From the beginning of the 1990´s the popularity of this region with holidaymakers from across the world has increased dramatically.
The whole area is awash with cliff top chateaux and fantastical fairy tale castles. It is a place of villages that look as if they come straight from the pages of a children’s storybook and where you can immerse yourself in the rolling country side of south west France and get a true feeling of the “real” French way of life.
There are a multitude of different places to visit and sights to behold. The whole area is of great archaeological importance. Les Eyzies-de-Tayac in particular is one of these important sites. This village is located beneath a steep limestone cliff. Archaeological digs have recovered skeletons and bones from the very early homo sapiens of Europe which wandered this region over 40,000 ago. The prehistoric caves of Lascaux are one of the main attractions of the area with many hundreds and thousands of tourists flocking here annually. Unfortunately, due to the number of visitors visiting the caves the original caves are closed for much of the year. The regional French government reacted by building an exact replica called Lascaux II which is located near to the site.
Aside from the famous archaeology of the area, there are numerous geographical sites of interest too. There a religious sites, museums and galleries, arboretums and gardens, castles and palaces and of course numerous breweries and vineyards which are all easily accessible.
Food, as in the rest of France is massively important. The restaurants of this corner of France provide hearty fare with a large amount of flair. Local produce, fruit and vegetables, such as walnuts, plums and a large variety of mushrooms and fungi, and game and livestock provide the main basis of the type of cuisine here. However the region is very famous for foie gras and truffles so if you have the opportunity to try some do not pass up on it.
This region is also very famous for the pâtés that are made here. Other local specialities include Pommes Sarladaises, parsley and garlic potatoes roasted in duck fat, Tourain blanchi, a garlic soup composed of egg whites and Confit de canard a duck leg which is slow roasted until mouthwateringly delicious.
The area is well served by transportation links to and from it. You can travel here by train or bus, but there are two international airports, the Aéroport de Bergerac-Périgord-Dordogne and the Aéroport de Bordeaux-Mérignac which fly to and from the major international airports located in the UK and Ireland on an almost daily basis.
The beautiful villages which make up this region are made up of golden stone farmhouses which appear in the midst of the fertile farmland. The amazingly picturesque stone villages of La Roque Gageac, Domme, Rocamadourand and Monpazier are well worth a visit and they are a fine example of why many people see this area a cross between something out of a movie and a fairytale.
The whole area is very popular with walkers, hikers and canoeists. Taking a canoe down the river is a great way of seeing a different side of the region. There are numerous and well documented hiking and trekking routes which can be attempted in line with your level of fitness and competency.
Like the rest of France and Europe, this region experiences the best climate during the summer months. April, May, June, July, August and September enjoy a pleasant temperate climate, with temperatures in excess of 25ºC. It is quite common however for the temperature to increase past 30ºC in the months of July and August.
December and January are the coldest months with temperatures averaging around 8 or 9 ºC.
Although this area maybe slightly cooler during the autumn and winter months the change in the scenery and countryside is a true joy to behold, so do not be put off travelling here during these months, just ensure that you bring adequate clothing and footwear for the temperate conditions.