Things to do in
Dordogne

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Our most recommended things to do in Dordogne

Bordeaux to Dordogne: Castles & Villages Private Tour

1. Bordeaux to Dordogne: Castles & Villages Private Tour

Enjoy a private full-day tour of Dordogne and discover the history of the King’s Musketeers, learn about Eleanor of Aquitaine, and visit prehistoric cave paintings. After the pick-up from your hotel in Bordeaux, Sarlat, Limoges, Toulouse, Agen Bergerac, or elsewhere nearby, you will head off on an exciting day filled with history, magnificent panoramic vistas, the finest gastronomy, and wine tasting. Whatever you desire can be incorporated into this private tailor-made tour. One of the places you can visit on this tour is Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil, a lovely town which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site partly because of its proximity to the famous Lascaux Caverns and partly because of the newer site of Grottes de Cougnac. Here you can visit the caves and see the original art. Les Eyzies is also home to the National Prehistoric Museum. You also have the option of visiting Sarlat-la-Canéda, one of the most attractive and alluring medieval towns in south-western France. The town was developed around a large Benedictine abbey of Carolingian origin. Its town center of impeccably restored stone buildings – now a pedestrian zone – is perhaps the most representative of 14th century France. Discover another UNESCO World Heritage Site – Château de Rocamadour – perched up high on the side of a gorge of one of the Dordogne River’s tributaries, famous for its sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. You can also explore the Château de Castelnaud-la-Chapelle, with magnificent views over the landscape. Among other castles you can visit is the Château de Beynac, one of the best preserved and best known castles in the Dordogne region. Its austere appearance perched on top of a limestone cliff, dominating the town on the north bank of the Dordogne River over the sheer cliff face. It boasts double crenelated walls, double barbican, and double moats, one of which was a deepened natural ravine. Another castle to visit is the Château des Milandes, once the home of the Josephine Baker, an American dancer, singer, and actress who found fame in her adopted homeland of France. Josephine Baker and her husband renovated this beautiful castle, installing central heating, electricity, and running water. They lived here with 12 adopted children from 9 different nationalities to create what they tenderly call the “World Village”. You can also explore Domme, another typically charming Bastide village built on the cliffs overhanging the Dordogne River. It was here that many of the Kinghts Templar were imprisoned and you can still see some of their graffiti on the tower gates. Another option on this tour is to visit the Jardins de Marqueyssac, an amazing garden filled with topiary creation and a picturesque promenade with panoramic views over the Dordogne River. Visit the Eyrignac gardens, the French garden inspired by the 18th century Italian design. They were entirely modified into an English romantic garden in the 19th century. On this private tour you also have the possibility of visiting Chateau de Commarque, Chateau de Jumilhac, Monpazier, Puymartin, Eyrignac, Monbazillac, La Roque Gageac, Montfort, and Salignac.

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Beynac & Domme villages - Dordogne boat ride

2. Beynac & Domme villages - Dordogne boat ride

Drive to the beautiful village of Domme. With its trapezoid city plan, Domme is a bastide (a fortified medieval town) adapted to the surrounding terrain, and thus falling short of the rectangular city plan characteristic to bastides. The village is classified as one of the "Plus Beaux Villages de France" ("The Most Beautiful Villages of France"). In 1307, Knight Templars were imprisoned in Domme while during the Hundred Years' War, the bastide was coveted by the English who first took the town in 1347 and repeatedly changed rulers throughout the war until 1437 when it finally fell under French rule again. Then drive to La Roque Gageac and enjoy a peaceful cruise on the the Dordogne River on board an authentic Gabarre to admire mighty castles that line the river. Finally, reach Beynac to admire the village and the Castle. This Middle Ages construction, with its austere appearance, is perched on top of a limestone cliff, dominating the town and the north bank of the Dordogne River. The castle was built from the 12th century by the barons of Beynac (one of the four baronies of Périgord) to close the valley. The sheer cliff face being sufficient to discourage any assault from that side, the defences were built up on the plateau: double crenellated walls, double moats, one of which was a deepened natural ravine, double barbican.

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From Bordeaux: Lascaux and Dordogne Valley Private Tour

3. From Bordeaux: Lascaux and Dordogne Valley Private Tour

See the famous prehistoric cave paintings and explore the Dordogne region with a private English-speaking driver-guide. Depart from Bordeaux, and drive about two hours east, into the heart of the Dordogne. The first visit is to the Grotte de Rouffignac, the cave of 1000 mammoths. For this visit you'll tale a ride on a small electric train deep into the cave to see some phenomenal drawings of horses, aurochs, bison, horned sheep and mammoths. Then head to Les Eyzies-de-Tayac, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where the first five skeletons of Cro-Magnon, the earliest known examples of homo sapiens were found. This is a good place to stop for a quick lunch. Next, drive to Lascaux to see the incredible new Lascaux international center for cave art, a truly impressive place.

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From Sarlat: Rocamadour Half-Day Tour

4. From Sarlat: Rocamadour Half-Day Tour

Climb aboard a comfortable van in Sarlat and after a 1-hour trip punctuated by photo stops through the majestic landscapes of the Dordogne Valley, you will reach Rocamadour. Rocamadour is one of the most beautiful medieval villages in France, built in a vertiginous setting against a cliff face nestled in the heart of the Alzou canyon, a thousand-year-old historic UNESCO site. During this guided tour you will learn about the legends at the origin of this sacred place. After crossing the main street of the village, you will discover the sanctuary and its chapels by climbing the 216 steps of the Grand Pilgrim's Staircase (elevator also available). You will admire the miraculous chapel and its black virgin, the sarcophagus of St. Amadour dug into the rock of the cliff, and the legendary sword Durandal. On the way back, you will cross the majestic and wild landscapes of the Causses du Quercy and make a stop to visit a unique place either the Cougnaguet medieval watermill or Souillac Romanesque church.

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Sarlat-la-Canéda: Dordogne Valley Half-Day Sightseeing Tour

5. Sarlat-la-Canéda: Dordogne Valley Half-Day Sightseeing Tour

Discover the great sites of the "Golden Triangle" on this unique sightseeing tour with live commentary. After meeting in Sarlat-la-Canéda it's only a short drive to the Dordogne Valley, where you'll visit many fascinating historic sites. Admire Richard the Lionheart's castle at Beynac, and stop at the foot of Castelnaud Castle, an impressive fortress occupied by the English during the Hundred Years' War. Then take a guided tour of La Roque Gageac, one of the most beautiful villages in France, built into the cliffs along the Dordogne river. Afterwards, continue to the hilltop village of Domme for breathtaking panoramic views over the surrounding area. Walk around the village to get a feel for the local atmosphere.  Visit an incredible troglodytic chapel built in a cave and stop at the medieval village of Montfort and its castle, built in the 11th century. Stop at a romanesque church from the 12th century, built on an ancient site of Celtic worship, before returning to Sarlat-la-Canéda.

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What people are saying about Dordogne

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 24 reviews

Highly recommend

Florence, our main tour guide proved to be very knowledgeable and eager to please at every query. It was a small group of 8 which made it all the more enjoyable. Lola was our guide during the boat cruise on the Dordogne. A lovely individual and knows her stuff without hesitation.

Excellent, Emilian, who knows are history, professional & personable.

Emilian is an excellent guide. He knows his history of the area, is very professional and very personable. We enjoyed our tour very much.

Very prompt service, Florence was a great guide. Loved Domme. unfortunately had rain on the boat ride, but it was good too.

David is very knowledgeable, outgoing, and will tailor the tour to fit your needs.

Wonderful excursion. Felt that we saw a lot in a short amount of time.