Welcome to Dordogne
An area of natural beauty, rolling hills, old villages, castles and small country towns that are ripe to be explored and enjoyed by all who pass through or visit. The heart of the Dordogne is centred around the city and prefecture of Perogueux. The area is perhaps most famous for, amongst other things, its gourmet delights, notably paté de foie gras, walnuts and truffles.
The Perigord Noir is in the centre of the Dordogne region. Named for its dark woodlands, predominantly oak and walnut trees. The walnuts are used to make regional specialities, including oil. The Vézère valley cuts through its centre, creating impressive cliffs with many limestone caves. In terms of sights and attractions, these caves contain works of prehistoric interest and the region has many pretty villages with dark slate roofs. Its main town is Sarlet-la-Canéda, a medieval centre full of houses from the 15th and 16th centuries.
West of this is the Perigord Pourpre. Named purple because of its importance as a wine-growing region, this area covers the city of Bergerac and the south-west area of the Dordogne. It's pretty gentle hills, which are also covered in sunflowers, make this one of the most attractive areas to visit. It is also well served by the international airport at Bergerac.
To the north lies the large green open spaces of the Périgord Vert. With untouched landscapes, this lovely rural area includes the towns of Nontron, Thiviers and Saint-Aulaye. Significant proportions of the region are classified as a national park.
The Perigord Blanc is the centre of this region, which includes the city of Périgueux, and is named after its white limestone terrain. Its major river is the Isle which runs from east to west, eventually reaching the Gironde. The geography is fairly flat, on a plateau, with wide valleys.
Further south you will find the Lot Valley. As the river Lot rises up through the Massif Central, it is surrounded by natural gorges and rich countryside, hiding prehistoric caves and medieval villages which seem to have remained unchanged for centuries. Its largest town is Cahors, sitting on a bend in the Lot which is crossed by a fortified bridge. Its rolling hills are home to wine estates which produce dark full-bodied reds.
The very east of the region is known as the Upper Dordogne Valley. It sits on a rocky limestone plateau and whilst it lacks some of the grandeur of other parts of the Dordogne, it more than makes up for it with its tranquillity. Small sleepy villages dot the landscape and country lanes wind their way through the lush countryside. Its busiest town is Souillac, known for its Romanesque abbey church and its underground caves reveal huge stalactites. The town of Rocamadour, set in a stunning location, has been an important pilgrimage site for centuries.