Family Activity Holidays in the Dordogne Valley of France

If your family enjoys an active lifestyle, why not begin planning a bike or multi-sport tour through the Dordogne Valley in southwest France?  Activity holidays for families are a real adventure in this region.  Besides having the opportunity for a leisurely and up-close look at the sights, you and your family will enjoy the challenge of biking, hiking and canoeing. Kids will appreciate the historical and cultural sights, if they can work off excess energy by being active.

This area of France has so much to offer for the whole family. The picturesque and meandering Dordogne River runs throughout the area. There are many castles from the Middle Ages to explore, as well as many caves with amazing paintings and etchings done by ancient artists from 25,000 to 8,000 BC. There are a number of Middle Age towns that have survived and offer so many rich experiences.

Once you arrive in France, the main gateway to this area and your family adventure is the town of Bergerac. It is well served by rail service.

There are three ways to go when planning an active family vacation in France. If you and your family are very independent and want to be in control of every situation, you could plan the trip completely on your own. Your group would be able to choose the dates and timetable of the trip. It would also be quite a bit cheaper. Disadvantages of this are that it does take a lot of work to do the planning. In addition, there would be less support in times of inevitable “travel troubles.” But if you’re up to the challenge, it’s the way to go.

Another option is the self-guided tour for active, independent families who want some flexibility. Your route and lodging is planned by experts. You can choose the dates for your group and you are the guide, but the tour company will support you when problems arise.

The guided tour is the most expensive, but lodging, most meals and problem-solving and planning are done for you.

Whatever travel style you choose, there is so much to see and do in this region. Biking will put you close to the many historical and charming old towns, like Sarlat, with its festivals, markets, truffles and duck. Dome has the Chateau de Castelnaud, perched high above the Dordogne River. Inside is the Museum of Medieval Warfare. Many more castles dot the area. After several hours of bike riding, take a break and enjoy a canoe ride and picnic, and relax on one of the small river beaches.

Throughout the area you can hike up to a number of prehistoric caves that have amazing artwork of animals created by our prehistoric ancestors. This is truly one of the highlights of this area.

The region boasts hotels to fit every budget and restaurants abundant with tasty French cuisine. The weather is usually warm, and undoubtedly, this trip will be talked about by the whole family for a long time.

Guest Author Bio: Laura Stone is a freelance copywriter and blogs for Al Fresco Holidays. For more information visit:

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