Gites in Dordogne – A Beginner's Guide to the Region


Nestled in the south-west of France, Dordogne is a region blessed with richness and variety, enjoying a colourful history and breathtaking natural beauty. Prehistoric cave paintings fight for the attention of those staying in gites in the area with breathtaking gardens from the seventeen hundreds. Worth mentioning also is the draw of the outdoors: meandering waterways, quaint copses and well preserved natural parks are in abundance. The chances to enjoy delicious wine and food endless. The opportunity to enjoy a gite holiday in Dordogne should not be missed.

The Dordogne Flavour

The region is a favoured holiday choice for both wine connoisseurs and history buffs. Dordogne's astonishing amount of vineyards affords limitless opportunities to partake of an excellent wine tasting or extended tour of a local cellar. Additionally, the region's gently rolling hills provide many excellent long walks. There are dozens of picturesque medieval towns throughout Dorgogne, with quiet cobbled streets and markets to explore – with Ribérac, a ninth century town in the Perigord region a particular recommendation for its Friday market.

Things to Do in Dordogne

- The World Famous Cave Paintings of Lascaux – Among the oldest examples of primitive art in existence, the paintings date back some 17,000 years.
- The Hanging Gardens - Located in the Château de Marqueyssac, a seventeenth century chateau in Vézac, these beautiful and ornate gardens are a beautiful example of landscape art.
- Canoeing – A canoeing trip on the Dordogne River is the best way to truly appreciate the immense rocky gorges that can be found along its length, the breathtaking result of millions and millions of years of erosion.
- Surfing – Astonishingly, the Dordogne River is one of the very handful that boast a surf-able tidal bore. This results, at various times of the month, in a massive wave that travels for miles upriver. Astonishing to watch, but even more so to surf. One for the experts.
- Castles – From elegant follies to rough and rugged medieval keeps, Dordogne boasts 1,500 castles, dotted throughout its breathtaking scenery. Well worth a day visit.

Food and Drink

While boasting chèvre cheese, foie gras and truffles among local specialities, Dordogne is most famous, naturally for its wine. The most well known is Bordeaux, with the town of Cognac trailing a close second for its world renowned brandy. As one would expect, there are a great number of Michelin starred restaurants to be found in the region with the Le Vieux Logis, in the picturesque village of Tremolat a particular local recommendation.