Set out on a journey through time along the serene Dordogne River in France. This area is a slice of heaven for those who appreciate the quieter side of travel but still crave a taste of history, culture, and natural beauty. Glide past medieval towns, witness cliffs that have been around for ages, and see vineyards sprawling across the hillsides. The Dordogne region is famed for its prehistoric cave paintings, grand castles, and gastronomic delights – it's a place where every meal is a celebration of local flavors. And let's not forget the tranquil waters themselves, perfect for a leisurely cruise that allows you to soak up the scenery at a relaxing pace. With river cruise volume buys plus our low everyday prices you can save up to 50% versus the brochure price! Book your Dordogne river cruise today with AffordableTours.com, your discounted river cruise headquarters.Dordogne Travel Guide
|Mar 10, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaDolce||Bilbao||Paris||15||$6,179|
|Mar 14, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaDolce||Bordeaux||Bordeaux||8||$3,599|
|Mar 17, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaDolce||Bilbao||Paris||15||$6,399|
|Mar 21, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaDolce||Bordeaux||Bordeaux||8||$3,699|
|Mar 24, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaDolce||Bilbao||Paris||15||$6,479|
|Mar 24, 2024||Uniworld||SS Joie de Vivre||Bordeaux||Paris||15||$9,799|
|Mar 24, 2024||Uniworld||SS Bon Voyage||Bordeaux||Paris||15||$9,799|
|Mar 24, 2024||Uniworld||SS Bon Voyage||Bordeaux||Bordeaux||8||$3,299|
|Mar 24, 2024||Uniworld||SS Joie de Vivre||Bordeaux||Arles||22||$14,799|
|Mar 24, 2024||Uniworld||SS Catherine||Bordeaux||Arles||22||$14,799|
|Mar 24, 2024||Uniworld||SS Bon Voyage||Bordeaux||Arles||22||$14,799|
|Mar 28, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaDolce||Bordeaux||Bordeaux||8||$3,899|
|Mar 31, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaDolce||Bilbao||Paris||15||$6,679|
|Mar 31, 2024||Uniworld||SS Bon Voyage||Bordeaux||Bordeaux||8||$3,299|
|Apr 04, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaDolce||Bordeaux||Bordeaux||8||$4,099|
|Apr 07, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaDolce||Bilbao||Paris||15||$6,779|
|Apr 07, 2024||Uniworld||SS Joie de Vivre||Bordeaux||Paris||15||$21,199|
|Apr 07, 2024||Uniworld||SS Bon Voyage||Bordeaux||Paris||15||$21,199|
|Apr 07, 2024||Uniworld||SS Bon Voyage||Bordeaux||Bordeaux||8||$3,599|
|Apr 08, 2024||Scenic||Scenic Diamond||Bordeaux||Bordeaux||11||$16,290|
|Apr 08, 2024||Scenic||Scenic Diamond||Bordeaux||Madrid||14||$17,745|
|Apr 08, 2024||Scenic||Scenic Diamond||Bordeaux||Lyon||21||$33,850|
|Apr 11, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaDolce||Bordeaux||Bordeaux||8||$4,199|
|Apr 14, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaDolce||Bilbao||Paris||15||$6,879|
|Apr 14, 2024||Uniworld||SS Bon Voyage||Bordeaux||Bordeaux||8||$3,599|
|Apr 18, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaDolce||Bordeaux||Bordeaux||8||$4,299|
|Apr 21, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaDolce||Bilbao||Paris||15||$6,979|
|Apr 21, 2024||Uniworld||SS Bon Voyage||Bordeaux||Bordeaux||8||$4,999|
|Apr 25, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaDolce||Bordeaux||Bordeaux||8||$4,399|
|Apr 25, 2024||Scenic||Scenic Diamond||Bordeaux||Bordeaux||11||$13,590|
|Apr 25, 2024||Scenic||Scenic Diamond||Bordeaux||Madrid||14||$15,045|
|Apr 28, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaDolce||Bilbao||Paris||15||$7,079|
|Apr 28, 2024||Uniworld||SS Joie de Vivre||Bordeaux||Paris||15||$8,499|
|Apr 28, 2024||Uniworld||SS Bon Voyage||Bordeaux||Paris||15||$8,499|
|Apr 28, 2024||Uniworld||SS Bon Voyage||Bordeaux||Bordeaux||8||$3,999|
|May 02, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaDolce||Bordeaux||Bordeaux||8||$4,499|
|May 05, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaDolce||Bilbao||Paris||15||$7,079|
|May 05, 2024||Scenic||Scenic Diamond||Bordeaux||Bordeaux||8||$11,390|
|May 05, 2024||Uniworld||SS Bon Voyage||Bordeaux||Bordeaux||8||$3,999|
|May 09, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaDolce||Bordeaux||Bordeaux||8||$4,499|
Dordogne Travel Guide
Dordogne River Cruises Highlights
- Bergerac: Right in the wine country, Bergerac is a must-see. You'll step off the boat and into a town filled with wine-tasting opportunities and local charm. Don't miss out on the Maison des Vins – a wine lover's haven. Bergerac is also the perfect spot to explore quaint shops and savor the local cuisine.
