La Roque Gageac La Roque-Gageac, Aquitaine, France.

Nestled alongside the Dordogne River. Sheltered beneath steep cliffs, La Roque-Gageac, is deservedly designated one of "les Plus Beax Village de France". In medieval times, it was an important fortified village and later saw the addition of renaissance manors, including the Manoir de Tarde. It has retained its authentic character over the centuries, featuring attractive narrow stone streets, and interesting homes, churches, and public buildings. There is a weekly market, fabulous restaurants, and a pizzeria. For recreation, there are boules courts, river beaches, park and canoes for rent. Completely sheltered by the cliffs, there is an area where the semi-tropical plant life survives year-round. A walking path that runs behind the buildings at the foot of the cliff provides great views. There are also pre-historic Troglodyte dwellings above.

Several other villages in the area are well worth a visit. Beynac, two miles down the road, features the Chateau de Beynac perched high atop a huge rock, overlooking the valley and other castle-topped hills. A steep footpath, known locally as the Caminal del Panieraire, leads from the bottom of the village through rows of renaissance houses dating from the 15th to the 17th centuries. Another nearby town, Sarlat, dates from the 9th century when a Benedictine abbey was founded. Most of the townhouses still in existence date from the renaissance. Sarlat's old village has many places of interest, including the Cathedrale of St. Sacerdos, the Maison de la Boetie, the Hotel de Maleville, and many charming shops, galleries, and restaurants with a wonderful Saturday market. Domme is a Bastide or fortified market town dating from the 13th century. In and around Les Eyzies, 18 miles from La Roque-Gageac, there are a series of major prehistoric sites, including a group of caves featuring pre-historic cave paintings, all open to the public.

Two Hours east of Bordeaux, it is also noted for its vineyards, producing Bergerac, Pécharmant, and Monbazillac

Getting There

La Roque Gagaec is in the south-west of France, about 150 km north of Toulouse, and the same distance east of Bordeaux - on the map, just follow the Dordogne river east from Bordeaux. Most of our visitors fly to Paris/Charles de Gaulle - from there you can get to us by air, by train, or by car. Others travel from Madrid or London and connect to Toulouse by easyjet.com.

By Air - There are connecting flights from Paris to Toulouse and to Bordeaux, but the drive from Toulouse is faster and easier. The flight to each city will be about one hour. The drive from Toulouse will take about 2-2 12 hours, while from Bordeaux it is 312-4 hours, depending on the traffic.

By Train - If you are spending some time in Paris before coming here (or even if you aren't), consider the train. There is a very good service from Gare d'Austerlitz to Brive, 50 minutes away and Souillac, 20 minutes away. Most car rental agencies have offices in Brive. This is usually much easier than taking the TGV (Train à Grand Vitesse) to Bordeaux.

You can find information on trains at www.sncf.fr and from the United States on raileurope.com

By Car - Consider picking up your car at Orly airport, south of Paris - you can take the airport bus from CDG, and let them worry about Paris traffic. The drive from Paris takes about 5 hours, most of it on fast and attractive autoroutes - A10 through Orléans, and then A20 to Souillac, south of Limoges. We find the Michelin yellow series of maps indispensable - No. 329, Correze Dordogne is the best choice.

Car Rental/Leasing - It is often cheaper to lease a car from the manufacturer than to rent, especially if you are coming for more than 21 days, and this can be arranged through your travel agent. Note that most car rental agencies are closed on Sundays and holidays. We have found that autoeurope.com has best rates and service for both leases and rentals. Be sure to request a diesel as it saves on the fuel bills.