Here is a some useful information about the Périgord Blanc region
Situated in the heart of the Dordogne, you will find Gîte Lau Pito Meizou conveniently tucked away in the lush green and leafy ‘Périgord Blanc’ region (Central Dordogne). ‘Périgord Blanc’ translates in English as ‘White Périgord’. Périgord Blanc is an excellent base from which to explore both Périgueux and the other three Périgord regions that make up the Dordogne department - also reffered to as (Department 24 or just 24). When we first arrived I saw 24 a lot and thought the business operated 24 hours. Imagine the shock I got going to ‘Vin24’ after 8pm. The Dordogne department is one of 12 departments that make up Nouvelle-Aquitaine, formerly just Aquitaine. Officials must have spent hours to come up with Nouvelle-Aquitaine!
It is thought that the name Périgord Blanc was adopted to reflect the white colour of the chalky white soil and white limestone. This can be found in abundance in the area and can also make digging a simple hole a pain in back. However, that said, the traditional Périgordian stone buildings, some dating as far back as the 12th century, simply shimmer like gold on a hot summers day and are just as impressive on a cooler winters day! We were informed that the gîte, which has been constructed in the typical Périgordian style, was formerly a farm outbuilding which was constructed in the 1600’s. This was also confirmed to us after I found a coin metal detecting called a Double Tournois, which also dates to the 1600’s. More of a mystery though is the medieval French Jeton (token) that I found which could possibly date the site even earlier than the 1600’s. Anyway I am digressing!
Explore Périgueux, the Capital of the Dordogne
Périgord Blanc takes in Périgueux, the capital of the Dordogne department. Steeped in history since Roman times, you could easily spend a week or so in Périgueux alone. Where you will find many beautiful sights such as the Périgueux Cathedral, dedicated to Saint Front. The medieval old town - which is jam packed with beautiful boutique shops, restaurants and trendy ice cream parlors. All of which are not only for curious tourists, but they also provide us locals with a haven of unique shops that can not be found in your typical ‘retail parks’. Then there is the Roman ‘Vesunna Gallo-Roman Museum’ and its leafy green grounds. There are lots of beautiful riverside walks, parcs, gardens and of course for those rainy days, that tried and tested attraction that all young children love, the dreaded ‘museum’. Actually there are a few different ones to choose from in order to bore your children. The Museum of Art and Archeology (Musee d’Art et d’Archeologie du Périgord) and the Military Museum (Musee Militaire du Périgord) - either of those should do the trick nicely. Joking aside, we have visited most of the museums and they normally incorporate some activities for younger children.
Visits the beautiful Villages and Towns of Périgord Blanc
There are many charming villages and towns situated in Périgord Blanc. To the West of Périguex (including the North and South directions), the main villages and towns are Montpon-Ménestérol, Mussidan (Château de Montréal - Issac), Neuvic (also with its lovely Château), St-Leon-Sur-L’Isle, Saint-Astier (a world-wide exporter of lime based products), Chancelade (known for its famous Abbey) and Vergt (known for its superb Strawberry growers). To the East of Périguex (including the North and South directions), the main villages and towns are Sorges (known worldwide for its truffles) and Savignac Les-Eglises. When driving through or to these villages and towns, you will often pass through some charming hamlets. Expect a few stares, even if driving on a French number plate!
Périgord Blanc tourist attractions
Sorges is said to be the gourmet capital of the Dordogne, known for its coveted black truffles and the ‘Ecomusee de la Truffe’ (Truffle Museum) could be worth a visit, especially if you enjoy your gourmet treats! Other gourmet foods produced locally in the region, includes widespread Walnut harvesting, Caviar is produced at Neuvic and of course the iffy subject of Foie Gras production. Anyway, whether you agree or disagree it is all here on our doorstep.
If you like Castles then Château de l’Herm is only 8 or 9km from the gîte. You also have Château de Puyferrat, Château de Montréal, Château de Neuvic. Château de Neuvic is probably the most impressive and imposing. If you prefer a smaller more ruinous castle, just like we have many of in Scotland!!!! Then visit Château de l’Herm.
