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Filtering by Tag: Days out
The Dordogne may be awash with enchanting historic towns and picturesque château, but for those who’ve yet to shed their childlike sense of adventure - it’s all about the great outdoors! Here’s a look at the regions finest thrill-seeking spots, ideal for when you want a break from lazy days loafing:
Balloon flights over Périgord
Described as the ‘most beautiful village in France’ by Raymond Poincaré (the 58th Prime Minister of France), Périgord is a spectacular cliff top village surrounded by giant oak trees, the glistening Dordogne river, and thriving vineyards. So, what better way to soak up the views than from above, where you can see Périgord in full glory?
Canoe rides through the Vézère Valley
Glide upon the waters and uncover the beauty of the river Vézère which joins the river Dordogne in Limeuil. Canoe rides here flow leisurely through the Périgord region so explorers can admire ‘The Valley of Mankind’ (La Vallée de l’Homme) which features overhanging cliffside chateaux and is a tranquil way to step back in time (while satisfying any need to keep active).
Explore La Grotte de Villars
Nothing beats the awe that lights up little faces as you uncover a mesmerising natural treasure like La Grotte de Villars. These prehistoric caves are packed with stalactites, stalagmites, gourdes and draperies. And they’re also home to authentic cave paintings dating back to more than 19,000 years ago.
Treetop acrobatics in Route de Périgueux
Clip on a harness and take to the treetops, if you’re feeling brave enough. The Périgord region has several sky-high forest adventures to choose from. Expect rope bridges, zip-lines, and Tarzan jumps to test the agility and daring of the whole family. And if you’re feeling especially brave, there’s the Airparc Périgord which is the only adventure course in the area to cross over the water.
Historic boat rides down La Roque-Gageac
Adventurous in spirit but not feeling the urge to swing from the treetops? (No judgment here). Consider a ride upon the historic Gabares. These replica flat-bottomed boats have been created in the style of the ships used since the Middle Ages on the River Dordogne. Loaf in the open air as you’re taken on an hour-long guided tour.
Natural waterslides at Monceaux Sur Dordogne
Not many families holidaying in Dordogne will discover the unique opportunities that await at Monceaux Sur Dordogne – the region’s natural outdoor waterslides! This rather damp, but unforgettable, day out will take you on a waterfall adventure across forest streams and up and down cascades. Life-jackets and safety helmets are provided (and compulsory) but it’s not an activity for little ones, or the faint hearted.
Bergerac Aqua Park
Expect a chorus of cheers when you suggest an afternoon at the water park local to our properties. Bergerac Aqua Park is located on the route towards Bordeaux, near the big Leclerc. It covers 2 hectares of land and has pools, slides, plenty of space to sunbathe, as well as ping pong and beach volley facilities. If the children are old enough to venture off on their own, there’s a jacuzzi for the grown-ups too.
The Prehistoric Park
Situated in the heart of the Vezere Valley, this park aims to recreate scenes of prehistoric life. Walk around this outdoor museum and you’ll find scenes depicting both Neanderthal living and examples of how our direct ancestors – Cro-Magnon man would have lived. The park offers a kid’s booklet with prehistoric puzzles to solve as they walk round but if that’s not their thing, there’s plenty of space to simply roam through the woodland looking out for prehistoric creatures.
Dordogne valley rambling
Get lost off the beaten tracks as you uncover Dordogne on foot (with a picnic safely packed on back, of course). The region has many different rambling trails to try. Pass by everything from medieval ruins and prehistoric caves to tranquil woodland glens, and delight in the simple joys of watching your kids running wild amid nature. It’s what family holidays in France are made for.
If you thought our French holiday home rentals were suited purely to those who want a lazy break away, think again. While I relish the chance to escape and do nothing much but soak up the sunshine, what I love about the Dordogne is there’s so much to uncover! No matter how ready-to-relax we’re feeling, it’s hard to resist a venture to take in the historic charm of the region. Here’s a look at the gems worth considering on your trip:
Bergerac Old Town
Situated on the northern bank of Dordogne River, look out for the signs for ‘Vieille Ville’ if you want to discover the old town of Bergerac. Here you will find both the 12th Century Old Cloister, Maison de Vins de Bergerac (home to the Bergerac wine exhibition!) and the half-timbered Medieval designs on Rue St Clar. Each ready to take you straight back to a time long gone.
