dordogne, a picture-perfect view to see while drifting in the water. Visiting the La Roque-Gageac without a camera would be a big regret.
Château de la Malartrie
Château de la Malartrie is the castle that you can find beside the village of La Roque-Gageac. Like the first castle mentioned, it was constructed approximately 800 years ago. The Chateau de la Malartrie, together with the La Roque-Gageac, give a fairytale vibe to anyone who visits.
Reason #7: The lovely countryside vibe in Domme
With Domme and other beautiful attractions near Domme, absolutely, you can satisfy your fairytale wanderlust. How about some French countryside experience, do you want to have a try too?
If you’re coming from Domme, worry not!
Not more than 20 minutes of driving, you can arrive at the Farm Turnac, a producer of Froi Gras. It is a “delicacy” in which France is the primary producer and consumer. They also produce organic walnuts.
Inside the farm, you will see hundreds of ducks and geese everywhere. They offer a tour that will teach you the secrets of Froi Gras making, from breeding the ducks to finished products. There offer product tasting and sell products too.
Visitors encounter stunning countryside experiences in Farm Turnac. They go around and stay in spaces under trees in the shade for a campervan. “Beautiful farm, well guided during the visit.” they say.
If you’ve been to historical places, beautiful landmarks, lovely flower fields, Domme shall complete the bucket list with a countryside experience – a reason to visit Domme.
Reason #8: Sky-high experiences in Domme
Visiting Domme gets even more fun with Air Chateaux and Chute Libre Dordogne. They will let you see not only the beautiful village of Domme from the sky but also the entire Dordogne region.
They are once in a lifetime experience to have! This is an epic reason why visit Domme.
You can choose between a ULM flight or a free-fall experience.
If you want to have a chill flight with the birds above the beautiful castles, quaint villages, winding Dordogne river, go with Air Chateaux. This, perhaps, is the best way to see every majestic site in Perigord. Air Chateaux will bring you to:
- Chateau de Castelnaud
- Lacoste Castle
- Fayrac Castle
- Beynac Castle
- Castle and Gardens of Marqueyssac
- Giverzac Castle
… and many more by flight. That’s a fantastic experience!
They’ll bring you to the sky with Ultra Light Motorized Aircraft or a helicopter.
Here is the link to their Air Chateaux website to learn more.
Chute Libre Dordogne
Then, if you are afraid to fall, it’s time to conquer that fear with Chute Libre Dordogne! This is the reason why we travel, right? To conquer our fears, grow, and live our lives!
With Chute Libre Dordogne, you do free fall 3500 meters above the ground on your own, or with your friends, or with a tandem.
It’s the real deal!
The ascent lasts for 20 minutes. It’s gonna be a mix of excitement and nervousness. Yet, I believe you’ll be more excited!
The jump begins as soon as the plane reaches enough height. For 40 seconds, you’ll experience free fall with a speed of 200 km/h.
The view will be like you’re zooming-in Dordogne in Google Earth from your screen. Absolutely, it’s going to make you feel exhilarated!
After 40 seconds, the parachute spreads out, and you’ll stay in the air for 3 minutes and 7 seconds. This is an experience you’ll never forget, especially that there’s a graduation ceremony at the end of the jump.
Here’s the website of Chute Libre Dordogne if you want to learn more.
Reason #9: The Water Gardens of Carsac
Plant lovers, it’s your time.
After the quaint walled village, you can visit the water Gardens of Carsac and see hundreds of lilies and lotus everywhere you look!
For five consecutive years, this garden received a certificate of excellence from TripAdvisor – thus definitely a reason for you to visit Domme.
The garden is 3 hectares wide composed of pools, waterfalls, streams filled with vegetation adapted from America and Asia. Come from May to October, and you will see them bloom, beautifying the garden even more.
The water Gardens of Carsac also has the unique aquatic labyrinth or 550-meter footbridges on water. There you can look closer at the flora and fauna that live in the garden.
Reason #10: Les Jardins de Marqueyssac
Lastly, from Domme, you can visit another remarkable garden called Les Jardins de Marqueyssac. It is a site in Dordogne listed as France’s National Historical Monument and a place that will captivate you with pure elegance.
The beauty of Les Jardins de Marqueyssac is hard to explain by words, so here’s the video to introduce the garden appropriately:
When I watched it, I was so impressed!
The picturesque garden has 6 kilometers of pathways surrounded by over 150 000 hand-pruned boxwoods. I think it is a place where you should bring your partner for a romantic walk. Surely it’s going to be loved!
Les Jardins de Marqueyssac is located on a hilltop above the Dordogne river. Like, Domme, you can expect scenic views from the garden.
If you want to have an Instagram photo that can gain hundreds of likes, perhaps this is the place you can capture it! I think Les Jardins de Marqueyssac has a perfect view during golden hour when the sun makes the beautiful angle with the horizon.
Alright! Those are the 10 most beautiful experiences that you can find in Domme. So let’s answer the question now:
Is Domme Worth Visiting?
Domme is nice to visit, and its quaint walled village is enough to satisfy your wanderlust. However, the nearby activities and attractions will be the ones that shall make your trip absolutely memorable. The scenic views, beautiful castles and gardens, and the live-life experiences that surround Domme are the reason why you should come.
Photos to inspire you Visit Domme, France
If you need more inspiration to visit Domme, here are 5 more photos to convince you to travel to Domme and Dordogne valley:
Save it on Pinterest.
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