Village Life Dordogne

Program Overview

Immerse yourself in the authentic provincial character of the Dordogne region in Sarlat-la-Canéda, one of France’s most beautiful and well-preserved medieval towns. Discover charming villages, medieval castles, and prehistoric treasures through specially arranged excursions, including Sarlat’s famous open-air market; the pilgrimage site of Rocamadour; the English-style gardens of Eyrignac; the fascinating prehistoric cave paintings of Cap-Blanc; the perfectly reproduced cave art at Lascaux and Rouffignac; and a specially arranged gabare cruise on the Dordogne River. Enhance your experience with the Bordeaux and Saint-Émilion Pre-Program and/or the Albi and Toulouse Post-Program Options.

A Spring version of this program also exists.

Program Details

September 7 to 15, 2023 October 5 to 13, 2023
From $3,595 plus air View Terms & Conditions
  • Uniquely designed, small group program.
  • Immerse yourself in the character and traditions of Dordogne, an authentic provincial treasure.
  • Unpack just once and stay in the family-owned Plaza Madeleine Hôtel in the heart of medieval Sarlat, across from the twice-weekly village market.
  • Viewing of the acclaimed simulations of Lascaux’s prehistoric art cave at the International Center for Cave Art at Lascaux.
  • Meet locals and learn about daily life in Sarlat-la-Canéda during the Village Life® forum.
  • Embark on a private cruise along the Dordogne River, with lunch in the charming village of Beynac.
  • Enjoy a local wine and cheese tasting at a Sarlat épicerie gourmet and specially arranged meals highlighting the distinctive flavors of the region.
  • Bordeaux and Saint-Émilion Pre-Program Option and Albi and Toulouse Post-Program Option, featuring medieval Carcassonne and lovely Cordes-sur-Ciel.
  • One of the most popular Gohagan & Company Village Life® programs.

Day 1 - Depart home city

Day 2 - Bordeaux, France / Sarlat-la-Canéda

Day 3 - Sarlat-la-Canéda

Day 4 - Rocamadour / Souillac

Day 5 - Eyrignac Gardens / Les Eyzies-De-Tayac-Sireuil / L’Abri du Cap-Blanc

Day 6 - Lascaux / Saint-Amand-de-Coly

Day 7 - Rouffignac / La Madeleine

Day 8 - Beynac / Domme

Day 9 - Sarlat-la-Canéda / Bordeaux / Return to home city

View detailed program itinerary >

A Fall version of this program also exists.

Plaza Madeleine Hôtel, Sarlat-la-Canéda

Enjoy the traditional pace of Village Life® during your stay in the family-owned Plaza Madeleine Hôtel, located just beyond the ancient walls of Sarlat-la-Canéda’s medieval quarter, a short walk from the village center. A grand 19th-century townhouse, this historical hôtel de charme marries traditional features with French esprit contemporain.

Each of the 39 stylish, air-conditioned guest rooms have been renovated and feature two twin beds or one queen bed, private bathroom, individual climate control, satellite television, phone, Wi-Fi access, safe, minibar, and hair dryer.

The hotel dining room—where continental breakfast is served daily featuring freshly baked breads, pastries and charcuterie—is reserved for the exclusive use of hotel guests. There is a brasserie pub with lounge and private terrace, a petit lounge with computer facilities and Internet access, a heated outdoor swimming pool, solarium, and spa with Jacuzzi and sauna. The dedicated hotel staff is pleased to provide attentive service.

Splendors of Bordeaux and Saint-Émilion Pre-Program Option

Start your trip with 2 nights in the Bordeaux region, long distinguished as the wine capital of the world. Visit a château in the nearby Médoc region to taste grand cru classé wines. Tucked away in the heart of the rolling countryside and endless vineyards, visit the charming village of Saint-Émilion, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for growing the merlot grape and for its medieval Église Monolithe, one of the largest underground churches in Europe. Accommodations are in the deluxe Hôtel De Sèze in the heart of Bordeaux.

