Bergerac Tourist Activities

Bergerac Airport, although one of the smaller French Airports, is an important gateway to the Aquitaine region of France, in particular, to attractions in the Bergerac city area. The majority of the airport’s passengers are from the United Kingdom, from destinations such as Birmingham, Southampton, London, Edinburgh and Liverpool. Bergerac Airport is also known as the Bergerac-Roumanière Airport, due to its location, or officially, as the Bergerac Dordogne Périgord Airport, as it serves the Dordogne department of France. Bergerac attractions are plentiful, and range from interesting museums and markets to areas that are perfect for the entertainment of families.

The Dordogne department of France is best-known for its top-quality tobacco products and wines, and Bergerac is generally described as a lively, dynamic and fun city to visit, and in which to live. The Tobacco Museum of national interest pays tribute to the important role the city plays in the tobacco industry of the region, and houses some wonderful collections. The museum has been in existence since 1983, and is found in a building that was built in 1604, by a rich merchant family know as the Pevrarèdes. Another interesting museum well visited by tourists is the Regional Museum of wine and inland waterways transport, and exhibits scale models of the river boats once used to navigate the Dordogne River for transport of the wine products, as well as various tools which were used in the vineyards.

The Wine and Inland Waterways Transport Museum was established in 1983, and consists of a wide array of objects that have been collected from archaeological sites on the river of the main wine-growing regions in the Bergerac area and from the families of former river boatmen. The activity of inland waterways transport on the Dordogne River finally ceased around 1925, as the road and railway transport systems proved to be more efficient. Another reminder of the city’s river trading past is the Bergerac old bridge, built in 1838. The harbour in the area had almost 1,500 boat movements each year, and received more than 15,000 tons of cargo per annum.

The third museum of interest in Bergerac city is much newer than the other two mentioned, and is known as the ‘le muse Costi’. This museum was inaugurated in June 2003, and is dedicated to the artist Constantin Papachristopoulos. Highlights of the museum include a display of 60 earthenware and bronze sculptures which were produced between 1926 and 1973. These works of art are masterfully created, and bring much delight to all their visitors. The museum can be found in the Saint-Jacques presbytery, at Place de la Petite Mission.

Bergerac attractions also include several historical buildings of interest, and a few magnificent religious buildings. Churches that are most visited are the Notre-Dame church and the Saint Jacques church. The first mentioned marks the beginning of Bergerac’s northward expansion in the later 19th century, and features a neo-Gothic style of architecture. It was built between 1856 and 1865, and features an eighty-metre high belfry that was designed by Paul Abadje. The Saint Jacques church is much older, having been constructed in the 12th century by the Benedictine monks, and is a more modest chapel, which has undergone numerous restorations over the years.

Other historical attractions, areas and monuments in Bergerac are the Resistance Memorial, the ‘Recollets’ cloister, the old fountain of Fonsivade at Madeleine Place, the statue of Crano of Bergerac on Mirpe Square and Pélissière Place, the largest and most beautiful square in the city.

In the Dordogne department, and nearby Bergerac city, there are so many other wonderful attractions to enjoy as well. Those who seek a more modern source of entertainment will find several amusement parks, aquariums and ideal play areas for children. In the Arcachon basin (Guian Mestras), there is Aqualand, a large piece of land dedicated to water entertainment, Kid Parc, which is a fun fair and theme park guaranteed to be enjoyed by kids (and adults!) of all ages, with train rides, trampolines, flying chairs and more, and the Zoo du Basin d’Arcachon, a ten hectare zoological park with fifty wild animals, including large bears. At Barbaste, families can enjoy the Chateau Imaginaire, an Imaginary Castle of elves and fairies, while a Dinosaur Park complete with a tree obstacle course and caves is found at Saint Leon sur Vezere.

Other areas nearby Bergerac which are ideal for the entertainment of children are the Parc de Loisirs at Le Bugue, the Jump-in Land Animations at Hautefort, La Coccinelle nearby Arcachon and the Gurson Lake, featuring activities such as mini-golf, horse rides, picnic areas and kids games. There are two large lakes here, one of which is reserved for fishing, and the other for boating activities.

Further information regarding Bergerac attractions, and all the wonderful places to visit nearby this charming city, is available from the tourist information desk at Bergerac Airport.