Located in southern France, Brantôme is a medieval village situated along the beautiful Dronne river. Unlike many famous medieval towns in France, Brantôme offers a local flare, complete with small clothing shops and locally owned restaurants. We especially enjoy Brantôme because it offers a quieter stop to relax during longer European adventures. From wandering through town to kayaking, there are several fun and relaxing activities to rejuvenate everyone in your group. We suggest visiting Brantôme on road trips through France, including from major cities such as Paris or Lyon. Brantôme also provides a great compliment to other road trip destinations in Southern France such as Provence or Annecy.
Where to Stay: Le Moulin de l’Abbaye
Le Moulin de l’Abbaye is a Relais and Château hotel that is located in a historic riverside mill building. This hotel continues to be among our most cherished thanks to an idyllic combination of quaint history and luxury. A variety of rooms (from doubles to a large family room) are located in two historic buildings.
We loved enjoying breakfast on the hotel’s riverfront terrace. In fact, we got to feed the ducks from the patio one morning! We also enjoyed the hotel’s comfy lobby, where guests could relax to enjoy a drink or mingle.
Learn more about Le Moulin de l’Abbaye here!
Where to Eat in Brantôme, France
Breakfast at the Hotel Restaurant: Le Moulin de l’Abbaye
As mentioned above, Le Moulin de l’Abbaye (the hotel’s restaurant) offers breakfast on their back patio. This Michelin rated restaurant offers fresh breads, pastries, yogurts, meats, cheeses, and hot coffee or tea.
We loved getting to enjoy our morning coffee on the restaurant’s terrace along the Dronne River, which looks out towards the village and Abbey!
Also located on the Dronne river, La Guinguette offers a variety of French cuisine, including steak frites, pizzas, and omelets. From the entrance in the village, this restaurant looks unassuming, but walk through and you will love it. The main restaurant is located in an adorable courtyard filled with bistro tables that look out to the river. It’s a great place for lunch or dinner!
Au Fil du Temps
Located across a park from the rest of town, Au Fil du Temps offers a fun selection of steaks and roasted chicken dishes. Le Moulin de l’Abbaye owns the restaurant, so the recipes are carefully curated. We enjoyed eating dinner on the restaurant’s patio, thanks to the beautiful view.
Au Fil de l’Eau
Also owned by the hotel, Au Fil de L’Eau offers waterfront dining in the center of Brantôme. Au Fil de L’Eau specializes in seafood and fish dishes. It’s an adorable setting and a great spot for a nice dinner.
Things to Do in Brantôme, France
While we spent most of our time in Brantôme wandering the town’s historic streets, we also enjoyed the nearby area through these fun activities:
Visit the Abbey
Located along the Dronne River, Brantôme’s Benedictine monastery was first built in the 8th century. Today, you can visit the more modern monastery and Abbey buildings, and tour parts of the original monastery (which was carved into the limestone cliffs). It’s a fun and informational experience that will help you to understand the rich history of the Brantôme area.
You can purchase tickets online or in person. More information is available here.
Day Trip to Sarlat, France
Located about an hour and a half from Brantôme, Sarlat is a beautiful town in the Dordogne region of France. We enjoy Sarlat as a day trip from Brantôme. The town offers a pedestrian friendly historic center, which is filled with fun gift shops and several restaurants.
The biggest draw to Sarlat for us was the street market days: twice a week (Wednesday and Saturday as of this post), the town comes to life with a busy street market. You can buy everything from prepared foods and fruits or vegetables to clothing, souvenirs, and gifts. We enjoyed wandering through the stalls and town shops during our day in Sarlat.
Updated information regarding the Sarlat market’s opening days and times can be found here.
Kayak on the Dronne River
Brantôme’s main village is located on an island in the Dronne river, with blocks built into the riverbed to minimize the water speed around town. Because of this, the kayaking is easy and fun! We rented kayaks at the far end of town, and circled the town, before headed up river a bit. The mix of circling the town and then following the river into the countryside was gorgeous. We especially loved paddling under the trees and past small cottages while upriver. This is a relatively family-friendly event, since the river is beautiful and calm (both around town and up river).
(NOTE: At certain water levels, you have to get out of the kayak a couple of times in order to move the kayak up and over the cement blocks around town. We did this, and it was relatively easy. However, if someone in your family has mobility limits, this may be difficult. If you only travel away from town upriver, you shouldn’t have to cross these blocks, but there still are some shallow points due to rocks and driftwood.)