Sarlat-la-Canéda, the “capital” of Périgord Noir, lies in a hollow between hills 10km or so back from the Dordogne river and is undoubtedly the big tourist draw of the region. You hardly notice the modern town, as it’s the mainly fifteenth- and sixteenth-century houses of the vieille ville in mellow, honey-coloured stone that draw the attention.
In a region famous for its markets, Sarlat’s twice-weekly (Wed & Sat) offering is particularly notable for its size and the range of produce on offer. Of the two, the Saturday market is the largest, spreading down from northerly av Gambetta to place du 14-Juillet. The stalls that crowd the main drag are a rather uninspired selection of clothes, shoes and mass-produced crafts; veer off towards place de la Liberté, however, and you’ll find stalls selling everything from seasonal fruit and veg (not to mention truffles) to foie gras, walnut wine and nougat. It’s an irresistable Sarlat experience, but get there early as most stalls start packing up at around 12.30pm.