As well as the many activities to do, there are plenty of places to visit in within an hour (or hour and a half) drive. A few examples!
The list is impossibly long to include all of them here. A few recommendations by theme.
The four regional capitals of Dordogne-Perigord are all of them worth a visit. Perigueux and its medieval centre, its original cathedral and its Galo-Roman museum and ruins (yes, it was originally a roman town 2 thousand years ago). By contrast, Bergerac is much more down to earth. It feels much more like a big town rather than a small city. The beautiful Dordogne river flowing through, its small and messy old town, the very lively atmosphere (after all, it has a significant university) and its proximity, makes it one of our favourite destinations nearby. Third of the four capitals is the much smaller Brantome with its picturesque monastery (and stone-carved church) and finally the incredibly touristic Sarlat, the capital of the Perigord Noir.
The many historical bastides, including our favourites: Monpazier, Beaumont du Perigord or Eymet.
The small towns of Issigeac (a true medieval gem), Belves, Beynac, La Roque-Gageac, Limeuil, St-Leon-sur-Vezere and Domme are all among some of “les plus beaux villages de France”
And finally, perhaps a trip to the wine town of Saint-Emillion (just over an hour drive away) or even to Bordeaux (1hr and a half drive away).
You may recognise some of the names from the way we named the six bedrooms in La Forge … but you will find plenty of brochures in the main hall with information about the many places to visit around here.
Castles and châteaux
There is a reason why Dordogne is known as the region of the thousand and one châteaux. While there are probably not one thousand and one châteaux exactly … there are many! Some châteaux have become cosy family homes like hours, some are hotels, wineries or golf clubs, and a few are true medieval castles often built during the hundred-years war. Whatever the case, a holiday in Dordogne is not complete without a visit (or several visits) to some of their châteaux. The castle of Beynac and the castle Les Milandes are two of our favourites, but there is a long list to choose from.
Aside from the Cyrano, Bergerac is famous for its wines too. For years, wines from Bergerac were deemed to be part of the overall Bordeaux wine region. Driving west from Bergerac, it is easy to understand why, since the road meanders through kilometres of vines before entering Bordeaux-proper. While Bergerac is now a distinct wine region and outside the Bordeaux’s AOC (Appellations d’Origine Controlee), Bergerac, Cotes-de-Bordeaux and Bordeaux are geographically just one next to each the other.
As a result, wineries abound around Bergerac and many of them can be visited and their wines can be tested. Among the Bergerac wines, we particularly like the reds from Pecharmant, the sweet white wines from Monbazillac (as a dessert wine) and the dry white wines from Bergerac. But the crus from St-Emillion are produced not more than an hour away from here and definitely up there amongst the best Bordeaux wines.
Natural caves, pre-historical paintings and troglodyte cities
There are many natural caves with impressive stalactites and stalagmites in the region. True cathedrals built by nature over millions of years. We particularly enjoyed the caves in Le Goufrre de Proumeyssac and La Grotte de Villars.
Equally, pre-historical paintings have been found in many of tshe caves in Dordogne. Laxcaux IV is obviously the best known of all since its discovery in 1940. However, we particularly enjoyed the paintings in the Grotte de Rouffignac. Not only we can see the actual paintings, but you do so by travelling in a small train travelling deep into the rock! A highlight for adults and children, and a more tranquil experience compared to Lascaux IV.
Finally, there are a few remaining troglodyte cities in the region. Cities carved in the stone, hanging from the side of the mountain and a wonder of nature combined with human ingenuity. Among the many sites, we recommend the troglodyte site in La Roque Saint-Christophe, that includes an exhibit showcasing how people have inhabited these caves for 55 thousand years.