THE area of the Dordogne I am in is known as the Périgord Noir and is a landscape of forests and river valleys.
The name noir, meaning black, comes about because of the rich soils that ensure the forests flourish with mushrooms, wildlife and of course the occasional truffle.
Rocky limestone outcrops can be spotted often forming the base for a castle with surrounding houses and walls.
And these villages are still centres of trade today with markets selling a wide variety of nuts, wines and foie gras.
Limestone caves abound and it is in these that many drawings and tools have been found, so ensuring this area’s position in the study of pre-history.
Cutting through the region are two major rivers, the Dordogne and the Vézère, now quiet but once major trade routes.
In the past large flat-bottomed boats transported wines to Bergerac, whilst steep escarpments were ideal for chateaux built at the end of the Middle Ages.
It is an area where villages nestle in the folds of the land; a church steeple pokes out of a wooded copse or a castle keep stares down on you.
I’m looking forward to exploring this region more.
If you found this useful...
+ Stay up-to-date: Get your free This French Life newsletter