Sightseeing in the Dordogne Valley - France
Our self-catering holiday cottages are located in the heart of one of the most beautiful and unspoilt parts of southwest France - The Dordogne Valley - making our self catering holiday homes the ideal base for a sightseeing holiday in The Dordogne.
From the era of Prehistoric Man through the Middle Ages and beyond the Dordogne is a sightseer's paradise - steeped in history. The Dordogne region also formed the historic frontier between France and England during the Hundred Years War and this rich heritage offers a renowned variety of sights for you to discover on your sightseeing break in France.
The Perigord boasts numerous castles, churches and medieval bastides towns as well as beautiful stone villages and prehistoric caves, all set in some of France’s loveliest countryside. The Dordogne river meanders throughout undulating hills, forests and limestone cliffs with new discoveries around every corner.
When sightseeing in the Dordogne, here are a few of the many highlights you should not miss:
This famous 13th century bastide (fortified) town of Domme was founded on a dauntingly sheer cliff eight centuries ago, high above the Dordogne valley. Classified as “L’un des plus beaux villages de France”, Domme offers cafes and restaurants with stunning views over the river.
Like Domme, La Roque-Gageac is one of the many villages labelled as “L’un des Plus Beaux Villages de France” in the area. Situated on the banks of the river, the ochre-coloured houses are built directly into the face of the huge cliff that overhangs La Roque-Gageac. When sightseeing in La Roque-Gageac, you can take a ride on a Gabare, the traditional flat-bottomed boats of the Dordogne that used to trade goods up and down the river.
The second most visited site, by sightseers in France, Rocamadour spectacularly clings to the cliff of the Alzou canyon. Rocamadour is part of the medieval Christian pilgrimage route of Santiago de Compostela, where, Kings and peasants alike once crawled up the Rocamadour chapel steps on their knees seeking redemption and cures.
Probably the most famous town of Perigord, Sarlat has survived almost unchanged since the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Arched alleyways and ancient narrow cobbled lanes radiate out from the Sarlat main square. On market days (Wednesdays & Saturdays) the streets of Sarlat -la-Canéda burst with local produce such as foie gras, truffles, cheeses, wine, walnuts and mushrooms in season.
Château de Beynac
The Dordogne boasts as many as 100 châteaux and Beynac is one of the best preserved castles in the region. This 12th century fortress is open for visits and gives a remarkable insight into what it must have been like in The Hundred Years War. The Château de Beynac was captured, for a time, by the English King Richard-the-Lionheart. When sightseeing, visitors can take a tour inside the remarkably well preserved interior of the chateax and explore the dungeons, great hall and lookout towers with magnificent 360 degree views across the beautiful countryside.
Prehistoric Man - Lascaux II & Les Eyzies-De-Tayac
This world heritage site is home to prehistoric cave paintings 17,000 years old and contains the finest examples of Palaeolithic art in existence. Lascaux offers a fascinating glimpse into the souls of our distant ancestors and guided tours are conducted both in French and English.
Les Eyzies, the prehistorical centre of France, is situated below limestone cliffs where our direct ancestors used to roam 40,000 years ago. The Vézère Valley in particular houses some 250 UNESCO sites including caves and rock paintings, making it the undisputed ‘Prehistoric Capital of the World’.
Local Cuisine and Specialities, Haute-Cuisine in The Dordogne
Food and wine are at the heart of French culture and when in the Dordogne the best way to experience this is through colourful French markets and local restaurants. The Perigord is renowned for its Confit de canard (duck), its world-famous foie gras, truffles, goat’s cheese and walnuts served in salads or in the delicious Gâteau aux Noix. Local red wines from Cahors and Bergerac, and the famous white Monbazillac are bound to find their way onto your table. From Haute-Cuisine and Michelin Star restaurants to simple and delicious Auberges serving local produce and specialities, the Dordogne region offers an unforgettable culinary experience.