The Dordogne, France

Happily these are also ideal surroundings in which to linger and enjoy the world’s finest wines and the region’s gastronomic specialities. The names of the honey-coloured mediaeval towns, villages and châteaux of the Périgord are instantly recognisable to gourmets, from the vineyards of Bergerac and St-Émilion to the truffle stalls of Périgueux. Here, time is measured in vintages and happiness comes by the glass.

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Do Go/Don’t go

Spring is sunny but changeable, with May and June absolute perfection. Summer is busy but ideal for canoeing on the Dordogne. September and October see fine weather and the all-important grape harvest. Winters are usually wet and mild.

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Getting there

  • Planes

    The low-cost airlines fly to Bergerac airport, 5km southeast of the town centre. There are also regular flights to Bordeaux throughout the year.
  • Trains

    The high-speed TGV from Paris to Bordeaux takes three and a half hours. It’s eight hours from London via Eurostar. Bordeaux to Bergerac takes one hour.
  • Automobiles

    A car is indispensable for exploring the vineyards and countryside.
  • Taxis

    There’s no chance of hailing a cab out in the sticks. In Bergerac, call 05 53 23 32 32 to pre-book your ride. Or burn off those foie gras calories and hire bicycles from Apolo on 05 53 61 08 16.