If we think of the Dordogne, we think of a beautiful region with famous caves, dreamy cities and a thousand-and-one castles. And above all, about fantastic campings. The French people speak highly of the Périgord because that was, before the French revolution, the region's official name.
The symbol of the Dordogne is Le Taureau. The image of a bull's head is homage to the famous cave drawings of Lascaux, the prehistoric treasure chamber of the Dordogne.
Trips from your camping in the Dordogne
The Dordogne is located in the southwest of France. The tourist guides divide this region into four areas: the white, the purple, the black and the green Périgord. Each area has its own charms and history. From your campsite in the Dordogne you can explore them all!
Truffles, foie gras, cep and confit du canard... just some examples of culinary craftsmanship in the Dordogne. These local specialities will give foodies the time of their lives. And don't forget the famous Appellation Contrôlée from Bergerac. Image yourself sitting in a restaurant, with a lovely glass of wine.
Lovers of watermills should definitely visit the valley of Bandiat. In the north of the Dordogne you can visit five authentic (still operating!) watermills. The Tourist Office will gladly help you on your way. In the nearby town of Nontron you could also have a pleasant stay.
Patchwork of 50 shades of green
Between all those beautiful trips you could almost forget a really important sight of the Dordogne: the nature. Flower-filled valleys, lovely hills, dark green forests and limestone cliffs and ravines colour the Dordogne into a farytale landscape of fifty shades of green. Are you up for a good walk? Regional Nature park Périgord Limousin is the 'fine fleur' of the Dordogne.
More than a thousand castles
Count them yourself but, according to the Tourist Office, the Dordogne has 1001 castles. From proud castles on steep rocks, to romantic palaces with wonderful gardens. The most beautiful historical architecture justing waiting to your visit. The castles of Castelnaud, Jumilhac, Puymartin, Lanquais, Beynac and Hauteford are enchanting. But the other 995 castles are also worth visiting...
Sarlat, the pearl of the Périgord
If you only visit one city in the Dordogne, go to Sarlat. This is the touristic pearl of the Périgord. Timber cottages and mansions with Renaissance facades, in a maze of small streets and squares, light up the centre. Many people will find their way to the friendly market on Saturdays and Wednesdays. Stroll past the stalls with fresh fruits, lovely local delicacies and nice bits and pieces. Looking for a souvenir? If you can't find it in Sarlat, you won't find it anywhere!
The caves of Lascaux
Unfortunately, the original caves of Lascaux are no longer open to visitors. The prehistoric Sistine chapel has been declared a protected area by the authorities. However Lascaux II is open for visitors. This is an exact copy of the caves, complete with the prehistoric wall drawings. Tip: Buy your entrance tickets a few days in advance in Montignac to make sure you get in. In the summer months particularly it is crowded with tourists.
Bergerac, historical wine town by the river
In the Dordogne there is no shortage of historical cities. Take pretty Bergerac for instance, full of shops and nice pedestrianised streets. Located nicely by the Dordogne river. The Bergerac wines, full of character, are the best feature of the city. But the city is also well-known as the tobacco capital of France and in Musée du Tabac you will discover so much. You might already have heard the story about the fictional hero Cyrano de Bergerac. When exploring the city, ask your children if they have spotted the statue of the guy with the big nose! Parking is available close to the center, by the old bridge (Vieux Pont) on the Rue Abert Garrigat.
The small streets of Périgueux
Périgueux, the center of the Périgord Blanc, is one of the best-known cities in the Dordogne. The center is filled with medieval streets. In the Musée du Périgord you can discover the history of this area. The eyecatcher in this city is the Saint Frontcathedral from the 11th century. Designed by the same architect who designed the Sacré Coeur in Paris: Paul Abadie.
Canoeing on the Dordogne
The Dordogne is synonymous with canoeing. The Dordogne, the Dronne and the Vézère are three wonderful rivers. Each bend delivers another great view. Are you staying on camping Le Grand Dague? Our CampingAdventure specialists will gladly book the most beautiful canoeing trips for you. Transport to the boarding place and back to the camping is included. In a canoe or kayak for one, two or three people – a perfect family trip!
Sail in a Gabare
A authentic trip on board a Gabare! Gabares were wooden ships that transported cargo down the river to Bordeaux in olden days. In July and August there are daily departures from Beynac. A trip in a Gabare replica is definitely worth the effort. You can buy tickets at the quay or at the Tourist Office.
Explore the surrounding area on horseback
Sitting on the back of a horse is like heaven on earth, according to horse lovers. And we can imagine why. It's a very relaxed way to explore the area: the horse walks and climbs, while you sit back and enjoy the beauty all around you. Several trips in the area are organised from the camping. Ponies are available for smaller children.
This is an amusement park where children of all ages can enjoy themselves all day. There are fun and thrilling attractions, a petting zoo and, on hot days, you can cool off in the splashing waterpark. The park is open from mid-June until August and is situated less than 45 minutes drive from the camping in the Dordogne. It's an absolute hit with children.
Take a journey back in time to the prehistoric park which has been put on the World Heritage list by UNESCO. Learn everything about the stone age and the end of the ice age. You can even learn how to make a fire or how to hunt with a prehistoric tool. This is so much more fun than history lessons at school!
Château de Castelnaud
Always dreamed of being a knight? At Château de Castelnaud this dream becomes reality for a day. Climb into a suit of armour, shoot a huge catapult and enjoy the stage and puppet theatre. A historic monument that entertains both young and old.
Glide between treetops on height, and of course in perfect safety. Wouldn't that be wonderful? At L'Appel de la Fôret you can choose from several trails, ranging from simple to very difficult. This means that all members of the family can join in. The park is approximately 27 kilometer from the campsite and is open throughout the whole season.
Future archaeologists will have a blast in the Dordogne with its 147 prehistoric sites. In fact 15 of these locations are actually on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Rather see everything in one place? Then head for the highly recommended Musée National de Préhistoire. Here you'll find France's largest collection of excavations from the Palaeolithic. Lascaux II in Montignac is also a top site in the Dordogne. This a a faithful replica of the famous prehistoric cave that is located just 200m away.
At the Appel de la Foret in Thenon (a short half hour drive from the camping) you can walk high above the trees. There are ten trails with different challenges that vary from climbing to swinging on vines. Before moving onto higher trails, you can practise on the beginners' trail and from there go a little bit higher each time. If you're 14 years or older, then your can hover over the treetops without being escorted.
Canoe and kayak trips
The number one activity in the Dordogne is, of course, canoeing. 'On the road' all day and making a stop here and then for a picnic or a cooling swim. During your trip though the valley of the Vézère you will come across forts and caves hidden in the stunning countryside. Thanks to the calm rivers, these trips are suited to all ages so it's a great activity for the whole family (teenagers will naturally want their own canoe).
It's always exciting to visit a cave. Deep under the ground (where it's cold so bring a jumper or jacket) you will discover a complete new world. Stalactite caves and crystal cathedrals of are the norm but in some caves, like La Roque St-Christophe, you walk through the habitat of your ancestors. Most caves are accessible on foot but at some part of the tour is by boat or train.