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One could say that the whole of the Dordogne Valley is a viewpoint and some are truly spectacular. Here's our pick of the region's gorgeous vistas and the top places to enjoy the most stunning natural heritage.
Le Rocher du Peintre
When you plan a visit to a viewpoint called 'Artist's Rock', you know you're in for a treat! Mastering the Gorges de la Cère, Le Rocher du Peintre awards visitors with remarkable views over a never-ending valley of wilderness that is more than worth the hike up.
Try to make a visit at sunset for a spectacular show of colours. If you've already got plans (i.e shovelling foie gras at the local night market), then prepare some sarnies and settle down for lunch at one of the picnic tables. Nothing better than lunch with a view!
For years, visitors in search of stunning views of Rocamadour in its entirety have headed to L'Hospitalet. Nestled on a neighbouring plateau, this village offers commanding vistas over the sacred city and the Alzou Canyon that can be enjoyed from the carpark opposite Hôtel Bellevue. Another remarkable viewpoint is situated on the way to the castle.
Hamlet of Siran near Autoire
A trip to Autoire would not complete without swinging by the belvedere in Siran for a photo shoot of the splendid scenes over the gorges, waterfall and village. To get there, drive out of the village towards the south the follow the signs for Siran. After several kilometres, you'll find a car park and a path leading to the belvedere. There is also a hiking path leading to the plateau. It is quite steep but the views are definitely worth the effort.
It's best to see Autoire from Siran after wet weather when visitors can marvel at the hefty waterfall crashing to the valley floor.
Built on a rocky promontory, the fortified village of Loubressac looks out over one of the most harmonious landscapes in the Dordogne Valley. At various points around Loubressac, visitors are able to admire distant views of castles like Turenne, Castelnau-Bretenoux and Montal as well as the village of Saint-Céré, the cirque of Autoire and even the foothills of the Massif Central.
The best panoramas can be enjoyed at the lawns next to the castle.
Château de Saint-Laurent-les-Tours
Sat on a hill 200 metres high, the castle of Saint-Laurent-les-Tours boasts jaw-dropping views over the medieval village of Saint-Céré and the lush countryside of the Dordogne Valley. While you are there, do not miss a visit in the Jean Lurçat museum of tapestry. The collection is amazing and the location simply breathtaking!
Belvedere de Copeyre
After a day of lounging around on the natural beach, head to the Belvedere de Copeyre on the opposite shore for 360° panoramas over the Dordogne and the Causse de Floirac. Admire the lush woodlands, jagged limestone cliffs and pebble islets whilst canoeists gently paddle down the river below your feet...
Roc des Monges, Saint-Sozy
Whether you decide to hike up or drive up, the panorama from the top of Roc des Monges is simply breathtaking. Straight above the Dordogne River with open views over the villages of Saint-Sozy and Meyronne, you will feel on top of the world ! The hike up (or down) is equally amazing with a real jungle feel and caves on the way. But it is quite steep and you will need good footwear.
Château de Taillefer, Gintrac
After a stroll around the pretty village of Gintrac, climb up to the ruins of the castle of Taillefer for a unique view over the river and valley.
The fortified town of Domme has for centuries stood guard high above the river, commanding a magnificent panorama over the Dordogne Valley. In addition to the village's charming cobbled streets and honey-coloured houses to die for, visitors come in search of its spectacular views from the terraced belvedere.
From this watch-out, lap up the 180 degree views across the Dordogne river and lush countryside as well as other picturesque villages including Beynac and La Roque Gageac.
As you wind up the narrow streets of the medieval village of Beynac, every twist in the pavement seems to offer another splendid outlook and another photo opportunity. One of the most commanding views lies a short walk from the top of the village. To find it, step just out of the village and wander uphill until the view opens.
Straight ahead you'll see the Château de Castelnaud hanging on a cliff in the distance, Château de Fayrac just right of the rail bridge and the Jardins de Marquessac to the right.
Along with the superb views from the village, another highlight is the eye-popping vistas over the Dordogne river and surrounding countryside from within the castle grounds. Whilst the sensational views from Domme and Château de Castelnaud are best in the morning, make sure you plan a visit to Beynac late afternoon for the best light.
Le Puy du Pauliac
Less than 2 miles from Aubazine, the Puy de Pauliac provides a stunning panorama of the region with views of the Monédières to the North and the Causses to the South. Stroll though the forest of chestnut woods and up to the summit where you'll be awarded with a sumptuous 360° view.
Roche de Vic
Dominating the landscape at 636 metres is the Roche de Vic. With its pretty chapel crowning the summit, walkers can enjoy both the site's history and extensive 360 degree views across the valley from the viewing table.
Roc du Busatier
A great place to stop for a breather and to take some holiday snaps is at the Roc du Busatier viewpoint. Offering similar panoramas to Le Rocher du Peintre but over the Gorges of the Dordogne, hikers looking for some one-on-one time with the Dordogne river should definitely hit the Roc du Busatier...
Le Cingle de Trémolat
The village of Trémolat offers numerous outlooks over the Dordogne Valley and its lush landscapes. One of particular note is from the Belvedere with panoramas stretching 180 degrees across an enormous bend in the Dordogne River, with hills on the outside and sweeping fields inside the loop.
During summer, the view can become rather obstructed by the trees so to avoid any disappointment, take the path to the left or right of the main viewpoint for a clearer view.