Dordogne and Lot
The Dordogne and Lot. The names alone conjure up images of castles and chateaux nestled in green forests, crystal clear rivers snaking across the landscape; typically French scenes. The leafy Dordogne feels as if it has somehow sidestepped the modern world, cherishing its ancient history and connections with the land. Lot, too, blessed with glorious semi-mountainous terrain, is the perfect place for a French holiday. We think anyone who wants to experience mouth-watering local delicacies, pretty countryside and great accommodation in deepest France will find that these two unique departments are hard to beat!
Places to Go in Dordogne and Lot
We think enjoying this part of France is all about those magical moments. Try catching the sun rise over Sarlat, illuminating this stunning renaissance town’s yellow sandstone. Look out for the engraved crucifixes carved out by the Knights Templar whilst imprisoned in the Portes des Tours in the bastide town of Domme. Check out the riverside pleasures of Limeuil, offering canoeing and river-beach life on the tranquil River Dordogne/Vezere confluence, and try a bit of wine tasting in Roman St Emilion. Explore the boutique shops in the region’s largest town, Bergerac, or step back in time by visiting medieval Monpazier – possibly the most stunning and well-preserved of the bastide towns. If you didn’t know much about French medieval history before your visit to Dordogne and Lot, you’re sure to know a great deal more by the time you drag yourself away!
Our Top Picks in Dordogne and Lot
We want you to enjoy the best that the Dordogne and Lot has to offer and so here's a small selection of our favourite things to see and do;
The Vézère Valley offers lots of prehistoric sites which, as well as providing a fascinating insight into life in prehistoric Dordogne (particularly interesting are the cave paintings found in Lascaux Cave), give you the chance to explore a unique landscape. The National Prehistoric Museum is also a must if you’re in the Vézère Valley, and especially for children there are a range of fun-packed organised adventures; hiking and exploring a troglodyte landscape, peppered with caves, shelters and underground caverns!
There’s sure to come a moment when you’ve looked at enough prehistoric artwork and feel the urge to go shopping! But shopping in the Dordogne and Lot is not your average shopping-centre affair – in this part of France you’ll be able to explore some of the most unique markets in Europe, offering a plethora of mouth-watering local food, handmade arts and crafts and other gifts that are unique to the region. Not a single yawn to be seen among other members of the family!
Château de Marqueyssac & Château de Castlenaud
If you appreciate a nice straight hedge, then the gardens around Château de Marqueyssac might send you round the bend; the bizarre, swirling rounded shapes found in this ‘Jardin Remarquable’ are a mesmerising twist on the traditional French garden – and a lot of fun to get out of! For a more traditional experience, the Château de Castlenaud, perched on top a rocky outcrop, is sure to delight, having seen a good deal of action in the 100 Years War. If you think your interest in very long battles between the French and the English will peak at this, save some energy for the Chateau de Beynac – a fascinating castle that gives you a real sense of the murky Middle Ages. Exploring all three will leave a lingering taste of this region’s fascinating past. If you have time, these are a must!
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