8. Bordeaux to Dordogne: Castles & Villages Private Tour
Enjoy a private full-day tour of Dordogne and discover the history of the King’s Musketeers, learn about Eleanor of Aquitaine, and visit prehistoric cave paintings. After the pick-up from your hotel in Bordeaux, Sarlat, Limoges, Toulouse, Agen Bergerac, or elsewhere nearby, you will head off on an exciting day filled with history, magnificent panoramic vistas, the finest gastronomy, and wine tasting. Whatever you desire can be incorporated into this private tailor-made tour.
One of the places you can visit on this tour is Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil, a lovely town which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site partly because of its proximity to the famous Lascaux Caverns and partly because of the newer site of Grottes de Cougnac. Here you can visit the caves and see the original art. Les Eyzies is also home to the National Prehistoric Museum.
You also have the option of visiting Sarlat-la-Canéda, one of the most attractive and alluring medieval towns in south-western France. The town was developed around a large Benedictine abbey of Carolingian origin. Its town center of impeccably restored stone buildings – now a pedestrian zone – is perhaps the most representative of 14th century France.
Discover another UNESCO World Heritage Site – Château de Rocamadour – perched up high on the side of a gorge of one of the Dordogne River’s tributaries, famous for its sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. You can also explore the Château de Castelnaud-la-Chapelle, with magnificent views over the landscape.
Among other castles you can visit is the Château de Beynac, one of the best preserved and best known castles in the Dordogne region. Its austere appearance perched on top of a limestone cliff, dominating the town on the north bank of the Dordogne River over the sheer cliff face. It boasts double crenelated walls, double barbican, and double moats, one of which was a deepened natural ravine.
Another castle to visit is the Château des Milandes, once the home of the Josephine Baker, an American dancer, singer, and actress who found fame in her adopted homeland of France. Josephine Baker and her husband renovated this beautiful castle, installing central heating, electricity, and running water. They lived here with 12 adopted children from 9 different nationalities to create what they tenderly call the “World Village”.
You can also explore Domme, another typically charming Bastide village built on the cliffs overhanging the Dordogne River. It was here that many of the Kinghts Templar were imprisoned and you can still see some of their graffiti on the tower gates. Another option on this tour is to visit the Jardins de Marqueyssac, an amazing garden filled with topiary creation and a picturesque promenade with panoramic views over the Dordogne River.
Visit the Eyrignac gardens, the French garden inspired by the 18th century Italian design. They were entirely modified into an English romantic garden in the 19th century. On this private tour you also have the possibility of visiting Chateau de Commarque, Chateau de Jumilhac, Monpazier, Puymartin, Eyrignac, Monbazillac, La Roque Gageac, Montfort, and Salignac.