No region in France epitomizes the country more than the Dordogne, also known as the Périgord. It is a land of dense oak forests, slow flowing rivers, medieval villages and chateaux everywhere! Step back in time as we enjoy an old fashioned welcome at our family owned hotels, with sumptuously decorated bedrooms, and the famously rich Périgord cuisine. From the Périgord Noir, known for dense forests and hidden caves of pre-historic art painted by Cro-Magnon man, we will travel to the Périgord Vert, a delightful treat for the senses with waterwheels trickling and the most beautiful villages of France. This is the beginning of summer and the markets will be overflowing with strawberries, cherries, seasonal cheeses and sunshine. Join us as we ensure you experience the magic of the Dordogne and what makes it truly the dream of French life.
Arrivals and transfer to our home base for the next 3 nights, a carefully selected hotel renowned for its high level of comfort and beautiful location. Settle in and take in your surroundings, then join us for a welcome drink on the terrace. Our group will dine at a beautiful nearby village this evening.
Morning walking tour of the unmissable Renaissance town of Sarlat, with preserved 16th century houses of honey colored stone. Our highlight is a trip up a panoramic elevator, which rises through the bell tower of the Sainte Marie church, bringing passengers up above the top for 360° views over the rooftops of Sarlat. Lunch at your leisure in this gastronomic capital, known for foie gras and truffles. En route home, we stop for an hour’s boat ride in a “gabarre” on the scenic Dordogne river. A casual dinner will be prepared by our charming hostess at the hotel, where we will be joined by one of our journalists, who will entertain us with an amusing talk on French cultural differences.
The Périgord Noir is famous for having the highest concentration of pre-historic art in the world. Today, we step back in time to understand why cave men expressed themselves in this way. Accompanied by a guide specialised in Paleolithic cave art (17,300 years ago!), visit the brand new Lascaux 4 visitors centre, followed by a gourmet picnic lunch in the Vézère river valley. Coming out into the sunshine, we will return via the “hanging” gardens of Marqueyssac, situated on the cliff above our hotel. Farewell dinner at a highly rated gastronomic restaurant near to our hotel.
Au revoir to the Dordogne river and clifftop castles and head north to the delightful region of Périgord Vert. On the way, we stop at the region’s capital city, Périgueux. Visit of the fascinating Gallo Roman Vesunne Museum, designed by architect Jean Nouvel, built around the remains of a Gallo-Roman villa. After lunch in the Medieval old town, we will continue our short journey on to our next base, a family owned hotel, in the quaint region of Brantôme.
End of an amazing week with many memories made. Transfers to Brive airport or train station, as arranged.
*Price quoted per person, based on double occupancy of a room. Please note there is a single occupancy supplement for solo travelers.
**Final itinerary and hotel selection to be confirmed 2 months prior to departure.
Top image: © ivoha13 / Fotolia
In addition to our years of experience as journalists and residents uncovering the best France has to offer, our sense of fun, our local contacts, our passion for authentic dining spots, delicious wines, the best and most colorful farmers markets in the region, outstanding scenic stops, chances to chat with French friends, off the beaten path experiences, and plenty of relaxation at highly comfortable hotels, you can quantify it as follows:
Seven nights double room hotel accommodation in two carefully selected hotels of 4 – 5* category
All breakfasts, 4 lunches (inc 1 picnic), 6 dinners (inc 1 “gastronomic” restaurant and twice at the hotel’s Michelin starred restaurant)
Local wines included at group dinners
Services of an on-site and full-time experienced Tour Director
Services of all accompanying local guides, where applicable
All private tours and outings, including entrance fees and tastings, where applicable
Optional activities, where specified
Comfortable group transportation throughout the trip
Arrival and Departure transfers to/from the airport and train stations specified below, to the meeting point on Day 1 and from our last location on Day 8
All gratuities for baggage, porters and hotel service
What’s not included:
Air travel to/from France, and any transportation required to get to and from the Arrival/Departure points on our trip itinerary.
Travel or International Health Insurance
Individual meals or drinks taken on your own, when not dining as a group
And of course, there is no hassle with France Today Travels!
We will make arrangements to collect you and return you to either Périgueux or Brive-la-Gaillarde.
BY TRAIN: Thanks to the new high speed TGV Océane, you can get from Paris to Bordeaux and then on to the small town of Périgueux in under 4 hours. The second choice, Brive, is a major station on routes from Paris, Toulouse and Périgueux (via Bordeaux).
BY PLANE: Another possibility is Brive Airport served by Air France from Paris.
Do chat with us to ensure you have the best option to tie in with any of your pre and post tour travel plans.