During the Hundred Years War, the Dordogne River marked the border between France and England. On either side there are numerous medieval castles and fortresses and this region is also called the ‘land of a thousand castles’.
The largest number of castles can be found in the Loire Valley. ‘Beynac castle’ is well preserved and sits over 150m high on a rocky promontory, overlooking the Dordogne River and the village. The castle of ‘Castelnaud’, in front of ‘Beynac castle’, offers a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside.
‘Sarlat’ is a medieval village with ancient roots and beautiful buildings that have earned the nomination for a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Among the most interesting monuments is the ‘Cathedral of St. Sacerdos’, the birthplace of ‘Etienne de la Boetie’ and the ‘Lantern of the Dead’, a very special building. Don’t miss the town of Bergerac, which is on the banks of the Dordogne River, famous for its vineyards and its medieval town centre. Also take a look at the beautiful caves of the Dordogne. On the walls of the cave of ‘Lascaux’, one of the greatest finds of Paleolithic art, are representations of hundreds of animals: deer, bison, cows and horses.
Average summer temperature: 28 degrees
Dordogne - region of a thousand castles
Cave of Lascaux
The region is known for the black truffle
Walnuts, truffles, chestnuts, strawberries, goose or duck foie gras, wine and chocolate
The Regional Natural Park of ‘Causses de Quercy’, a protected area of 176,000 hectares is an area of sheep and goat farming. Cliffs, caves, hills, deep river valleys and dry meadows divided by stone walls make this a magnificent area.
‘Foie gras’, mushrooms, walnuts, truffles; the Dordogne offers excellent cuisine. If you want to learn more about ‘black diamond’ visit the truffle museum in Sorges and try to find them too along the paths that wind through the oaks!
Each village has plenty of souvenir shops but, if you want more, in Perigueux there is a shopping centre. Here you will also find the well-known clothing chain ‘Babou’, at very competitive prices. If you prefer something more chic then the medieval town of Perigueux has boutiques and big names.
Rocamadour is perched on a limestone cliff and, after Lourdes, is the most visited pilgrimage site in France. After climbing the 216 steps of the Grand Staircase, you will discover the seven shrines of Rocamadour. From the top of the medieval village the panorama of the surrounding area is spectacular!