The Land of 1001 Châteaux
Driving past honey stone buildings with verdant forests clinging to the hillside and the slate turrets of châteaux in the distance, wild flowers gently dance in the gentle breeze of grass-green meadows, the sun glints and dances in silver sparkles on rivers and lakes and the prospect of fine dining with specially selected wines plays with my imagination and titillates my taste buds……..this was how I spent last week when I attended a press trip in the Dordogne Valley in South West France.
This beautiful and historic region of France is also called the land of a thousand châteaux, beloved of Brits for many years, and one can see why as soon as you set foot inside the region’s bucolic boundaries.…..it’s what dreams are made of, a tactile link to times gone by with ancient castles, abbeys, churches, moats and manors nestling amongst hills and meadows……the Occitan past whispers with each tendril of warm wind that kisses your neck……it’s a truly magical place.
As you can see from the itinerary below, my five days were filled with Michelin Star dining, visits to artisan producteurs, beautiful villages and towns, and the opportunity to stay in stunning properties throughout the valley; today’s post is a quick snapshot of the region, with a few notes and lots of postcards from my trip……it’s a taster of what’s to come, when I post all about where I stayed, where and what I ate as well as where I visited in this fascinating part of France. The Dordogne Valley is situated in the region of Aquitaine, and comprises several départements……..Dordogne (24) in the Périgord area; Lot (46) in the Quercy area; Corrèze (19) which is partly in the Limousin area and Cantal (15) in the Auvergne. I spent my week happily wandering between Dordogne, Lot and Corrèze.
Wednesday: Visit Turenne for lunch; other bloggers arrive at Brive Dordogne Valley Airport
Château de Lissac for a French “Casse croûte“; guided tour of a chocolatef actory(Bovetti); check into your hotel L’Imaginaire with free time to explore Terrasson before dinner in the 1* Michelin restaurant – Chef François Adamski (MOF –Bocuse d’Or)
Thursday: Visit the famous market of Brive and its town centre; visit to the Denoix Distillery; visit the famous Collonges-la-Rouge village; create your own cocktails at the Distillerie des Terres Rouges; lunch at Auberge de Benges; visit a Truffle Farm
in Cuzance for Truffle hunting; check in at Manoir de Malagorse in Cuzance
Tasting of wines and cheeses of the Dordogne Valley; dinner at the Manoir de Malagorse
Friday: visit Rocamadour (UNESCO); visit La Borie d’Imbert (a goat cheese farm for “Le Rocamadour”); lunch at
1* Michelin Relais and Chateaux restaurant Le Château de la Treyne; visit the Moulin à Huile de Noix; visit the town of Martel; check into Le Renoir hotel in Sarlat; dinner at the restaurant “Les Jardins d’Harmonie”.
Saturday: visit the market of Sarlat; cooking course in Sarlat with chef & lunch; visit Beaumont-du-Périgord; visit Issigeac; check in to Château de Panisseau; dinner at 1* Michelin Star La Tour des Vents in Monbazillac.
It’s time to share some postcards of the region with you now, and I hope the itinerary and my photos inspire you to visit this wonderful part of France, as well as come back to read all about my châteaux stays and Michelin star meals……with a HUGE thanks to all of the people below for making my trip so enjoyable and for making it happen. Karen
Disclaimer and Thanks:
I was the guest of the Comité du Tourisme de la Dordogne, Sarlat Tourisme, Office de Tourisme de Brive, ADT Corrèze , the Dordogne Valley Tourism Boards and We Like Travel; all transport, transfers, food, drink and excursions were included in the media trip I attended. All views and opinions remain my own and I was not paid to publish this article, although I retain the right to publish similar material on a commissioned basis with other print and on-line publications.
With thanks to Hannah, Cindy and Nicholas from We Like Travel; Clémence from Brive Airport who drove us around for the whole trip; all of the hotels and restaurants mentioned above, the whole team at Welcome to Dordogne Valley, and not forgetting all the lovely ladies from the tourism offices in Brive, Sarlat, Lot, Correze, Perigord, Bergerac and Dordogne Valley who we met and who accompanied us on our trip.
Postcards from the Dordogne Valley:
Missing my merry travel companions and partners in crime…..The Perigold Gang!
A Bientôt Darlinks!