When to Go to the Dordogne

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When to Go to the Dordogne

The Dordogne has a temperate climate, but it's not Provence. Local differences in climate abound, due to the fact that this is the third largest département (province) in France, with winds blowing in from the Atlantic along the western borders and varying topography and continental weather in the eastern and northern areas. Sarlat, in the southeast of the region, tends to get a lot more winter sun than other areas—perfect if you are planning to head to the film festival there in November (www.ville-sarlat.fr/festival). As you move westward toward the Atlantic conditions get foggier, cloudier, and colder. However, in summer the southwest area of the Dordogne is sunnier than the rest of the region, so expect good weather for the three-day Festival Le Grand Souk (www.legrandsouk.com) in Riberac, when the cafés and streets are full of music and musicians. All in all, spring and autumn are the best times to visit—there aren't as many tourists around, and the weather is still pleasant. Note that a number of hotels close from the end of October through March.

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