The Corrèze is a department with splendid landscapes and villages, each one cuter than the next. Far from mass tourism, it is the perfect place to recharge your batteries and enjoy our beautiful heritage. I give in this article my must-sees to know what to do in Corrèze, whether it’s for a long weekend or a week of holidays.
I made a video during my stay in Corrèze & Dordogne which will allow you to see all the places I talk about in the article. I went to meet Sébastien who lives in a castle and to whom I could ask some questions about this way of life. Don’t hesitate to watch it if you are interested in the subject.
How to get there
I arrived in Brive-la-Gaillarde by train, and from there I rented a car for the rest of my stay. I advise you to do the same to visit the surroundings. I didn’t linger there because I already knew the area from the Brive festival, a great festival on a human scale that I highly recommend. This year, it was organized on a smaller format in order to respect the sanitary rules, they still invited artists such as Pomme, Hoshi, Vianney etc… In short, it’s a festival to follow if you like French music, all the info is on the website: www.brivefestival.com.
My journey starts in Aubazine, a charming little village, mostly known for its 12th century Cistercian abbey (it’s a monastic order). It is beautiful and gives an incredible character to the surroundings, you can visit its cloister and gardens but only with a guide. There is no need to make a reservation but you have to be there, 5/10 minutes before the time of the visit, to have all the information, you can go on the official site of the place: www.abbaye.aubazine.com
The history of this abbey is also linked to that of the luxury house Chanel. Coco Chanel is said to have been raised in the orphanage run by the sisters of the abbey. She would have been very inspired for the continuation of her work and would have even imagined the famous logo with the two “C” intertwined from one of the stained glass windows. A legend that we don’t know for sure if it is true or not, but which is maintained by the company that multiplies the allusions to this place in its communication campaigns and its fashion shows.
As you walk through the streets, you will also notice the presence of many small canals that supplied the city with fresh water throughout the year. I’ll tell you more about them in the next point.
Canal des Moines
Aubazine is criss-crossed by many small canals where water flows throughout the year from the Coyroux stream, on the heights of the village. A work of more than 1,5 kilometer cut directly in the rock by the monks of theThis was the first abbey to be built in the 12th century. It allows to irrigate the land and bring running water to the monastery.
It is an impressive structure that can be visited via a short walk. Here is the route you can follow: www.visorando.com/randonnee-canal-des-moines
You know my love for small villages and more particularly for those that belong to the label of the most beautiful villages of France. A label which for me is a guarantee of quality and therefore the assurance to arrive in a magical place. So you won’t be surprised to learn that the village I’m going to talk about, Collonges-la-Rouge, is part of this label. But what is even cooler to know is that the village is the first to have been labeled because its mayor is the one who initiated the project. A title totally deserved because it is surely one of the most beautiful villages I have visited.
Located near the geological fault of Meyssac, the village is built from stones coming from the latter. Among them is sandstone, a type of rock that has the particularity of turning red when it oxidizes. This explains the fact that all the buildings have this ochre/red colour.
Just next to Collonges-la-Rouge is another super cute village: Turenne. It is also part of the association of the most beautiful villages of France (I told you this label was a sure thing) and its center is beautiful with its small cobbled streets. I definitely advise you to go up to the Château de Turenne which offers a splendid panorama on the surroundings, especially at sunset.
Les Pans de Travassac, is also the kind of totally unlikely place you would expect to see in Corrèze. It is an old slate quarry, which is still partly exploited. While walking between huge rocky areas, you can see the different openings made to extract the slate, with the years, nature takes back its rights and gives the place a mystical side. I strongly advise a guided tour to have an explanation on the exploitation and processing of slate.
Attention, it is only open every day in July and August. The rest of the year, the schedules vary, you will have all the information on the site: www.lespansdetravassac.com
<img src=”//www.w3.org/2000/svg’%20viewBox=’0%200%202200%201236’%3E%3C/svg%3E” width=”2200″ height=”1236″ /> Murel waterfall
The Murel waterfall is probably one of the places that surprised me the most in Corrèze, I clearly didn’t expect to find such a wild and majestic place in the department. It’s a waterfall a bit lost in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by lush vegetation. When I got there, I clearly felt some Costa Rican vibes.
When I went there, there was no one there, however the spot is becoming more and more known and I would like to point out that you should not degrade it. Be careful where you put your feet and of course do not leave any trace of your passage by collecting your waste and those you can find on the way.
The Roc du Busatier is the perfect ratio of “minimum effort” for “maximum enjoyment”. It is a viewpoint accessible directly by car, with an incredible view over the Dordogne. Here is the exact GPS point to get there: https://goo.gl/maps/DMebi7A5rttFk1MU6. And as a picture is better than a long speech, here is what you can admire from this place:
Just after admiring the view from the Roc du Busatier you can go on a little hike to see the Dordogne from several cool viewpoints before arriving on a unique place: a shared garden in the middle of the forest. This is the Jardin de Bardot, a place where apple trees, pear trees, vines and other fruit trees grow. And watering cans are made available so that hikers passing by can participate.
It’s a fun and playful concept that really gives the impression of arriving in a timeless place.
Where to sleep?
I slept in several unusual accommodations in Corrèze, here are my 2 favorites:
La Maison des Etoiles
La Maison des Etoiles is a place that offers a very original type of accommodation that is appearing more and more everywhere: an observation bubble. You sleep in a big transparent bubble that allows you to observe the sky and therefore the stars. A unique and cool moment to do solo or in couple
Beech under the Charm
L’Hêtre sous le Charme is clearly one of the accommodations I loved the most on my last trips. They are wooden cabins lost in the middle of a forest with an amazing view on the surroundings. It’s super comfortable, there’s running water but no electricity, enough to disconnect a bit. For you To give you an idea of what the place looks like, I made a TikTok that you can see here (or directly on my account: brunomaltor):
I hope this list will give you some good ideas on what to do in Corrèze when you go to discover this department. If you have any questions or suggestions, don’t hesitate to share them in comments.
Trip realized in collaboration with theCorrèze Tourist Office. My favourites & recommendations are of course the result of my own appreciations
I’m Michelle, and I love to travel. As a former hotel expert for one of the world’s largest hotel chains, I’ve stayed in nearly every type of room imaginable (including many that were not so desirable!). Nowadays, I am fortunate enough to be able to explore the world on my own terms. From international flights to learning different languages, there is nothing too far out of reach!