Just Go Exploring uses affiliate links. If you purchase something through them, I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you. See my disclosures page for more info.

33 Best Things to Do in Dordogne, France (2024)

Today I’m excited to share with you my pick of the very best things to do in Dordogne.

Tucked away in the idyllic heart of France’s Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, Dordogne is a treasure trove of natural beauty, historic marvels, and gastronomic delights.

If you’re looking for a truly authentic French experience, it doesn’t get much better than Dordogne. It’s the France you dreamed of but didn’t know actually existed. Somewhere that seems too picturesque to exist outside the pages of a romantic novel.

But it’s indeed a real place, brimming with all the character and enchantment you could hope for.

My grandparents lived in a village not far from Bergerac. I visited them there several times each year for the first 25 years of my life. It’s a place I love dearly, and I know it so well it feels like a second home to me.

Charming Medieval Towns and Villages

Dotted throughout Dordogne’s picturesque countryside are countless medieval villages and towns that seem frozen in time.

Central town square of Monpazier in Dordogne with medieval buildings and a covered arcade with stone arches running around the edge of the square

Many of these are perfect examples of bastides – or fortified settlements – that were built in the 13th and 14th centuries.

Most of these towns still have their original grid street plan and buildings which are still very much inhabited to this day.

Road signs in rural southwestern France pointing to Castillonnes and Villereal

Their central squares typically host a market once or twice each week in much the same way as they have for the last 700+ years.

Wandering the streets of these timeless gems, soaking in the culture and the unique atmosphere, is one of my absolute favourite things to do in Dordogne.

Atmospheric old backstreet in Issigeac in Dordogne with a cat walking down the street

Here are a few of the towns and villages in the Dordogne I recommend visiting.

Note, if you’re happy to rent a car (or have your own), I think the best way to visit these places is to plan a road trip and take your time. This will give you the flexibility and freedom to explore at your own pace.

However, if cost isn’t a factor, you can also take this private day tour of Dordogne’s fortified castles and medieval villages from Bordeaux. It’s a bit on the pricey side, but has got excellent reviews.

Or, check out this (cheaper) half-day tour of the Dordogne valley starting from Sarlat-la-Canéda.

1. Monpazier

Monpazier is an atmospheric bastide town that dates back to 1284. The town remains incredibly well-preserved, with its central square surrounded by timber-framed houses and medieval arcades.

Town square of Monpazier, Dordogne with beautiful medieval stone buildings and blue skies

Despite its small size, it packs a real punch with its gorgeous architecture and streets lined with artisan shops selling local produce, and quaint little cafes.

It’s also home to an excellent weekly market on Thursdays. Here you can buy everything from cheese and croissants to homemade jam, honey, and paté. And, of course, lots of local wine.

Pleasant street in Monpazier on a sunny day with people walking in the sunshine

Monpazier played a strategic role during the Hundred Years’ War, frequently changing hands between the French and English.

If you’re interested to learn more about the history of the town, as well as the wider Aquitaine region and its iconic bastides, there’s an excellent museum in Monpazier called Le Bastideum which I’d highly recommend.

You can either buy your tickets on the door or online in advance here.

2. Domme

Perched on a rocky outcrop high above the Dordogne River, Domme offers some of the most scenic views in all of Dordogne.

This picture-perfect village is ideal for a leisurely stroll, taking in its cobbled streets and historic buildings.

One of the highlights is the Grottes de Domme, an underground cave system that has been used as a shelter since prehistoric times. Guided tours are available, and it’s well worth exploring this fascinating piece of history.

3. Sarlat-la-Canéda

Sarlat is often described as one of the most beautiful towns in Dordogne. Its golden stone buildings, winding streets, and hidden squares make it a delight to explore.

Old buildings and medieval towers in Sarlat-la-Canéda

The town is also known for its delicious foie gras and truffles – two of Dordogne’s most prized delicacies.

Sarlat used to be a prosperous medieval trading centre, and many of its buildings date back to that period. Take a stroll through the town’s historic centre and soak up its enchanting atmosphere.

🤩 Check out this half-day sightseeing tour of Sarlat, Domme, La Roque-Gageac, and more!

