Towns and villages
Almost every local village is a gem of medieval architecture. Bastide villages like Domme and Monpazier were created during the Hundred Years War
Visit Cahors for its daily market, Roman fortified Pont Valentré and Malbec Lounge for information on local wines and vineyards
You can find a local farmers’ market every day of the week – most villages have their special day. We recommend Cazals on a Sunday and Prayssac on a Friday.
Many villages host an evening marché gourmand. Sample local wines and a wide range of freshly cooked street food. Our favourite is St Pompon, just five minutes down the hill, where you can enjoy duck hearts, Mauritian curries, Vietnamese street food, paella, burgers, moules frites, all washed down witn resonably-price local wines. And then it’s time to dance!
Local restaurants range from fermes auberges to Michelin starred. Local specialities are duck, more duck, strawberries and walnuts, but we are finding more adventurous and intriguing places tucked away.
Castles and gardens
The Dordogne valley is known as the valley of five castles. Most are open to the public and offer medieval architecture and armaments (Beynac and Castelnaud), fabulous gardens and raptor shows (Chateau des Milandes), and magnificent river views. Or travel south away from the river, for the less well-known delights of Bonaguil, Biron and Gavaudun, dreaming in the sleepy, untouristy Lot et Garonne. And we can advise you on delightful gardens to visit well off the well-trodden tourist track.
The Manoir d’Eyrignac has world-class formal gardens; Marqueyssac has impressive hilltop box gardens and delicious ice creams – while away an afternoon while the children explore the box maze and the play areas
- World famous cave paintings at Lascaux, Font de Gaume and Cougnac
- Other caves offer boats on underground rivers, mini-railways, crystal caverns and amazing stalactites
- Modern prehistory museum at Les Eyzies
- Rocamadour World Heritage Site has been a place of pilgrimage for over 1000 years
- Many prehistory sites of interest along the Vezere river
Out of season
- Wild orchids in April/May
- Mushroom foraging in autumn
- Truffle markets in winter