Luxury Villas in Dordogne

A quintessential French getaway, the Dordogne is not only known as a scenic destination for traveller’s outside of France but is also a popular haunt for locals. With fortified towns, quaint villages, rich historic significance and a picturesque countryside, the Dordogne is the perfect spot to retreat to. Our destination experts have combed the countryside, towns and villages to find the best chateaux and villa holidays in Dordogne located in the most idyllic locations. 

As well as this, the majority of our properties have a private swimming pool and are within close proximity to a variety of outdoor activities such as wine-tasting, walking/hiking paths and fishing, making it ideal for those who want to explore the best the region has to offer.


Why visit?

  • The Dordogne is known for its amazing food scene favouring fresh local produce, from black and white truffles to delectable cheeses and 13 locally-produced wines 
  • It’s also known as the prehistoric capital of France with cave carvings found dotted throughout the Vézere Valley.

Read the Dordogne Travel Guide

Why stay with us?

Style and character are everything at Oliver’s Travels, and our collection of handpicked villas in Dordogne have this in spades.

We have destination experts who know the ins and outs of all our regions, picking villas that aren’t only unique, but also in the best locations. What's more, our villas are 100% family-friendly, and have the ‘wow’ factor.

Our helpful concierge team are on-hand to make your stay extra special. Whether you want a fully-stocked fridge, a local in-house chef to cook your meals, housekeeping or any other extra service – consider them your holiday genie, who will happily grant your wishes.

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Villas in the Dordogne: Our Top Picks

Why visit

An idyllic rural region that represents the France of a bygone age, the Dordogne is a popular spot for those looking for a combination of great food, outdoor adventures, and spell-binding natural landscapes. Considered one of the country’s foremost gastronomic regions, it’s a fantastic place to taste some of France’s most beloved dishes, most notably paté de foie gras, duck, and wild truffles. 

Dordogne, France

Discover the History of Dordogne

The Dordogne’s tumultuous history is on show everywhere you look. From the bastides (fortified towns) to the imposing and well-protected rock-top chateaux, the region’s strategic importance is seen in its distinctive architecture and fascinating urban planning. The region is also home to some of the finest prehistoric cave paintings in the world – a series of artistic works that will astound and delight.

Relax in the French Countryside

Rolling hills, endless vineyards, and striking valleys all compete for your attention. The Dordogne remains a place in which hopping in the car and getting lost in the countryside is not only possible, but highly enjoyable.  

With a diverse range of Dordogne holiday villas on offer and chateaux, you can enjoy the region in a totally authentic manner.

If you want more information, check the Dordogne Travel Guide in our blog. 

What Oliver loves

Though the entire region is largely unspoilt and always spectacular, there’s something truly special about the ancient cave art found in the region. 

Best time to go

  • In the summer season, the average high is around 28° and rain is rare, making it an excellent time to visit the region and explore the hills, vineyards and rivers of the Dordogne. 
  • March to June and September to November are also fantastic times to visit. 
  • While temperatures might be a little lower during these periods - Spring sees average high ranging from 15° TO 22° and autumn is generally even warmer - it's a pleasant climate for a holiday. 

Top facts

  • Chateaux: Ranging from the grandest and most luxurious to those that are now little more than ruins, the Dordogne region is home to 615 chateaux.
  • Cycling: The region boasts approximately 165km of dedicated cycle paths, making it a popular destination for those who enjoy heading out on two wheels.
  • Local life: Within France, the Dordogne is often referred to as the Périgord and its citizens are known as Périgordins.

Where to go

The Dordogne is known for a scenic destination for traveller’s outside of France but it is also a popular haunt for locals. With fortified towns, quaint villages, rich historic significance and a picturesque countryside, the Dordogne is the perfect spot to retreat to. Our destination experts have combed the countryside, towns and villages to find the best chateaux and villa holidays in Dordogne located in the most idyllic locations. Check our properties in Bergerac and Sarlat.

Bordeaux, Aquitaine

Step back in time when visiting this medieval town. Famous for its vineyards, you can find out more about the winemaking industry, taste the specialties in a cosy wine bar and wander along the charming cobbled streets that wind their way around half-timbered buildings.

St-Émilion, Aquitaine

Another picture-perfect medieval town, Sarlat is impressively well-preserved. With traditional weekly markets and beautiful architecture, it’s a great place to spend time just pottering about. It’s also used as the gateway to explore the captivating Vézere Valley.

Family friendly

The Dordogne is home to a wide range of family-friendly activities that will keep your kids busy for the duration of your stay. We offer a large number of Dordogne family-friendly villas and  villas with pools to ensure that the kids can entertain themselves at home, giving you lots of time to plan your daily excursions.

