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Property for sale in Dordogne, Aquitaine, France

Area Guide
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The Dordogne area guide

Things to do

Dordogne is one of France’s most popular destinations. In a country famed worldwide for its cuisine, stunning hills, landscapes, architecture and rustic villages, the Dordogne department manages to assert itself as one of the finest regions in France. The region is known by the French as Le Périgord, which refers to its history during the times of the Roman invasion under Julius Caesar. Originally, four tribes of Gauls occupied the region and they united in the face of Caesar. In Gaelic ‘four tribes’ translates into Petrocore, which eventually transformed into the name used by the locals today.

With over 1,500 castles and chateaux across the region, as well as rural villages bristling with medieval architecture, a visit to the region will leave no question as to why it’s so popular. Whilst the region itself isn’t especially large and can be crossed from one side to the other in just under two hours, there is a great deal to do. The Lascaux caves, enshrined as a UNESCO world heritage site, is home to some of the oldest cave paintings known to man. Images that date back to over 17,000 years ago adorn the caves, the most famous of which, the Great Hall of the Bulls, hold portraits that are up to 5 meters long. Though the caves are no longer open to the public, there are exact replicas located nearby which recreate exactly the caves themselves.

The department hosts some fantastic vineyards, mainly located in what they call the Purple Périgord. Named after the grapes found in the region, the rich red wines are something best enjoyed alongside the numerous other local delicacies.

Though there are hundreds of castles in the region, the Château de Beynac is of particular note. Situated on limestone cliffs and having been built in the 12th century, it towers over the town of Beynac-et-Cazenac. Of equally awe-inspiring visage is the Périgueux Cathedral, in the capital of the region, Périgueux.

Places to eat

There are a wealth of culinary options to choose from, many of them showcasing local specialities and favourites such as Black Truffles. Le Vieux Logis in Tremolat is a Michelin-starred restaurant, regarded by some as the best restaurant in the entire region. With its weekday lunch tasting menu of nine courses, it offers some of the finest examples of French food.

If a reservation proves difficult, its nearby bistro, Le Bistrot d'en Face, also offers excellent cuisine. Auberge de Layotte, found six kilometres outside of Les Eyzies, offers a unique dining experience in an enchanting French forest. The very definition of ‘Farm to Table’ cooking, the chef, a local, prides himself on showing the rustic flavours of his home region.

Shopping

The best shopping to be found in Dordogne is almost certainly in one of its markets. With an impressive series of stalls, even for a French market, the best of the best can be found in Sarlat. With local food and crafts, as well as delicacies like local wine, walnuts or coffee, the market is a fantastic way to spend the day.

On Fridays, an excellent open air market can be found in Souillac, which is only slightly less impressive than the Sarlat market, although by the smallest of margins. Many smaller shops can be found across the region, offering speciality goods, and the Maison des vins is famed across the area for being one of the largest wine shops in the country, selling wine at incredibly low prices.

Getting there & around

Bus services aren’t abundant in the region and getting around without the aid of a car can often prove difficult. Car rental is easily available and the simplest place to rent a vehicle is at one of the two airports in the region. Bergerac Dordogne Périgord Airport and Brive-Souillac Airport both offer international and domestic flights. A sophisticated train network connects many of the towns and cities in the region, as well as larger France.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact editor@zoopla.co.uk

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.



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