For a romantic stroll, a day out with the kids or simply to admire some amazing cultural heritage, picture-perfect gardens are a speciality in the Dordogne Valley.

Jardins Sothys in Auriac - @ Malika Turin

Jardins de Sothys

At the end of a roller coaster stretch of road through the French countryside and gorges of the Dordogne, the exceptional botanical garden of Sothys awaits.
Source of inspiration for Sothys renowned beauty products, the site's beautifully preserved setting has become a natural laboratory dedicated to plant research and the benefits of their vast active ingredients.

 

Feast on one of the delicious lunch menus served in the converted barn before hitting the gardens for a digestive stroll. Your tummy will thank us!

Jardins de Marqueyssac

Vézac is home to one of the pretties sceneries in the Dordogne Valley: The Jardins de Marqueyssac. Attracting more visitors than any other garden in the area, this exceptional piece of topiary art is an oasis of peace and tranquility.
Marqueyssac's cliff-hanging garden surrounds a superb 17th century chateau and boasts a 130 metre high belvedere viewpoint where visitors can enjoy soaring views over the Dordogne Valley.


The site is the work of Julien de Cerval who found inspiration in Italy to create a formal garden with an Italian touch. 150,000 box trees, 3.5 miles of shady alleys and 2 centuries later, this lush maze of green sculptures continues to be carved into different shapes and sizes by expert gardeners.

Wander around the terraces of swirls and bubbles and up along the lengthy promenade to admire the immaculately clipped rosemary and santolina with only rockeries and waterways as neighbours.
Every Thursday evening in July and August, Marqueyssac opens its doors for visitors to explore the gardens by candlelight. Live music, animations and kids entertainment are also on the programme. The garden is celebrating its 20 year anniversary with loads of surprises in store, so don't forget to check out what's going on.

Gardens of Eyrignac

Jardins d'Eyrignac

With more than 25 acres of French gardens and green sculptures trimmed to perfection, the Manor and Gardens of Eyrignac have been handed down from generation to generation (22 to be exact) since the middle ages.
Built in the 17th century with the local golden stone and slate tiles, the graveled courtyard boasts two smaller stone buildings and a charming pond.

Despite the gardens having seven different themes, the intricate geometric patterns prevail throughout the visit with more than 300 plant sculptures taking centre stage.
The ornamental fountains and ponds are simply divine and certainly contribute to the airiness of this topiary haven.
Rendez-vous this Summer for an evening picnic in the White Garden with live music, cocktails and a cracking sunset over the Dordogne Valley.

Gardens of Lostanges

Jardin de Lostanges

Travel through the 800m marked trail and discover Jardin de Lostanges's 500 species of plants that come from around the globe.
From Canada to Patagonia and Siberia to New Zealand, this botanical garden is a dream come true for any amateur gardener on vacation.

 

Jardins de Colette

The Jardins de Colette boast six interlinking gardens spread over five hectares, a metaphorical tour of France dedicated to the life and work of French writer Sidonie Gabrielle Colette.
The simplicity of the garden's landscape and water displays are reputably apeasing and truly reflect where and how Colette had lived. With its mosaics, flowers and colourful walls, blue is a promenant colour as the author always wrote on blue paper.
The kids will love the giant maze, hopscotch, dominoes and pick up sticks...

Gardens of Cadiot

Jardins de Cadiot

Created in the 1980's, these gardens allow nature to grow and artistic creations to flourish.
Full of romanticism with various fountains and rose gardens, les Jardins de Cadiot are not only beautiful but also environmentally friendly as they ban the use of chemical products in order to protect the biodiversity.

Jardins de l'Imaginaire

Overlooking the Vézère River and the historic town of Terrasson, the Jardins de l'Imaginaire will take you through 15 acres of landscaped terraces decorated with fragrant roses, lashings of wisteria, exotic vegetation and contemporary water gardens.
A game with the human senses and elements that plays out in a dozen different scenes.

 

Les Jardins d'Eau

Wish to cool down amongst the most exotic flowers in the Dordogne Valley ? Then the water gardens in Carsac-Aillac are the place for you! Meander on paths and bridges over lotus, white water lilies and 200 different species of plants...A peaceful atmosphere in blossom between the 1st of May and the end of September.

Fountain in the gardens of Château de la Treyne

Château de la Treyne

With the Dordogne River on one side and a magnificent garden with 300 acre forest on the other, Château de la Treyne is kept under tight wraps for only its visitors to enjoy.
Feast on a Michelin-starred lunch on the terrace before setting out on a walk along the truffle-hiding oaks and century-old cedars.

 

Jardins de l’Ancien Couvent

Following your visit to the village of Meyronne, remember to call into the Jardins de l’Ancien Couvent, a contemporary landscape park brimming with age-old plants, charming water features, ponds and sculptures.
The garden's overhanging position offers its visitors exquisite views over the Dordogne river and the surrounding woodlands.
There are no entrance fees however a small donation is asked. 

Château des Milandes

Château des Milandes

Despite the original garden laid out in the 15th century, Château des Milandes was only recently rewarded a 'jardin à la française' during its renovation in the early 1900s.
The extensive gardens are set over several terraces in the formal French style and beautifully complement the castle's Renaissance architecture.

 

Visitors can stroll along the ornate parterres bordered with gravel paths and mature trees and listen to the song of exotic birds from the aviaries.
Remember to keep an eye out for the topiary gargoyles!

Château de Hautefort

A battleground where formal French gardens and an English-style park come face-to-face in a war of boxwoods and oak trees.
The gorgeous castle and lush views over the village and countryside make a stunning backdrop for the embroidery of neatly trimmed parterres. Heaven!

Exotic gardens of La Roque-Gageac

Exotic gardens of La Roque-Gageac

While visiting the charming village of La Roque-Gageac, do not miss a walk around the back streets under the cliff. You are in for a wonderful surprise!
The microclimate of the medieval village has made it the perfect place for exotic plants and tropical flowers to grow: plam trees, orange trees, mediteranean terraces... And it's free!

 

Le Jardin Médieval

The village of Cardaillac has it all: A mighty fort, a glorious church and a medieval garden (oh and the title of 'The Most Beautiful Villages of France'.)
Embark on an educational tour around the gardens to learn about the origines of its medicinal plants and how they were put to good use in the Middle Ages.
A great alternative to some of the Dordogne's more formal garden visits.

 

Jardins Panoramiques de Limeuil

Lingering above the intersection of the Dordogne and the Vézère, the Limeuil panoramic gardens benefit from one of the best 360° views in the Dordogne Valley.
Summertime brings adults and children to participate in the garden's natural dye and beekeeping workshops.

 

Note: Every year in June, hundreds of public and private gardens in the Dordogne Valley open their gates for 'Rendez-Vous aux Jardins'. Don't miss this exclusive opportunity to nose around some of the area's prettiest privately owned estates.