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Why is Dordogne so popular with Brits?

PUBLISHED: 15:57 08 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:02 13 September 2017

The pretty village of Beynac-et-Cazenac © Thinkstock

The pretty village of Beynac-et-Cazenac © Thinkstock

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Dordogne has long been a firm favourite with Brits looking for a new life in France and with the picturesque villages, great food and surprisingly cheap property prices, it's easy to see why

It’s a beautiful and tranquil corner of France

Dordogne is home to some of the country’s most picture-perfect countryside, as well as a whopping 10 of France’s Plus Beaux Villages. These include Castelnaud-la-Chapelle, Limeuil, Monpazier, St-Amand-de-Coly, St-Jean-de-Côle, Belvès, Domme and La Roque-Gageac.

There’s tonnes of history

The area dates back thousands of years and is well known for its spectacular series of prehistoric caves. The most famous example has to be Lascaux, near the village of Montignac, home to more than 600 parietal wall paintings. The site also boasts a brand new, state-of-the-art visitor centre where visitors can explore the many different types of cave art using interactive guides and multi-screen displays. Other places of historical interest include Périgueux, home to splendid Roman remains, and medieval Sarlat, which has the highest density of historic monuments of any town in France.

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The local gastronomy is superb

Dordogne is renowned for its superb food and wine, and rightly so! Fresh produces is in abundance in this south west corner of France; depending on the season, you can expect to find delicious cepe mushrooms, truffles, walnuts, peaches, strawberries and tomatoes alongside traditional pâtés and the ubiquitous foie gras. The area is also home to many gourmet restaurants, from classic ferme auberges to Michelin-starred establishments. When it comes to wine, the Bergerac vineyards in the south of the Dordogne area are where you can find top quality wines; here there are 13 Appellations d’Origine Contrôlées producing red, rosé and white varieties.

The area has a great climate

Dordogne benefits from a very mild climate with cool winters and long, hot summers; and it’s not uncommon to have temperatures in the mid to high twenties (74-84°F) in October. This explains why the area produces such a rich variety of produce and so many Mediterranean flowers, including bougainvillea, can grow here.

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It’s surprisingly cheap to buy here and you get more for your money

Properties in idyllic Dordogne average around €118,000, which is considerably less than the national average of €158,000. What is more, you get more for your euros here; everything from dilapidated farmhouses – which have great gîte potential – and old mills, to grand maisons de maître and former wine producers’ cottages, is available for up to 20% cheaper than in other areas of France.

There’s plenty of things to do

Dordogne is an outdoor adventure haven, with everything from golf and cycling to canyoning and canoeing on offer here. The latter is an excellent way to see the Dordogne from a completely different perspective, as you glide down river passing honey-hued medieval towns and hilltop châteaux along the way.

It has good transport links

Dordogne might appear incredibly rural, but it’s probably one of the easiest areas of France to get to from the UK. Ryanair and Easyjet operate regular routes from Bergerac, and Toulouse, just a 90-minute drive south, to major UK airports.

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