Worth A Trip: Fortified Villages in the Dordogne

If your curiosity is piqued by the bastide towns of Issigeac and Monpazier, be sure to roam the countryside in search of some less well-known but equally beautiful villages.

Beaumont-du-Périgord (15km east of Issigeac) features a large central square, fortified church, and Monday night market. One of its bastide gates leads straight into the countryside, and the tourist office has lists of walks and maps.

Belvès (16km northeast of Monpazier) has yellow-gold houses strung across a gorgeous hilltop, while Villefranche-du-Périgord (20km southeast of Monpazier), is another bastide with an enormous covered market in the central square. Teeny Prats-du-Périgord is for Romanesque architecture lovers, with its moody, fortified Église St-Maurice.