Our Summer Road-Trip To France; Part 5. The Dordogne.

We’d been on our 2019 France road-trip for just over a week now and, like every other holiday we ever go on, we hadn’t stopped for breath! Lyon (part 4) was on display behind us in the rearview mirror and as much as it had been a blast (we were pretty much born for city-breaks) we really needed to slow down a bit. We were going to need a holiday to recoup from this holiday at the current rate. Good job we had several days booked in to literally do nothing over the next little while.

Some friends of ours moved to the Perigord region of the Dordogne a few years ago and we have visited them a handful of times. Staying with them usually involves going out for fresh pastries in the morning, finding a market to wander around over lunch and being waited on hand and foot in the evening – it really is that idyllic. And this time it was no different.

We did take a slight detour en route to theirs though, with a visit to the most aesthetically pleasing town of Sarlat-la-Caneda. I mean, most towns in the Dordogne are inexcusably pretty but Sarlat dresses up like she’s going out out. Just look at her…

Once we’d had a little wander around the outdoor market and stuck our noses into some pretty smelly cheeses there was nothing more for it than to find a seat at an outdoor cafe and order a large glass of wine. It turns out we’d picked a great spot for entertainment too; whilst a rather agile french-man did contortionist-style acrobatics in front of us, across the square a large dog left a large pile of poop unbeknownst to its owner and several tourists inadvertently trod straight in it! The contortionist hadn’t banked on competing for our attention but the horror of watching the scene unfold as young and old alike dragged animal faeces into Sarlat’s finest delicatessens was just too much to ignore. Half an hour later we finished our drinks and headed off to find the dog to donate it our loose change for 30 minutes of entertainment.

Incidentally, if you do find yourself visiting Sarlat-la-Caneda, make sure you don’t miss the indoor market in the 12th century church on the square – their ridiculously huge doors close at 1pm each day (possibly later on a Friday?) and you definitely wouldn’t want to miss it. It’s quite a Sarlat tourist attraction for its 15 metre high doors and internal glass elevator to some cool birdseye views. And of course, the wonderful local produce on sale.

Sarlat indoor market with the huge metal doors and glass elevator

We only spent a brief time in Sarlat-la-Caneda but I would definitely consider making it a base for a future visit – there are plenty of restaurants, bars and food shops to satiate anyone who travels for food. Plus, there are a couple of nearby towns I would love to visit like Rocamadour, La Roque-Gageac and the knobbly-bobbly gardens of Marqueyssac. I’ve got my eye on this gorgeous apartment in the centre for a future holiday…

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Sure enough, the remainder of our Dordogne mini-break did involve plenty of pastries, lots of markets and our favourite night of them all… a bona fide french soirée in the Plus Beau Ville of Corgnac-sur-l’Isle. The French know how to host a party!

And here a few more snap-shots from our wanderings of the Dordogne area…

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Sadly, our chill-out time with friends came to an end too quickly but we had plans and places we needed to be! Check back next time for part 6 as we drove into the sunset to explore the chateaus of the Loire…


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