September in Sarlat-la-Canada


September in Sarlat-la-Canada


September can be an ideal time to come to Sarlat for a short break or longer holiday. The weather is still warm and dry but without the searing heat of the summer. The August crowds have departed leaving a gentler yet still vibrant atmosphere in the town. With attractions still welcoming visitors and plenty of events planned, there is still lots to do in the Dordogne.

The weather in September

The average daily temperature in Sarlat during September is 24°C. Rainfall is still relatively low so there are plenty of warm dry days to enjoy the outdoors but without the fierce heat of summer. Walking, cycling, and visiting attractions will be much more comfortable in September. Or if you prefer to laze by a pool or on a beach by the lake it is still warm enough for that too.

Avoid the crowds

With schools on holiday and families wanting to enjoy the sunshine, July and August can be a little hectic and crowded in Sarlat. If you come in September you can walk around the medieval centre without having to squeeze through the masses, you will find it easier to get a table in a restaurant and find a parking place. However, don't assume the town will be dead – there will still be enough visitors to give it that buzz for which Sarlat is renowned. Additionally, in September there are far fewer traffic jams, and the supermarkets are less busy.


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Description automatically generatedThe Dordogne River

Heritage Days

The third weekend of September, each year, is European Heritage Days. This is a European initiative that began in 1984. On these days historical buildings and monuments, that are not normally open to the public, open their doors. Additionally, other sites offer free entry or reduced admission prices. There are many events to enjoy throughout the region. The date for 2022 is Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th of September.

In Sarlat, on the Saturday evening, 2000 candles light the streets which visitors follow to discover the sites such as the Lantern of the Dead, the White penitents' chapel, the Blue penitents' chapel, the Sainte-Claire Abbey or even one of the Renaissance-style bourgeois houses.


Peri'Meuh takes place in Sarlat from 23rd – 25th September 2022. This is a biennial event that showcases the local farmer's work and products. Throughout the event, there are children's entertainment, competitions, animal parades, music, a product market and much more.

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The agricultural show takes place in Sarlat

Outdoor fun

From swimming lakes to canoes on the river there is lots of outdoor fun to have in September. The weather is still warm enough to enjoy the outdoors whether it is picnicking by the riverside or swinging from treetops.

The lake at Tamnies offers a blue flag swimming area with a beach. Although the inflatables, which are present on the lake in July and August, are gone by September swimming is still possible and admission is free. The kayaks and canoes on both the Vezere and Dordogne Rivers are still operational in September, but with less traffic on the water you can take a more leisurely ride.

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The beach at Tamnies Lake

Walking and cycling are much more comfortable during September as it is a little cooler. There are miles of unspoilt countryside to walk or cycle. The paths are marked with poles topped in yellow with arrows pointing in the right direction. Marquay, and other villages, have a map near the Mairie office that shows a popular walk around the area. Alternatively, books and maps are available from the Sarlat Tourist Office. There is a cycle track in Sarlat built on the site of an old railway track giving you a flat traffic-free route. If you don't have a cycle, you can hire one at the beginning of the track.