To the very West of Périgord Blanc lies La Double and of particular interest, very close by is the beautiful Grand Ètang de la Jemaye. Although the Collins dictionary translates the word ‘Ètang’ as ‘Pond’, an Ètang tends to be more of a large man made lake than a pond, normally it will feature a sandy beech and it will also cater for mixed use leisure activities such as Swimming, Fishing, Cycling, Walking, Canoeing/Kayaking, Drinking and Eating!!! At the time of writing this page (2018), canoeing/kayaking was free. Grand Ètang de la Jemaye is further away than our more local Ètangs, which are located in Fossemagne and Thenon, but it is well worth the scenic drive. There is more information in our new ‘Gîte Welcome Pack’, where we also point out some different options for tourist attractions based upon you personal preferences. However, for a brief walk or a spot of relaxing fishing then the Ètang located at Thenon is nice. There is also pedal boating and a bar/restaurant which hosts live bands in the summer.
Leisure activities in Périgord Blanc for tourists
If you would like to take part in some leisure activities then Périgord Blanc certainly has plenty to offer. Walking, Hiking Trails, Cycling and Mountain Biking, Go-Karting, Fishing, Horse & Pony, Art/Painting, Canoeing/Kayaking, Forest Adventure Parks, oh... and almost forgot Pétanque!!! Are all very popular here and are all close by.
So why stay with us?
It’s probably fair to say that Périgord Blanc is less visited than some of the other Périgord regions in Dordogne. That said, to the East, the gîte almost borders with Périgord Noir, where most of the top tourist attractions and activities can be found and therein lies the benefit in booking the gîte... We are located in beautiful countryside surroundings, that is close to the top tourist attractions and activities, but does not charge the top tourist rates. You are also just a short drive to Périgueux, the capital of the Dordogne.
And finally, here is little bit of information about the other three Périgord regions...
Although the Périgord province was replaced some time ago, its area corresponds roughly to that of the present-day Dordogne department. As the department is quite large, you will still often see many tourist attractions, activities, villages and towns etc, advertising their location as being located in one of the four Périgord colours/areas - Périgord Noir (Black Périgord), Périgord Blanc (White Périgord), Périgord Vert (Green Périgord) or Périgord Pourpre (Purple Périgord).
- Périgord Noir (Black Périgord) - In South East Dordogne… Apparently the colour is inspired by the grand Dark Oak Trees, others say the BLACK Périgord Truffle.
- Périgord Vert (Green Périgord) - In North Dordogne… Apparently the colour is inspired by the abundance of leafy GREEN colours of the Chestnut and Oak Forests.
- Périgord Pourpre (Purple Périgord) - In South West Dordogne… Apparently the colour is inspired by the beautiful tones of the PURPLE/RED Bordeaux Grapes, Vineyards and Wine.
What would be best to read next?
If you have arrived at this page without reading about the gîte first, then a convenient one page summary about the gîte, the gîtes location and a guide of what to see and do elswhere in Dordogne, can be found by clicking on/touching the button below.
Attractions in Périgord Blanc...
Sorges Truffle Museum
Château de Neuvic
Château de Puyferrat
Château de Montreal
Château de l’Herm
Foret de la Double & Jemaye
Musee du Vin, Chai de Lardimale
Explore the old town
Cathedral Saint Front
Gallo-Roman Vesunna Museum
Museum of Art & Archeology
Bustling markets Wed & Sat mornings
Many beautiful riverside walks
Lots of shops, restaurants and bars
Many retail parks on the outskirts
Places in Périgord Blanc...
Saint Germain du Salembre
Horse & Pony
Forest Adventure Parks
Hot Air Ballooning
Other Top Attractions...
Périgord Noir on your door step!
Lascaux & Montignac
Sarlat, Les Eyzies & Terrasson
Parc Le Bournat
Les Jardins du Manoir d’Eyrignac
Les Jardins Suspendus de Marqueyssac
Aquarium du Perigord Noir
Limeuil, St-Leon-Sur-Vezere, Le Bugue & Beynac