The Perigord Blanc
The attraction of the Perigord Blanc
The Perigord Blanc takes its name from the limestone hills around the ‘capital’ city of Périgueux. In this area of the Dordogne you will find wide valleys, Roman remains and beautiful chateaux. In the Perigord Blanc it is the River Isle and not the River Dordogne which cuts through the countryside.
Where better to start than Périgueux. This busy market town is one of the Dordogne’s main transport hubs. In addition to the airport, there is a train station that links to other towns and stations beyond the Dordogne. But don’t get the wrong idea. This isn’t a bustling metropolis. In this small town you can wander around narrow streets and enjoy the medieval and Renaissance architecture. The town has a rich history (which may date back as far as 4 BC) and was another in the Dordogne to change hands during the Hundred Years’ War. As well as an imposing, multi-domed byzantine cathedral (pictured above) there is a twice weekly market. The town also plays host to numerous festivals during the summer months. There is something here for everyone to enjoy.
To the north east of Périgueux is Sorges. This is truffle country. Here you can walk along marked paths through truffle forests. In the summer there are guided tours and the small truffle museum opens to the public. (If foie gras is more your thing keep heading north to Thiviers which has an incredible Saturday food market.)
Before huge swathes of the Dordogne were cleared for agriculture the area was covered with forests. Travel south west of Périgueux and you will find the Foret de la Double. This is an area of forest which covers around 50,000 hectares. During World War II it provided a refuge for those in hiding and it is still sparsely inhabited today. There are beautiful lakes in the forest – some of which you can swim in.
If it were not for Périgueux then the Perigord Blanc would probably be the least well known of the four colour-coded areas which make up the Dordogne. But don’t let that put you off from visiting. Enjoy the peace, tranquillity and fantastic cuisine. Marvel at incredible architecture and go skinny-dipping in a lake! It’s all on offer in the Perigord Blanc.