Fairy tale castles, emerald green vineyards and long lazy lunches in picturesque villages. Why you should book a trip to foodie favourite, The Dordogne
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The Dordogne is France in miniature, all charming chateaux and chocolate box villages stitched into a rich landscape of greens.
To explore this beautiful region is to step back in time, passing through centuries of history, squares filled with medieval markets, hilltop hamlets and rich local cuisine.
It may feel a world away from home, but it’s actually easy to reach The Dordogne. Jet2.com flies from Birmingham, Leeds Bradford and Manchester to Bergerac, in the heart of this south-west region.
Stuff of fairy tales: Château de Jumilhac at Jumilhac-Le-Grand in the heart of The Dordogne
Feels like a world away from home: But actually The Dordogne is so easy to get to
And when you travel with Jet2.com, you can enjoy friendly service, convenient flight times, 10kg hand luggage included in the price and a 22kg baggage allowance.
It’s why Jet2.com has been voted Best UK Airline by TripAdvisor users.
The romance of France is just two hours away and here are five fabulous reasons why The Dordogne should be your next holiday destination.
French idyll: Jet2.com flies direct to Bergerac from Birmingham, Leeds Bradford, and Manchester
Discover impressive castles
More than 1,000 ancient castles, medieval mansions and Renaissance chateaux freckle the valleys of The Dordogne, and whether boasting manicured lawns and fragrant rose gardens or crumbling turrets and dilapidated stables, they are all an incredible part of French history.
From the collection of medieval weaponry at Château de Castelnaud to the romantic turrets and spires of Chateau de Jumilhac, these castles give Disney a run for its money.
Real life fairy tale: The Château de Castelnaud is a medieval fortress with jaw-dropping views
Step back in time with a tour to explore your favourites, or board a gabarre, the traditional flat-bottomed boats that cruise along the Dordogne River, for stunning views of the chateaux and vineyards.
The remnants of grander times can be found in the most unexpected of places, and you never know when the castle you visit might be hosting a free wine tasting…
Explore charming villages
The Dordogne is home to ten of the Most Beautiful Villages in France. Start your tour in Beynac & Cazenac. Not only does it come with an impressive clifftop castle, it was half-built into the cliff overlooking the broad river and is a charming maze of narrow winding streets and buildings of honeyed stone.
One of France’s most beautiful villages, Beynac-et-Cazenac lies on the Dordogne river
Founded in 1284 by Edward I of England, Monpazier is a bastide town with an almost fully intact medieval centre that comes alive on market day, while in Domme, the medieval fortifications are almost perfectly intact.
You can find Coly Saint-Amand just moments from the Lascaux caves, home to some of the oldest cave paintings in Europe and a beautiful fortified church. Belves is another romantic hillside village, all golden stone, wrought iron balconies and picturesque wooden shutters.
Savour a gourmet’s heaven
From the black diamonds of the Périgord truffle to the creamy Rocamadour cheese made with goat’s milk and the mushrooms grown in the vast cave systems beneath the region, The Dordogne is a food lover’s paradise.
Acknowledged as being one of the most important food regions in France, here you will find the sweetest strawberries you’ll ever taste in your life, the richest goose foie gras and the perfect walnut liquor, vin de noix.
Try the pommes de terre Sarladais, a parsley sprinkled dish of potatoes fried in duck fat and garlic, and search for black truffle delicacies on any menu.
Périgord is the land of the ‘Black Diamond’, the black truffle, and they’re on every menu
Living history: The picturesque town of Sarlat is home to delicious pommes de terre Sarladais
Strawberries are found in everything from the simplest tarts to the finest cuisine of magret de canard, duck breast with Périgord strawberries, and even in goat cheese salads.
With the many incredible restaurants, charming cafes, and sun-drenched terraces you’ll walk past in every town, enjoying a lazy lunch after a morning of exploration is the best way to replenish your strength, try the local cuisine, and practise your French.
Enjoy vines with a view
The Dordogne has been a home of winemaking and beautiful vineyards since Roman times, and it continues its commitment to wine as a key ingredient to the good life today.
For a true wine experience, head down to the cooperative-owned Coteaux de Glanes, easily one of the smallest wineries in the region, and talk to one of the seven winemakers about the winemaking process and local grape varieties.
Visitors to Chateau Monbazillac are offered a taste of the wine for which the castle is known
The vineyards of Bergerac are spread over some 35,000 hectares, following the Dordogne River and producing some impressive wines. One favourite is the Mille et une Pierres, a wine made with grapes dried out on straw.
Ancient wines have also made a recent comeback with grape varieties enjoyed for centuries, and responsible for the highly-acclaimed Vins de Corrèze, returning to the verdant slopes in abundance.
Get back to nature
Hiking trails, rivers and biking paths criss-cross the valleys of The Dordogne, mapping routes that will take you through the emerald countryside and dense woodland, vast parks and manicured gardens.
Walking the ancient trails, you might stumble upon the ruins of yet another forgotten castle or even more unmapped prehistoric caves. The troglodyte cave dwellings are dotted across the region, normally found on the wooded hillsides or hidden in the limestone cliffs, and are an unmissable experience.
Marvel at the pre-historic cave paintings at Lascaux, discovered only recently in 1940
So much to do: Take a boat trip to La Roque Gageac, another one of France’s beautiful villages
Canoe down the Dordogne River, hike from castle to castle, head to the granite gorges for a rock-climbing adrenaline rush, or simply stroll the river banks, appreciating the dense vegetations, the ancient trees, and the silhouettes of fairy tale castles against the cerulean sky.
The Dordogne is a region offering the most charming villages, historic castles, delightful countryside views and the longest history in Europe. And you can fly there with Jet2.com this year, meaning you don’t have to worry about a thing. Jet2.com takes care of everything, with 10kg hand luggage included and 22kg baggage allowance, the strictest safety measures and the friendliest service in the skies.
- Find out more and book your flight to Bergerac at Jet2.com
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