Village Life in Dordogne

April 24–May 2, 2014

Sojourn in the heart of the delightful Dordogne River Valley—an enchanting world of grand châteaux, lush green scenery, and golden-stone villages—while residing in the heart of the charming and intact medieval village of Sarlat-la-Canéda. Marvel at the painstakingly replicated prehistoric cave art of Lascaux II; walk in the footsteps of Richard the Lionheart at Beynac Castle; stroll the historic lanes and along the ramparts of 12th-century castles and fortified bastides in Rocamadour; and indulge in the Périgord Noir's gastronomic bounty at Sarlat's marvelous outdoor market, a venerated local tradition since the Middle Ages.

Study Leader Information

Study Leader - Christine Desdemaines-Hugon. Anyone coming to the Dordogne is bound to fall in love with the place as I did 40 years ago—not only for its wealth of cultural sites, but for its lifestyle, its food and wines, and its breathtaking landscapes of forests, lush valleys, and winding rivers. As an archaeologist specializing in Paleolithic art, I plan to take you on a journey back in time, back to the earliest tools that date to two and a half million years ago, and to the oldest known forms of artistic expression.I look forward to sharing my understanding of the region with you: the local traditions; my studies in France; the experience of restoring a farmhouse;the markets; and the culinary habits that include foie gras, walnuts, strawberries, and the excitement of mushroom hunting.

Tour Itinerary

April 24
Depart the U.S. for Bordeaux, France

April 25
Transfer through the scenic Dordogne region to Sarlat-la-Canéda and check in at the Plaza Madeleine

April 26
Walk through historic Sarlat-la-Canéda on the guided tour. The afternoon offers an excellent opportunity to explore Sarlat's legendary market.

April 27
Tour Rocamadour and its famous Notre Dame Chapel and stop in the nearby village of Souillac. Lunch is included in Rocamadour

April 28
Tour the National Museum of Prehistory with Christine Desdemaines-Hugon in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac and visit L'Abri du Cap-Blanc; Discuss local issues at the specially arranged, exclusive VILLAGE FORUM in the hotel.

April 29
Guided walk through the beautifully preserved Gardens of Eyrignac; This afternoon, Christine Desdemaines- Hugon leads a specially arranged tour of prehistoric art in Lascaux II and Rouffignac Caves.

April 30
Visit the Sarlat Market during your morning at leisure; Explore St-Amand-de-Coly, including its fortified Abbey Church, and the troglodyte village of La Madeleine; Attend a private performance of traditional Périgord Noir folk music and dance.

May 1
Tour Beynac-et-Cazenac Castle and cruise the Dordogne River aboard a traditional gabare; Enjoy lunch in a Beynac restaurant; Stroll through medieval Domme.

May 2
Transfer to Bordeaux for your return flight to the U.S.


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Please email National Trust Tours for questions about this program. Be sure to include your mailing address if you are requesting a paper copy of the brochure for this program.