- Périgueux: Périgueux brings history to life. The cruise port is a gateway to the town's well-preserved Roman and medieval past. Take a short walk and you're at the Vesunna Museum, standing where Romans once did, or wandering the old town's cobbled streets lined with shops and cafes.
- Sarlat-la-Canéda: Sarlat-la-Canéda is like stepping back in time. Known for its dense cluster of medieval buildings, it's a stroll away from the port. Sarlat is also famous for its market, so if you're there on market day, you're in for a treat.
- Lascaux IV – The International Centre for Cave Art: It's a mind-blowing replica of the famous prehistoric Lascaux caves. The original drawings are too fragile for the public, but this center lets you get up close without harming ancient history.
- Château de Beynac: Perched high on a cliff, this castle gives you a 'king of the castle' moment with views you won't forget. It's a real-life history book with walls, towers, and tales dating back to the Middle Ages.
- The Village of Rocamadour: This isn't just a village; it's an architectural marvel clinging to the side of a cliff. It's a sacred site with chapels, restaurants, and even a castle sitting on top of the rock.
- Château de Castelnaud: If you're into the Middle Ages, this castle is like hitting the jackpot. It's got a war museum with all sorts of armor and weapons, plus it offers more of those stunning valley views.
- Gouffre de Padirac: Imagine an underground river you can explore by boat – that's Gouffre de Padirac for you. It's a natural wonder that'll have you snapping pictures like crazy.
- The Gardens of Marqueyssac: Fancy a walk? These gardens offer a maze of trimmed hedges and panoramic views of the Dordogne Valley. It's a green thumb's paradise and a peaceful break from the bustling markets.
Dordogne River Cruises Travel Tips
- Make sure to stop and see the artwork that is on display. This is one of the most talked-about features of the Dordogne.
- Dinner is served later here than in many other parts of the world, so keep this in mind and pack some snacks!
- Dordogne is known for the prehistoric past that is still showing traces when you visit. Make sure to stop and look at some of these sites.
- The area is very quiet, peaceful, and you should make sure to respect that when you are visiting.
- A lot of people choose to retire in this area because of the nature and laid-back setting.
- Learn a bit of French before you go so you can converse a bit with the locals and find the things you are looking for.
- When it comes to cash, euros are the way to go. Cards are widely accepted, but it's smart to have some notes and coins for smaller purchases in quaint villages.
- Plan some of the activities ahead of time so you are prepared.
Dordogne River Cruises Things To Do
These caves are the most popular in this area. They are prehistoric and have drawings, pieces of the past, and more hidden within the walls. It is a place full of mystery and wonder. Of course, some of the cave has been closed off, but you can still walk around, learn more, and visit the caves next to this one to get a glimpse into the past.
Best Time To VisitIt is recommended that you go when it is not raining outside, as you will have to walk outside of the cave. You can prepare ahead of time and make sure to dress for the weather.
You Should KnowParts are closed off from having visitors go inside, so you may not be able to see the entire cave. You can purchase tickets for this attraction ahead of time and skip the lines that might be waiting.
- The Marqueyssaac Gardens
These gardens are the most elaborate in the entire area. They were built to look almost like a maze. With a natural beauty about them, they whisper to you when you walk through. This is a garden that is a must-see if you love nature and you want to feel the tranquility that this area has to offer.
Best Time To VisitSince the attraction is located outside, it is best to go when the weather is comfortable and when it is not raining. You can go when it is cooler out, just make sure to grab a sweatshirt or a light jacket.
You Should KnowThe chateau that is located on the garden grounds was built in the 17th century and showcases some of the best historic beauty. The cliffs to the side overlook the Dordogne Valley.
- Castelnaud-la-Chapelle Castle
If you want to be brought back in time, then this medieval fortress has everything you could possibly want and more when you visit inside. You can take a look into the large building, huge rooms, decorated walls, and more. Most of the castle is open for you to walk through, giving you a great way to get out, explore, and take in a bit of history firsthand.
Best Time To VisitYou can go at any point in time since the majority of this attraction is inside. You don't have to worry about the outside elements while here. The inside of the castle can be a bit chilly, so grab a light jacket or sweater.
You Should KnowThe castle was originally erected to face its rival. The castle overlooks and it is right on the Dordogne River. You can stop right at the castle right off the cruise ship.
