The Dordogne Valley is arguably one of the most beautiful places to visit in France and one that’s very easily overlooked in favour of more popular parts of France. Thing is, even for us who live in the UK and are only about an hour or so away from it, the Dordogne valley was one we’d overlooked for ages until last summer where we finally got to spend 5 days exploring this amazing part of France.

Why is it so special? Well, it’s France like you’ve probably pictured it in the movies and from magazines. Crumbling, higgedly-piggedly villages, endless vineyards with promise of amazing wines, chateau that leave you in awe and more Michelin star restaurants than you can shake a stick at. Like seriously, once you visit, you’ll very easily find yourself want to return back every year for an amazing laid back French holiday!

I think one of my favourite things about the places we visited as well were how un-geared up they were for travellers. Everything was so very French (which left me wanting to learn as much French as possible) and the best part about that is that the experiences you¬†are about as authentic as they get here. Its how people live and thrive and nothing is done to impress you or show off to you – which in the end actually impresses you even more than if they’d been trying to.

Right, I’ll get right to it, if you’re thinking of visiting the Dordogne valley soon, I’ve put together the perfect itinerary for you to see, eat and drink all that there is in the beautiful Dordogne Valley of France. ūüėÄ

The Perfect 5 Day Travel Itinerary For The Dordogne Valley In France (2)

HOW TO GET THERE?

Fly into Brive Airport of Bergerac. I’d recommend arriving at Brive like we did and flying out of Bergerac but if you wanted to, you could flip it around and reverse the itinerary.

Truffle-Hunting, Chateau-Living And Wine-Tasting In the French Dordogne Valley (30)

Oh, and you should definitely get a car to drive around. I’m sure you can get around without one but it makes so much more sense to get yourself a car (or indeed a driver) to take you around.

– – DAY 1 – –

Morning/early afternoon: Arrive at Brive Dordogne Valley Airport, grab your bags and head over to the beautiful¬†Ch√Ęteau de Lissac for a French “Casse cro√Ľte” (i.e. a light meal).

Optional Р4.30 pm: If you find yourself with free time, you can head over to Bovetti chocolatiers to make your own chocolate otherwise, head over to your hotel below.

Truffle-Hunting, Chateau-Living And Wine-Tasting In the French Dordogne Valley (46)

6.00 pm:¬†Check into your hotel L‚ÄôImaginaire‚Ä®. Dinner will be later (you’re in France after all) so you have free time to either explore Terrasson (where your hotel is) or visit the gardens –¬†Les Jardins de l‚ÄôImaginaire.

8.00 pm:¬†Dinner in the 1* Michelin restaurant ‚ÄstL‚ÄôImaginaire¬†Restaurant¬†(the Chef is Fran√ßois Adamski and he’s kind of a big deal ūüėČ ). Enjoy!

Terrasson And L'Imaginaire (7)

CLICK BELOW TO SEE WHAT IT WAS LIKE WHEN WE VISITED:

Chateau de Lissac and Bovetti¬†||¬†Terrason and L’Imaginaire

– – DAY 2 – –

9.30 am: Have breakfast at the hotel and head over to the famous market of Brive. Also the perfect opportunity to explore its town centre.

10.30 am: Visit the Denoix Distillery, one of the oldest in the region to taste some traditional walnut liquors. (This area in France is known for a few things – one being anything to do with walnuts the other being¬†fois gras…oh yes, and wine too!)

A Morning In The French Commune Of Brive-la-Gaillarde (31)

11.30 am:¬†Head over to what is arguably the most¬†beautiful village in France –¬†Collonges-la-Rouge¬†(this isn’t a title I made up either ūüôā this is what its referred to as). ¬†Also when you’re here, pop into¬†Distillerie des Terres Rouges¬†to make your own cocktail.

1.00 pm: Go for lunch at Auberge de Benges (still in Collonges-la-Rouge) and walk off that lunch by exploring more of the village.

This Is The Most Beautiful Village In France - Collonges-La-Rouge (37)

Optional – around 4.30 pm:¬†Head over to¬†La Ferme de la Truffe, a truffle farm in Cuzance¬†where you can hunt for your own truffles and get your hands on some of the best truffles in the world. (I’m not fond of mushrooms, or anything mushroom-esque but even I will make an exception when it comes to truffles).