Albi and Toulouse Post-Program Option

Conclude your tour with a 4-night extension featuring Albi, Carcassonne, Toulouse, and three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Sample Gaillac wines in a lovely château; explore cherished cathedrals and old-world villages, equal parts storied and spectacular; enjoy the bucolic scenery of the French countryside; and admire the largest collection of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec works. Walk the gothic streets of Coedes sur Ciel and tour UNESCO-inscribed Carcossonne. Spend 2 nights each in the Hotel Mercure Albi Bastides and the Grand Hôtel de l’Opéra in Toulouse.

The Pre-Program and Post-Program Options are available at additional cost. Details will be provided with your reservation confirmation.

Program Rate Card

Gohagan & Company reserves the right to correct errors or omissions and to change any and all fares, fees, promotions and surcharges at any time.

Ready to Begin Your Journey?

We'll contact you. No obligation.

Reserve My Spot

Program Itinerary

Day 1 Departure

Your trip will begin by departing the U.S. or Canada.

Day 2 Bordeaux, France / Sarlat-la-Canéda

Arrive in Bordeaux and transfer to Sarlat-la-Canéda. Check into the Plaza Madeleine Hôtel.

Day 3 Sarlat-la-Canéda

Your charming “village home” is in the pre-French Revolution capital of Périgord Noir. It is a bon vivant’s dream—with close proximity to Bordeaux. Stroll through cobblestone streets illuminated by gas lamps and lined with Renaissance-style stone houses. The cultural heart of Sarlat is the Place de la Liberté, where every Wednesday and Saturday one of France’s most storied markets is held, a tradition dating from the Middle Ages.

Day 4 Rocamadour / Souillac

The UNESCO World Heritage-designated Rocamadour has one of the most dramatic settings of any village in the world. During the Middle Ages, pilgrims flocked here from across Europe
to perform penance by ascending the 216 steps of Le Grand Escalier on their knees—seeking miracles from the sacred
12th-century statue of the Black Virgin and Child at the crypt of Saint Amadour. Embedded in the cliff above the doorway to the Chapelle de Notre Dame is a sword said to be that of the heroic knight Roland. Nearby, visit the quaint town of Souillac and its 12th-century Abbaye Sainte-Marie.

Day 5 Eyrignac Gardens / Les Eyzies-De-Tayac-Sireuil / L’Abri du Cap-Blanc

The Eyrignac Manor has been the continuous family residence of 22 generations spanning over 500 years. On this 17th-century estate located just outside of Sarlat, view what many consider the finest gardens in France. Enjoy a guided tour of the National Museum of Prehistory in Les Eyzies and see L’Abri du Cap-Blanc’s UNESCO-designated prehistoric cave friezes. In Sarlat this evening, meet dordognais in the Village Life® forum.

Day 6 Lascaux / Saint-Amand-de-Coly

In 1940, a quartet of schoolboys stumbled onto the Lascaux cave, a repository of the most stunning works of prehistoric art and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See a perfect reproduction in the International Center for Cave Art at Lascaux. Continue to the petite village of Saint-Amand-de-Coly, officially designated as one of the “most beautiful villages” in France and dominated by the 13th-century abbey church, and then sample regional cheese and wine in a specialty épicerie in Sarlat.

Day 7 Rouffignac / La Madeleine

Start your day at Sarlat’s market, a twice-weekly medieval tradition in the heart of the village, and attend a presentation in the hotel by a local expert on preserving the village’s medieval architecture. 

Visit Rouffignac, “Cave of a Hundred Mammoths,” known for its extraordinary Great Ceiling decorated with beautifully rendered friezes of woolly rhinoceros and mammoth engravings at an enormous scale. Enjoy a private, 19th-century French folk music and dance performance after a three-course dinner in La Madeleine.

Day 8 Beynac / Domme

Traverse an elaborate series of stone walls, parapet walks, watchtowers, and passageways at the fortified Château de Beynac. Cruise the Dordogne River aboard a private 19th-century gabare, followed by lunch in a local restaurant. 

Continue to visit Domme, an authentic medieval fortified village. Enter through its original ramparts and see graffiti etched by the Knights Templar on the inner village walls.

Day 9 Bordeaux / Return to home city

Continue on to the Albi and Toulouse Post-Program Option or transfer to Bordeaux for your return flight to the U.S. or Canada.