Visit Argentat in the Valley of the Dordogne

 

Argentat is a small town in the southern Correze, at the heart of the Valley of the Dordogne region. It won’t take you long to explore and discover the highlights but be sure you do because it is a very lovely little town in an enviable setting.

The old town in Argentat, the region behind the quais a little up the hill from the river, has some exceptional buildings to discover, dating mostly from the 16th-17th centuries, including among others the Maison Delmas, which is a very lovely house but perhaps a little overly restored – I suspect that M Delmas would hardly recognise it.

The roofs of Argentat contribute considerably to its charm, being slate / stone rooves frequently punctuated with small decorative roof windows. Various other achitectural highlights will also catch your attention as you explore, such as round turrets, a little chapel, and various examples of decorative stonework.

But the highlight in Argentat is surely the section along the river, both the quais with a wide terrace and several cafes fronting on to the river and backed by very lovely houses, and the ‘promenades’ which follow along the river front. The kind of place which will have you rushing to look in estate agent windows – I would love to have a little house on this stretch of the river!

I would advise you to get the little guide map from Argentat tourist office and follow it exactly – head off up side streets as well, of course, but many of the grand buildings are quite well hidden away and might otherwise escape your amblings.

If the tourist office is closed be sure as a minimum to follow (1) the Rue Sainte Claire that leaves Place Delmas next to the Maison Delmas) (2) the quais area along the river (3) cross the bridge next to the quais for the view back to the town and to see the little cluster of streets on the left bank of the Dordogne River around Rue Pourty de l’Isle.

The region around the town also contains many highlights, with small castles (interestingly less ‘medieval defensive’ style than those further west along the Dordogne, but also less decorative than the renaissance castles in the Loire Valley), villages that are little more than a cluster of houses around a tiny church, and a great deal of beautiful countryside.