The département of Dordogne was formerly known as Périgord and is divided into four areas called the Périgord Noir (Black), the Périgord Blanc (White), Périgord Vert (Green), and the Périgord Pourpre (Purple).
The Dordogne River crosses much of southwest France, a journey of some 300 miles from its source in the mountains of the Massif Central to its final confluence with the Garonne River, where it enters the Atlantic Ocean near Bordeaux. Along its banks lie some of France’s most beautiful vineyards, chateaux, villages, and historic sites, offering travelers all the riches of what the French themselves consider the perfect holiday destination.
Highlights along the Dordogne include the UNESCO-listed port city of Bordeaux and its surrounding world-famous vineyards, the beautifully-preserved medieval city of Saint-Emilion, and Bergerac, known for its truffles. Other famous sights include the Lascaux caves, Marqueyssac gardens, medieval Sarlat, and countless romantic castles.
Given that it is one of the most beautiful and popular destinations in France, there is no shortage of river cruise options on the Dordogne. Most are just over a week long and offer plenty of opportunities to sample the fine wines and cognacs, oysters and truffles, and glorious art and architecture of France’s glorious Aquitaine, once Europe’s richest kingdom.