Bergerac is the second largest town in the Dordogne, second only to the administrative capital, Perigueux. As the centre of a major wine-producing area, with a river port with access to the sea via Bordeaux, Bergerac was formerly the most important town in the region. Now it is a busy market townwith a mediaeval heart.
|Apart from the well-known "Bergerac" wine, the region makes a range
of wines including Pecharmont, Montravel and Montbazillac. Most of the vineyards lie
on the flood plain of the River Dordogne, and on the slopes of the low
rolling hills bounding the plain to its north.
La Citadelle stands in the Montravel sub-region to the west and north or Bergerac.
has a busy international airport (code ECG) with daily flights from very
many parts of the British Isles (although not Paris!). This provides
very easy access to La
(less than half an hour), with all the usual international car hire
companies present at the airport. Currently (2007) the low-cost airline
serving Bergerac are Ryanair, Flybe, and BMIbaby.
|Its excellent harbour on the great River Dordogne helps to explain
Bergerac's importance. From here the "gabarres" or river barges carried
the wine downstream to the seaport of Bordeaux.
Today the gabarres carry tourists up and down the beautiful river.
Their is a flea market down by the river on the first Sunday of every month.
|Bergerac is a very important town, with large industrial and
commercial centres on its periphery, and it also stands on the main
east-west road along the river.
It is worth visiting its bustling commercial centre and mediaeval heart. There is good parking in the Place de la Republique, and a lot of free parking on the edge of the river in the "old town".
There is an excellent saturday morning market around the church in the town centre on Saturday mornings and a slightly smaller one on Wednesdays. These markets sell the best strawberries in the world, grown locally, from March to November.
|The commercial centre of Bergerac is packed with shops, really
rather like a busy country town in England twenty or thirty years ago,
before the chains took over.
As well as supplying
the necessities of French provincial life, there are many galleries,
restaurants, and museums, as befits an important tourist centre, and the
main international gateway to the Dordogne.
|The "old town" lies between the main shopping streets and the river. It is very compact, and is packed with mediaeval buildings. You can walk along by the river here or take a river trip.|