Dordogne and Gironde

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Famous for their wines and medieval villages clinging to impossibly steep hillsides, the lush valleys of the Dordogne – also known as the Périgord – are arguably some of the loveliest in France. Châteaux and sleepy towns line the banks of the Dordogne River, while vineyards and fields full of fat white geese dot the hillsides. Head from here to the Gironde's Atlantic coastline for beautiful beaches carpeted in soft sand and backed by fragrant pine forests.


Beautiful beaches
The Gironde has an enviable 126km of soft sandy beaches and the region, which is home to Europe's largest estuary, is so picturesque that even French holidaymakers call it the 'beautiful coast'. Get active with watersports or sand yachting among the sweeping beaches or just relax in one of the hidden coves along the Atlantic coast.

Start your discoveries in Bergerac's bustling street market (and don't miss the statue of Cyrano de Bergerac in one of the town's leafy squares) before heading up-river to the region's more rural outposts. Bergerac's Bataille de Castillon is the scene of a spectacular battle re-enactment every summer featuring 450 actors and 50 live horses.

Lascaux caves
Dubbed the Sistine Chapel of prehistoric art, be sure to take a trip to the impressive Lascaux caves to see their ancient wall paintings of local animals and hunting scenes, which were only discovered by a group of teenagers in the 1940s.

Set on the winding River Lot Cahors’ impressive cathedral makes it worth a visit, especially when combined with the village’s beautiful arched and turreted Valentre Bridge. Surrounding vineyards produce rich deep red wine that you can sample in local cafes along the riverside.

La Madeleine
Cave in to your curiosity and take a trip to the troglodyte village of La Madeleine perched high up above the Vézère. Families lived in these caves for thousands of years and in medieval times they were ‘updated’ to provide housing until the 19th century. The remains of the castle built to protect the cave dwellers can still be seen.

Food and drink
The Dordogne is also tailor-made for gastronomes that love good living. All those fat geese roaming around means there is plenty of foie gras and this truly is truffle country, as well as home to some fantastic red and rose wines.


Hit the right notes at the annual Jazz Pourpre festival in Bergerac.

Catch the spectacular son et lumière show at Bergerac's Bataille de Castillon, re-enacting the battle between the French and the English during the Hundred Years War.

Sip on a heady red wine at a riverside café in the beautiful village of Cahors.

Boutique Hotels in Dordogne and Gironde

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