Hiking in the land of fairies and trolls

Need a breath of fresh air in the heart of unspoiled countryside? Here is an idea for a hike through the crystalline, winding gorges of the Auvézère valley, in north-east Périgord. We’re taking you to the mystical land of fairies and trolls...

Our discovery of an enchanted valley

Departure time is 9h from Saint-Mesmin village square. With our shoes on, we turn off to the right just before the bridge to reach the Auvézère gorges. We walk along the river, often said to be the prettiest in Périgord.

Good to know!

The "Gorges de l'Auvézère" circuit is indicated along the way.

There are more than 40Kms of marked hiking trails around Saint-Mesmin.

We follow the sign "le Saut Ruban" and go down the path to the viewpoint of the Saut Ruban, an enchanting and bewitching place. Here, I discover a majestic waterfall! As I get closer, it reveals its torrential spell…

The path leads us to the newly built footbridges recently installed by the department. They blend in perfectly with the landscape. The panorama is magnificent!

We follow the sign "le Saut Ruban" and go down the path to the viewpoint of the Saut Ruban, an enchanting and bewitching place. Here, I discover a majestic waterfall! As I get closer, it reveals its torrential spell…

The path leads us to the newly built footbridges recently installed by the department. They blend in perfectly with the landscape. The panorama is magnificent!

Exceptional industrial heritage at the end of the lane...

During our walk, we discover a church housing a resplendent 17th century altarpiece. In the distance, we scatch sight of some mouflons, a protected species that has become well established recently in this remarkable landscape. We continue along the path « Côtes du Batissou» heading towards the forges and blast furnace of Savignac-Lédrier (French only) (External link) .

A listed Historic Monument,the forge is dominated by a Renaissance castle. We admire the beautiful waterfalls of the Auvézère river. An ideal spot for a picnic!

While waiting for the guided tour scheduled at 14h45, Perrine uses the time to take a few photos whilst Anya sets off on a discovery tour around the forge. Mathieu prefers to doze in the shade of a tree and enjoy the soothing sound of the waterfalls.

During the visit, the guide retraces the history of the forge and castle and explains the working conditions of the blacksmiths. We learn that Savignac-Lédrier is an ideal place to set up an industrial activity such as the forge because of its surrounding forest, river and land.

At 4pm, we set off again towards the footbridge over the Auvézère river and happily head home with the feeling of having discovered so many marvels of nature in this land of fairies and trolls…