France Ever After

Located 100 miles east of Bordeaux, this area is pastoral yet rugged, crisscrossed with rivers, rolling hills, and towering cliffs. The peacefulness belies its sometimes turbulent history.  The Dordogne Region has been continuously inhabited 440,000 years; longer than any other area in Europe. Beginning with the Cro-Magnon, it has been home to the Celts, Gauls, Romans, Barbarians, and finally the Franks. The “ownership” of the Dordogne shifted between England and France until it was finally won back for good by France at the end of the Hundred Years War. This episode was immortalized in the classic film The Lion in Winter, starring Peter O'Toole and Katharine Hepburn. 

Today, the Dordogne is best known for the three C’s: cuisine, caves, and castles.  Picking up a guide to this area, you might read it described as “The Valley of Man”, for its numerous prehistoric caves,  “The land of 1000 châteaux”, for its overwhelming number of castles dotting the landscape, or “The culinary heartland of France”, for its tradition of serving the very best country-French dishes in the land.

Because of its incredible beauty, many movies have been made here.  Chocolat, with Juliette Binoche, Johnny Depp and Judi Dench, was filmed in the adorable Dordogne village of Beynac, near Sarlat.  The locals still talk about the opening snow scene…filmed in summertime!   Also shot in the Dordogne is the Cinderella story, Ever After, with Drew Barrymore as Cinderella and Anjelica Huston as the wicked step-mother.  The Dordogne River, its neighboring villages, and three of the region’s loveliest châteaux serve as the backdrop to this new spin of an old tale.

Your guide, Suze, considers the Dordogne her spiritual homeland.  She is deeply tied to the history and inhabitants of the region and loves to share that passion with her fellow travelers.  You can be confident that your visit will include much more than brief stops to snap photos. You will learn about the region by personally experiencing its culture and way of life.

The Dordogne captivated Henry Miller, the famed 20th-century writer. In 1939, he wrote:

France Ever After