Situated in the Aquitaine region, the Dordogne is one of the largest departments in France (a department is the equivalent of a county in the UK) and its wondrous qualities set it apart from the rest. There are many benefits to buying a Dordogne property.
From North to South and East to West the Dordogne offers breathtaking views as well as some hidden gems, not to mention the Dordogne River itself. ‘La Vallee de la Vezere’ is a fantastically kept secret, with its underground caves and connecting chambers, it is a treasure trove for the adventurous. The Dordogne has held onto its ancient history, managing to preserve a sense of authentic France.
Going back further in history, the Dordogne is the site of the famous caves of ‘Lascaux', discovered in the 1940's; today you can see pictures drawn by men 16,000 years ago!
The Dordogne is steeped in history and can cater for a diversity of cultural interests. Of course, the Dordogne is famous for the many historical ‘Chateaux’ that are found in the region- including ‘le Chateau de Hautefort’.
Perhaps you don't want to live in a Chateau; but there are still many properties to suit every potential buyer's pocket. For those of you looking for a challenge you can snap up, for a fair price, houses in need of refurbishment. Labour in France is a lot cheaper than the UK, and for those wishing to try their hands at DIY, the materials are often half the price.
On the other hand those looking for a little luxury will find a range of properties built in the fashion of the region, with ornate and beautiful swimming pools, although if you buy near the river you may not want or need the swimming pool!
The Dordogne is world renowned for its culinary delights, with simple tastes and high quality produce. Amongst the most famous delicacies are the foies gras d'oie (goose liver pate) for which you will pay very dearly anywhere else in the world, and truffles - again very delicate, rare and elsewhere expensive.
Local producers are more than happy to show you around their production sites, but they will be reluctant to part with their secrets! Settling into a small community will allow you to get to know the locals and give you more insight into the local foods.
Dordogne is a handy region for transport links to the United Kingdom. By air, the Dordogne is accessible via low cost airlines to Bergerac Dordogne airport. By sea, Brittany Ferries offer sea links to St. Malo connecting to Dordogne and the South West of France.
For people who want to experience a new way of life, the Dordogne is for you; little is changed by tourism, it will offer you a genuine experience of the French way of life. Living in France will require you to integrate into the local communities, it will be expected that you will learn the language and explore the culture; in the Dordogne you will not see a ‘fish and chip’ shop in sight.
In short, the Dordogne will offer you an unusual but refreshing change to your way of life that will be impossible to receive anywhere else!
Derek Rogers is a freelance writer who represents a number of UK and French businesses. He recommends Premier French Property, a leading Dordogne Estate Agent with offices in Eymet, Castillonnes, Villereal and Issigeac for advice on buying Dordogne Property .