Do you dream of going green after these months of confinement? Visit the Corrèze between nature, culture, and gastronomy.
Corrèze is a department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in southwestern France. Located west of the Massif Central, watered by the Corrèze and Dordogne rivers, its two main towns are Brive-la-Gaillarde and Tulle.
Especially famous for having given us two former Presidents of the Republic, this is fortunately not its only asset! Indeed, visiting the Corrèze offers both magnificent hiking landscapes, five of the most beautiful villages in France, preserved natural sites, an important historical and artistic heritage, and a gastronomy that will delight delicate palates.
So, if you are wondering what to do in Corrèze, look no further! In addition, throughout the year, you can attend many cultural events and festivals.
Convinced? So let’s go for a tourist and cultural stay, but also sporting and natural. Discover the 13 essential things to do in Corrèze!
You may be interested to read Beautiful Villages of Corrèze Best Things To Do in the Landes Best Things To Do in Charente-Maritime Best Things To Do in Gironde
1. The Denoix distillery
Since 1839, the Denoix distillery has specialized in the preparation and distillation of liqueur based on the famous Corrèze nuts and plants. During your visit, you will have the opportunity to discover the 180 years of history of this company labeled Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant.
Thus, after the journey through the cellar explaining the process of working with the green nut, maceration, and distillation, it’s time to… The commented tasting! You can then appreciate the specialties of the Denoix house, such as the Supreme liqueur or the Fenouillette de Brive. A must when you visit the Corrèze!
France has 159 most beautiful villages in France, and Corrèze alone has five. Classified for their beauty, charm, and authenticity, they are real wonders to discover if you are going to visit the Corrèze.
Strolling through their old stones, you will discover the Corrézienne soul at:
- Collonges-la-Rouge is probably the best-known. All built of red stones, the medieval city with 25 towers will give you the impression of being out of time.
- Curemonte, a village with three churches and three castles. Located on a rocky outcrop, an ancient Gallo-Roman city, it is really worth a visit.
- Saint Robert, the thousand-year-old medieval city that served as the setting for the television series Des Grives aux Loups. Its Benedictine monastery is worth a look.
- Ségur-le-Château, a stronghold nestled in a loop of the Auvézère River. Dominated by the ruins of the old castle, the village is really charming.
- Turenne is located between Collonges-la-Rouge and Curemonte. It is, again, an ancient medieval city. Thus, walking through its streets, you can admire many beautiful mansions and mansions.
3. Walk in the footsteps of Georges Brassens at the Brive-la-Gaillarde market
If you are looking for something to do in Corrèze on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, visit the famous Brive market sung by Georges Brassens:
<< At the market of Brive la Gaillarde
About onion boots
A few dozen gaillardes
One day the bun was creping >>
But rest assured; the atmosphere is generally better than in the song! You can stock up on local products and taste local specialties before returning to visit corrèze. Nuts, foie gras, local liqueurs (in moderation of course), and mushrooms reach out to you!
4. The “Remarkable Garden” at the Al Gaulhia Arboretum
Visiting the Al Gaulhia arboretum is really a must-do thing to do in Corrèze. Located near Espartignac, this place of 10 hectares labeled “Remarkable Garden” is indeed a haven of peace and greenery. You can admire many species of trees, some of which are more than three hundred years old and are classified as “remarkable trees of France”.
In addition, the arboretum has more than eighty species of bamboo, ferns and many aquatic plants such as water lilies, lotuses and other water lilies. In a word, if you are going to visit the Corrèze, do not miss this peaceful and green place.
5. The gardens of Colette
Perhaps when you went to visit the Corrèze, you did not expect to come across a garden retracing the universe of the Burgundian writer in Varetz. But you would be wrong to miss this place that mixes literature and botany.
On five hectares, you will stroll through a series of gardens that each represent a region of France where Colette lived. Looking for what to do in Corrèze with your family? So go for it! Indeed, in addition to the butterfly maze, giant games (mikado, jenga …) are available to the public to share good times whether you are small or large. A really good plan!
6. The brive water tower
If you are going to visit the Corrèze, you will probably pass through Brive. You will see the city’s water tower, one of its most emblematic buildings. Built-in the nineteenth century to supply the fountains of the city, it is 22 meters high.
From the top of its 98 steps, it offers a magnificent view of the panorama of the surroundings.
7. The parts of Travassac
Nature and heritage lovers? So look no further what to do in Corrèze: visit the parts of Travassac. This is a unique place in Europe: old slate quarries nestled in the heart of impressive cliffs. In this grandiose landscape, you can discover the slate business and the process that has made it possible to exploit these veins for nearly 400 years.
8. The waterfalls of Murel
For lovers of hiking in the middle of nature who will visit the Corrèze, do not miss the set of waterfalls of the Waterfalls of Murel. Located near Albussac, the area is classified as being of ecological interest.
There are four successive waterfalls, the highest measuring 25 meters high. Several hiking trails allow you to get there from Albussac or the nearby village of Forgès.
