The Dordogne is a region of Aquitaine, France. Dordogne is one of France's best-kept secrets.
Castles, chateaux, and other important historical museums are sprinkled throughout the region, offering enough historical interest for any aficionado, but attractively distributed throughout a breath-taking scenery that needs no scholarly tendencies to enjoy it.
While long a favourite with visitors, the region has escaped much of the overdevelopment of some of France's other regions.
Rural France has a relaxed and steady pace of life. Prepare in advance for a Sunday afternoon as most shops, restaurants and attractions are closed. Some of the larger shops will open on Sunday morning.
There isn't much in the way of public transport around the Périgord Noir area of which Sarlat is the main town.
Railway : Trains from Paris to Souillac or Paris to Libourne and then change for Sarlat using the Bergerac line. A number of trains operate from Bordeaux to Sarlat each day, which takes about 3 hours and is a reasonably scenic journey.
Bus : There is no bus station in Sarlat but some services operate from the railway station. The Transperigord links Souillac to Sarlat via the Dordogne valley twice daily and the Sarlat Bus services various areas of Sarlat itself.
Taxi : There are several taxi companies operating around Sarlat and the Dordogne valley. Taxi Faugére and taxi Cy
- Visitors from around the world flock to see the prehistoric caves of Lascaux, thought by many scholars to be the world's best. However, due to the damage resulting from too many people visiting the caves, they have been permanently closed to the public. The French government has built Lascaux II near the site where tourists can see a copy of the original cave.
- A lovely countryside, dotted by the golden stone houses native to this region, makes Dordogne seem a little like a cross between a fairy tale and a movie set.
- Canoeing down the River Dordogne is a fantastic way to see the region.
- Small group tours departing from Sarlat la Caneda with Ophorus.
- The Dordogne is a wonderful area for walking and hiking. There are various good maps of the region or otherwise quite a few local, independent walking holiday providers can help you on your way.
A magnificent cuisine - famous especially for its pâtés - is often rated by native French as the country's best.
Some local specialties:
- Pommes Sarladaises -- potatoes roasted in duck fat, with garlic and parsley
- Confit de canard -- slow-cooked duck leg
- Foie gras -- liver from the fattened duck (canard) or goose (oie), prepared in any number of ways, including pâtés
- Black truffle of Périgord -- best season for this is when it's fresh, late November through February
- Tourain blanchi -- garlic soup with egg whites
- Dordogne Bed & Breakfast (Balcon en Foret), Tral Pech, ☎ +33 (0)5 53 28 24 01, . checkin: 16:00; checkout: 11:00. Bed and Breakfast Balcon en Forêt welcomes you, peacefully hidden on a hill among fig and walnut trees, a 5 mn walk away from Beynac, from its medieval streets, terraces, canoes and boats. Beynac, one of the most beautiful villages of France, is ideally located to visit all the major sites and awarded architectural heritage of the Dordogne Valley, of Sarlat, as well as the Vézère Valley protected by the Unesco. A hiking path along the Dordogne river leads to the famous Château de Beynac (10mn by foot) and to the Château de Castelnaud and Gardens of Marqueyssac (1h by foot). 135. edit
- Castelwood, Bois du Chateau, 45400 BIRON (Les Marios), ☎ +33553579608, . At the foot of the Castle of Biron, nestled in a wood, are our 15 wooden chalets. Each chalet has more than 540 sq.ft. living space as well as a spacious porch of 160 sq.ft. They are fully and comfortably equipped. Downstairs there is an open style kitchen, a living room with comfortable settees, a separate toilet, a bathroom with shower and washbasin and a bedroom for 2 people. The second bedroom, for 2/4 people, is on the mezzanine floor. The porch has a garden table and chairs for your meals and drinks outside. Holidays to the rhythm of nature, peace and relaxation. No disco music in the evenings and no organised activities during the day. There’s a swimming pool where you can cool down and laze around. 399 à 931€. (44.6245,0.8770) edit
- Le Casse-Noix (Bed and Breakfast), 6 Rue du Breuil, ☎ +33 (0)6 45 65 80 05, . Located in a quiet residential area of Sarlat La Caneda within 10 minutes walk from the medieval city center. The house consists of 3 quiet guest rooms, with en-suite private bathroom and it is surrounded by a large garden where guests can relax with tables for picnicking. There is also a shaded terrace and a veranda with a shared fridge as well as magazines, books, hiking maps and board games at guests disposal. Free Wi-Fi available throughout the house and free public parking just next to the property. Languages spoken: English, French, Italian and Spanish. edit
- Sakura Guesthouse (Bed and Breakfast), 130 Route du Sablier St-Pierre-d'Eyraud 24130, ☎ +33 (0)5 53 57 20 40, . checkin: 15:00; checkout: 11:00. Situated on the banks of the Dordogne river, 10kms west of Bergerac Airport, Sakura Guesthouse is ideally placed for visiting the villages of the Dordogne, St. Emilion and Perigueux. A home-grown breakfast is served every morning in the one-acre, riverside garden. Airport shuttles and private tours are also available. On-site parking and wifi are included at no extra charge. A double and twin room are available and can be booked together for a family of four or separately. 65€ - 70€. (44.841555,0.332692) edit
- Gite Dordogne (Holiday Home), GiteDordogne.co.uk (North East Dordogne), ☎ 07930338555, . checkin: 15:00; checkout: 10:00. Farmhouse Gite as a whole holiday home house, sleeps 2 - 14. Ideal for families and groups of families, or families and friends. Children friendly. Large swimming pool 14m long. Unique house with Banquet Hall, Games Room inc pool table and table tennis. 5 large double bedrooms. All set in 26 acres of land, grasslands, forest and lakes. 195-375. edit