Explore the Dordogne River

Winding through the picturesque countryside, the Dordogne River is the heart of the region. A day on the river is the ideal way to combine sightseeing with adventure activities - canoeing trips allow you to hop between the villages and towns on its banks, while the excellent Brantome kayak tour lets you experience one of the region’s prettiest cities from a different perspective. Both are ideal for kids.

Visit a medieval castle

There’s no doubt that castles are pretty cool and a great way of bringing history to life, so why not make the experience even more special with battle re-enactments, medieval weaponry and a large display of siege machines? The Castelnaud la Chapelle boasts all of these, making it the ideal place to visit with any little historians you may have in the family.

Discover the forest

Over 40% of the Dordogne is forested, making it an important natural habitat and a major part of the regional landscape. It’s also somewhere you can take the kids to spot local wildlife. With wild boar and deer roaming free in the forest, there’s a good chance you’ll come face to face with some of the local fauna.

Discover more information about things to do with kids in Dordogne in our blog.

Dordogne France

Why it's perfect for families

  • For babies: Spend an afternoon in one of the beautiful parks or forests. You could even take a picnic and spend all afternoon enjoying the beautiful Dordogne countryside. Check out our baby-friendly villas.
  • For kids: Take any history-hungry kids to explore one of the many fortified chateaux in Dordogne. While the Chateau de Castelnaud is a favourite, there’s plenty of other spectacular castles to check out. What better way to fuel their wild imaginations than with dungeons, towers and tunnels?  See our list of child-friendly villas.
  • For teens: Action-packed water parks like the Parc de Loisirs are a great place to give your teens a little bit of freedom. With multiple pools, inflatables, boats and a great park area with plenty of space, it’s the ideal environment for older kids to do some independent exploring. Discover our list of teen-friendly villas.

Top Tips

  • Don’t forget to pack a sling or carrier for your little one. Cobbled streets make getting around with a pram a challenge. 
  • Summer fetes are a culturally rich experience for kids. Check-in at local tourist information centres for dates. 
  • To cool off, go exploring and paddling in one of the Dordogne’s stunning rivers.

Things to do

In the Dordogne, you’re never lacking things to do. For foodies, there’s a wealth of local ingredients, dishes, and restaurants to discover. For history enthusiasts, there are endless castles and pre-historic artwork to enjoy. For those who like to up the ante, cycling, kayaking, and swimming are all on offer.

You can’t visit the Dordogne without pigging out on its culinary treats. Foie gras is a regional speciality, as are the various types of cheeses you’ll inevitably smell as you make your way through a bustling market. Though it’s not as famous as the nearby Bordeaux region, the Dordogne still produces a wide range of fantastic wines, the vast majority of which are very affordable.

Best things to do in the Dordogne 

  • Tour Lascaux II: This art site has a detailed replica of the original ancient cave paintings. Book a guide and learn the fascinating reasons behind the reproduction, as well as the history of the people who created the stunning and intriguing images. 
  • Explore the Musée Gallo-Romain Vesunna Museum: Housed in a beautiful glass structure, the Musée Gallo-Romain Vesunna and archaeological site are beautifully preserved. You can roam the streets like a Roman, or book a tour guide and find out the stories behind the sites.
  • Visit La Roque Saint-Christophe: In a beautiful, lush valley beside the River Vezere, the World Heritage Site La Roque Saint-Christophe features a complex network of caves and rock shelters. Get a glimpse of the lives of the prehistoric people who lived there and learn how the caves were converted into a fortress in the Middle Ages. 
  • See a fortified Manor House:  An impressive example of architectural ingenuity, Maison Forte de Reignac is the only completely intact strong house of its kind in France. Deceivingly small from the outside, the rock hides an enormous interior that features bedrooms, dining rooms, bathrooms and even a chapel. Its dark past is also revealed in the grisly torture exhibition. 
  • Explore the magical garden – Classified as one of the Notable Gardens of France, a romantic excursion to the Hanging Gardens at Marqueyssac will not disappoint. With over 5 km of walking paths, 150,000 skilfully sculpted boxwood trees, and a chateau built on the edge of the cliffs, it’s a sublimely peaceful treat. 

Discover more information about the best group activities in Dordogne in our blog.

Oliver's Hidden Gem

Kayaking down the River Dordogne is a must for anyone who loves to take to the water. The river has played such a pivotal role in the region’s history that traversing it by canoe or kayak is easily the most appropriate way to appreciate the towns and countryside that line its banks.

River Dordogne

Towns and villages

Unlike many other French regions, the Dordogne isn’t dominated by a regional super-city. Instead, the population is spread out amongst a collection of smaller towns and villages, many of which are styled in the traditional bastide style, with a grid layout, central square and fortified walls.

Others, like the striking Brantome, are wrapped up in the curves of the Dordogne River and make the water their focal point.