9. Museum of President Jacques Chirac
If you are looking for an unusual visit to do in Corrèze, visit the museum of President Jacques Chirac in Sarran. You will be able to admire all the gifts received by the former President of the Republic between 1995 and 2007. Sumotori statuette, African masks, or santiags offered by Bill Clinton… It’s a real Inventory à la Prévert eclectic, beautiful and a lot of fun.
10. The contemporary botanical garden of the Sothys brand
To visit the Corrèze is definitely to fill up on nature and gardens. The luxury cosmetics brand Sothys has been offering a magnificent example since 2007. On 4 hectares, Sothys presents the history of the Mas family who created the brand and shows the plant world and the plants at the origin of its products.
Labeled “Remarkable Garden”, different themed courses will take you on sensory escapades inspired by the world of cosmetics: scents, sun, velvet, skin … An essential visit to do in Corrèze to bring home “local products” of a different kind… Or offer them to your friends!
11. The Towers of Merle
One of the most beautiful walks to do in Corrèze is the one that will take you to the spectacular towers of Merle. Indeed, nestled in an incredible landscape, the medieval city of the twelfth century is composed of seven towers. They dominate from (very) high the valley of the river Maronne from a steep rocky outcrop.
In the middle of a dense forest, their exceptional location will undoubtedly snatch you a “wow!” of admiration! In addition, with a little luck, animal lovers will be able to observe royal kites, peregrine falcons, genets … A must in the Corrèze!
The Corrèze is truly a “green” destination par excellence. Outside the cities, you will find vast wild landscapes and unspoiled nature. So what better way to discover it than to go hiking? Here are three examples of easy routes to do in Corrèze for those of you who want to stretch your calves:
The Longeyroux bog
Among the very diverse ecosystems that can be admired in Corrèze, there is that of the Longeyroux bog. In an acidic environment of 250 hectares, very special fauna, and flora have developed there. Thus, during the walk, you can observe many rare and protected species, including otters.
Two interpretive trails will allow you to admire the site while respecting this fragile natural environment: the “Sentier des Linaigrettes” (1km) and the “Sentier de la Bruyère” (9km).
The Simone de Beauvoir Trail
If you are looking for something to do in Corrèze that combines nature and culture, then this course is for you! From Uzerche, this small loop of 5 kilometers will allow you to better discover the work and life of Simone de Beauvoir. The walk is punctuated by informative plaques about his life and his vast work.
But why here? Well, because the author of Mémoires d’une jeune fille rangée spent her holidays in Corrèze in the vicinity when she was a child.
The Way to Paradise
This beautiful hike between causes, rivers, and forests is the one that will take you through the widest range of landscapes. Indeed, over 13 kilometers, you can admire the plateau of Millevaches, the Dordogne valley, and Curemonte, one of the most beautiful villages in France… And even the village of Paradise, which is worth the trip, if only for its beautiful name!
13. Local specialties
Finally, after all these walks, you will have a little peckishness, that’s for sure. But here is good news for you, the Corrèze is full of varied gastronomic delights (but not necessarily light…)! In the restaurants, bakeries and markets of the region, discover the millassou, the wines of the country, the recipes based on porcini mushrooms, morels, truffles, or foie gras.
Already have your mouth watering? You are right because tasting gastronomy is really a thing to do in Corrèze!
How to get to Corrèze?
The plane is not the most convenient way to visit the Corrèze because the department is quite underserved. Nevertheless, from Paris, three daily flights will land you at Brive Dordogne Valley airport. To find the route that best suits your budget, do not hesitate to use a flight comparator such as Skyscanner.
If you prefer to visit corrèze by train, you will be spoilt for choice because it is very well served by the rail network. For example, from Limoges, Bordeaux, Toulouse or Paris, you can arrive at the stations of Brive, Tulle, Ussel, and Uzerche to name only the main ones. Similarly, once there, a dense TER network will allow you to visit even small villages quite easily.
The bus is probably the most economical solution to visit the Corrèze from a wide variety of places. Wherever you come from, many companies serve the department, such as Flixbus, BlaBlaBus, Eurolines or Isilines.
Nevertheless, the most convenient way to visit the Corrèze during your holidays remains the car. Indeed, two highways make it easy to get there. Thus, from Paris, Toulouse or Limoges, you will take the A20, which is even free on a portion of the journey. On the other hand, from Bordeaux, Lyon or Clermont-Ferrand, you will take the A89.
Where to stay in Corrèze?
Depending on what you want to do in Corrèze, you have several possibilities to stay according to your budget and your tastes. You will have the choice between Gîtes de France, small hotels, campsites of all classes, and, of course, a wide choice of Airbnb accommodations… To choose the solution that suits you best, do not hesitate to use a hotel comparator.
For an idyllic setting, Collonges-la-Rouge is a place not to be missed. On the other hand, Brive and Tulle impose themselves on you if the practical side prevails in your mind.
So, when do you come to visit Corrèze?