4. Issigeac

Issigeac is another attractive medieval village in Dordogne that’s well worth a visit.

Narrow winding streets near the centre of Issigeac

Its vibrant weekly market, held on Sunday mornings, is one of the best in the region and offers an amazing selection of fresh produce, local delicacies, and handcrafted goods.

The village itself is an atmospheric place to explore with its maze of winding streets and picturesque buildings.

Old buildings with painted shutters in Issigeac

Be sure to also visit the 13th-century church of Saint-Félicien (Église Saint-Félicien d’Issigeac). It’s a beautiful example of Romanesque architecture with colourful stained glass windows.

5. Villeréal

Villeréal is technically just across the border in Lot-et-Garonne, but this little hilltop town is one of my absolute favourites.

Medieval stone arcades and covered central market square in Villereal, France

I have strong memories as a small child of cycling, from my grandparents’ house, up the hill to the town’s bakery to fetch a couple of loaves of bread for lunch.

And visiting the market with my grandma to buy fresh food and other groceries for the week.

Villereal church bathed in soft sunlight at golden hour

I visited Villeréal most recently last summer and – nostalgia aside – there’s something incredibly special in the air here.

Villeréal is included on the list of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (the most beautiful villages in France), alongside other treasures such as Tourtour in Provence.

Looking inside the covered market square with its old wooden beams and orange tiled floor in Villereal

One of Villeréal’s most prominent and distinctive features is its central square, which houses a covered marketplace built in the 14th century. It’s an amazing structure still held up by the original oak pillars and beams.

The square is a bustling hub of activity at the heart of the town.

People shopping at the Villereal market on a sunny day in the summer

It still hosts a morning market twice a week on Saturdays and Wednesdays, where locals gather to shop for fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and other goods.

This tradition has been passed down for centuries and remains an important part of local life. I love it.

People sitting at tables outside in the town square of Villereal enjoying the night-time food market

On Monday evenings during the summer months, the square also hosts an evening food market, known as the marché nocturne (or night market).

Here you can enjoy a range of traditional home-cooked regional specialities and local wine in a buzzing, festive atmosphere – it’s wonderful.

More tables of people enjoying the Villereal evening food market

Villeréal is also home to several other historical landmarks. The most notable is the Church of Saint-Etienne, which dates back to the 14th century.

Take your time wandering around the town’s quaint streets. Lined with independent artisan shops, cafes, bakeries, and traditional stone houses decorated with colourful shutters and flower boxes, it’s a real visual feast.

6. Monflanquin

Monflanquin is also in Lot-et-Garonne, but I’ve included it here because it’s just too good to miss.

Monflanquin has also been recognised as another of the Plus Beaux Villages de France. Spend more than 10 minutes here and you’ll understand why.

Looking through an old stone arch in the centre of Monflanquin

This beautifully preserved medieval village is perched on a hilltop and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

Take a walk along its ramparts, admire the Gothic-style fortified church of Saint-André, and soak up the enchanting atmosphere of this gem of a place.

Blue and yellow flags hanging over the street in Monflanquin with old stone buildings and blue skies

Walking through Monflanquin’s narrow streets feels like taking a step back in time. It’s a wonderful place to immerse yourself in the small-town charm of rural southwest France.

7. Rocamadour

While also not technically in Dordogne, Rocamadour is located in the neighbouring Lot department which is often considered part of the broader Dordogne Valley.

This incredible village built into a cliffside has been a popular pilgrimage site for centuries and is now also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Rocamadour village built into the side of a cliff

You can explore the various religious buildings, including the famous Sanctuaires de Rocamadour, and take in the spectacular views.

Don’t miss out on trying the local goat’s cheese – Rocamadour is famous for it!

🤩 This is an highly-reviewed tour of Rocamadour from Sarlat… Click here to book!

8. Eymet

Located in the southern part of Dordogne, Eymet is a quintessential French village with its pretty central square and traditional market hall.

It’s also home to some fantastic restaurants serving up local specialities such as confit de canard (duck confit), cabécou (a small, soft goat’s cheese), and tarte/gâteau aux noix (walnut tart/cake – from the region’s prized walnut forests).

