The Dordogne: Places to Explore

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  • Bergerac

    Yes, this is the Bergerac of Cyrano de Bergerac fame—but not exactly. The real satirist and playwright Cyrano (1619–55), who inspired Edmond Rostand's long-nosed swashbuckler, was born in...

  • Beynac-et-Cazenac

    One of the most picturesque sights in the Dordogne is the medieval castle that sits atop the wonderfully restored town of Beynac.

  • Biron

    Dominated by the graceful Château de Biron, this time-burnished town offers a glimpse of life in the past lane.

  • Brantôme

  • Cahors

    Less touristy and populated than most of the Dordogne, the Lot Valley has a subtler charm. The clustered towns lining the eponymous river and smaller waterways that cut through the dry,...

  • Domme

    Stunning views aside, the cliff-top village of Domme offers a hefty dose of history. Some of its fortified walls and doors, dating back to 1280, are still standing; and the Porte des Tours still...

  • Hautefort

    The reason to come to Hautefort is its castle, which presents a forbiddingly arrogant face to the world.

  • La Roque-Gageac

    Across the Dordogne from Domme, in the direction of Beynac, one of the best-restored villages in the valley is huddled romantically beneath a cliff. Crafts shops line its narrow streets, dominated...

  • Lascaux

    Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, Lascaux is one of the world's great galleries of Paleolithic art, a mysterious remnant that scientists still debate the meaning of. Although the actual...

  • Les Eyzies-de-Tayac

    Sitting comfortably under a limestone cliff, Les Eyzies is the doorway to the prehistoric capital of France. Early Homo sapiens (the species to which we humans belong) lived about 40,000 years ago,...

  • Monbazillac

    The hilltop village of Monbazillac provides spectacular views of the sweet-wine–producing vineyards tumbling toward the Dordogne River.

  • Monpazier

    Built in ocher-color stone by English king Edward I in 1284 to protect the southern flank of his French possessions, Monpazier, on the tiny Dropt River, ranks among "Les Plus Beaux Villages de...

  • Périgueux

    For anyone tired of bucolic delights, even a short visit to the region’s capital can provide a restorative urban fix. Since Périgueux is the commercial center of the Périgord, the shops here...

  • Rocamadour

    A medieval village that seems to defy the laws of gravity, Rocamadour surges out of a cliff 1,500 feet above the Alzou River gorge—an awe-inspiring sight that makes this one of the most-visited...

  • Sarlat-la-Canéda

    Tucked among hills adorned with corn and wheat, Sarlat is a well-preserved medieval town that has managed to retain some of its true character, despite the hordes of visitors. The end of the...

  • St-Cirq-Lapopie

    Poised on the edge of a cliff 330 feet up, sublime St-Cirq (pronounced san-seer) looks as though it could slide right into the Lot River. Traversing steep paths and alleyways among flower-filled...

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