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Issigeac - a circular bastide

Issigeac, a little bastide town in the Dordogne department of south-west France, is both rare and intriguing. Instead of being built to the usual pattern of a bastide, that is, in a square shaped grid arrangement radiating from a central arcaded square, this little walled bastide is actually circular, and is quite stunning especially seen from the air. It lies in the beautiful countryside that typifies the popular Dordogne, and offers gorgeous landscapes of vineyards, wheat fields, rivers and lakes.

Mediaeval mixed with bastide

There is a truly rather unique ambience to Issigeac, as instead of being purely bastide (built around the time of the Hundred Years War), parts of this village are considerably older, and it has traces of its mediaeval ancestry in the old stone buildings as well as in the bastide style houses with their exposed timbers.

Places to visit in Issigeac

Among the interesting sights to see is the highly individually decorated "House of Heads". Exactly as its name says, this house has lots of wooden heads sculpted into its exterior, giving you the impression of being watched as you look around Issigeac! Also worth seeing is the 17th century Bishop's Palace and also St Felicien's Church. The latter is a distinctive edifice, with an impressive spire and an octagonal bell tower.

Facilities on offer in Issigeac

Issigeac is really little more than a large village, but it has a quite extensive selection of shops and services. There is a good little primary school, a clutch of local shops supplying items such as bread, pastries and fruit and veg. It also has a small supermarket or two, a post office, tabac, a doctor and a dentist... so you can see that your everyday needs will be well catered for in Issigeac!

Markets and more

Issigeac uses its unique ambience to the full, and offers you the quintessential French experience of the traditional street market every Sunday morning. Browse the multicoloured stalls at your leisure, picking up a local delicacy here, a new fashionable treasure there or simply a basket full of gleaming fresh local produce.

Night markets and concerts

If this is your sort of pleasure, take it a step further in Issigeac and try the night markets too. On a balmy summer evening what could be nicer than spending an hour or two viewing the beautifully displayed arts and crafts, trying a creamy farm produced cheese or perhaps tasting a new wine? Afterwards you can maybe catch an open air concert held at St Felicien's Church, or maybe there will be a festival of some sort going on in the town centre. Issigeac is a village that really celebrates life.

Gourmet delights

The Dordogne is renowned for its gastronomy, which is rich in delicious duck products, truffles and fruits. Issigeac has a number of good restaurants where you can enjoy sampling this wonderful cuisine, and all these establishments will offer a very tempting wine list too, with local wines from places such as Bergerac, Bordeaux and Cahors featuring strongly.

Out and about

Issigeac and its environs offer a chance to see some of the prettiest countryside and loveliest towns and villages in France, so do get out and about and make sure you don't miss places such as Sarlat la Canéda and the great wine city of Bergerac. The Dordogne is full of stunning gorges and rivers, and these also offer opportunities for sports such as canoeing, kayaking, swimming and walking.

How to get there

Bergerac has an airport which makes air travel a good choice if you want to get to Issigeac and it's also possible to fly to Bordeaux. Bergerac is served by flybe and Ryanair while Bordeaux is served by British Airways, flybe, bmibaby, Aer Lingus and easyJet. The TGV runs to Libourne, giving train travellers another choice, and travelling by road is straightforward, with the town being located from the N21 then the D14.

Property prices and availability in and around Issigeac

The Dordogne is popular, and in certain parts of the department prices have risen sharply in accordance with demand, especially from foreign buyers. There are still bargains to be found, although you have to act quickly when they turn up! Look out for traditional type properties, with stone village houses and farms especially sought after.

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Issigeac AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Issigeac?

Issigeac is situated in south-west France. It lies in the south of the Dordogne department, close to the border with the Lot-et-Garonne department.

Issigeac Property Map


Aquitaine Guide

Aquitaine Property Map


Dordogne Guide

  Dordogne Map

Population: 615

Access: By air: Fly to Bergerac or Bordeaux. By road: Issigeac lies on the D14. By rail: The train will take you to Bergerac, or you can take a TGV to Libourne.

Economy: The economy is primarily agricultural. Cereals are grown and there are a good number of vineyards.

Interesting fact: Issigeac is a bastide town, but instead of being built to a square grid pattern like its sister bastides, it is a circular walled town.

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