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Holiday rentals in Dordogne

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Popular amenities for Dordogne holiday rentals

Your guide to Dordogne

All About Dordogne

The Dordogne can be split into four distinct areas in southwestern France known as the Périgords — Noir, Pourpre, Blanc, and Vert. The Périgord Noir is known for its thick dark forests, Blanc for its chalk buildings, Pourpre for its vineyards, and Vert for its green fields and chestnut trees. The Périgord Noir is popular with visitors due to its rich concentration of castles, chateaus, and caves. The town of Sarlat, in this region, is a great place to journey back in time, wandering through medieval cobbled streets and ancient alleyways.

Most visitors opt for holiday cottage rentals in Dordogne, known as gîtes, which are dotted through the countryside and historic villages. In summer these make a great base from which to enjoy the region’s many outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, rafting, zip-lining, and canoeing. The area is also famous for its extraordinary gardens, including the magnificent topiary of the Jardins de Marqueyssac and pretty landscaping of Les Jardins de Sardy in Périgord Pourpre.

The best time to stay in a holiday rental in Dordogne

The span between May through September brings the most visitors to the region, but in such a large expanse of rural land it’s rare for the Dordogne to ever feel crowded. Walking, hiking, and canoeing are favourite outdoor activities during this time. For something special, align your visit with events such as the Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne Strawberry Festival in May, the Itinéraire Baroque Music Festival in June, or the Rocamadour Hot Air Balloon Festival in September. Spring brings a glut of beautiful wildflowers to the region and autumn is the time for grape harvests — both these seasons are temperate, with chillier evenings. December to March is truffle season in the Périgord Noir, of which the high point is Sarlat’s truffle festival, drawing aficionados on the third weekend in January.

Top things to do in Dordogne

Prehistoric Caves

The Dordogne’s caves are famous both for prehistoric paintings and their notable natural formations. For extraordinary natural appeal, the Gouffre de Padirac is over 100 metres deep; after the initial descent you can take a spooky boat ride through the underground caverns. For signs of prehistoric life, La Grotte de Rouffignac is home to more than 100 paintings, while La Grotte du Sorcier has small cottages built into its cave and boasts a rare historic engraving by a sorcerer.

Chateaus and castles

You don’t need to go far in the Dordogne to find a beautiful French chateau to explore — the area is famous for them. Château de Milandes is one of the most well-known due to its award-winning gardens, notable history, and classic French castle. Those with a particular interest in castles should take a trip along the Dordogne River between Domme and Beynac, where you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Marchés Gourmands Night Markets

Summer evenings are when Dordogne’s pop-up Marchés Gourmands Night Markets are in full swing. This is where you can buy quality local produce and sample home-cooked regional fare at its best. You might find yourself at a communal table under a string of lights in a village square listening to accordion music, or even out in a field — locations vary. No matter where you find your spot, it’s a sure place for visitors to enjoy a glass of wine and the local snacks.

Destinations to explore

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