The region : Located in the heart of Dordogne, at the junction of White Périgord and of Green Périgord. (according to "Le Guide des Pays de France, Sud" de Frédéric Zégierman - © Fayard, 1999 - With their kind authorization)
The White Perigord (or Central) :
In the centre of the department of Dordogne, drawing his individuality from the six Périgord unities (Nontronais, Black Perigord, Bergeracois, Landais, Double, Ribéracois) that it links up, White Perigord surrounds its capital, Périgueux. This country of Périgueux forms a vast landscape of calcareous hills, crossed by the agricultural valleys of the Isle, the Beauronne or the Vern.
As far as its collection of castles is concerned, White Perigord can be proud of some marvels : The castles of Hautefort (XVIIth century, with great purity of lines and a park), of Puyguilhem (Renaissance), of Les Bories, of La Chapelle-Faucher, of Ajat, of Excideuil and the ruined castles of Bruzac, the abbey of Chancelade, as a lot of pretty norman churches.
To discover also, at the edge of the Nontronais, the pretty village of Saint Jean de Côle (church, priory, castle of La Marthonie).
As for Périgueux, it revives two thousand years of history, through its squares and lanes. In this town that is perfumed by the provinces, one can get all the gastronomical produces of Périgord : truffles, flap mushrooms, foie gras, walnuts and nut-oil, chestnuts, strawberries and tins. The famous sauce Périgueux symbolizes this perfected and famous cookery.
The Green Périgord (or
Nontronais and Ribéracois) :
This Périgord, named green by reason of tonalities that confer him its wood and its meadows surrounded by hedges is plentiful of undulating plateaux. Valleys cut into schist and gneiss rock have sculptured picturesque gorges in which rapids enables the joys of canoeing.
It is useless to try to review the innumerable castles, manors, and feudal ruins that make the glory of Périgord. Let us simply remind you of the jewels of the region: Jumilhac-le-Grand, Nontron, Saint Pierre-de-Frugie, the keep of Piégut-Pluviers...
Finally, the regions of Brantôme (tourist mecca, its bell-tower, its benedictine abbey, its prehistoric sites), of Bourdeilles (with its castle) and Ribérac. These will allow you to discover a lot of manors, castles and prehistoric vestiges.
Nontron remains an obligatory halt for all the little girls of the world (and their mothers) for its dolls museum.
Throughout all Périgord, one can find high-class cooking with all the local products: rib of beef, poultry, truffled foie gras, meat roll and galantine of turkey, goose conserves and filleted duck, potted meat, stuffing neck, pheasant, wild boar, trout...
The Black Périgord (or
Sarlat area) :
The Black Périgord owes its name to the dark foliage of these copse of chestnuts and moreover to the darkened trunks of the little pubescent oaks that keep their dead leaves during all winter.
The concentration of historical patrimony and its diversity is enough to disconcert all: cohorts of castles, remains of medieval wars, in gripping sites above the river Dordogne, such as Beynac (with its exceptional panorama), Castelnaud, les Milandes, Fayrac, Marqueyssac, Montfort, Veyrignac, Fénelon, Rouffillac... or above the river Vézère, Saint-Léon, Losse, Clérans, Sauvebœuf, la Fleunie, la Petite-Filolie..., or deployed on the plateaus, Rastignac, Saint-Crépin, la Roussie, la Roque, la Grande-Filolie... ruins of medieval stongholds, Commarques, l'Herm... To see all these treasures, one can marvel about the time necessary to discover all these wealth !
Fortunately, the local products are here to give you the strength necessary to profit from all these discoveries : Poultry, conserves of goose and duck, fillets, foie gras, guts, pâtés, conserves of game, trout, truffles, boletus, chanterelle, morels, nuts…
The Purple Périgord
(or Bergeracois) :
A Continuation of the Bordeaux region, the Bergeracois spreads along the middle valley of the river Dordogne.
The jagged hills remain the domain of vineyards. Without having the same concentration of castles as the Black Perigord, the Bergeracois can still pride itself on rare specimens : Biron (built in the XIIth century), Montaigne (tower “des essais”), Lanquais, Bridoire, la Gaubertie, Montastruc, Monbazillac… and also beautiful fortified houses : Eymet, Monpazier, Beaumont.
Being a gastronomic land, the Bergeracois proposes foie gras, black-pudding, stuffed chicken, minced mushrooms with eggs, “brouillades”, game, fish from the Dordogne river. Even famous during the gallo-roman times, the Bergerac wines are subtle and refined. They are renowned for their "gouleyant rustic and elegant", close to some great wines of Bordeaux.