My favourite restaurant in Eymet is Walnut, the quality here is really superb.

Eymet is also known for hosting various festivals throughout the year, including a lively medieval festival in August that brings the village’s streets to life with costumed performers, concerts, and markets.

9. La Roque-Gageac

This pretty village enjoys a picturesque setting, nestled between cliffs and the Dordogne river.

Take a boat trip or a guided tour to fully appreciate its rich history and beauty. Or simply wander through the village’s narrow streets, lined with traditional stone houses, and soak up the atmosphere.

There are also some fantastic restaurants here where you can sample delicious local cuisine while enjoying the views. Try Jardins de Marqueyssac – dining out on their terrace on a summer’s evening is a real treat.

Castles and Châteaux

The Dordogne region is home to hundreds of magnificent castles and châteaux.

Steps leading up to a tower along the walls of Chateau de Biron

Here are a few of the best ones to visit.

10. Château de Biron

The imposing Château de Biron is perched high up on a hill and offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

Chateau de Biron castle and a few old houses with wooden shutters

Dating back to the 12th century, it has been beautifully restored and now houses a museum with a collection of medieval weapons, clothing, and armour.

11. Château de Bonaguil

Picture a fairytale castle with thick walls, towers, cannons, arrowslits, soaring ramparts, drawbridges, and even a secret underground cavern. This is what Château de Bonaguil looks like.

Chateau de Bonaguil castle rising impressively from the little village below it

It’s one of the most atmospheric castles I’ve ever visited.

I used to love coming here as a kid! Even now, exploring the hidden passageways and look out from the tops of the towers, I feel like I’m 8 years old again. 🙂

Walking towards the drawbridge leading to the keep of Chateau de Bonaguil

There’s a small museum inside one of the main towers showcasing various medieval artefacts such as tapestries, embroidery, clothing, furniture, and (of course) plenty of weapons.

The castle itself is surrounded by a moat that was once filled with water. To access the inner parts of the castle, you walk across a drawbridge and through the thick walls.

Drawbridge leading into the inner areas of Chateau de Bonaguil

It’s easy to see how well defended this place would’ve been back in the day.

Don’t miss the chance to climb up the steep stone spiral staircase to the top of the tallest tower. There’s a large and distinctive “Barbican Terrace” that’s shaped (and feels a bit like) the deck of a mighty ship soaring high above the valley.

Crumbling walls and soaring towers of Chateau de Bonaguil

As you make your way up the winding staircase, you’ll be able to see how well-preserved this castle is, with its thick stone walls and imposing towers.

Keep an eye out for some of the original features, like stone fireplaces, arrow slits, candle nooks, and little storage cupboards.

Man standing in the doorway of one of the towers of Bonaguil castle

Once you reach the top of the tower, you’ll be rewarded with a bird’s eye view of the castle’s towers, walls, courtyards, and other structures, as well as the surrounding countryside.

view of chateau de bonaguil and surrounding green countryside from the top of the tallest tower of the castle

Come here, it’s awesome!

12. Château de Beynac

Another iconic castle in Dordogne, Château de Beynac is perched on a cliff above the village of Beynac-et-Cazenac.

It has a rich history dating back to the 12th century and has been featured in several films, including “The Duel” and “The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc”.

You can tour the castle and its grounds, which offer wonderful views of the Dordogne River. Allow enough time to explore the village below too, it’s quite picturesque.

sign pointing to several castles and old towns in France

13. Château de Hautefort

Set amidst lush gardens, Château de Hautefort dates back to the 17th century. However, it stands on the site of a much older fortress believed to have been built around the 12th century.

Its interior features opulent furnishings and decorations painstakingly restored after a devastating fire in 1968.

The extensive grounds also offer both English- and French-style gardens, and even a medieval kitchen garden. It’s a perfect spot for a leisurely walk and a picnic on the castle grounds.

14. Château de Castelnaud

Château de Castelnaud played a significant role during the Hundred Years’ War. It was a site of conflict between the French and the English, as the castle changed hands several times during this period.

Today, the castle houses a museum of medieval warfare containing an extensive collection of weapons and armour from the Middle Ages.

