"Remarkable garden" is a label bestowed by the French Ministry of Culture, to acknowledge the garden's originality, maintenance and quality of hospitality. Aquitaine has no fewer than 31 to date.
The gardens at the château de Hautefort
The 17th-century château strikes an elegant silhouette above the village of Hautefort. It's listed as a historic French monument, boasting English and French gardens that enhance the site remarkably with boxwood embroidery and pretty perspectives. From the outer walls, the sight is striking.
Do you know what "l’or noir du Périgord" is? That's right! Truffles. Take in a tour of the truffle museum in Sorges to find out all about it. An experience calling on all your senses.
The jardins de l’Imaginaire in Terrasson-the-Villedieu
In the town of Terrasson, there is an enchanted garden, overlooking the Vézère, not far from Lascaux: the Jardins de l’Imaginaire, or imaginary gardens. Visitors embark on a quirky circuit of 13 tableaux featuring a rich array of symbols mingling in with contemporary architecture, water, wind and of course plants - including a superb rose garden - and landscapes. These tastefully laid out gardens were designed by landscape artist Kathryn Gustafson and architect Ian Ritchie.
Explore the nearby village of Saint-Amand de Coly, with its 12th-century fortified abbey where you can attend concerts in the summer.
The gardens at Eyrignac manor in Salignac-Eyvigues
First created in the 18th century, listed as a historic French monument, a rare example of gardens à la française, selected for the Grand Prix for gardens in France. The Eyrignac manor gardens are a perfect example of topiary art. 40 kilometres of hedges featuring hornbeams, yews and boxwood, sculpted by hand and cypresses with an Italian air: these gardens are decidedly romantic, with a grove of words and a lovers' chamber, messages full of wishes and promises. The same family has lived and loved here for the past 500 years, that's 22 generations !
Visit Saint-Geniès, a village with plenty of personality, with flat-stone roofed houses, a 13th-century château and a 12th-century church.
The hanging gardens in Marqueyssac, Vézac
130m above the Dordogne, these gardens are like a treasure trove. Imagine 150,000 sculpted boxwoods marking out winding alleys, extravagant oaks, cypresses adorning the terraces in Le Nôtre style. The gardens feature a games area where you can play old-fashioned games and a labyrinth for the kids.
To do, to see
Take a trip on the Dordogne aboard a traditional gabare boat from Beynac for a view from below after the view from above!
On Thursday nights in the summer, the gardens are lit with 2,000 candles. Music is laid on as a beautiful finishing touch and there are shows and workshops for the kids: truly magical!