Holidays in Dordogne

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Dordogne Overview

Visiting The Dordogne

Hardly anywhere else in France will you find a region so steeped in history. If you have an eye for culture, another eye for beauty, a nose for investigating hidden delights, a mouth for masticating and a head for heights, there’s treats galore in store.

Feel The Dordogne

Camp in the Dordogne amongst meandering rivers, ancient villages, impressive châteaux and rich vineyards. But it’s not all gentle excursions. There’s also manic exertions, from hiking and cycling to birdwatching (maybe not that manic), fishing and watersports. And when you need to cool down, chilly pre-history caverns welcome you with a (literal) echo of the past.

Explore The Dordogne

Whether it’s the lovely cliff-side town of Rocamadour, or one of the many other picturesque medieval towns, there’s enough history to fill a book (or a tome). Further back in time are the Caves at Lascaux, which offer the finest surviving examples of prehistoric paintings, and Préhisto Parc , which explores the rigours of Neanderthal and Cromagnon life, like no central heating. Canoeing is a very popular way to explore the rivers and gorges here, on your own or with one of the many organised excursions.

Places to visit - Sightseeing

With prehistoric sites, a multitude of grand Chateaux and the glorious Dordogne river to enjoy, there is something for everyone in this beautiful region:

Rocamadour
A stunning village built into a sheer cliff, this is one of France’s most visited attractions. While it is still a place of holy pilgrimage for the devout, it also offers a host of charming buildings and fine restaurants for the casual visitor.

Bergerac
A lovely old port spread across both sides of the Dordogne river, Bergerac is also the centre of this wine-producing region, and offers the fine dining and excellent wines you would expect, together with wine and tobacco museums.

Domme
This fortified bastide town offers great beauty, whichever way you look at it. Inside, it is a maze of ancient street and medieval gateways, while on the outside you will find endlessly beautiful views of the Dordogne valley, from Beynac to Montfort.

Sarlat
This bustling market town offers more medieval, Renaissance and 17th century buildings in one place than anywhere else in France. With its maze of quaint streets and fine churches, it could almost be considered a vast, open-air museum. Simply unmissable.

Perigueux
Périgueux has a glorious medieval centre that has been the crossroads of the Périgord since ancient times. Come here to enjoy the striking Cathedrale St-Front and the Musée du Périgord, where prehistoric artefacts date back more than 70,000 years.

Les Jardins de Margueyssac
A National Historical Monument, the hanging gardens at Margueyssac offer you more than 6 kilometres of shaded paths lined by more than 150,000 elegantly shaped boxwoods. Calming and beautiful in equal measure.

Chateau Castelnaud
Offering magnificent views over the Dordogne valley and the medieval village of La Roque-Gageac, Chateau Castelnaud is a stunning castle, devoted to exploring the art of war in the Middle Ages through a superb collections of arms.

Montignac
A lovely old town on the banks of the Vezere River, Montignac offers a delightful old quarter where the narrow medieval streets contain wonderful examples of 14th, 15th and16th century architecture as well as lots of lovely bars and restaurants.

Great for younger kids

Prehisto Parc
The ideal place for youngsters to let off some steam while learning about the past. Prehisto Parc consists of five hectares of woodland complete with tableaux depicting the lives of Neanderthal and Cromagnon hunters – and their fearsome prey.

Jacquou Parc
This lively park near Le Bugue is ideal for younger families, as it offers an aqua zone with pools and waterslides, a fairground zone and best of all, an animal parc full of parrots, donkeys and a host of other cute, pettable creatures.

Great for older kids

Indian Forest Perigord
This family adventure park features no less than six climbing adventure courses amidst the treetops. Difficulty levels vary and challenge visitors with a variety of rope bridges, zip wires, balance beams, climbing walls, slides and ropes.

Hautefort Quad Biking and Paintballing
These adjacent attractions just outside the village of Hautefort offer quad bike trekking and paintballing in four different terrains respectively. An ideal day out for families with older children and teens.

Places to visit - Activities & events

Canoeing
The Dordogne is such an endlessly beautiful river, and one of the best ways to enjoy it is to hire a canoe for a day or half a day. You will find many places that hire canoes here, including at Le Bugue, Port d’Envaux and Le Roque Gageac.

Golf
There are seven fine golf courses in the Dordogne, where you can enjoy nine or eighteen holes in some of the loveliest scenery in all France. Lolivarie in the heart of the Perigord Noir is particularly popular, with a lovely woodland setting.

Fishing
The Dordogne is home to all sorts of fish, from pike and carp to salmon and trout. Fishing spots are also plentiful, but please remember to get a licence from the local tackle shop or tabac first – and also that night fishing is mainly prohibited here.

Horse-riding
The Dordogne and Vezere valleys make spectacular horse-riding country, and you will find a number of farms and equestrian centres here from where you can enjoy a day’s riding or even overnight tours.