Perhaps most notably, Château de Castelnaud has a full-size trebuchet, a massive and powerful medieval siege weapon. You may even get to witness it in action during special demonstrations.

Don’t miss out on this unique experience in Dordogne!

Walking up steps into the inner section of a castle

15. Château de Beynac

Perched on the banks of the Dordogne River, this 12th-century castle offers fantastic views and a journey through history.

Take a tour of the castle and learn about its rich past, from its role in the Hundred Years’ War to its meticulously preserved medieval architecture.

The castle’s strategic position high above the river allowed it to play a key role in regional defence. Today it offers unparalleled views of the picturesque Périgord landscape.

🤩 This is an excellent private tour of Château de Beynac from Sarlat

Caves and Prehistoric Wonders

Dordogne has some of the most impressive caves in the world, and some of Europe’s most significant prehistoric sites. Here are a few must-visit locations.

16. Lascaux Caves

The world-famous Lascaux Caves are often referred to as the “Sistine Chapel of Prehistoric Art”. They house some of the best-preserved prehistoric cave paintings in the world, which are estimated to be over 17,000 years old.

Lascaux prehistoric cave paintings in Dordogne showing people and animals

While the original caves were closed to the public in 1963 to preserve the artwork, a replica called Lascaux II offers a glimpse into the caves’ remarkable paintings.

For an even more extensive experience, Lascaux IV (at the International Centre for Cave Art) offers state-of-the-art digital reproductions and an interactive museum.

If cost isn’t a factor, take a look at this private tour of Lascaux IV, Grotte de Rouffignac (below) and the village of Saint Leon-sur-Vezere from Bordeaux.

It’s certainly not the cheapest option – personally I’d just rent a car and do it myself – but the option is there if you’d prefer to have someone else take care of all the logistics.

17. Grotte de Font-de-Gaume

Located in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil, this cave contains some of the most impressive prehistoric paintings and engravings in the world.

Dating back over 17,000 years, these artworks are known for their remarkable preservation and artistic quality. They give a fascinating glimpse into the lives and beliefs of our ancient ancestors.

Due to its fragility, only small groups are allowed inside the cave each day, making it a unique and intimate experience. I highly recommend booking in advance to secure a spot.

18. Gouffre de Padirac

This natural wonder is a must-visit for any nature lover or adventure seeker.

A massive chasm in the earth, Gouffre de Padirac, located in the nearby Lot department, offers a unique opportunity to explore its depths by boat and on foot.

A guided tour will take you through breathtaking underground galleries and caverns, where you’ll discover an incredible underground lake and witness some of the most spectacular rock formations.

While not technically in Dordogne, it’s a truly unforgettable experience just a stone’s throw away.

19. La Roque St-Christophe

Located near the town of Peyzac-le-Moustier, this fascinating site consists of a series of cliff dwellings that were used as shelters and fortifications during prehistoric times.

Prehistoric cliff dwellings and wooden contraptions in La Roque St-Christophe

You can walk through the dwellings and see how our ancient ancestors lived, worked, and defended themselves against invaders. It’s a fascinating glimpse into our past and a must-visit for history buffs.

20. Grotte de Rouffignac

Known as the “Cave of 100 Mammoths”, this cave features numerous engravings and drawings of mammoths, horses, bison, and other animals.

A little train takes visitors through the cave’s various chambers, making it an easily accessible and enjoyable experience for all ages.

Note this cave is quite chilly year round, so make sure to bring a jacket!

Underground cave with limestone mineral formations in france

21. Gouffre de Proumeyssac

This incredible cave is known as the “Crystal Cathedral” for its exquisite array of stalactites and stalagmites, which give it a cathedral-like appearance.

There’s a gondola-style elevator (known as the “crystal gondola”) that descends into the cave. It provides a unique and dramatic entrance into the cavern as you’re lowered into the main chamber.

The highlight of the tour is a breathtaking light and sound show in one of the chambers, which enhances the natural beauty of the cave formations.

Gouffre de Proumeyssac is one of the less well-known caves in the region, but it’s probably my favourite of them all. Don’t miss out on this hidden gem in Dordogne.

