Luxury Holidays to Dordogne: An Overview

When it comes to utterly dreamy destinations that look like they're straight from the pages of a storybook, the sleepy French region of Dordogne (known as Perigord in France) fits the bill perfectly. Located inland from Bordeaux, the Dordogne region was home to the descendants of the original tribes of ancient Gaul, and encompasses beautiful medieval villages, fairy-tale castles (1,001, if you believe the marketing spiel) and glorious rolling countryside where sunny bike rides and truffle foraging are the only orders of the day.

If it's a slow summer getaway you're after, Dordogne holidays are just the thing. Spend your days visiting hilltop bastides (fortified villages), nibbling fresh fare in farmers' markets and enjoying romantic river cruises on the Dordogne River. For a real taste of the region, we'll pair you up with expert guides who will take you on a private tour of ancient limestone cave systems home to artworks left by even earlier inhabitants than the Gauls, some 30,000 years ago. Many of these Palaeolithic paintings are - understandably - completely off limits, but you can still see the uncannily realistic recreations of mammoths and wild horses drawn by our ancient ancestors in a couple of places in the Vzre Valley.

When you're not soaking up the splendour of the countryside, the regional capital of Perigueux is well worth a visit. Small in size, and perfectly provincial in style, the city is home to handsome historic architecture - including its beautiful Byzantine cathedral - magnificent medieval squares and a twice-weekly farmers' market bursting with local produce.

Add in a sprinkling of lovely luxury hotels, a generous helping of excellent restaurants and even a vineyard or two in the winegrowing regions around Bergerac (including the under-rated sweet wine producing area of Monbazillac) and you have yourself a truly delicious summer holiday.

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Map of Dordogne

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