If walking through the Medieval street warrens of Bergerac isn’t your thing, make sure you seek out the beauty of Monpazier. This stunning French town was founded by Edward I in 1284; Monpazier is home to a mix of Medieval, Classical, and Bourgeoise architecture and has a historic market hall complete with the original weighing and measuring equipment used on it's establishment. Step inside and vividly imagine the olden hustle and bustle, order a coffee and watch the world go by.
Hanging Gardens Of Jardins De Marqueyssac
Chateau de Marqueyssac was built in the 17th century at Vezac, Dordogne. But it wasn’t until the 1860’s that new owner, Julien de Cervel, chose to plant and carve thousands of boxwood trees – creating an eccentric landscape of rounded hedges. History books say the garden lost its appeal during the centuries (read: lost its attentive gardeners!) and it wasn’t until the 90s it was restored with a water feature. It is simply stunning and a must for any green fingered enthusiasts.
13th Century Hilltop Domme
History buffs and avid ramblers, make a point of visiting the enchanting fortified town of Domme with its cliffside promenade and breath-taking views across the Dordogne valley. You’ll also find a 17th century covered market hall and historic wall carvings at the gate towers. An interesting spot for history-reluctant youngsters who love graffiti at home!
More ancient wall art can be found at the famous Lascaux caves. These Palaeolithic cave paintings are thought to be around 20,000 years old. Featuring large animals once found in the Dordogne region. A true bucket list visit.
Château de Bridoire
Located in the heart of the vineyards of Monbazillac, Château de Bridoire is 12 km south of Bergerac and only 20 minutes from our beautiful La Verger villa. The château is open for visitors in which you can wander the historic furnished receptions rooms, preserved kitchens (complete with gleaming copper pans) and vast living room with knights in armour! In the château’s garden, discover the medieval games which both children and grown-ups will love. Or immerse yourself in the labyrinth forest, a two-hour walk with puzzles and conundrums along the way – a favourite spot my boys never tire of.
Nestled at the foot of a ragged cliff, picturesque La Roque-Gageac looks like a model village from a far. Arguably one of the most beautiful villages in France, you’ll be able to capture postcard perfect holiday snaps as you stroll the line of golden yellow houses upon the river. One of the best ways to see this town is by boat or canoe. A brilliant family day out and if you take a picnic you can stop along the way and enjoy the views. Look up the cliffside and see the troglodyte fort if you want to go further back in time!
Issigeac is another medieval highlight. Always particularly popular on a Sunday morning, this village hosts one of the best markets in the area, especially for fresh produce. So take your wicker baskets! In July and August, there is also a Marché nocturne (their fabulous night market) held every Thursday from 7pm. And if that’s not enough, Issigeac is home to the Foire aux Paniers et à la Vannerie (a willow weaving festival held in July, where you can buy baskets, gorgeous ornaments, and plants for the garden) and Medieval Day (August) a parade where locals dress in medieval clothing and entertain the crowds with the likes of jugglers and street theatre.
Château de Castelnaud
Find a spot to perch and take in the grandeur of Château de Castelnaud, Dordogne’s most famous Chateau. If you’ve got the kids in tow, they’ll love to pretend they’re Knights & Crusaders as you march around the defences and see the replica trebuchets which are often in demonstration firing various items from cabbages to balls.
Another glorious stop-off just a few kilometres north of the River Dordogne is Sarlat-la-Canéda (or just Sarlat if you’re a local). Wander the winding Rue des Consuls, pass the south-eastern Cathedral, and enjoy the Place de Payrou. Time your visit nicely and there’s no better spot for a breakfast coffee; as early morning sunshine hits the yellow sandstone buildings expect to see the town at its finest. It’s the perfect illustration of Dordogne’s enchanting history – and a great example of why we love it here!