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Discover the Dordogne

Published: Tue 24 Jun 2014 at 11:58

Updated: Tue 24 Jun 2014 at 11:58

Destination Guides

Fly into Bergerac with and discover the beautiful Dordogne region of southwestern France. With its relaxed pace and classic character, you'll find plenty of time to unwind while sampling the area's fine wines and tasty cuisine. Medieval chateaux and artisan markets add more intrigue to this charming part of the country.

The Dordogne’s lifeline is the magnificent Dordogne itself. Along its 300-mile journey from its source in the Auvergne Mountains in central France, it passes through Bergerac and many other popular villages to its end in the Gironde Estuary near Bordeaux. In July 2012, the river and its surrounding watershed were designated a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. Hire a canoe or take a relaxing gabare boat ride and admire the scenery as you drift downstream.

The heart of the Dordogne area is its small capital, Perigueux; a town well-known for its gourmet delights, in particular paté de foie gras, walnuts and truffles. Bergerac itself is also worth a visit. An attractive market town and one of the largest in the Dordogne Departmént, this low lying area is famous for its wines and vineyards. Located in Perigord Pourpe, named after its abundance of purple grape vineyards, Bergerac is a beautiful and unspoilt location with a truly French flavour. Head to the twice weekly Bergerac market that encircles the church of Notre-Dame where local traders gather in a colourful display, offering delicious local produce such as cheese, strawberries and baked goods.

The Dordogne Departmént includes the 'Valley of the Five Castles', but in fact there are more than 1000 chateaux in the region. Visit Castelnaud to discover its part in the Hundred Years' War and marvel at the frescoes of Beynac. The pre-historic caves in the Vezere Valley are also well worth a visit.

The Dordogne is beautiful in the same way as the Cotswolds or Tuscany are beautiful - it simply makes you want to stay forever enjoying the quiet, the countryside and the scenery. It’s perfect for a relaxing holiday, guaranteed to be full of good food, excellent wine and a laid-back atmosphere that will make you want to return year after year.

Fly to Bergerac, the gateway to the Dordogne, from Leeds Bradford and Manchester with flights from just £39 one way including taxes.

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