Tourist information for the Dordogne
This part of France, known to the British as the Dordogne, consists of parts
of the regions of Limousin, Aquitaine, and Midi-Pyrenees. It's a beautiful and
peaceful area of undulating farmland criss-crossed by wide, slow rivers sometimes
cutting through spectacular steep limestone valleys, riddled with caves, many containing
world-famous prehistoric paintings. The region is dotted with small towns and villages,
all typically French in character. Because this area has been inhabited since prehistoric
times there is a wealth of sites and monuments to visit or you can just relax and
spend the day swimming in the many lakes and rivers, cycling through the quiet lanes
or walking the marked footpaths. The higher plateaux of the area with their distinctive
scrubby vegetation provide good walking and cycling. The whole region is dotted
with chateaux, many of which are open to visitors.
Activities in the Dordogne and Limousin:
Cycling, river and lake swimming, canoeing, walking, horse riding, wine tasting.
Special attractions in the Dordogne and Limousin:
Prehistoric cave paintings at Les Eyzies and other sites, Eglise monolith at Aubeterre,
prehistoric cliff-side dwellings at La Roque St. Christophe.
Towns and places of interest in the Dordogne:
Aubeterre. Gateway to the beautiful valley of the Dronne. Ancient hillside
town with its Eglise Monolith built into the rock.
Bergerac. Capital of the local wine growing region and, set on the banks
of the Dordogne, previously an important inland port. A good centre for exploring
the south-west of the region, especially the "bastides" at Monpazier and
Brantome. Visit its ancient abbey and Romanesque belfry set against a wooded
escarpement. Canoe, walk or cycle from here along the quiet banks of the Dronne.
Brive-la-Gaillard. A centre for exploring the upper reaches of the Dordogne
Cahors. Bustling, historic sun-filled town on the river Lot.
Domme. One of many fortified medieval villages on one of the most spectacular
stretches of the Dordogne.
Les Eyzies. Site of the most famous prehistoric cave paintings. Very busy
in the summer but there are many other smaller sites around which are less crowded.
Limoges. Famous for its fine china, this town also has an attractive old
quarter and Gothic cathedral, but it is the surrounding fertile pastoral landscape
that is the main attraction.
Montignac. An attractive town and centre for exploring the Lascaux caves
Perigeux. Capital of the area, notable mainly for its Cathedral and Roman
remains in the old town.
Rocamadour. Very touristy staging post on the Santiago di Compostella trail,
vertiginously built into the sheer rock.
Sarlat. Wander through the streets of the well-preserved medieval old town
then set out along the lush and verdant Vezere valley, with its renowned cave paintings
and grottoes around Les Eyzies-de-Tayac.