22. National Museum of Prehistory (Musée National de Préhistoire)

For an immersive experience of prehistoric times, visit the National Museum of Prehistory in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac. This museum is one of the most important prehistoric museums in France.

It houses a vast collection of prehistoric artifacts, including tools, art, and skeletal remains that have been discovered in the Vézère Valley, an area rich in prehistoric sites.

The museum also focuses on prehistory more broadly, offering a comprehensive overview of human evolution and prehistoric culture in the region.

Wine Tasting in the Dordogne

If you’re a wine lover, you’re in luck. The Bergerac wine region, which is the most significant wine-producing area in the Dordogne, includes about 13 appellations and over 900 winegrowers.

Bottles of wine displayed inside the tasting room of Chateau de Monbazillac near Bergerac with a view of the castle through a window

The vineyards here cover a significant area, producing a range of wines that include Bergerac, Monbazillac, Pécharmant, and Côtes de Bergerac, among others.

Most vineyards have caveau (i.e. cellar doors) where you can taste and purchase wine directly from the maker. This is a great opportunity to try before you buy, meet the producers, and learn about the local winemaking process.

I always make a point of visiting at least one of these whenever I’m in the area. It’s much more fun (and also usually much better value) than buying wine from the supermarket!

Here are a few excellent vineyards to visit in Dordogne.

23. Château de Monbazillac

Situated on a hill overlooking the Dordogne River, this iconic castle is not only a beautiful sight to see but also produces some of the best sweet white wine in the region.

Couple reading a sign on the main path leading to Chateau de Monbazillac with the castle beyond

Take a tour of the château and its vineyards, followed by a tasting of their delicious wines.

Don’t forget to try their famous dessert wine, perfect for pairing with local delicacies like terrine and cheese.

24. Château de Tiregand

Located just east of Bergerac, Château de Tiregand is known for its Pecharmant wines, a prestigious appellation of the Bergerac wine region.

The château offers tours of its scenic vineyards and winemaking facilities. Here you can learn about the winemaking process from grape cultivation to bottling.

They also have a beautiful tasting room and boutique where you can sample (and purchase) a range of their wines. Château de Tiregand wines are known for their depth and character, including robust reds and elegant whites.

Don’t miss the opportunity to try their flagship wine. Grand Vin du Château de Tiregand is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc with notes of black fruits and spices.

It’s a quintessential taste of the Dordogne terroir.

25. Château les Merles

This boutique winery, also near Bergerac, is known for producing a variety of wines, including reds, whites, and rosés, with a focus on quality and character.

Wine tasting room and shop in Dordogne

The winery offers tastings and tours, providing insight into their winemaking process and the unique aspects of the Bergerac terroir.

The estate includes a hotel and restaurant, making it a perfect destination for anyone looking to immerse themself in the wine culture of the region.

Adventure and Outdoor Activities

Dordogne also has a lot to offer for outdoor lovers and thrill-seekers. From hiking and kayaking to hot air balloon rides and rock climbing, there’s something for everyone here.

26. Hiking (and more) in the Dordogne Valley

The River Dordogne cuts through beautiful landscapes, making it an ideal location for scenic hikes.

Attractive old houses in the countryside

Some popular hiking areas in the Dordogne include the trails around Sarlat-la-Canéda, the paths along the Dordogne River, or the scenic routes in the Vézère Valley.

For a more challenging hike, head to the hills of La Roque-Gageac for breathtaking views of the valley.

Alternatively, why not take a fun offroad electric scooter tour through the vineyards and forests near Monbazillac? You can choose from either a 1.5 hour or a 3.5 hour trip.

🤩 If quad biking is more your thing, that’s possible too!

27. Canoeing on the Dordogne River

Take in the beauty of Dordogne from a different perspective by canoeing down the Dordogne River.

Rental companies are available in most towns along the river, and you can choose from various routes and lengths.

Paddle your way past châteaux, picturesque villages, and scenic natural landscapes for a truly memorable day out.

🤩 Check out this top-rated Dordogne canoe trip from Sarlat

28. Hot Air Balloon Rides

For a unique view of Dordogne’s beauty, take to the skies on a hot air balloon ride. Float above the picturesque landscapes, vineyards, and castles for an unforgettable experience.

