Eymet is a medieval bastide town in the Dordogne situated approximately 20 kms south of Bergerac.

A town steeped in history

Eymet has been inhabited since pre-historic times but as a medieval town, it was founded by Alphonse de Poitiers in 1270. It is a good example of a layout of the handful of medieval bastide towns found in the south of the department of the Dordogne with straight roads leading to/from a central square. The roads criss-cross the rest of the town centre. Like all typical bastide towns, many of the buildings around the edge of the square are arcaded with a mix of stone and colombage facades.

Unusually for a bastide town, Eymet boasts a castle which existed before the town was built.

The Hundred Years War was a series of conflicts fought between the kingdoms of England and France during the late Middle Ages. It originated from English claims to the French throne. Eymet was an important stronghold during the war and changed hands several times during the conflicts.

The river Dropt runs close to the bastide and was once navigated by gabarres that transported goods along the river including wine. It is no longer used for navigation.

So much to see and do

Today Eymet is a popular town to visit in the Dordogne with a good selection of bars, cafés and restaurants. There is a wide range of events taking place from live music to night markets, from photography and art exhibitions to car boot sales, from aperitifs in the castle’s garden to classic car get-togethers. You can also hire canoes, bikes and quad bikes and even go on a wine tour. In the summer, just as it starts to get dark, a torch-lit guided tour sets off around the town.

Eymet has a weekly fresh produce market that takes place on Thursday mornings. There is a campsite and a wide choice of accommodation. The town has its own tourist office with very helpful staff.

The main event of the summer is the white wine and oyster festival which takes place on the 15 August in the central square. The festival goes on all day and ends with an open-air disco in the square. Not to be missed!

No cars

A few years ago, the council in Eymet made the wise decision to close the square off to cars and motorbikes in the evenings during the summer. This has meant that restaurants can spill out onto the cobbled place and people can stroll and chat while children play around the central fountain. As a result, Eymet has become even more popular with tourists who come to dine on a summer’s evening.

You might also be interested in…

Dordonha museum in Bergerac