Dordogne Holiday Cottages
The heart of the "Dordogne" area is the department of the Dordogne with the capital being Perigueux: the French tend to refer to this area not as "la Dordogne" but as "le Périgord", and the area is famous for its gourmet delights, notably paté de foie gras, walnuts and truffles. For tourists, the epicentre of this Dordogne is known as "le Périgord noir", situated in the south east of the region. The classic Dordogne is a town called Sarlat and the river Dordogne, with its limestone cliffs, castles which include s Beynac and beautiful villages such as Domme and Castelnaud.
Dordogne is home to world-famous caves with their prehistoric paintings, especially in the grotto at Lascaux. There is a museum of prehistoric artefacts at Les Eyzies. There are other prehistoric caves that can be visited at Font de Gaume and Cap Blanc, and even a prehistoric theme park, Prehistoparc. Perigord Noir is very hilly with an altitude of approx 350 metres. West of Perigord Noir lies Périgord Pourpre, the area round Bergerac. This area is easily accessible from the UK by Ryanair ith daily flights from March – November. It is very flat but a region most famous for its wines and vineyards. Périgord Vert which is to the north, is known as Green Perigord, a greener and more undulating region of small villages and farms, streams and rivers. Small towns such as Ribérac, Mussidan and Eymet have an olde-worlde charm to them
Market day in Sarlat is Saturday and Wednesday.
Fete de la Truffe is on the third weekend of January
Sarlat Fest'oie is on the third Sunday of February and is Sarlat's goose festival
Castle of Castelnaud in Castelnaud
Font de Gaume, Lascaux and the Grotte du Grand-Roc in Les Eyzies
statue in honour of Cyrano de Bergerac – in Bergerac
Markets on a Wednesday and Saturday – in Bergerac (sample the sweet whites produced around Monbazillac)
Riberac Market on Friday morning - is the largest in the Dordogne
Musée Andre Voulgre (arts and crafts Museum) - in Mussidan
National Tobacco Museum (Musée du Tabac) - in Eyemet
Sarlat is a gastronomic centre, the region being well known particularly for foie gras and truffles. The most famous town in the region and one of the most renowned and visited in France beginning its life in the 9th Century . Sarlat is a beautiful, well restored town a few kilometres north of the River Dordogne with the old town dating from both medieval and renaissance times. The pedestrianised Rue de la Republique runs the length of the old town, with mazes of narrow streets either side. The cathedral is to the south-east of Sarlat, with the attractive Place de Payrou and Hotel de la Boétie. North east is the lovely Place de la Liberté and the wonderful winding street of the Rue des Consuls. The cathedral was originally the church of Sarlat Abbey. Over the centuries it has been added to and transformed and is now a mix of Roman, Gothic and other styles. Stroll from your apartment, by the cathedral there is also the fabulous main square called Place de la Liberte, home to some fantastic restaurants where you can pause for a drink or a meal. Up above the cathedral and the Jardin des Enfeus is an unusual structure -' La Lanterne des morts', lantern of the dead. This bullet shaped building has had various roles over time including a funeral chapel.
Opposite the cathedral on the Place du Peyrou is the splendid 'Hôtel de La Boétie', birthplace of the philosopher and humanist Etienne de La Boétie. Walk down the Rue des Consuls where you can see a number of very impressive mansions. There is the 16th century Hotel de Mirandol and the 14th century Hotel Plamon with its three arched windows.
Sarlat is now classified as a 'Town of Art and History' and as a 'Plus Beaux Detour' - a town meriting a visit for its beauty. The historic centre is also on the tentative list for UNESCO World Heritage Classification.
Domme is one of France’s bastide towns, founded in 1281 by Philip the Bold , retaining part of its original fortified walls and the gateways into the town. The ramparts are extremely thick and there remain three of the original doors. The Porte des Tours is the most impressive, with its round towers but the Porte de la Combe and the Porte del Bos are both very pretty . Visit the towers of the Porte des Tours which were converted into prisons in 1307 when the Knights Templers were arrested by the king, and it is still possible to see the engraved crucifixes they carved whilst they were imprisoned. The prison is open throughout the year. You can walk round the ramparts on the south side of the town between the Port del Bos and the Porte de la Combe. Whilst strolling from your apartment visit the caves where there are more than 400m of stalactite filled galleries and a glass lift takes you back up to the surface.
Another place of interest to visit is the Maison du batteur de monnaie du Roy where money was minted in the Middle Ages. If you have children with you Domme has a little tourist 'train', the Domme Express which is they will love.
Castelnaud a small hamlet with the main feature being the steeped in history Castle of Castelnaud which is perched on a hillside on left bank of the Dordogne. Castelnaud dominates the small borough.
Les Eysies is a village of 900 inhabitants and lies in the heart of the Vezere Valley being surround my many caves showing prehistoric artifacts and drawings, and has been classified as a heritage site by UNESCO. The houses and shops are a pleasant mix of stone and collombage (half-timber) and have a reasonable number of bars and restaurants for anyone planning to visit or use the town as a base for visiting the area.
In the square at Bergerac there is a statue in honour of Cyrano de Bergerac, the town's most famous association, on whom a 1990 Edmond Rostand's play starring Gérard Dépardieu was based. The Bergerac region is primarily known for wine and tobacco. The region has over 13 appellations AOCs (Appellations d'Origine Contrôlée) and more than 1200 vineries. The most famous wines are the sweet whites produced around Monbazillac. It is a beautiful little city where swans swim in the Dordogne River and a clutch of medieval, half-timbered houses look delightful around the old river port. The 'vieille ville' is a calm and pleasant area to wander through from your apartment, with drinking fountains on the street corners and many medieval houses. Visit the Musée Régional de la Batellerie on rue des Conferences where you can read the history of the river trade as well as barrel making. Other places to visit: The Bergerac old bridge (The Salvette quays), Notre-Dame church and the Sainte-Catherine neighbourhood,. Don’t forget to sample the wonderful geese and duck dishes which are rich in truffles, walnuts and strawberries.
Riberac lies on the river Dronne in the heart of Perigord Vert in the North West Dordogne. The warm sunny climate is ideal for active pursuits, sight seeing and shopping, or for just lazing around by the pool. Riberac lies between the major wine growing areas of Bordeaux and Bergerac. The area is also famous for its cuisine including foie gras, cepes, walnuts and truffles. Enjoy a stroll from your apartment amongst the beautiful fields of sunflowers in July after sampling the region’s famous Cognac!
Mussidan is one of the larger towns in the area north of Bergerac and West of Perigueux. From your apartment, wander up little streets on the side of the square to the lovely little church which is raised slightly above the square, behind the church are good views of the river. Mussidan sits on the River Isle and so you can go canoeing etc. from here. There is also a museum showing the evolution of daily life in the Perigord and how it changed as time passed. The museum is housed in an attractive 18th century building.There is also a ceramic workshop in Mussidan where you can have a guided visit. Mussidan has an open air swimming pool open in July and August.
Eymet is an extremely pretty little town with a beautiful market square which has a very busy market on a Thursday. Eymet is a typical bastide town with lots of bars, restaurants and shops. Eymet is easily accessible from three airports, Bergerac, Angouleme and Toulouse.
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