Orange hot air balloon in the sky above a picturesque southern french town

Most companies offer flights at sunrise or sunset for the best lighting and views.

Périgord Dordogne Montgolfières and Montgolfière & Châteaux are two well-regarded local operators.

29. Rock Climbing in Céou Valley

The Céou Valley offers some of the best rock climbing opportunities in the Dordogne region. Known for its impressive limestone cliffs, the valley attracts climbers of all skill levels.

The area around Castelnaud-la-Chapelle and Les Milandes is particularly renowned for its variety of climbing routes. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced climber, you’ll find routes that challenge and excite you.

The climbing spots here offer a mix of short and long pitches, with stunning views of the surrounding countryside and the picturesque Céou River. A few local companies also offer guided climbing tours and lessons.

Exploring Local Markets

No trip to Dordogne is complete without visiting one of its many local markets. From fresh produce and local delicacies to unique souvenirs and gifts, there’s something for everyone at these bustling markets.

Old clocktower in the centre of Castillonnes

30. Sarlat Market

One of the largest and most famous markets in Dordogne, Sarlat Market is a must-visit for foodies. With a diverse selection of local products such as truffles, cheese, terrine, prunes, and wine, you’ll be spoiled for choice.

The market also offers a variety of artisanal crafts and souvenirs, making it the perfect place to pick up gifts for loved ones back home.

31. Bergerac Market

The Bergerac market is held on Wednesdays and Saturdays in the heart of the historic town centre, around the church of Notre-Dame and the Place de la Madeleine.

This market is another great place to experience the local culture and sample some of the region’s finest produce.

Colourful fruit and vegetables on sale in an outdoor market

From fresh fruits and vegetables to cured meats and cheese, you’ll find everything you need for a picnic or a tasty home-cooked meal.

Be sure to try the region’s prized truffles, a delicacy well-known in Dordogne cuisine. Bergerac’s market is an excellent place to find these sought-after ingredients, along with other local specialties like terrine and confit de canard.

And, of course, plenty of wine too.

32. Issigeac Market

This traditional market takes place every Sunday in the medieval village of Issigeac. Browse through stalls selling fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and local specialities such as walnut cake and honey.

Don’t forget to explore the village after your trip to the market. Enjoy the beautiful architecture and ambience while sipping on a coffee or a glass of local wine in one of the quaint little cafes.

33. Villeréal Market

In the heart of Bastide country, the twice-weekly Villeréal market offers a wide range of fresh produce, artisanal products, clothes, and more. It’s usually held on Saturday and Wednesday morning throughout the year.

Shopping for fresh produce at the Villereal market

Stroll through the colourful stalls and sample local delicacies such as duck confit, prunes (the best in the world), truffles, and walnut oil.

Be sure to check out the flea market section too for unique vintage finds and souvenirs.

Practical Tips and Info for Visiting Dordogne

Here’s some useful information and practical tips to help you prepare for your trip to Dordogne.

Best Time to Visit Dordogne

The best time to explore Dordogne is from May to September (or early October) when the weather is warm and inviting.

However, July and August are peak tourist months, and prices are typically highest then. I recommend considering the shoulder seasons for a quieter experience.

Personally, my favourite month here is September. It’s still warm, most of the crowds have gone, and there’s just something special about being out in nature as the seasons start to change.

Beautiful old stone guesthouse with blue shutters

Where to Stay in Dordogne

  • Sarlat-la-Canéda: A beautiful medieval town with plenty of charming guesthouses and hotels.
  • Bergerac: An ideal base for exploring wine country and local markets.
  • Domme: Perched above the Dordogne River, Domme offers breathtaking views and historic accommodations.
  • Monpazier: Known for its well-preserved bastide architecture and authentic charm.

I usually use Booking.com to find the best deals available on accommodation.

🤩 Click here to check availability and prices

How to Get to Dordogne

Bergerac has an international airport with connections to many cities throughout Europe. You could also fly into Bordeaux or Angoulême and rent a car from there.

Hotel de Ville and other buildings in a pretty square in Castillonnes

Alternatively, you can catch the high-speed TGV train from Paris to Libourne. I’ve done this a few times. It’s much more pleasant and relaxing than flying, and it’s better for the planet too.

