Planning Your Time

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Planning Your Time

From a practical perspective, staying in Sarlat or thereabouts would be your best plan for getting to really appreciate this diverse and wonderful region. Not only is this historic town a great place to enjoy, but it's also near the caves: Lascaux and Montignac to its north; Les Eyzies de Tayac to its west; Beynac-et-Cazenac, La Roque-Gageac, and Domme immediately to its south. Rocamadour is just a little farther to the southeast. Also, Sarlat is just off the A20 highway, which brings you right into Cahors to the south, and north to the regional airport in Brive La Gaillarde (the Bergerac airport to the east on the D703/D660 is a little bit farther afield).

After getting yourself situated, the first thing to do is eat, because even before enjoying those awe-inspiring views from Rocamadour and La Roque-Gageac, there's the important task of savoring foie gras and truffles. After all, scenery and history are not the only things the Dordogne is famous for! If you prefer solitude, you won't have any trouble finding it in the vast, sparsely populated spaces stretching inland and eastward in the rolling countryside of the Dordogne, chock-full of storybook villages, riverside châteaux, medieval chapels, and prehistoric sites. The best bet is to get out of the overpopulated places such as Périgueux and Bergerac and head for the hills, literally. The cathedral in Périgueux is something to see, but the châteaux and villages that sprinkle this region like so much historical and cultural confetti (in places such as Biron, Hautefort, Beynac, and Rocamadour) are sites you'll kick yourself for not seeing before the attractions of the big towns.

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