Unmissable events in Dordogne

Sarlat Theatre Festival
Held here since 1952, this three-week festival is held every year across July and August and usually features more than 20 plays performed in the medieval heart of Sarlat.

L’Eté Musical en Bergerac
Taking place for a month every Summer across July and August, this enjoyable festival features an eclectic mix of musical acts from around the world performing against a variety of historic backdrops.

Festival les Guitares Vertes – Every July in Jumilhac
A feast of guitar-based concerts, discussions, cinema and photography from around the world.

Pourpre Jazz Festival – Every May inBergerac
Now in its eighth year, this friendly and informal jazz festival takes place in Bergerac, and brings a number of jazz styles together.

Places to visit - Eating out

The Dordogne has one of the richest cuisines in France, in every sense of the word. These are just some of the highlights:

  • Foie Gras – a rich paté made from the fattened livers of geese, you will find signs for home made foie gras at farms across the region
  • Walnuts – popular throughout the region, these fine nuts are coated in chocolate, turned into nougat, pressed for their oil and even turned into a surprisingly pleasant liqueur.
  • Truffles – the Périgord is famous for its rich, black truffles; a delicacy that is used to add richness to many meals here, from gourmet feasts to omelettes.
  • Bergerac wine – this is wonderful wine country and oenophiles should be sure to sample the fine Bergerac AOC and Montravel AOC wines they will find here.

Campsites in region

Les Péneyrals, Salignac, Dordogne
Les Péneyrals | Salignac

A parc made for families who love to explore, but also want to enjoy their downtime poolside.

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La Palombière swimming pool
La Palombière | Sarlat

La Palombière is a beautifully kept, small parc surrounded by unspoilt countryside close to the wonderful medieval town of Sarlat.

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Les Grottes de Roffy, Sarlat, Dordogne
Les Grottes de Roffy | Sarlat

Think of the Dordogne and, chances are, you’ll picture yourself browsing bric-a-brac stores in some mellow-stone village, or lazing the day away alongside a riverbank. Plump for a holiday in Les Grottes de Roffy and you can put yourself in the picture.

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Le Moulin de Paulhiac, Daglan, Dordogne
Le Moulin de Paulhiac | Daglan

How many châteaux visited constitutes a holiday? How about five, within easy exploration of your parc? We know just the place…

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Le Port de Limeuil, Limeuil, Dordogne
Le Port de Limeuil | Limeuil

There are a few reasons why we reckon Le Port de Limeuil will capture your holiday heart and it all starts with direct access to the Dordogne river. Watch in high summer as a fantastic river beach appears as the water levels drop down. Won’t the kids love to splash about here?

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Le Paradis, St Léon, Dordogne
Le Paradis | St Léon

Fancy mixing the rustic beauty of the Dordogne with daily splash-abouts at a brand new pool complex? Then Le Paradis is the ideal parc for you.

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Soleil Plage, Vitrac, Dordogne
Soleil Plage | Vitrac

How will you explore your little corner of the Dordogne? Perhaps hopping in a canoe or wild swimming in the river that can be directly accessed from the parc?

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St. Avit Loisirs, Le Bugue, Dordogne
St. Avit Loisirs | Le Bugue

With its magnificent pools and waterslides, this lively parc in the heart of the Dordogne’s lush countryside has a reputation for high standards and substantial pitches.

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Camping Le Capeyrou, Beynac-et-Cazenac, Dordogne
Le Capeyrou | Beynac-et-Cazenac

Arrive at Camping Le Capeyrou and you'll stumble across one of the Dordogne's best kept secrets.

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Location reviews

Dordogne reviews collected by Reevoo

Overall rating
9.0
Scores 9.0 out of 10 based on 847 reviews
Reviews and scores from the last 12 months.
10 out of 10

Timothy

Freshwater
A fantastic area with loads of history, plenty of sites to visit, an area which offers something for everyone
Confirmed stay: 22 September 2013
5 out of 10

Ian

Wallingford
Very pretty wooded area of France. Interesting cultural places to visit and some good restaurants.
Confirmed stay: 17 September 2013
9 out of 10

Malcolm

Emswoth
So many things to see even after our second year on site . Good French food, markets truly a holiday to be enjoyed. Even staying on site it would be relaxing with local walks along the river
Confirmed stay: 16 September 2013
9 out of 10

Geoffrey

Lancaster
Just like the cotswolds - with better weather
Confirmed stay: 16 September 2013
9 out of 10

Rick

Worcester
You need to be ready to walk, cycle, canoe and be active if you go there. So if that is not for you go somewhere else.
The local forest trails are very good and very well marked but we still got lost once or twice.
There are lots of canoe hire places with lots of options on distance.
Confirmed stay: 15 September 2013
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