Getting Around Dordogne

Much of Dordogne and the surrounding region is quite rural. While it’s incredibly peaceful and attractive, public transport is rather lacking.

Renting a car is by far the best and most flexible way to explore Dordogne. You can often find good deals at Bergerac airport, especially if you search in advance with Rentalcars.com.

🤩 Click here to find the best deals on car hire in Dordogne

If you’re taking your own vehicle to France, French law requires you to carry a breathalyzer, warning triangle, and high-vis jacket.

Remember to drive on the right!

Language Tips

English is spoken (to a greater or lesser extent) in most major tourist destinations in Dordogne. However, the locals always appreciate it when visitors make the effort to speak a bit of French.

Guesthouse with painted door and shutters and herbs growing outside

Even if you only learn a few basic phrases in French, it will definitely enhance your trip and help you connect with the people and culture of this beautiful region.


Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about visiting the Dordogne.

Peaceful historic streets in Dordogne

What is the most beautiful part of the Dordogne?

The most beautiful part of the Dordogne is arguably the Périgord Noir area. This region is known for its enchanting medieval towns like Sarlat, boasting well-preserved architecture and a magical ambience.

What is special about the Dordogne?

Dordogne is special for its incredible blend of natural beauty, historic significance, and culinary excellence. It’s a region where you can immerse yourself in the past, wandering through medieval bastide towns and prehistoric caves, or indulge in the richness of the present, savouring world-class food and wine.

What is the best month to visit Dordogne?

The best month to visit Dordogne is September. The summer crowds have drifted away, leaving behind perfect weather and a tranquil atmosphere to savour the region’s treasures.

Why is Dordogne so popular with Brits?

Dordogne has become a favourite among Brits for its picturesque landscapes, blended beautifully with the sunshine, laid-back southern French culture, and high quality of life. It’s also only a day’s drive (or a short flight) from southern England.

What is the prettiest village near Bergerac?

There are so many pretty villages near Bergerac, it’s hard to pick just one! But if I had to choose, it would probably be Monpazier. Its medieval arcades, honey-coloured houses, and flower-filled central square make it a must-see.

Do I need a car in the Dordogne?

Yes, you do need a car to explore most parts of Dordogne. Public transport is fairly limited at best (and non-existent in the more rural areas) so having your own car is the most practical way to get around.

The attractive town square of Monflanquin with lots of greenery and the shaded terrace of a cafe

Final Thoughts

Now you know what to do in Dordogne, one of my favourite corners of Europe. Timeless and beautiful, it’s an amazing place to enjoy the good life and discover the best of southern France.

For me, time seems to move slower here, in the best way. If you want to experience a real-life fairy tale, come to Dordogne and immerse yourself in the rich history, culture, and gastronomy of this enchanting region.

Other Posts About Visiting France

IMPORTANT: Never travel without travel insurance!

Here are three companies that I’ve used, and thoroughly recommend:

  • HeyMondo – the best value travel insurance provider on the market. They cover virtually every country in the world, they have an easy-to-use app, and their policies are straightforward and upfront, with minimal (often no) deductibles and excesses.
  • SafetyWing – if you’re a digital nomad like me, it’s essential that you have suitable insurance. It’s super flexible and affordable, you can sign up for as little or as long as you want, and can activate and deactivate it whenever you need to.
  • World Nomads – for adventurous travellers, covers 200+ activities that many other insurers won’t, such as skydiving, heli-skiing, rock climbing, rafting, scuba diving, cliff jumping, and kiteboarding (not available for residents of every country – check here).

Want to start your own blog?

I believe in transparency: Please note that some links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you purchase something through them, I might earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you. (For example, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases made through some of these links.) However, I only link to products and companies that I trust and honestly recommend. See my disclosures page for more information. The income goes towards keeping this site up and running. Thanks for your support.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Who Am I?


  • I’m Alex Tiffany.  Former corporate city robot; lifelong travel addict.


  • I’m on a mission to make adventurous travel accessible to all.


  • I created this site to inspire, encourage and enable as many people to get outside and explore as much of our beautiful world as possible.