Itinerary Highlights

  • Visit Saint-Emilion, set amid some of the world’s finest vineyards
  • Stay at one of our favorite hotels in southwestern France
  • Explore Sarlat, one of the best preserved medieval towns in France
  • Tour caves with prehistoric paintings and etchings
  • Stay in a castle on a bluff overlooking the Dordogne River
  • Explore the Lot Valley and taste the wines of the Cahors
  • Dine at six Michelin-starred restaurants

Follow in Our Footsteps

Editor's Itinerary

Duration: 13 Days

A driving tour of the Dordogne and Lot valleys will delight all manner of travelers, including children and adults. Historically, the region is of great importance. The Dordogne River was a front line during the Hundred Years’ War, which left the landscape positively littered with castles and fortified villages, and in the much deeper past, Cro-Magnon inhabitants decorated numerous caves with surprisingly sophisticated paintings.

Active travelers can canoe while surrounded by limestone bluffs and medieval villages. And gourmands can indulge in the area’s specialties of foie gras, truffles and walnuts. The local wines, too, have quietly become world-class, both in Bergerac and Cahors.

Although the Dordogne and Lot valleys are not especially well-known in the United States, their extravagant beauty is no secret to Europeans. Avoid the summer high season, if possible, and travel in April, May, September or October. Roads are well maintained and marked, but the prettiest are often narrow and winding.