6.00 pm: Check into¬†Manoir de Malagorse in Cuzance and if you arrange this in advance, you can have an even of wine (and cheese) tasting before an amazing dinner at the¬†Manoir. (In English – Manor). ūüôā

CLICK BELOW TO SEE WHAT IT WAS LIKE WHEN WE VISITED:

Collonges-la-Rouge || Truffle hunting and Manoir de Malagorse

– – DAY 3 – –

9.00 am:¬†Head over to the UNESCO World Heritage site of¬†Rocamadour. This is one place you definitely have to visit when you’re in the area!

This Is The Most Dramatic Village In France - Rocamadour (6)

11.30 am: While in the general Rocamadour area, you need to get your hands on some Rocamadour cheese to head over to of La Borie d’Imbert 
(a goat cheese farm) for some fromage.

12.30 am:¬†Go for lunch at ‚Ä®Le Ch√Ęteau de la Treyne¬†in Lacave.

3.30 pm: Pop into the sleepy yet beautiful town of Martel.

The Beautiful French Village Of Martel... In Dordogne Valley, France (34)

6.00 pm: Check into the hotel¬†Plaza Madeleine & Spa¬†and seeing as you have free time, go check out the UNESCO World Heritage old town centre of Sarlat. (This is the one place you might bump into other travellers and holiday makers as seasoned travellers appear to have been visiting for years and keeping this as something of their own little open-secret). ūüôā

8.00 pm: Dinner time! Head over to Les Jardins d’Harmonie in the old town centre of Sarlat.

The Old Historic French Town Of Sarlat (32)

CLICK BELOW TO SEE WHAT IT WAS LIKE WHEN WE VISITED:

Rocamadour || Chateau de la Treyne || Martel || Sarlat 

– – DAY 4 – –

9.00 am: Visit the market in Sarlat after breakfast to pick up some knick-knacks and ingredients for the afternoon.

Mornings In The French City Of Sarlat And Afternoons In The Village Of Beaumont-du-Périgord... (9)

11.00 am:¬†Attend a cooking course in Sarlat with a private chef – after which, you eat the meal you’ve spent all morning preparing. Alternatively, you could just explore the town and pop into a local restaurant for lunch. You’ll be spoilt for choice in Sarlat.

Early Afternoon: Visit the quite village of Beaumont-du-Perigord

Mornings In The French City Of Sarlat And Afternoons In The Village Of Beaumont-du-Périgord... (52)

Late Afternoon: Pop into the medieval village of Issigeac.

Charming Issigeac... The Medieval Village In France's Dordogne Valley (1)

6.00 pm:¬†Check in Ch√Ęteau de Panisseau¬†and kick back with a glass of wine or two.

8.00 pm: Go for dinner at the Michelin star restaurant; La Tour des Vents in Monbazillac.

CLICK BELOW TO SEE WHAT IT WAS LIKE WHEN WE VISITED:

Sarlat (the next day) and Beaumont-du-Perigord || Issigeac

– – DAY 5 – –

9.30 am:¬†Explore¬†Ch√Ęteau de Panisseau¬†some more, pop into the castle and go for a wander through the vineyard¬†before trying your hands at¬†tasting the wines from the Chateau (spit it out if you’re driving remember!)

11.00 am: Go on a bike ride (electric Рso its easier) in the vineyard around Bergerac & Monbazillac
 (this was the plan when we visited but it was raining so much in the morning that we had to skip this one). Finish off with tasting the local products in Maison Vari, Monbazillac
 (the wines here are a steal so be sure to stock up here before heading back home).

1.00 pm: Head over to Bergerac Airport for your return flight home.

CLICK BELOW TO SEE WHAT IT WAS LIKE WHEN WE VISITED:

Ch√Ęteau de Panisseau¬†and Monbazillac

The Perfect 5 Day Travel Itinerary For The Dordogne Valley In France (1)


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  • Becky Culley Schulze

    Thanks for the tour. I am not sure I will ever get to France, but you certainly made me want to go. It looks awesome!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      It’s an incredible place isn’t it, Becky. The whole region of Dordogne is just stunning! So quaint and beautiful. ūüôā

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

      • Becky Culley Schulze

        Yes, it is. I hope to read more about your travels. I am from the United States, so again, I do not know if I will make it to France, but I can live vicariously through you. Keep sharing.

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  • FullSuitcase

    You present the region in such a great way, Yaya. I’m pinning this as it’s high time we explore France a bit more. Somehow our travels take us away from Europe more often than it should. Beautiful pictures! Can’t wait to visit.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much! We loved the whole region, it’s so idyllic – there really is no other word to describe it.

      So happy you like it too!

      Yaya & Lloyd xx