Here we are – part two of my adventures in the Dordogne Valley. Don’t forget to catch up on part I in case you missed.
The entire area is brimming with caves, many filled with the original street art – prehistoric cave paintings. The Padirac cave is a must-visit, and these wonders keep reminding me at how incredible nature and history really is. You get to be the captain of a gondola-style boat that whisks you through part of the cave, from where you head on venturing on foot.
You might remember from part one of journey that I wouldn’t stop going on about few cute and beautiful villages. If you don’t take my word for it, they’re actually officially dubbed the ‘Most Beautiful Villages of France’ which obviously knows there stuff. Loubressac is one of them, located on top of the mountain. Besides its stunning panoramic views the village you offers a journey back in time as you wander the cobbled streets.
Continuing our small villages fix, we headed to Autoire. Though the name reminded me a bit of Stella Artois, it was nothing like the beer – it was quiet and sleepy though not as grand as some of the others we visited, but because it has far fewer tourists it had more old-time charm and as they say: still waters have deep grounds.
If your legs are up for 30-minute walk you will find a waterfall, yes, a waterfall, not something that first comes to mind when thinking of France. Great place to catch a breath and sit down for a little cool down after the hike, and watch the waters flow on by.
Just when you think the next village can get any cuter there’s Collonges-la-Roug, a charming historical town famous for its red sandstone houses, little towers and narrow streets. It’s really as picturesque as it gets, there’s not skill requirement for taking a good photo here.
Dibs on this house! But you’re all invited to come by and sample my wine collection (yet to be collected!).
For the last evening we were at Brive Festival, an annual music event held at the end of July, part of a season with lots to do across the city. Although we didn’t know any of the artists, it was a great evening and it proves that not matter where you are and the language you speak, music connects and the festival vibe is the same everywhere.
Check out the puddle pool at the backstage area. And yes, that’s an Airstream dressing room/trailer in the background.
We went on to a little tasting of chocolate and other delicious sweets at Chocolaterie Lamy. This diabetes-inducing wonder is not only a great coffee and sweets hotspot, but also the place to be for chocolate related presents for the home front – or just yourself, I really didn’t want to ever leave.
No trip would be complete without investigating the weekly market with on one side fresh fruit, vegetables and meat. I was so surprised about the cheap prices they offer, they put city farmers markets to shame, on quality, price and atmosphere. On the other side you can find clothes, bags, belts, shoes, toys, and basically everything that you need for your home.
Before we explored Turenne, we got our castle groove on the hill, which included a surprise charming garden. The owner took us around, explaining that his grandfather started the garden, he’s been maintaining it, and he likes to keep it on the down low as he loves to see the look on the people’s faces. And, they are not looking for a princess and no the owner does wear the armour. I asked (just once I swear!).
In the words of Chanler Bing: ‘ Can these villages get ANY cuter? Well, I can tell you that Turenne stole everyone’s hearts. The tiny, pretty pretty village has to be the region’s best-kept secret and from what I heard it’s often bypassed for the larger and more famous spots. Which is a no doubt a good thing as you’ll almost always have its snoozy, old-time charm and castle all to yourself.
Sadly all trips have an end, and with ours in sight we headed back to Brive Airport for our flight home