Generous wooded hills, a serene river lined with tall trees cliffs The Vézère valley in Périgord is a haven of greenery where you can enjoy a leisurely stroll.
Landscapes and prehistory
While the slopes are densely wooded, on the alluvial plain, mixed farming and livestock rearing have shaped a mosaic landscape, dotted with walnut and chestnut trees, where small, generally narrow plots of land are home to diversified, high-quality produce. Settlement is traditionally dispersed. The main market towns and numerous hamlets often have a remarkable architectural character, with lauze roofs most impressive.
But the landscapes of the valley would be nothing without the beautiful limestone cliffs that run alongside the river from Sergeac and Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère to Limeuil. These cliffs, up to a hundred metres high, are the very essence of the valley. They bear the traces of exceptional prehistoric and historic human occupation (prehistoric shelters, troglodytic dwellings from the Middle Ages) and hide at their heart a heritage that is unique in the world: the famous painted caves, the most famous of which is Lascaux at Montignac-Lascaux.
Grand Site de France
The Vézère valley, from Terrasson-Lavilledieu to Limeuil, is home to a exceptional archaeological heritage of worldwide renown. Through its ancestral occupation, man has always maintained a close link with the physical components of the valley, and with its landscape in particular: this entire territory is the bearer of symbols and heritage values that give the Vézère valley a strong cultural dimension.
Since 2009, aware of the heritage they hold in their hands, local authorities have embarked on an operation to protect their heritage. Grand Site de France.
On 31 January 2020, the Vézère valley became the 20th Grand Site de France and the second in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region!