Postcard landscapes: Dordogne

Postcard landscapes: Dordogne

French storybook landscape

Dordogne is the ancient region east of Bordeaux named after the Dordogne River. The area was inhabited by Cro-Magnon man some 35,000 years ago, as evidenced by countless artefacts. The oldest cave drawings in Europe are found in Lasceaux. Picture-book villages and old castles dot the winding valley of the Dordogne River. Wine, tobacco and truffles are produced in the area, which is also known for geese breeding. Further south is Rocamadur, one of the most unusual pilgrimage points in France. It is situated in a picturesque but narrow gorge that is best accessed by canoe or bicycle.

Attractions Dordogne


Wine tastings in a former monastery

The capital of Périgord is at the heart of the wine-growing region and has a beautiful old town located between the Dordogne harbor and the Rue de la Résistance. A former monastery at the harbor is now home to the Maison du Vin, which offers wine tastings.

Cave of Lascaux

Paleolithic Cave paintings

The setting of a complex of caves in southwestern France is famous for its Paleolithic cave paintings. The original caves are located near the village of Montignac, in the department of Dordogne. They contain some of the best-known Upper Paleolithic art. These paintings are estimated to be 17,300 years old. They primarily consist of images of large animals, most of which are known from fossil evidence to have lived in the area at the time. In 1979, Lascaux was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list along with other prehistoric sites in the Vézère valley.

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Cingle de Tremolat

Romanesque church in romantic meadowland

The Dordogne river makes several sharp turns near Tremolat as it meanders past rocks, farmland and meadows. Situated in this idyllic landscape is the town of Cingle de Tremolat. Its Romanesque church is a fine example of the architecture in the Périgord region. If you are interested in swimming, canoeing or hiking, you will find plenty to do here.


Renaissance château surrounded by vineyards

This Renaissance château was built during the second half of the 16th century. The moat, the imposing towers and the battlements with machicolations and arrow slits give the building a Medieval flair. The surrounding vineyards are predominantly used to make white wine. The vaulted cellar offers a wine museum exhibiting wine-making equipment and a collection of bottles from the 18th and 19th centuries. Wine tastings are offered.

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National historic old town on the banks of the Isle

This is the main town in the Perigord region and has a historic city center on the banks of the Isle. The old town is a national historic site where 15th century buildings appear to crowd around wharves. The Pont des Barris bridge offers a fine view of the lovely ensemble of buildings surrounding the 12th century Saint Front Cathedral. The master builder who constructed this former pilgrimage church was clearly basing his work on St. Mark's Basilica in Venice. Saint Front is a station on the “Way of Saint James in France” and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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