Friday, 23 August 2013

Friday, 23 August 2013

Top 5 things to do in the Dordogne

Peppered by over 1000 historic châteaux, beautiful forests, medieval towns, picturesque villages, flowing rivers and caves, it is easy to understand why Dordogne is one of France’s most loved regions, and probably the favourite destination of British buyers. There are so many things to do, eat and discover in this idyllic south-west region of France.

What are the top 5 things to do, when the choice is so wide ?

1st – visit a leading market. Perigueux is a Gallo-Roman city going back to 16th century B.C.  The Roman remains and architecture from the renaissance era are a must visit, as is the coveted market, which gourmets all across the world come to for it’s rare local delicacies. Sarlat market is a must for food lovers. All year long, depending on the season, you can find foie grass, the famous cepe mushrooms, magret / duck & goose products, truffles, walnuts and countless other delicious local products to tempt your taste buds. Sarlat also has a very high concentration of listed buildings to visit.

2nd – Lascaux. With its paintings estimated to be over 17,300 years old, the caves of Lascaux will not only be an incredible sight and vision of beauty.  It is complex of caves famous for its Paleolithic cave paintings. The original caves are located near the village of Montignac, and visitors today visit a stunning replica.

3rd - The Dordogne River is a river of stunning beauty and tranquility, where you will enjoy incredible sights and can enjoy the usual river based activities. The higher reached of the Dordogne are renowned  for being the best fly-fishing areas, whilst boating activities are more popular further west.

4th – Visit some of the Plus Beaux Villages. Dordogne is said to have the highest concentration of the most beautiful villages in France. It is easy to see why when you visit somewhere such as Domme which feature remarkably beautiful historical architecture mainly from the Renaissance era set in a back drop of stunning natural beauty. Alphabetically the choice is from Belvès, Beynac et Canzenac, Castelnaud-la-Chapelle, Domme, La Roque Gageac, Limeuil, Monpazier, Saint-Amand-de-Coly, Saint-Jean-de-Côle, & Saint-Léon-sur Vézère.  Why not visit them all ?

5th – Visit the local Châteaux. With over 1000 to choose from, there is one for everyone’s taste. Perhaps the best known are Le Chateau de Castelnaud, Chateau de Beynac, and the  Chateau of Milandes.

Not a lot of people know this - The Dordogne is one of the very few rivers in Europe to have a  tidal bore, rather like the River Severn in England. This means that a handful of times a year (given the right season and wind direction) a powerful wave travels many miles up-river, making this an amazing phenomenon to watch and the experience of a lifetime to surf for the brave.
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