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Posts Tagged ‘Corrèze’



THIS RURAL COUNTRYSIDE is one of the most beautiful and least populated areas of France. It truly is a land that time has forgotten although mankind has occupied this region for over 450,000 years. The first signs of human habitation, in the form of flint tools, were in the Vézère valley. Neanderthal man came into our area about 125,000 years ago and, for a period of time, coexisted with the Cro-Magnon. The Cro-Magnon man discovered here dates back 40,000 years and by around 25,000 years ago supremely realistic animals started to depicted in local caves by them.

We've been told that nearly 70% of the world’s prehistoric cave art is to be found here in southwestern France. Viewing the 25,000 year old paintings at Pech-Merle and a few other important sites provides the opportunity to see some of its finest examples.

Medieval villages are everywhere and within about a 1.5 hour drive radius of the Dordogne River Valley's heart you can visit 18 of the most beautiful villages in France. That’s better than 10% of the villages that have made the governments, Plus Beau Villages list. This region was where Julius Caesar defeated the Gaul’s in 54BC, home to Richard the Lionhearted, and birthplace to the Knights Templar’s. (We think this makes the area one of France’s best kept secrets!)

Rustic French cuisine just does not get better! This is ground zero for the black truffles, fois gras, and other regional Quercynoise delights. If you come here don’t forget to bring your appetite.

For paddle-sport enthusiasts the rivers in our region of most interest include;  the Dordogne (considered the cleanest & most beautiful in all of France), Vézère (which passes though the heart of the regions pre-history) and the Ardèche.

This patch of southwestern France was once known as the Haut-Quercy. Located at the northern tip of the French department called the LOT (46) and also includes parts of the Corrèze (19) and Cantal (15).

TRAVEL time to/ from Paris is about 4.5 hours by train, Bordeaux 3 hours West, and Toulouse 2.5 hours South by car.

France’s rustic soul can be found in the heart southwest!

à bientôt! Jack

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June 16, 2013 - Posted by Jack Tobin

Périgord is considered one of the “cradles of the walnut” – they have been found among the remains of Cro-Magnon dwellings here dating back 17,000 years. They helped make the area prosperous in the Middle Ages and are still emblematic of Périgord today.


In the Middle Ages, walnuts were so prized that locals paid debts in them and the Cistercian abbey of Dalon had tenants pay rent in walnut oil. The oil was used for cooking, as well as for lighting lamps from homes to cathedrals, and people would rub it on their skin instead of soap.

From the 17th century, there was a flourishing export trade, including to Britain, via Bordeaux. Today, the Périgord production area covers the Lot, Corrèze and Dordogne and a small part of the Charente. Visitors can explore the Route de la Noix (Walnut Route), which takes in the key towns of Martel (Lot), Domme (Dordogne), Hautefort (Dordogne) and Collonges la Rouge (Corrèze).

Click Map for complete look at: ‘Route de la Noix’

Whether you decide to bike, walk or drive there are many unique adventures and culinary delights to be discovered on the ‘Route de la Noix’!

Exploring the walnut routes is as enjoyable as sampling all the local products produced! Plan to visit in 2013? Please check out the delightful accommodations at Le Sud which is located in the very heart of the region!

Bon Voyage et à bientôt! Jack
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February 17, 2013 - Posted by Jack Tobin

THE DORDOGNE river basin has been named a UNESCO biosphere reserve.

UNESCO recognized the area as being remarkable for its well-preserved natural setting and the exceptional cultural heritage and art de vivre linked to it.

It says: “The economy of its basin is largely based on tourism, agriculture and forestry, but also industry, benefits from its natural resources, the beauty of the scenery and the prestigious image given by the Dordogne and its many tributaries.”

The aim of the labeling, says UNESCO, is to encourage people to “maintain the symbiosis between nature and man which characterizes the Dordogne basin”; and to “stimulate [people’s] imagination and energy” to make sure progress goes hand in hand with respect for the environment.

The Dordogne flows over 300 miles from source to sea. On its journey from source on Mont-Dore it passes through the departments of Puy-de-Dôme, Corrèze, Lot, Dordogne and Gironde creating some of the most spectacular scenery to be found in France.

Europe’s rivers were, a thousand years ago, its medieval highways. The Dordogne River being one of France’s most strategic, it’s not surprising some of this country’s most formidable castles & fortified houses were built because of its proximity. The labeled area – 24,000 square kilometers – joins 10 other areas of natural heritage in France to have been so designated in the past. They include the Mont Ventoux in the Vaucluse, the Cévennes and the Camargue.

Our sources for this blog post beyond our own contributions included content from both Sandra Sheridan’s Blog site: and UNESCO is the acronym for: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization/

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Merci et à bientôt! Jack


November 11, 2012 - Posted by Jack Tobin