The Dordogne region of south-west France is one of the most beautiful and popular destinations in the country. Visit this beautiful region of France and discover the chateaux, beautiful medieval towns and villages, unspoiled countryside and prehistoric caves - just some of the many reasons why the region attracts visitors.
There are many 'famous sights' that we associate with the Dordogne, including Lascaux caves, Marqueyssac gardens, medieval Sarlat, castles such as Chateau Castelnaud and the prehistoric caves in the Vezere Valley.
Yet it is the places that you visit outside these 'hot-spots' that will stay longest in your memory - the scenery, the peace, the coffee in a small cafe, the picnic next to a stream. The Dordogne is beautiful in the same way as the Cotswolds or Tuscany are beautiful - the way it simply makes you want to stay forever enjoying the quiet, the countryside, the scenery...
Some of the other best known highlights include the gouffre de Padirac caves and canoeing the Dordogne, with the most popular towns and villages including Bergerac, Brantome, Excideuil, La Roque-Gageac, Le Bugue, Riberac and Rocamadour.
The Dordogne Valley usually refers to the path followed by the river, and is towards the south of the department where it travels from east to west, passing through Bergerac and many of the other popular villages. The more northerly half of the department is quite a way from the river - but tourism in the department certainly doesn't start and end with the river - be sure to venture north and south a little to discover the quiet but equally beautiful regions a little more hidden from the public gaze...
You should be aware that the 'official' Dordogne Valley often refers to the region to the east around Argentat - i.e. on the Dordogne river but within the Correze department - see Dordogne Valley for information.
For more information about activities, visiting the area with children, market days and wine-tasting, museums and travel arrangements, and much more besides, see...visiting the Dordogne.
There are easy travel links by road and train to the Dordogne region of France from the UK and mainland Europe, many flights (including low cost airlines operating to Bergerac) and also international flights from more faraway places that arrive into Bordeaux airport.
Accommodation in campsites, gites and chambre d'hotes is easily found, the larger towns have hotels, and there are many traditional French chambre d'hotes in the countryside,...see Dordogne holidays.
Several of the highlights of the region are found to the south of the river and across the border into the Lot et Garonne department. Visit our partner site southofthedordogne.com for this region and the northern part of Lot-et-Garonne. Several places along the river and to the south of the river such as Sarlat and La Roque-Gageac appear in both websites.