Stone walls and vibrant markets

The Dordogne is home to some of the most picturesque villages in the country. The region is actually split into four different 'zones.’ In the centre, where bright, white rocky crags and outcrops are more common, there’s the Périgord Blanc. To the south, where thick oak forests and the fortified bastides rule, you have the Périgord Noir. In the north are the green pastures and forests of the Périgord Vert and to the southwest is the Périgord Pourpre, named for the grapes that cover its hills.

Our Dordogne holiday villas ensure easy access to all four of these areas and allow you to take day trips out to all the major towns, villages and attractions in the area.

Oliver’s Hidden Gem

Eymet holds regular cultural events throughout the year and benefits from a healthy selection of high-quality restaurants. There’s a special buzz about the place – it's somewhere that retains a lived-in feel but still appeals to visitors.

Eymet France

Monpazier in the Dordogne

Walking through the streets of Monpazier, it’s easy to feel as though you’ve been transported back 600 years to the Medieval era. With a spectacular town square and bastide-style, grid layout, it’s a pleasure to stroll around the town, soaking up the historic atmosphere. There are also several excellent restaurants for a leisurely lunch or dinner.

Sarlat, Dordogne

Get lost in Sarlat’s winding, yellow-stone streets and marvel at the Renaissance mansions scattered throughout the medieval town. One of the most attractive towns in the region, Sarlat can be busy during the height of the summer season but it’s still worth a visit. The Saturday market is a lively affair and a great place to pick up supplies.

Perigueux, Dordogne

Located on the Way of St James (the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route), Perigueux has long been an important historical, cultural, and religious crossroads. This is reflected in the striking domes of its UNESCO World Heritage cathedral. Home to an excellent museum, the capital of the Dordogne is also something of a gastronomic hot spot.

Beynac, Dordogne

Built into a rocky outcrop that rises high above the Dordogne River, Beynac is an authentic fortified chateau and one of the best examples of French medieval architecture. With the town winding its way up around the craggy rocks below the castle, it’s easy to see why Beynac has regularly been voted one of the prettiest towns in France.

La Roque-Gageac, Dordogne

Backed against a steep cliff and tucked away in a valley, La Roque-Gageac is another spectacular medieval town that benefits from a Mediterranean micro-climate and an impressive fortress that was constructed in and around the cliff’s many caves. A fantastic town to arrive at by kayak or boat, it’s a living demonstration of just how important the river is to the region.

Montignac, Dordogne

While Montignac is a charming village in its own right, it’s most famous as the home of the Lascaux and Lascaux II cave complexes, where you’ll encounter some of the most important prehistoric art in the world. Don’t skip the town though – there’s a beautiful castle perched atop a small hill that offers striking views of the town and surrounding area.

Getting Around

You’re spoilt for choice with travel options to Dordogne – it’s easy to get to by air, rail and car.

Flights

The main airport for the Dordogne is Bergerac Airport. Located in the west of the region, it’s the most convenient transport hub for those who want to enjoy Saint Emilions and other popular wine-producing areas. It’s also only 15 minutes from Bergerac, the largest town on the Dordogne River.


Car rental

Renting a car in France is typically a hassle-free and easy experience. The vast majority of our luxury villas in the Dordogne are situated in spectacular rural locations, so you’ll find renting a car the easiest option for getting around. Driving your own vehicle allows you to enjoy the region at a pace that suits you and ensures that nowhere is out of reach. We recommend booking your rental in advance of arrival, particularly during peak seasons.


Trains

The four main stations in the region – Perigueux, Bergerac, Sarlat and Brive - are all connected by high-speed trains to Bordeaux, Paris, Lyon and Toulouse. This makes travelling by train to the Dordogne an attractive option. However, once in the region, it can be more difficult. Though there’s a local train line that runs the length of the region, services can be infrequent.


Buses

Travelling to your accommodation from Brive and Bergerac airports by bus is possible, but it’s vital that you enquire about these services in advance, as routes are limited and buses can be scarce.


Taxis

Taxis can be found in all major towns. However, in rural areas, they’re likely to be hard to come by. It’s always worth booking taxis in advance, especially if you have little ones who need a car seat.


Bicycles

France is a bike-friendly country and boasts an extensive network of high-quality bike routes. This is particularly true of the Dordogne region. You’ll find bike rental companies throughout the area and voie verte - dedicated greenway cycle paths – connect many of the towns.

Top tips

  • In France, children up to the age of 10 must travel in a car seat or restraint.

  • If renting a car don’t forget to check with the agency if they offer car seats. During busier periods, they may not be available, so you’d need to bring your own.
  • For a scenic day out, cycle the Sarlat Voie Verte – a picturesque bike path that runs from Sarlat to Cazoules.
  • When driving in France, it is a legal requirement to carry a high-vis vest for every passenger, as well as a hazard triangle. You’ll also need a breathalyser and a spare bulb for your headlights.

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