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France Information
The Dordogne is one of the most popular regions for travelers to France. It is an area of great geographic beauty. With more castles than the Loire Valley, it is a visual splendor. It also boasts caves with prehistoric paintings, outdoor activities galore and famous regional cuisine.

 

Landscape

Located in southwest France, it spans north and south of the river Dordogne. This is a region of green hills, winding rivers, and dense forests. Because it has largely been untainted by modern industrialization, it offers visitors a chance to experience the pristine countryside and ancient villages reminiscent of a past era. Drive 20 miles in any direction and you encounter another charming village of native stone houses with characteristic steep-pitched roofs. Hilltops reveal ancient castles. Walnuts are gathered in fall to produce the traditional walnut oil. Geese are raised to produce foie gras. In winter, forests are foraged for truffles. Sunflowers stand tall in vast fields. Stone barns are filled with racks of tobacco drying. It is a splendid countryside.

 

Towns & Villages – Where to Stay

Along the River Dordogne

Although a visit to any part of the region will allow the visitor to sample its splendors, the area with perhaps the greatest concentration of sites is the portion along the River Dordogne from Lalinde in the west to Souillac in the east. This is the region known as Périgord Noir. Here are some towns to look for on the map. Perhaps the most famous is Sarlat, a medieval town that reached its peak of prosperity in the 14th century! A stroll through the center reveals houses with traditional medieval ground floor construction and renaissance upper stories. St. Cyprien, which is nearby, is another charming medieval town with a major outdoor market held weekly. Go a little north up the Vézère River to Les Eyzies to find the famous caves with their preserved Stone Age paintings. There are more than 200 prehistoric sites in the region, the most famous of which is Lascaux. And continuing east along the Dordogne from St. Cyprien reveals an astonishing selection of beautiful hilltop castles: Beynac perched on bare rock, Les Milandes owned once by Josephine Baker, Montfort with its village below. There are walled cities like Domme, and hillside villages like La Roque Gageac-- selected as one of the prettiest in France.

North of the River and West to Bergerac

Visits to the northern or western portions of the Dordogne can offer a lot as well, although these areas aren’t quite as famous. Some might prefer that, as it is a bit more off the beaten track and thus perhaps a bit quieter. The northern area, known as Périgord Blanc, also has medieval towns to visit, castles to explore and caves with prehistoric paintings. You can even drive to Limoges, famous for its porcelain. If you go west past Bergerac, the hills disappear. Although the countryside might be less impressive, here there are with scores of famous vineyards that extend eventually to Bordeaux. South of Bergerac are walled bastide towns. This is also a pretty area, although less central for touring.

 

Food & Wine

MarketsThe Dordogne is the heart of French cooking. Many of the classic French dishes come from the Dordogne with foie gras and confit both local specialities prepared from ducks and geese. You can visit farms in the area with flocks of these beautiful creatures. The use of walnut oil in salads offers a unique taste to even simple greens. And with Bordeaux and Cahors nearby, the wines are superb as well. There are many restaurants around offering truly fine food.

 

Sports & Recreation

Paddling down the Vézère This is a great area for outdoor activities. You can rent canoes and paddle down the gentle Dordogne. Many people enjoy swimming in the river. Hot air balloon rides are a wonderful way to view the beautiful castles. The hills have designated hiking trails as well. And due to the many tiny roads that stretch out in all directions, this is a great place for biking with many quiet country roads, although it is hilly.

Our selections on our website offer just a few examples of our rentals to start. Click on the link for online catalogs and see the rest of our selection.

Call or email us. We look forward to helping you plan your trip!

 
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