There are reported to be 1001 châteaux in the Dordogne, so you’ll see them dotted all over the countryside. Château de Biron changed allegiance countless times during the Hundred Years’ War and is worth visiting just for the views. Towering above the Dordogne river are the two medieval castles of Beynac and Castelnaud. Milandes was once the home of Josephine Baker which now hosts falconry in its gardens.
You can’t come to France without going to a market! The best one is on Sunday morning in Issigeac. There are local markets in Lauzun on Fridays, and in Eymet on Thursdays mornings and Monday evenings where you can buy food from stalls and sit at trestle tables in the town squares. A full list of local markets will be published here at the beginning of the summer season.
The Dordogne is perhaps best known for black truffles which can be found in winter and summer. The region is also known for duck and walnuts and hazelnuts grow in abundance here, and in the summer the markets are full of strawberries (considered some of the best in France) and in the autumn cep mushrooms.
The Romans planted vineyards around Bergerac, which now boasts some award-wining vineyards. We can arrange a tour of different vineyards, or a visit to one which offers an hour-long tour. If you don’t want to drive, then we can arrange for a wine-tasting here at Maison du Cluzeau, learning about the best of the local wines. If you’re going to Bordeaux, stop off at Saint-Émilion whose vineyards surrounding the town are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Lot et Garonne river
You can rent canoes in different locations, in the Dordogne or the Lot et Garonne. The rental company will meet take you to a point in the river and then you canoe back to where you parked. We recommend CANOeric in Le Bugue and Nautilius BKS in Castelmoron-sur-Lot. Further afield you have the Dordogne and the Vézère, which meet up in Limeuil (one of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France), and is a great place for swimming. You can also swim at Le Buisson.
Monflaquin and Eymet
Monflanquin, listed as one of the most beautiful villages of France, is located 13 miles from Cluzeau. It is a French bastide town, it was founded by the French in the 13th century, at a time when the English ruled much of this part of France. Set on a hilltop, Monflanquin is a beautiful example of a medieval bastide and definitely worth a visit.
In the other direction you will find the beautiful bastide town of Eymet on the edge of the River Dropt. Here you will find a weekly market and a evening market in and around the central square.
There are three magical gardens worth visiting. The classical Jardins du Manoir d’Eyrignac near Sarlat with an alley of hornbeam and flower meadows is stunning. The hanging gardens of Marqueyssac were planted on a rocky spur south of La Roque-Gageac in the 19th century. Some 150,000 vintage boxwoods, trimmed twice a year by hand, blaze a symmetrical riot of swirls, whirls and curvaceous patterns. Latour Marliac is a water garden with waterlilies and lotuses founded in 1875 when M. Latour Marliac created fantastic hybrid coloured waterlilies never seen before in Europe. They were so modern that he exhibited them at the Paris Exhibition in 1889 alongside the new Eiffel Tower. Monet was so amazed that he ordered all his waterlilies from Latour Marliac, which he famously went on to paint.
New in the Pays de Duras, between Gironde and Perigord, an adventure park in the middle of an oak forest to have fun during weekends and holidays. 5km from the Chateau de Duras in Sainte Colombe de Duras.
The Dordogne is famous for the caves and rock shelters, settlements and burial sites which have been discovered. Lascaux IV is the Sistine Chapel of prehistory, a cave discovered by 4 boys in 1940 out walking their dog. The cave paintings date from around 18,000 BC. In order to preserve the paintings, an exact copy of the cave has been made which you can visit. There is a museum at Les Eyzies and troglodyte (cave) dwellings underneath Belvès main square.