The Jardins Suspendus de Marqueyssac, or 'Overhanging gardens of Marqueyssac' are located in the Dordogne department of South West France.
They can be found between Beynac and La Roque-Gageac on the Dordogne river.
Visit the Gardens of Marqueyssac
This is certainly one of the best gardens in the Dordogne, indeed they are listed as a National Historic Monument. It is the most visited garden in the Perigord despite competition from the likes of the Jardins d'Eyrignac!
Close to the chateau of Marqueyssac are box hedges clipped into amazing swirling patterns. I have never seen box hedging looking so vibrant and artistic. Makes me want to rush off and start doing something similar on a small scale back home!
The combination of vivid green swirling box shapes, occasional pine trees and the backdrop of the valley of the Dordogne is really quite magical.
After the swirling box patterns there is a long alley of clipped rosmary and santoline. The two colours work very well and add to the patterns of the clipped plants. The walk then becomes a cliff top walk with fabulous views of the Dordogne river down below and on the other side woods with clipped box growing amongst the natural woodland trees.
All in all there are 150 000 hand pruned box plants aged over one hundred years old in the gardens!
There are more than 6 kms of walks, a Cliff Walk, High Walk and Great Walk. The walks lead towards the belvedere which is 192 meters high and offers spectacular views over the river below.
Along the walks the views are stunning and the woods, underplanted with box are beautiful. One part of the woods has an unusual 'sea of heads' peeping up from the soil. Stone borries (stone huts and pergolas and other structures also add interest to the walks and a waterfall has also been created near to the belvedere.
The Great walk is an easy walking circuit for those pushing pushchairs or wheelchairs and even has a shuttle service going back and forth between the chateau and the view point.
The whole park is great for kids but there are also two dedicated play areas with swings in the park. There is a picnic area and a tea-room/restaurant (also with great views) making Marqueyssac a great place to spend a few hours.
From July to the end of August the gardens of Marqueyssac are open every Thursday evening and lit by candlelight, 2000 candles and a hundred other light sources, to highlight the beauty of the cliffs and the park. In different areas of the park musiciens play. A truly magical evening.
Les Jardins Suspendus de Marqueyssac Garden Guide
The garden is open:
July and August: every day from 9.00-20.00. Thursday evenings 19.00 to midnight
April, May, June and September: every day from 10.00 to 19.00
February, March, October and beginning November:every day from 10.00 to 18.00
End November, December and January: 14.00 to 17.00
Entrance is 9 euros for adults, 4.50 euros for over 10s and free for under 10s. Candlelit evenings are 13 euros for adults and 6.50 euros for over 10s.
Address: Les Jardins de Marqueyssac, 24220 Veyzac (9km from Sarlat)
Tel: 05 53 31 36 36
Gardens to Visit Nearby
There is a pretty garden at the nearby town of Domme - les Jardins de l'Albarede.
Le Clos des Sources is another pretty garden near to Vitrac on the Dordogne river.