- Grotte de Font-de-Gaume
If you are still in the mood for more prehistoric history, then the Grotte de Font-de-Gaume has cave paintings for you to make use of. You can look through the various areas where they were originally put down and even read more about how they were translated. This is one of the cooler sites to see.
Best Time To VisitThe best time to see this attraction is when it is warmer out, but beware, when the weather is nice, this attraction can become quite packed with tourists so you may want to plan ahead.
You Should KnowThere are over 200 images that have been identified and found in this area. Read about the hours, prices, and more before you come so you can plan ahead and make sure it is open.
- Commarque Castle
This castle is another one that is filled with history and wonder. The serene surroundings of this one make you feel like you are almost secluded from the outside world. Located right on a hillside, you can look over the fortress walls to the world below. The view itself is breathtaking. Walkthrough the walls of the castle where royalty once lived in the past.
Best Time To VisitSince the majority of this attraction is inside, you can make the most of your visit any time of the year. You don't have to worry about it being rainy or cold outside, though it can become cold inside the castle so plan accordingly.
You Should KnowThere are no guides, so you will have to do a self-guided tour throughout, but you can look up information on your phone.
- Chateau des Milandes
This is a Renaissance castle that was built in the past to showcase a bit of the showbiz history about it. You can find that inside the castle still stands a theater room complete with everything they used in these shows. It is definitely a great view into how they used to entertain one another in the past, and something that you can take part in during your visit.
Best Time To VisitYou can see this attraction at any time. It is mostly inside, so even if it is cold and raining outside, you can be sure to walk the halls away from the outside elements found outside the castle walls.
You Should KnowThere are people working here and they will tell you more about the castle and the history of it if you ask. You can plan ahead and purchase tickets for a tour, or a specific time if you want to skip the tourist lines.
- Chateau de Montaigne
This castle is beautiful from the inside, out. You can not only walk through and get a sense of history but there are also vineyards right outside. You can taste the wine right in the same area, providing you with something delicious to enjoy during your time within the castle and the vineyards themselves.
Best Time To VisitThere is no right or wrong time to visit this castle, but many like to visit when it is warmer out so they can enjoy their wine tasting on the outside terrace and in the vineyards.
You Should KnowThe castle was built in the 14th century. They close somewhat early during the day, so make sure to plan ahead if you are thinking about stopping by and checking it out.
- Abri de la Madeleine
If you are into history and archeology, then this is where you want to find yourself exploring. It is a rock shelter where a lot of artifacts have been unearthed. You can look at each one of the ones that were pulled from the ground and have an idea of how people used to live in the past in this area. Many of the pieces found are over 20,000 years old.
Best Time To VisitThe attraction is the most ideal to see during the daytime when it is warm out and when it is not raining. This is because it is mostly outside. You want to be comfortable, but also want to make sure you can see while inside.
Dordogne River Cruise Packages
- Getting There
To start your Dordogne River cruise, you'll likely aim for Bordeaux or Bergerac. These cities are the gateways to the Dordogne region. Bordeaux has an international airport and is well-connected by train from other major French cities. From Bordeaux, you can travel by car or local transport to the smaller towns along the Dordogne River, where many cruise companies have their docking stations. Bergerac also has an airport, though with fewer international connections, and offers a more direct entry into the heart of the region. Once you're in the Dordogne area, getting to the river ports is straightforward - local signs will guide you to the embarkation points where your river adventure begins.
- The Perfect Time for a Dordogne River Cruise
Summer (June to August) is warm and full of life, but it's also when everyone else goes, so it's busy and prices can be high. If you like a bustling vibe and don't mind sharing the views, summer's for you.
Spring (April to May) and fall (September to October) are the sweet spots. It's cooler, less crowded, and the landscape is stunning – think flowers in spring and golden leaves in fall. Plus, you might snag a better deal or have more room to roam.
Winter (November to March) is quiet and a bit chilly. Some cruise operators pause their trips, but if you do find a winter cruise, you'll have a more peaceful experience. So, think about what you like – hot and lively, or cool and calm – and plan your cruise from there.
- Experience the Flavors of the Dordogne on a River Cruise
Ready to tickle your taste buds? The Dordogne is a treasure trove of flavors that'll have foodies swooning. This region is famous for its love affair with duck – think succulent confit de canard and rich foie gras. Truffles, those fancy mushrooms that chefs go gaga over, are big here too.
Now, let's talk about something sweet – the walnut cake. It's a simple, homey treat, but packed with nutty goodness. And for a real local sip, you've got to try the Bergerac wines. Reds, whites, rosés – they've got them all, and they're superb.
