The Dordogne Valley is home to over 1000 chateaux – there is everything from defensive chateaux or castles from which the 100 years war was fought to stately homes. The chateaux are famous throughout France and it is worth visiting more than one of the chateaux of the Dordogne as they all have something different to offer.
2. Explore the Beautiful Villages of the Dordogne
The Dordogne plays host to a number of gorgeous villages. As you drive around the region you will come across quaint, cute, picture perfect villages at every turn. At the very top of this list are a number of villages that have received the prestigious classification as “Most Beautiful Villages of France” (Les Plus Beaux Villages de France). There are 152 “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France” ten of which are found in the Dordogne – more than any other department in France.
3. Pre History Museum at Les Eyzies
The National Museum of Pre-History Les Eyzies houses a collection of over one million relics and artefacts found from the many pre-historic sites in the area. The Les Eyzies National Museum of Pre-History is a fascinating Les Eyzies tourist attraction and great place to learn about pre-historic man and a must for any history lover.
4. Visit Marqueyssac Gardens
The Hanging Gardens of Marqueyssac are unique gardens suspended high above the Dordogne River on a rocky outcrop. They are set in the grounds of the 17th century Chateau de Marqueyssac and are classified among the Notable Gardens of France by the Committee of Parks and Gardens of the French Ministry of Culture.
5. Shop at the Markets
The Markets are an important part of daily life in France, it is a chance for locals to meet and exchange gossip and to buy the best possible produce available. Most towns and villages hold a weekly market with local produce and delicacies being sold.
6. Dine Out
The Dordogne is a food lovers haven with exceptional produce and specialties abounding. From tiny bistro’s to restaurants in stunning chateau and vineyards through to those with the coveted Michelin stars there is something to suit all tastes and budgets.
7. Explore Sarlat
Beautiful Sarlat is a medieval town that developed around a large Benedictine abbey of Carolingian origin. Due to surrounding terrain modern history largely passed it by therefore, Sarlat has remained preserved and is one of the towns most representative of 14th century France.
8. Canoe the Dordogne River
Hire a canoe from one of the many canoe outfitters and float down the river passing ancient villages and chateaux along the way. Stop for a picnic on one of the riverside beaches before being picked up at the other end and returned to your car.
9. Visit Domme
The village of Domme is a bastide town that dates from circa 1280 and played an important role during the 100 years war. Domme sits high above the Dordogne.Valley, 150 metres above the Dordogne river which meanders peacefully below.
10. Pre-Historic Grottes & Caves
The pre-historic caves and grottes of the Dordogne play a significant role in the history of both the area and Cro-Magnon man – the first early modern humans who lived 20,000 to 40,000 years ago. The first sample of Cro-Magnon man was discovered in the town of Les Eyzies – de Taynac (or just Les Eyzies) in the heart of the Dordogne. There are hundreds of caves and grottes across the Dordogne region including the famous Lascaux and Font du Guame