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Dordogne, France! A Perigord Adventure.

Updated on November 2, 2014

Thinking of visiting France but don't know where to go? Look no further than the beautiful Dordogne region for a fantastic vacation with so much cultural diversity & opportunities for sightseeing!

So what are you looking for in your French holiday?

The Dordogne region has so much to offer:

  • Beautiful contryside
  • Fantastic food in romantic restaurants
  • Diverse cultural experiences
  • A wealth of history in its Historical sites, chateaux & ancient towns
  • Fishing
  • Exciting activities for adults & children
  • A wealth of places to stay of all types

The Dordogne is the 24th Department of France, within the Region of Aquitaine. You'll notice the French car number plates from the Dordogne have a 24 on them. The respective departments do the same for their own drivers too, e.g. Limousin = 14.

The Dordogne is divided into 4 parts by its old medieval name of Perigord. The history of the place is in most travel guides.


Which region would you like to visit?

You've got four main areas that are all very different!

These are traditionally known as the Perigord and are split into:

  • Perigord Noir (black)
  • Perigord Poupre (purple)
  • Perigord Vert (green)
  • Perigord Blanc (white)

Each is very different from the next.

Perigord Vert

My favourite part! So much so I even built a house there. Which is not as tricky as you may think.

Why do I like it? Well its always green in the summer and never too hot. 27-35°C is perfect for myself and my family.

The northern Perigord Vert, bordering the equally beautiful Limousin are both high on interest and low on other English tourists

What is there to do I hear you ask?

Answer: Loads!

Click thumbnail to view full-size

So, What is there to do?

Sightseeing for grown ups in the Perigord Vert.

Try these websites to investigate the beautiful sites that the Dordogne/Perigord has to offer:,

  • Rendezvous Dordogne,
  • Perigord Guide Marqueyssac Gardens Truly fabulous & near several castles
  • Thiviers Foie Gras capital of France
  • Brantome on the river Dronne
  • Working Walnut Oil Mill at Lanouaille
  • Castles to visit
  • Farmers Markets
  • Vide Grenier (Carboot-French-style)

Archaeology & Early Human Sites : Les Eyzies-de-Tayac & Lascaux II

Other tourist sites include: Brive, Martel, Lubersac, Arnac Pompadour , Segur Le Chateau , Uzerche, Saint Jean de Cole,


Get a road map and look for panoramic. Take picnic for a day out. Enjoy

Don't forget the section below on driving in France. You must carry certain items by law now.

For the kids in Perigord

Children's activities in the local area range from:
Lake beaches known as Plans d'eau (e.g. Plan-d'eau-de-Rouffiac) with adventure playgrounds (all free) @ Nantheuil, Rouffiac & St Yrieix La Perche.

Swimming pools are found at Jumilhac-le-Grand & Thiviers locally. Aqua parc near Perigueux has pools and water slides in-door and out! Useful to combine with a day out in Medieval centre of Perigueux with its many restaurants, cafe & shops!

Tree climbing experiences All available if you search the web / Tourist info.
Horse riding

Castles to visit: There are reputedly 1,001 castles in the Dordogne region, These are nearest: Jumilhac, Bories, Hautefort, Excideuil & Chalus (ruin where Richard I was killed is not far away), although a day out to Beynac and Castelnaud is a real must for the castle fanatic! (see earlier link).

The Monkey Sanctuary (La foret des Singes) at Rocamadour is well worth a visit! If you do visit then take a tour of Rocamadour and investigate the Bishop's Palace followed by the decent to the ancient town below (don't worry, there is a lift!)
Canoe / kyak at Brantome.

So Where is The Perigord Vert?

What is most important to you in your French Vacation?

See results

The Foooooood!!!!

It's pure genius....

Dining. Where's good to eat?

Well it depends upon budget & type of holiday.

Self catering has never been easier...

Eating in: The kitchen in a Gite has everything that you need to cook your own meals. That's how they work or people won't go back to them. We returned to the same one 8yrs on the trot!

For groceries Thiviers, for example has a Saturday market and several supermarche including Atac/ Simply, Lidl, Leader Price & Carrefour Market as well as a myriad of smaller shops, butchers, bakers, but no candle stick makers.

The surrounding towns in perigord vert have good regular Farmer's Markets as well. Its a great experience shopping in them to soak up a bit of that Perigord culture. Use this link to find the Farmer's Markets.

Eating out:

Can be expensive, go for Plat de jour / menu at x-euros...

Believe it or not, Tripadvisor has some accurate descriptions of the restaurants that I have visited.

Thivers is the nearby town with plenty of shops and small supermarkets. The Saturday market is a joy to behold with fresh food of all sorts French at good prices. The town has many bars and some fine restaurants. It also boasts a swimming pool and sports facilities. Thiviers also holds a night market in August that should not be missed. Two good bread shops in the main square!
Jumilhac-Le-Grand, just over the border in neighbouring Limousin sports a fantastic Chateau open to visitors and fun bric-a-brac market (Vide Grenier) on certain Weekends. The local restaurants supply good local cuisine that are frequented by locals so you know they are good. If you get the chance, go to the bread shop in the square!

Sarrazac has a good local restaurant called Chez Marie that produces a good country menu every day and is frequented by locals. It also opens as a bar and you can order bread for breakfast there. Its only 25yrds up the road.

If you spend a day visiting Rocamadour / the monkey sanctuary, its worth eating on the journey at Martel in the medieval village square. It has 3 or 4 restaurants.

To get an idea of where's good to eat you really need one of two books and then compare their information on restuarants with tripadvisor. You can use google translate to help with any French comments on the web.

How to get to the Dordogne

Flying / Airports
Ferry / car or coach
London -Paris
P&O Dover-Calais
P&O Hull-Zeebrugge
Perigueux Basillac
Limoges to anywhere!
MyFerryLink Dover-Calais
Brive Vallee
Brittany Ferries-Cherbourg/Caen
DFDS Dover-Dunkirk

If you drive you must carry these IN FRANCE

    • Driving licence
    • Proof of vehicle ownership or hire
    • Vehicle insurance
    • Headlamp beam deflector
    • Spare set of bulbs
    • Breathalyzer kit
    • Hazard warning triangle
    • Spare set of car keys
    • High-visibility waistcoats
    • Vehicle condition

Buy online

High viz vests, breathalyzers, Headlamp deflectors, its cheaper.

Ensure your Tomtom has no speedcamera sites listed. it's illegal in france. They can stop you and demand to see the device, but legally you can refuse. They can only fine you IF you hand it over!

Taking a car to FRANCE 2014

  • Take your full Driving licence (both parts)
  • Proof of vehicle ownership or hire
  • Vehicle insurance
  • Headlamp beam deflector
  • Spare set of bulbs
  • Breathalyzer kit
  • Hazard warning triangle
  • Spare set of car keys
  • High-visibility waistcoats
  • Vehicle condition

The French Language!?!

Don't panic! The French down here are a kind sensible lot. They are not rude Parisians. They would like you to try a little French as a courtesy but will try to communicate with you as best they can.

So if you don't speak good French, don't worry. It is not a barrier to enjoying this part of France!

Try one of the Language cards of key words like:

OOOZU French Language Card - phrasebook alternative

or a holiday French course, The BBC produce them for iPod and CD/DVD. I do this! I managed to build a house there with minimal language skills using only French craftsmen. Mon Dieu!

© 2014 hawley


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