While cruising along the river, keep an eye out for the local markets. They're the perfect spot to grab fresh produce and a chunk of divine cheese for a picnic with a view. And if you fancy a sit-down meal, the riverside restaurants in towns like Sarlat offer stunning settings to enjoy regional dishes.
Don't miss the chance to go for a food tour or cooking class if it's on offer. It's hands-on, fun, and you get to eat what you make. Trust me, dining in the Dordogne is an experience that's as memorable as the scenery.
- Immerse Yourself in the Dordogne River Culture
In the Dordogne, every twist and turn of the river is steeped in culture. It's a place where the past and present dance together. The locals are proud of their heritage, with medieval traditions still part of daily life. When you step off the boat, you'll feel it right away.
The region is dotted with châteaux and castles where history comes alive. Think knights and grand banquets. And let's not forget the festivals! They love a good celebration in the Dordogne. From music and dance at the Sarlat Festival to the Félibrée, an annual festival honoring Occitan culture with vibrant street parades, traditional costumes, and folk music – there's always something happening.
Visiting during these festivals is a treat. You'll get to see locals in action, preserving their customs and sharing them with pride. It's the perfect way to understand the real Dordogne, beyond the postcard-perfect views from the river.
- Why Book a River Cruise on the Dordogne?
Thinking about a Dordogne River Cruise? Good choice. There's something about gliding along the river, taking in views you just can't get from the road or a hotel room. It's about seeing the Dordogne from a different angle, with every twist and turn of the river revealing a new treasure. Castles that have watched over the water for centuries, vineyards stretching up the hills, and market towns that beckon you to explore—the cruise brings them all to your doorstep.
It's not just about the convenience, although that's a big plus. Unpack once and let the river be your guide, no constant packing and unpacking as you move from one place to another. It's also about value. Your cruise can cover lodging, transport, and meals, making it easier to manage your budget. And some experiences? They're just for cruise guests—like exclusive tours or after-hours visits to historical sites that other tourists don't get to see. When you're on a river cruise in the Dordogne, you're not just a tourist; you're a traveler who gets to dip into the authentic rhythm of life here. That's an experience that's truly priceless.
- Ready to Book Your Dordogne River Cruise?
So, you're thinking about a Dordogne River Cruise? Great choice! Here's the deal: it's not just a trip; it's a journey through time. You'll glide past ancient castles, soak in the lush vineyard scenery, and enjoy the charm of sleepy villages. This river has it all – from the history buffs to the foodies, there's something for everyone.
And let's be real – who doesn't love the idea of unpacking once and waking up to a new view every day? Plus, you get to taste local dishes, sip on regional wines, and maybe even pick up a few words in French. It's hassle-free travel with a touch of luxury.
So why wait? Grab your spot on a Dordogne River Cruise. Trust us, it's the kind of vacation you'll be telling your friends about for years to come. Ready to start the adventure?
Dordogne River Cruises Frequently Asked Questions
- When is the Best Time to Take a Dordogne River Cruise?
Depending on what you want out of the trip, you may want to go during the warmer months over the chillier ones. However, there is a high tourist season that does happen. This is generally between May to October. July and August are the warmest and busiest months out of all of those, though. When you go depends on what you want to do, so consider the excursions and activities you are going to want to take part in. It is recommended to go during May, September, and October because there is still plenty to do and the weather is definitely comfortable for almost all activities.
- What is a Dordogne River Cruise?
A Dordogne River Cruise will take you down the Dordogne River in France. It usually brings you from Libourne to Bergerac located on the Southwestern portion of France. However, this is not the only waterway that the ship will coast over. You will have the pleasure of also going across the Gironde Estuary and Garonne River. Both of these have amazing sites along with them. The river cruise has everything you need inside and ensures you get a round trip vacation without having to book or plan a number of things like you normally would if you were just visiting the area.
- What is Included with a Dordogne River Cruise?
Since river cruises are all-inclusive, you can expect your lodging, food, activities on the ship, and other things to be free of charge. This is all included in the stay on the ship. Extras such as excursions or specialty services on the ship, alcohol, and a few other things are extra. They can be added to the cost of the trip through a package though, if you choose to do it this way.
- What’s the Best River Cruise for a Dordogne River Cruise?
The best river cruise line to take depends on what you want out of the trip. You can find that one might offer a better price, or another might have better amenities or rooms. Make sure to do a bit of research before choosing which you want to go with. However, passengers who have been on these cruises before do have recommendations on which is the best. These recommended ships and cruise lines to use for a trip such as this include Viking River Cruises, AmaWaterways, and Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours.
- How Much Does a Dordogne River Cruise Cost?
The price can range based on the room you choose, extras you add on, the cruise line, and how long you are going to be going for. The lengths can range from 3 days up to 15 or more days. The prices generally range from $1,299 to $11,999 per person.
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