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Best places to stay when visiting Dordogne & South West France

rocamadour lot france

The departments of Dordogne, Charente and the Lot in the central part of South West France are always popular destinations for summer holidays in France. This area of France is the 5th most visited region in France, after Paris, the Alps, Cote d'Azur/Provence and the Languedoc [SOURCE: Statista.fr 2023]. Dordogne regularly features on the Lonely Planet Guide's list of best destinations to visit in Europe.

But what makes Dordogne such a popular holiday destination in France? Why should you consider Dordogne and its neighbouring areas for your summer 2024 family vacation? Where are the best places to stay when visiting Dordogne, Charente and the Lot in South West France during 2024.

The combination of a rich culinary tradition, a stunning and varied landscape, excellent restaurants, pretty villages and historic castles and Chateaux; make this area a massive draw for tourists from all over the World.

The last tourism survey to be completed prior to the Coronavirus shutdown, showed that Nouvelle-Aquitaine (of which Dordogne and Charente are both a part) was 

 

Moving to South West France?
So it is easy to see why this beautiful area of rural France attracts so many visitors in the summer months

 

Easy to get to

 

Range of top sites to see

 

1. Sarlat, Rocamadour and Domme - Dordogne and Lot border

 

Sarlat-la-Canéda - most visited site

Rocamadour

Domme hilltop village

 

 

 

2. Bergerac

dordogne rentals france 

Maison aux Volets Bleus large 5 bed cottage in Dordogne France with private pool Ref: 2144

 

Chateau de Saussignac - luxury French Chateau to rent in France Ref: 2130

 

3.Brantôme and Saint-Jean-de-Cole

 

 

4. Charente

winter lets france 2024Aubeterre sur Dronne [Photo courtesy of www.sudcharentetourisme.fr]

Closer to drive from the Uk

 

Among the “Most Beautiful Villages of France” and the “Small Cities of Character®” , Aubeterre-sur-Dronne is a village with a southern atmosphere, built like an amphitheater around a branch of the river. Its cobbled streets run alongside white houses adorned with red tiles. As you wander the streets of Aubeterre-sur-Dronne, you will come across, at the bend of a steep alley, some master craftsmen from Charente specializing in working with the earth, such as talented potters, ceramists and sculptors. To get there, go to Place Ludovic Trarieux , the beating heart of the village where the terraces of restaurants and cafes will welcome you with pleasure for a refreshment in the shade of the trees. Visit this lively little district which gives all the charm to the village, which has always been a stronghold of artisans and traders. A stone's throw from the square, rue du Minage, enter the popular boutique of ceremonial milliner Yvane Larcher , very popular with the English who come to get married at the Saint-Jean underground church. English class guaranteed with its unique hats and fascinators! https://www.sudcharentetourisme.fr/aubeterre-sur-dronne/

Let's start with Aubeterre-sur-Dronne and its fascinating underground church of Saint Jean . Dug into the limestone rock from the castle in the 12th century, it impresses with its unique dimensions in Europe: 20 meters high.

Its surprising gallery accessible at 18 meters high offers a breathtaking view of the magnificent reliquary.

At the very bottom of the church, a striking necropolis with 160 sarcophagi astonishes visitors.

Not far from there, in the village of Gurat, the underground church of Saint George was built according to the same model as that of Aubeterre-sur-Dronne in smaller dimensions.

This well-hidden site still contains a few secrets...excavations and archaeological studies continue to uncover all the mysteries.

 

Villebois-Lavalette, capital of Cornuelle

Cornuelle: this small triangular shortbread cake with a green anise flavor evokes the Trinity.

Invented by a baker at the beginning of the 19th century, it accompanied the pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela who hung it on their staff and tasted it throughout their journey.

Traditionally a spring cake found on the occasion of the palm fair, it is now possible to find it in the village throughout the year with a few variations for those with a sweet tooth...puff pastry, pastry cream, with strawberries… a real delight!

 his majestic fortress punctuated by seven towers, which stand between Charente and Périgord, surround the castle. A real medieval atmosphere floats as you approach. Established since the year 1000, it has spanned the ages and is gradually revealing its secrets.
The experience to live: the escape game within the castle grounds to do with the family.

La Perdrix rural cottage for rent with pool France Ref: 2008

 

5. Eymet

eymet fountain france

 

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