Bordered by the River Lot to the east and the vineyards of the Gironde, including Saint-Emilion, to the west, the Dordogne département is renowned around the world for its prehistory and gastronomy. A land of contrasts, the Périgord is nestled between the more rugged foothills of the Massif Central to the east and the more gentle and sunnier Mediterranean-influenced landscapes to the south.
The Dordogne-Périgord is divided into four tourist regions, commonly referred to as the “Four Périgords” (White, Black, Purple and Green), each with their own specific characteristics
Green Périgord is so-named because of its verdant vegetation, the presence of numerous streams and rivers, and the Parc Naturel Régional du Périgord Limousin.
White Périgord takes its name from the whiteness of the local stone, which is the perfect material for local sculptors. Local food specialities, such as duck and goose products and strawberries, take pride of place in the region’s bustling markets all year round.
Black Périgord owes its name to the presence of a heavy concentration of the dark holm oaks found in this area. The cradle of prehistory, it is also home to unmissable sites dating from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
Lastly, the name Purple Périgord derives from the colour of the region’s vine in the autumn.
Hiking in the Dordogne-Périgord
The Dordogne-Périgord boasts 780km of long-distance hiking routes and no fewer than 4,000km of shorter footpaths, enabling visitors to explore the region’s natural and cultural heritage at the same time.
The Dordogne is also the perfect destination for white-water enthusiasts, particularly canoeists. Around 70 companies offering outdoor activities can be found on the region’s five main rivers, namely the Dordogne, Vézère, Isle, Dronne and Auvézère, enabling visitors to enjoy a different perspective of the Périgord in complete safety.