Village Life in Dordogne



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, on this one-of-a-kind, 7-night experience. 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.

Pricing from

Book early and SAVE!

Trip Type
Group Travel Tour, International Land & Rail Voyages
Departure Dates
May 2, 2024 - May 10, 2024


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 historic hôtel de charme marries traditional features with French esprit contemporain. Each of the 39 comfortable, air‑conditioned guest rooms have been renovated and upgraded and feature two twin beds or one queen bed with 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 fresh 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.


Airport transfers and luggage handling abroad are only included if air arrangements are booked through Gohagan & Company. If travelers make their own air arrangements, transfers and luggage handling are not included; transfers can be organized through Gohagan & Company and purchased by the traveler.


  • Christine Desdemaines-Hugon

    Christine Desdemaines-Hugon

    Christine has worked with the scientific community, lectured on prehistoric art, and shared her knowledge and enthusiasm for the Dordogne region of France with visitors for the past 25 years. Her first visits to the caves of the Dordogne sparked an insatiable passion for the subject of Paleolithic art and she returned to the University of Bordeaux to continue her studies, resulting in a Diploma of Advanced Studies in Anthropology. Recently, Christine completed a book abut the five major case sites in the Dordogne and the evolution of Paleolithic cultures.


A non-refundable administrative fee of $300 per person will apply for all cancellations received more than 7 days after booking and before other fees take effect at 120 days:
120 days $300 per person admin fee after 7-day grace period from booking
120 – 91 days 25% of full invoice fare
90 – 61 days 50% of full invoice fare
60 – 31 days 75% of full invoice fare
30 – 0 days 100% of full invoice fare
Separate airfare Terms & Conditions apply





  • day 1

    Depart Home City

  • day 2

    Bordeaux, France/Sarlat-la-Canéda

    Transfer to Sarlat to check into the Plaza Madeleine Hôtel.

  • day 3


    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


    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


    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


    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

    Sarlat-la-Canéda/Bordeaux/ Return to the U.S.

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

Everything you need to know about the tour

Save this information for later by downloading the full tour brochure.

Be prepared with the National Trust Travel Plan

Since 1973, USI Affinity Travel Insurance Services has served travelers just like you, to help protect their travel plans