Part of the Aquitaine region in south-west France, just one hour’s drive to the east of Bordeaux, Dordogne Périgord is one of the largest and most picturesque “départements” in France, while it is also one of the most prolific in terms of its numerous historic buildings. Here you will discover unspoiled nature, grandiose landscapes, and a plethora of magical sights teeming with history. Notably, the prehistoric caves in the Vézère valley, which prove that man has been present in the Dordogne for the past 450,000 years. In the Dordogne valley, you can visit castles from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, which once played a part in the Hundred Years’ War, and the Wars of Religion that raged there. This region is know for its ''one thousand and one castles'' ...
Nowadays, 45 castles are open to the public to visit. Also great to visit are beautiful medieval villages, Romanesque churches adorned with sculpted tympanums, water mills in the landscapes of the Périgord Vert, and renowned "towns of art and history" such as Sarlat and Périgueux. Bergerac and Nontron are also popular Dordogne towns.
Périgord is world renowned for its traditional gastronomy. High-quality products used to prepare local cuisine include foie gras, other duck and goose-based ingredients, the famous black truffles of the Périgord, chestnuts, walnuts (which have been awarded their own AOC label), Périgord strawberries, plus Bergerac and Monbazillac wines (13 of which are AOC) produced from top grape varieties that are neighbors to the "grands crus classés" of Bordeaux.
The four colors of the Périgord (Green, White, Black and Purple) are an invitation to discover the diversity of the region’s landscapes on a variety of holidays. Whatever the time of year, choosing to visit and return to the Dordogne is not just a journey back in time in the footsteps of our ancestors, it is also an opportunity to meet the local population, known for their friendly welcome, and to enjoy a relaxing holiday with wonderful cuisine in beautiful and peaceful surroundings.
Sarlat and the Vézère valley in the Périgord Noir
It’s easy to succumb to the charms of the medieval town of Sarlat, with its lauze-stone roofs, medieval houses, and Renaissance mansions. From here, head to Montignac to visit the must-see Lascaux II cave, known as the Sistine Chapel of Prehistory. Skirting the Vézère river, discover the wonderful treasures of this valley: the Château de Losse and its terraced Renaissance gardens, the charming village of St Léon sur Vézère (with its Romanesque church), the cliffs at La Roque St Christophe, the troglodyte village of La Madeleine, and the Maison Forte de Reignac, a castle in Tursac.
Then, you continue to Les Eyzies-de-Tayac, the capital of prehistory, to visit its numerous prehistoric deposits, shelters, and authentic caves embellished with paintings and engravings, such as the Grotte de Font de Gaume and the Grotte des Combarelles, along with the Musée National de Préhistoire, the leading museum of Palaeolithic art in Europe, in terms of its importance and the size of its collection.