Because of the international airport, Bergerac is, for many, the gateway to Bordeaux, Perigueux, or the rest of the Dordogne. But Bergerac is one of the largest wine growing areas of the Aquitaine, and while the name may not be as prestigious, there's a lot of excellent wine being produced here. Many of the best places to stay in Bergerac are ideal for exploring not just the vineyards, but the miriad villages with their weekly markets that adorn the surrounding countryside.
Bergerac sits amongst picturesque hills, covered in vineyards, a beautiful old town right beside a bustling new one. It's one of the largest towns in the Dordogne, and capital of the Perigord Pourpre, a name which comes from the rich purple-y-red of of the wine which come from these rolling hills of vines.
One of the best places to stay in Bergerac is the old town. The bit between the main square and the top of the hill - St Jacques church sits on top. Here photogenic streets open onto charming squares. Some of the best of Bergerac's medieval buildings can be seen along La rue Saint Clar. These are of the half-timbered type where the top floor hangs out over the lower level.
If you're here for Bergerac's 13 wine appellations, you'll want to start your visit at the Maison des Vins de Bergerac in the Recollets convent. As well as tastings they have an interactive display focused on the different smells of wine. From there visit the Musee du Vin et de la Batellerie, a museum to winemaking traditions, and the local river boats that once took the wine out of Bergerac to be sold. If the idea of that takes your fancy you can do an atmospheric river cruise, leaving from the Vieux Port.
The Bergerac market is on Saturdays, and well worth organising your visit around. It's one of the most colourful markets in the Dordogne.
Bergerac has several notable statues of Cyrano de Bergerac, complete with generous sized nose. But the town is making a lot more of this connection than they should. The real man, Hercule-Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac, the French dramatist and duelist, probably only spent two or three days here over the course of his life. And while he did have a large nose, the whopper people supposedly came from miles around to see was invented by Edmond Rostand in his play loosely based on Cyrano's life.
The best places to stay in Bergerac can get very busy and booked up in the busy summer season. So plan well ahead or else come in the quieter months when the sun is still shining!
Still undecided? Browse through our list of all the best places to stay in Bergerac, or call, or email, one of our gurus for advice. Want to widen the remit? Take a look at all our recommendations in the Dorgogne.
A dreamy sand stone chateau set in the surrounds of golf courses, vineyards and forests. Contemporary rooms in the chateau and in its two separate villas. Two fantastic restaurants, spa, swimming pool, and activities abound. Perfect spot for families, foodies, and relaxers.
Beautiful rooms epitomise this 16th century chateau - fourposter beds and antique furnishings. The Relais is the eco-friendly sister hotel sited next to 27 hole golf course. Cosy spa and Michelin star restaurant.
A charming 17th century manor house in the sprawling countryside. Luxurious and rustic rooms with attractive furnishings and private balconies. Fantastic French restaurant and organic breakfasts in the garden. Swimming pool, views, fresh air. Lots to do in the rolling hills and nearby lake.