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Le Bugue - where past and present come together

The town of Le Bugue, which lies in the south-west of France in the lovely Dordogne department of the Aquitaine region, is a place where past and present come together and form a vibrant future. The town is famed mainly for the pre-historic sites that lie close by, but to say that this is all there is to Le Bugue would be to do it a great disservice. Le Bugue has many more recent attractions, including a beautiful setting, a rich culture and a superb selection of sporting and leisure facilities as well as a great standard of living.

On a bend in the river...

Le Bugue occupies an idyllic setting, on a bend in the River Vézère close to the point where it meets up with the River Dordogne. Cool, dark woodlands climb the hills behind the town, forming a glorious backdrop to the confluence of the rivers. And with its strategic position at the gateway to the Vézère Valley, Le Bugue is indeed fortunate in its natural riches, which, taken alone, would attract visitors to the town in droves.

History of Le Bugue

Le Bugue does not need to rely on its natural beauty alone, however, to draw the crowds. The town has long been noted for its lovely historic buildings and attractive narrow streets dating from the 19th century when Le Bugue was almost totally redesigned and rebuilt. It has two important churches, of Saint Sulpice and Saint Marcel, and a very lovely arched bridge that spans the river and provides a distinctive focal point.

Bara-Bahau and Gouffre de Proumeyssac

It is a point much further back in time, however, that is the most notable feature of Le Bugue. There are sites close by that are said to date back into a time known as pre-history, and it is these that really put Le Bugue on the map. Visit the cave of Bara-Bahau, where you can see genuine cave dwellers' drawings on the walls, or travel a few kilometres further south to find the Gouffre de Proumeyssac, with its stunning display of crystalline stalactites.

Le Bugue in present times...

However much history there may be, the present day must concern those who would visit or live in Le Bugue. Fortunately, the town has just as much to offer on this score too, with great shopping facilities, some exceptionally good restaurants, excellent general amenities such as education and health care, and some of the best cultural, sporting and leisure facilities of any comparable town in the region.

Le Bugue's markets

Le Bugue has a large and popular market on Tuesday mornings (causes a bit of a traffic jam sometimes in summer holiday periods!) and a smaller (fresh produce only) market confined to the area around the Mairie on Saturday mornings.

Le Bugue's sporting and leisure activities

Le Bugue offers the largest privately owned aquarium in Europe, for example, and this is a really good way to not only entertain the kids, but to ensure that they learn something along the way. Then there are canoe sports on the river and the pièce de resistance, the replica village constructed on the outskirts of Le Bugue to demonstrate life in a 19th century town. Here is history in action, and this colourful experience allows you to see traditional craftsmen at work, to witness the old farming methods and to generally partake briefly in a lifestyle that disappeared from the French countryside many years ago.

How to get there

Bergerac airport is near enough to Le Bugue to be very useful, and it is served by Ryanair and flybe, who offer regular direct flights from the UK. Bordeaux is also within reach, which is served by British Airways, bmibaby, Aer Lingus, easyJet and flybe. You can also choose to travel by train, first on Eurostar, then by the super efficient TGV which will stop at Libourne or Bordeaux in about four hours. Le Bugue has a railway station for linking services from the TGV, making rail travel an easy alternative. If you prefer to drive, the town is located on the D710 road.

Property prices and availability in and around Le Bugue

The Dordogne has become a very popular area in recent years, so don't expect house prices to be the lowest you will see in France. There are huge advantages to buying property in a popular area, however, and one is that it is usually possible to rent out the property in a town such as Le Bugue easily and for a good rate. There is a large range of property types available in and around Le Bugue, and opportunities to live in the town itself to take full advantage of the amenities, or to live in the surrounding countryside to enjoy the glorious setting.

your comments...

1. Market information supplied by Gillian Kendall (added 2/10/08)...

Additional information on Le Bugue's markets was very kindly supplied by Gillian Kendall. Many thanks to her for helping us keep our site up-to-date and helping us to improve our property guide!

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WHERE IS Le Bugue?

Le Bugue is situated in the south-west of France. It lies in the south of the Dordogne department.

Le Bugue Property Map


Aquitaine Guide

Aquitaine Property Map


Dordogne Guide

  Dordogne Map

Population: 2,278

Access: By air: Fly to nearby Bergerac or to Bordeaux. By road: Head for Bordeaux and then Bergerac from Paris. The town is accessed from the D710. By rail: Travel by Eurostar, TGV and local train all the way to Le Bugue SNCF station.

Economy: The economy is a mixture of traditional agriculture, commerce and tourism.

Interesting fact: La Bugue is most famed for its pre-historic sites, despite the many beautiful characteristics of the little town itself.

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