Climate and Countryside
Although the Dordogne really is splendid throughout the year, it’s most impressive in spring. The fruit trees are in bloom, the vineyards spring to life and the sun shines as the days lengthen.
Spring in the Dordogne is also impressive as the wildlife returns: one of the most impressive sights is the return of the cranes which happens in early March normally.
Spring Activities in the Dordogne
The traditional activities of the Dordogne can be best appreciated in spring. Walking and hiking on deserted trails in the April sunshine is a real pleasure, as is visiting any number of historical sites without the hoardes – battling your way through the crowds at Lascaux in summer can be quite trying!
There are also plenty of local events linked to Easter and other festive periods. The Ringueta games of Sarlat are a celebration of traditional games, language (la langue d’oc) and culture. Tourists are encouraged to take part in the event which happens on Whitsun Sunday.
By far the best times to visit in terms of beating the crowds are spring and autumn. The summer months can be hectic, especially in the very popular tourist destinations such as Sarlat and Rocamadour. Springtime in the Dordogne offers guests the chance to take their time and really appreciate the medieval playground that’s on our doorstep.
Prices and Availability
Yep, prices go up in summer. Whether it’s flights, accommodation, car hire or just your everyday items, it’s a fact of life that things get more expensive when there’s higher demand. That’s why visiting the Dordogne in spring is perfect if you’re travelling on a budget, and if you can avoid the school holidays and half terms then even better.
Walking Holidays In The Dordogne, France
Many guests who stay with us here at Dordogne Holiday Barns enjoy walking in the Dordogne, discovering the many routes perfectly suited for all abilities. Late September and October are, in our opinions, perfect for walks as the colours remain vibrant and autumnal. The days are slightly cooler but there is still plenty of sunshine to keep everybody happy. Springtime, as everything comes into bloom, is also picture-perfect.
The Cicero Guide by Janette Norton is a good place to begin as it lists 30 lovely walks based around Sarlat and Bergerac, all with detailed maps and plenty of local information.
Walking Tours Around Sarlat
Sarlat is the perfect place for a walking trip as you can take in many amazing sites in one visit of this mythical medieval town. There are plenty of tips and even guided walking tours via the Sarlat Tourism website.
Walking Tours Amongst The Vineyards
Why not combine a walking trip with a visit to a vineyard or two? For those who enjoyed reading our piece on wines of the Dordogne you’ll no doubt want to get out there and discover the wines, wine-makers and vineyards for yourselves.
A good place to begin is at the Maison des Vins in Bergerac (web page in French), where we are reliably informed the staff will be more than happy to advise intrepid oenophiles on the best wineries to visit depending on your chosen itineraries.
Walking The Dordogne Off The Beaten Track
If you have an adventurous side and enjoy discovering places slightly further afield, then the Walking Dordogne website is a good place to start searching for inspiration. With information on the gloriously entitled ‘Trail of Wild Garlic’ and the equally impressive ‘In The Footsteps Of The Mammoth’ trail amongst others, this is the place for those who want to discover the real Dordogne.