With exquisite green landscapes and plenty of pretty villages to stop in for refreshments, the Dordogne Valley is the ideal region for hiking and biking. However if you’re planning a walk, it’s advised to set off in the early morning or evening when things cool down a little and you can enjoy the sun drape its golden light over the countryside. The same goes with horse-riding and other similar activities.
If you can only do the afternoon, the many wooded landscapes make for tonnes of shady walks with many a surprise en route: a glimpse of a medieval church, endless strawberry fields and prehistoric remains. The area may be a little short of mountains to challenge even the most adventurous of travelers, but those who insist on exerting themselves can try a spot of hang-gliding or head to the umbrageous tree climbing parks where the kids (and parents) can swing and glide through the trees Tarzan-style.
Another ‘cool’ way of beating the heat and sightseeing at the same time is to go down under. Home to an infinite number of caves trimmed with extraordinary stalactites and/or prehistoric drawings, most of them show a constant 14 °c on the thermometre. The only downside to visiting one of these subterranean wonders in summer is the volume of visitors that can sometimes lead to hefty queues so try to book your tickets beforehand.
The ultimate summer highlight has to be a trip to one of the Dordogne Valley’s gardens. As the scent of roses, lavender and pine trees fill the air, visitors can wander around a multitude of different gardens and take in the colourful, flowery scenes that summer has rewarded them. Many also host an array of events in peak season including the Jardins de Marqueyssac and its candlelit evenings and the Jardins d’Eyrignac and its White Night picnics.