Jacky and Chris Holton


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The Dordogne is an area of outstanding natural beauty, one of the most beautiful in Europe. It is a green land of farms, lovely wooded hillsides and gentle winding rivers - still unspoilt, it really is rural France at its best.
It is one of the gastronomic centres of France , famous for foie gras, duck, truffles, mushrooms and seafood. There are many excellent inexpensive restaurants in the area using traditional cooking recipes.

The area is also well known for its wines. The world famous vineyards of Medoc and St Emilion are close by and the local wines of Bergerac, Monbazillac, Monpazier and Cahors are also excellent.


The Dordogne is rich in pageantry. The English ruled Aquitaine for 300 years in the Middle Ages under the Plantaganets and there are many castles, bastide towns and fortified churches to visit.
The Dordogne and Vezere valleys are world famous for the art of prehistoric man at the Lascaux caves, known as the 'birthplace of art'.

Le Rigal is ideally situated for touring the region.
Ideas for driving tours are available in the gite, but the following places are all easily visited on day trips:-
Bergerac, Limeuil, Issigeac, Monpazier, Monbazillac, Sarlat, St. Emilion, Eymet,
Belves, Beaumont,Tremolat, Lalinde, Domme, Le Roque Gageac, Rocamadour,
Les Eyzies-de-Tayac, Cadouin




Bergerac, the second-largest town in the Dordogne with 30,000 inhabitants, is the capital of south-west Périgord and only a 15 minute drive away from the Le Rigal. The district known as the land of the vineyard or Purple Périgord is vast in it's diversity. The history of Bergerac since the Middle Ages can be summed up in three words: the river, the wine and the bridge. Bergerac today is a town bustling with life and vitality, especially in the pedestrianised area of the old quarter, where there is an abundance of cafes, restaurants, markets, boutique and antique shops.


Statue of
Cyrano de Bergerac

Bergerac old town from the Dordogne

You will be enchanted by the richness and originality of its museums, the variety of produce and wonderful aromas of its markets, the exquisite flavours of the cuisine and wines, and the wonderful warmth and generosity of its people. The fireworks on Bastille Day are truly memorable.


In and around Bergerac the 100,000 acres of vineyards produce 75 % of Dordogne's wine production. The cellar of every "wine cooperative" is open for tasting, particularly the Bergerac and Monbazillac cellars which are very popular with visitors.


Bergerac Bridge over the Dordogne

Bergerac Picnic area by Dordogne

The wines of AOC Bergerac include, Pécharmant, one of the most highly appreciated by connoisseurs. the fruity Rose, the white and red Côtes-de-Bergerac and the mellow white Montravel. To the south there is the very well known Monbazillac, and, around Sigoulès, Saussignac.






This beautiful old town oozes atmosphere and style with a great location on the confluence of the Dordogne and Vézère rivers.  There is a nice but steep walk to the top of the old town where there are formal gardens (free to children).

It is worth a visit to Limeuil for the scenery and setting alone.

There is canoeing from the river bank.

Dordogne from the Formal Gardens



Beach at Limeuil

Dordogne and
Vézère the Formal Gardens






In 1991, Monpazier was awarded National Heritage Site status which has enabled its architectural heritage and unique town planning to be preserved. It is situated in southern Périgord, bordering on the Agenais region, and 45km from Bergerac.





Saint-Avit-Senieur - a Romanesque abbey church fortified in the 14th century








Chateau de Lanquis

The Abbey of CADOUIN


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