The Dordogne & Lot region is one of the best areas in France for sightseeing and outdoor activities suiting all ages, with its rivers, forests, gorges and historic sites proving the perfect landscape for many different pursuits.
The information below provides some ideas that you may wish to do during your stay in the gites at La Borie. Upon your arrival we supply an information brochure which gives further details on these sights and activities and our recommended places to do them.
Canoeing & Kayaking
The Dordogne and Lot region offers excellent kayaking and canoeing amongst some of the country’s most attractive scenery. Kayaking through the Dordogne Valley is particularly recommended, and is one of the best ways to see its dozens of impressive castles and picturesque medieval villages.
Most providers offer kayaks or canoes of various sizes and capacities, and include transfers to/from the beginning/end of routes. Different route lengths are also offered, including half-day or full-day excursions. We provide full details of our suggested locations and providers of canoeing and kayaking in our guest information booklet.
Very close to the gites is Château de Bonaguil, the construction of which began in the 13th century and continued until the 15th, incorporating many of the most advanced defensive features of medieval castles ever developed. Of particular interest is a large, atmospheric cave underneath the castle. Bonaguil is situated in peaceful rolling countryside, of which there are excellent views. There are also a small number of restaurants in the village below the castle.
Hot-air ballooning is a particularly special way to experience the beauty of the region, and balloons can often be seen over the landscape early in the morning or during late evening, particularly around the Dordogne and Lot valleys.
There are many providers of this activity within the Dordogne and Lot region, but our suggested company is Montgolfières du Périgord. It is advised to book well in advance, as spaces can be limited.
The Dordogne and Lot regions have some of the world’s most archaeologically-important prehistoric sites, including hundreds of impressive cave paintings at Lascaux and other sites throughout the beautiful Vézère Valley – many of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites.
The Lascaux International Centre is one of the most visited attractions within the region, housing a complete, beautifully accurate replica of the original cave at Lascaux. Slightly closer to the gites is one the few remaining places where original cave art is allowed to be seen by visitors, Pech Merle, in the middle of the stunning Causses du Quercy natural park.
Although the Dordogne and Lot region has some of France’s most impressive large rivers, some of its smaller tributaries are among the country’s best for swimming and other activities.
There are excellent places to swim within the local area, and a particular favourite for guests is a trip up to the Céou (pictured), a tributary of the Dordogne, where you can paddle below dramatic cliffs near the impressive Castelnaud chateau. There are also many lakes nearby with child play areas and restaurants/bars.
Dordogne River Boat Tours
The Dordogne River is a centre of activity within the region, featuring some of Europe’s most attractive castles and villages along its length. One of the best ways to see and learn about the valley is on a Gabares boat, the traditional 18th century river boats used in the Dordogne Périgord region for transport of its produce.
A trip by Gabares Norbert lasts around 55 minutes and departs from La Roque-Gageac, taking in some of the region’s best views, including the 12th century castle and village of Castelnaud-la-Chapelle.
The Causses du Quercy Natural Park
The Lot region is dominated by the rocky Causses du Quercy natural park, offering some of the region’s most dramatic scenery. Within the park you will also find some of France’s most attractive towns, including Rocamadour and Saint Cirq Lapopie (pictured).
There are also fascinating underground cave complexes and river systems, which can be experienced at the excellent Gouffre de Padirac, where the tour includes a boat ride on a subterranean river as you view the fascinating rock formations.
Wine Tasting in the Cahors Vineyards
La Borie is situated in a region that produces some of France’s most famous wines, including the vineyards located around Cahors and the Lot valleys. Many local vineyards are open during normal working hours and offer free tasting sessions for visitors to experience the region’s wines.
Our suggested local vineyard, Château de Chambert, is an organic producer operating since 1690, and offers free & private wine tasting, tours, a well-stocked on-site shop, and an informal bistro in a stunning location above the Lot Valley.
Walking and Cycling
The area immediately around the gites La Borie is excellent for walking, with many footpaths passing close to the property. One of France’s well-marked long-distance Grande Randonnée footpaths, the GR652, passes very close to La Borie.
The Dordogne and Lot regions have some of France’s best roads for cycling, with many largely traffic-free routes passing through quiet valleys and small villages. There are also many places for mountain biking, with a marked mountain bike trail found close to the gites. If you do not have your own bikes with you, there are a number of excellent bike rental providers in the region.
There are dozens of attractive market towns throughout the region in easy reach of the gites such as Monpazier and Domme, some of France’s finest hilltop fortified villages.
Cahors is the local region’s largest town, with a maze of attractive half-timbered medieval streets, the famous Pont Valentré medieval bridge (pictured), and even Roman ruins; the town also has a very good market and many excellent restaurants. Cahors is set within a dramatic curve in the Lot river, and is famous for its excellent wine produced throughout the surrounding landscape.
The Dordogne Valley contains several attractive gardens, including Eyrignac et Ses Jardins with its exceptional hand-sculpted gardens over 10 hectares located close to Sarlat-la-Canéda north of the Dordogne river.
The gardens at Château de Marqueyssac (pictured) are one of the most beautiful sights in the Dordogne Valley. Set amongst impressive gardens and folleys, its miles of shady clifftop walking paths provide some of the best views the region has to offer.
Places for Children
Please see our separate page for Places for Children in the Dordogne & Lot Region.