Renowned for its castles, cuisine and wine, Dordogne has been drawing in visitors for centuries. Situated in the south-west of France it is exceptionally beautiful, with fortified hilltop villages, vineyards, caves and grottos, forests, rivers and famous UNESCO world heritage sites. Some of the more popular activities include canoeing along the Dordogne river, cycling along the quiet back roads through the small villages and hamlets, horse riding, picnicking in the public gardens or exploring the Lascaux caves in the Vezere Valley, where the rock art dates back 30,000 years. The Grotte de Rouffignac is another cave system that can be accessed on a little tourist train where you can view rock paintings of woolly mammoths and bison dating back more than 13,000 years.
The Chateau de Castelnaud-la-Chapelle is a striking fortress that dates all the way back to the 1200s. There is a guided 45-minute tour where you can explore and view the ancient weaponry. The Cathedrale Saint-Front in Perigueux is worth a trip to as it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which dates back to the 12th century. You could also visit La Roque-Gageac, which has been named as one of France’s most beautiful villages. It is located on the north bank of the Dordogne, just in front of the towering limestone cliffs.
Dordogne is quite rural, so the village markets are full of local produce such as fruit and vegetables, cured meats, cheeses and honey. The markets at Sarlat-la-Caneda are particularly popular with both locals and tourists. In the summertime, the region will hold big cultural festivals and events, which draws people from all over France and abroad. The weather is mostly sunny and warm, and mild in winter, and the local cuisine centres around duck, with foie gras, truffles and goats cheese being equally as popular.
The closest international airport is Bordeaux, and the TGV train station has many regional trains travelling to and from Dordogne multiple times a day.