The department of Dordogne takes its name from the main river in the region - although the pretty Vézère river valley winds through the area as well (meeting the Dordogne to create a wonderful expanse of water at the foot of Limeuil village).

 

The region is characterised by verdantly wooded rolling hills which provide a different vista at every turn of the road.  The lush river valleys make this an important agricultural area - along with the vineyards that spread westward from Bergerac for many miles, through Bordeaux and into the world famous Médoc.

   

 But it is the soft golden local limestone which perhaps gives Dordogne its unique visual appeal - from which all the cottages, farms, manoirs and châteaux are built.  With no pollution in the air, they appear much as they did hundreds of years ago, protected by their steep pitched roofs and pigeonnier towers.  The great château at Beynac for example, is one thousand years old.

 

Once, the rivers provided the main means of transport and travel, but today they offer the visitor the opportunity to view the incredible valley scenery from a trip on a Gabarre (the original form of transport) - canoes and kayaks - fishing - swimming - walking - watersports - horseriding - or just a relaxing picnic at the water's edge.