Lacking romantic beaches, picture-perfect ski slopes, and bygone grandeur filled with photo ops, why go to the Dordogne?
For just that reason, as this beautiful region between the Pyrenees and the Loire Valley is where you’ll find tucked-away restaurants the locals swear by, gorgeous hiking and biking trails and history going back to the Romans, and before that, the tribes of Gaul.
Click for an interactive map of Dordogne, France
Luxury foods which are the emblem of France come from here: foie gras and truffles, to name but two. Foodies love the region for that reason. Where to get heirloom strawberries available for only a brief season, never trucked in or out? Why, the Dordogne, of course. Their particular wine is the Bergerec appellation, with peppery reds suited to earthy foods.
October and November see throngs of visitors for the truffle auctions, so come then only if you dare.
As for history, there are preserved caves from the Gallic tribes, and many castles of note, including famed Castelnaud, from the 12th century, and Milandes, rescued from oblivion by Josephine Baker’s purchase of it just prior to WWII. The Hundred Years War, with the rich Dordogne being claimed by both France and England, led to the construction of many fortified castles, which litter the countryside in various states of repair.
Campers and family travelers love the region for its lack of pretension, but those in search of luxury on the rustic side will not be disappointed.