Argentat - A Perfect Place to Relax by the Dordogne
We were heading southwest coming out of the Auvergne region and the Parc Des Volcans (very picturesque) and started to drive through the upper section of the Dordogne River valley.
The Dordogne River still is relatively unknown to most travellers and it is sometimes simply seen as the route to get to Bordeaux at the mouth of the Dordogne and the Atlantic Ocean.
There are however, so many little towns and villages and wonderful sights that you really have to plan to take your time through this region. One of the 'must see' places in the Upper Dordogne region is the lovely town of Argentat.
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As you enter the town, one of its main features is the bridge that spans the Dordogne River. Both sides of town offer beautiful things to see including the Church of St. Pierre.
Wonderful French Charm
The quay on the north side of the river offers wonderful waterfront views, lodging and restaurants with outdoor patios.
You immediately feel that French charm with the old buildings, the abundant flowers and if you are lucky - a classic car...
Restaurant: Auberges des Gabariers
Well, being late in the afternoon we were fairly hungry. So after admiring the classic Pugeot seen above, we checked out the menus from the restaurants and decided upon Auberges des Gabariers, where we have eaten on a previous back-roads adventure.
Literally, the name translates to Inn (or restaurant) of the Barges or Riverboats - which were originally used along the river for transporting goods.
After a nice glass of wine we soaked up the views and atmosphere and pondered our meals. The meal selection was very good but my buddy Mark gravitated to an unusual appetizer which translated to 'small fish'. It was so good I had to try a similar dish a few days later in another town.
Here is a sampling of some of the dishes from our group, including:
- Small Fish
- Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad
- Smoked Salmon
- Scallops Fettucini
- Crème brûlée
A Stroll along the Quay
After a fantastic meal we decided to do a bit of a stroll. The Quay ends up turning into a walkway alongside the river. There are lots of wonderful photo opportunities.
This most recent visit was in late May, so all of the flowers were not yet in bloom. So I have added a few images from a prior trip when we visited in early July.
This quiet town also has a very unique building architecture, including turrets and slate gray roof tiles that are typical of this region.
The Dordogne Meanders Onwards...
You get the impression as you see the Dordogne flowing on past Argentat that it is a slow meandering river. In actual fact though, it is moving fairly quickly as evidenced when watching a canoeist without paddling.
The river grasses which reach the water's surface by July, swoop over to the flow of the river. It truly is beautiful, giving that false impression of a lazy river.
On to the next town, the Dordogne continues its journey, meandering its way through the valleys on its way to Bordeaux...
Stay tuned for more ‘back roads’ blogposts of other wonderful highlights along the Dordogne River, including La Roque Gageac and Rocamadour > RVDH…