Nature at its Best: Dordogne Perigord, France

Nature at its Best: Dordogne Perigord, France

Part of the Aquitaine region in Southwest France, just 1 hour’s drive to the east of Bordeaux, Dordogne Périgord is 1 of the largest and most picturesque “départements” in France.

There you will discover unspoiled nature, grandiose landscapes, and lots 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.

 45 of the castles in the Périgord are now 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.

The 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 wine, 13 of which are AOC produced from top grape varieties that are neighbors to the “grands crus classés” of Bordeaux.

The 4 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.Itineraries to discover the Dordogne

  • Bergerac and the Pays des Bastides in the Périgord Pourpre

Starting point: Bergerac’s charming, narrow pedestrian-friendly streets provide the perfect opportunity to discover the town’s timber-framed houses, with their medieval or Renaissance-style windows. Your tour starts at the Château de Monbazillac, continuing on to the medieval village of Issigeac, with its architectural treasures, before reaching Monpazier, which is considered a perfect example of a fortified town in Southwest France. On your return, Beaumont du Périgord, another English fort, is well worth a visit before you stop in the picturesque village of Couze.

  • Sarlat and the Vézère Valley in the Périgord Noir

Starting point: Sarlat, it is easy to succumb to the charms of this medieval town, 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, the cliffs at La Roque St-Christophe, the troglodyte village of La Madeleine, and the Maison Forte de Reignac, a castle in Tursac. If you wish you can 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.

  • Brantôme and the Dronne Valley in the Périgord Vert

Starting point: Brantôme, the “Green Venice of the Périgord,” Brantôme is a village full of character, whose sights include its abbey, the oldest belfry in France, an elbow-shaped bridge, and the Jardin des Moines. By following this route, you will discover Bourdeilles, with its stately boat-shaped mill and feudal fortress. Continue with a visit to Ribérac. From there tour the domed Romanesque churches of the Ribérac region with their sculpted tympanums.

Getting there

Bergerac Airport Dordogne Périgord (External link) 
[email protected]
Phone: 00 33 5 53 22 25 25 – Fax: 00 33 5 53 24 35 43

Dordogne by Motor Car
A20: Paris-Limoges; RN21: Limoges-Périgueux (500 kms – 311 miles)
A10: Paris-Poitiers; RN 10: Poitiers-Angoulême; D939: Angoulême-Périgueux (500 kms – 311 miles)
A89: Bordeaux-Périgueux (120 kms – 75 miles)
D936: Bordeaux-Périgueux (100 kms – 62 miles)

Dordogne by Train
Paris-Périgueux (4 h)
Paris- Angoulême TGV, ( 2h30) then hire car to Périgueux (1h15)
Bordeaux-Périgueux (1h15)
Toulouse-Périgueux (3 h)
Lyon-Périgueux (5 h)

Enjoy your travels

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Paul Ebeling

Paul A. Ebeling, polymath, excels in diverse fields of knowledge. Pattern Recognition Analyst in Equities, Commodities and Foreign Exchange and author of “The Red Roadmaster’s Technical Report” on the US Major Market Indices™, a highly regarded, weekly financial market letter, he is also a philosopher, issuing insights on a wide range of subjects to a following of over 250,000 cohorts. An international audience of opinion makers, business leaders, and global organizations recognizes Ebeling as an expert.

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