Seniors Are Attracted To France’s Dordogne Valley

86a26012f8b25c93fb9c739b04e0b1bbThe Dordogne Valley, a department in southwestern France, that senior travelers will find between the Loire Valley and the Pyrenees, is named after the great Dordogne river that runs through it. My travel hero Rick Steves takes on an exciting visit to the Dordogne River Valley.

There is so much for senior visitors to take in, like the Cabanas de Breuil, La Roque-Gageac, a member of the Les Plus Beaux Villages de France, canoeing on the Dordogne River, the famous prehistoric caves of Lascaux, the Château de Beynac and the capital city Périgueux.

The beautiful countryside lies in all directions and attracts visitors from all over the world. Foie gras is a luxury food product of this area, made of the liver of a duck or goose that has been specially fattened. I’d make a point to spend some quality time in Sarlat that is undoubtedly one of the most attractive and visited medieval cities in France.


Seniors Enjoy Medieval Jewel, “Sarlat”

The capital of the Black Périgord truffle, on the edge of the Quercy causses (limestone plateaus), Sarlat is a major tourist site, renowned for its large historical center containing countless buildings dating mainly from the medieval and early Renaissance period, 13th to 16th century. Over a million visitors discover or rediscover this medieval jewel every year.

I have lost count of the number of times I have visited France, somewhere  over three dozen, and this region has always fascinated me. There are more than 1,500 castles in Dordogne, making it “The Other Château Country”, meaning all those along the Loire Valley.

Forty eight parks and gardens allure gardeners like me to the area and some “grands étangs” (ponds) are teeming with birds and other wildlife. The Grotte at Lascaux II is an exquisite 39m-long replica museum of the renowned prehistoric cave paintings of animals, discovered in 1940. Lascaux is the most famous cave in the world.

Take Note Senior Bikers and Hikers

Perigueux_Cathedrale_Saint_FrontThe Valley of the Dordogne developed because of the importance of the river as a transport route, and trade originally developed around the wood and leather industries.

The landscape consists of steep wooded hills climbing up both sides of the river valley, with small picturesque villages both in the valley itself, like Brivezac and Saulières and also nestling deep in the ‘side valleys’ for example, Neuville and Albussac.

The countryside is largely unspoiled with traditional houses and smallholdings to admire as you explore. It is a great place for senior bikers and hikers. The Dordogne is without doubt the most diverse region in France, and perhaps even all of Europe.


Beautiful medieval towns and villages, castles and forts are perched high above both the Dordogne and Vézère River. The Prehistoric Vézère Valley offering caves and cave art, help to make this area a popular destination. 

Seniors, head your rental car to southwest France and the Dordogne Valley. Enjoy, do some research and planning and it will pay off big dividends.  -jeb

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