Experience the charming medieval villages, prehistoric cave art, and traditional gastronomy of the Dordogne River Valley during a one-week sojourn in Sarlat-la-Canéda, one of France’s most beautiful and well-preserved medieval villages. 

Starting at: $4,495 * Price includes special offer Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 A 19th-century wooden gabare on the Dordogne River  Sarlat-la-Caneda  Early evening in Sarlat-la-Caneda  The Chateau de Beynac  Beynac  The landscape of Beynac, France  The exquisite artistry of prehistoric painters in the cave of Lascaux II  Panoramic view of Rocamadour  The medieval village of Rocamadour, a World Heritage site  France's finest “English” gardens on the grounds of Eyrignac Manor  A street in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil  La Madeleine, a well-preserved prehistoric troglodyte village along the Dordogne River

France’s Dordogne River Valley

8 days from $4,495

Experience the charming medieval villages, prehistoric cave art, and traditional gastronomy of the Dordogne River Valley during a one-week sojourn in Sarlat-la-Canéda, one of France’s most beautiful and well-preserved medieval villages. 

or Call 855-330-1542


* Click on hotel name to visit hotel web-site.

Plaza Madeleine

Sarlat-la-Canéda, France

Enjoy the tranquil pace of village life in Dordogne and truly feel at home during your stay in the family-owned Plaza Madeleine. Converted from a 19th-century townhouse and steeped in provincial appeal, this hôtel de charme was recently renovated and is ideally located just outside the ancient walls of the medieval quarter of Sarlat-la-Canéda. Each of the 39 guest rooms is uniquely configured and furnished and features private bathroom facilities, individual climate control, satellite television, direct dial telephone, wireless Internet access, safe, hair dryer, and minibar. The hotel staff, many of whom have worked at the hotel for a generation, are committed to making you feel like a member of the family through their warm hospitality, pleasant manner, and personal, attentive service. 

Number of nights: 6

Activity Level

Activity Level 3: Moderate / Active

Expectations:  Excursions will be at a moderately active pace during the morning or afternoon. Some days will require early morning departures (8:00 or 9:00 a.m.). Daily activities of two to three hours at a time each day. Some standing and walking for periods of time (up to two hours) during outdoor activities and tours, city tours, and museum visits. Walking two to three miles will be over sometimes difficult terrain, such as cobblestones in towns and many archaeological/pre-historic sites.  

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit, lead active lives, are comfortable participating in long days of activities, and expect some physical exertion. 

September 2022 Tour Extensions

Splendors of Bordeaux — Saint-Émilion Pre-Program Option — 2 Nights, 3 Days

Long distinguished as the wine capital of the world, France’s verdant Bordeaux region has been producing, fermenting and bottling the grape since the eighth century. Tucked away in the heart of the rolling French countryside and endless vineyards, visit the charming and legendary village of Saint-Émilion, a UNESCO World Heritage site, famous for the Merlot grape grown here that produces rich, full‑bodied red wines. Visit the impressive medieval monuments of Saint-Émilion, including the Église Monolithe, one of the largest underground churches in Europe. Experience the Grand Cru Classé of Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux’s distinguished wine classification, at a château and enjoy a tasting of their exquisite wines. Accommodations are for two nights in the deluxe Hotel Burdigala, located in the heart of Bordeaux.  

Albi and Toulouse Cordes-sur-Ciel — Carcassonne Post-Program Option — 4  Nights, 5 Days 

The cobblestone towns of southwest France showcase the region’s storybook charm. Experience the classic refinements and medieval allure of Cordes‑sur‑Ciel, Albi, Carcassonne and Toulouse on this four‑night Post-Program itinerary, which brims with exclusive excursions. Sample Gaillac wines in the lovely Château Bouscaillous; explore cherished cathedrals and old-world villages, equal parts storied and spectacular; admire the largest collection of Henri de Toulouse‑Lautrec’s works; and enjoy the incomparable scenery of the bucolic French countryside. Accommodations are for two nights each in the Hotel Mercure Albi Bastides and the Grand Hôtel de l’Opéra in Toulouse.   

Please note: These extensions are available for September 8, 2022 departure only.

Additional pre- and post-cruise details will be included with your reservation confirmation. 

Reading List

Highly Recommended

The Road from the Past: Traveling through History in France
By: Caro, Ina
DK Eyewitness Dordogne, Bordeaux and the Southwest Coast (Travel Guide)
By: DK Eyewitness
The Cave Painters: Probing the Mysteries of the World's First Artists (ANCHOR)
By: Curtis, Gregory
Life and Food in the Dordogne
By: Bentley, James

Also Recommended

A Traveller's History Of France
By: Robert Cole
Lonely Planet French Phrasebook & Dictionary 7
By: Janes, Michael, Carillet, Jean-Bernard, Masclef, Jean-Pierre
The Food of France
By: Waverley Root
Café Oc: A Nomad's Tales of Magic, Mystery, and Finding Home in the Dordogne of Southwestern France
By: Bahrami, Beebe
Stepping-Stones: A Journey through the Ice Age Caves of the Dordogne
By: Desdemaines-Hugon, Christine
Café Neandertal: Excavating Our Past in One of Europe's Most Ancient Places
By: Bahrami, Beebe
Down and Dirty in the Dordogne
By: Frazer, Andrea
French Impressions - The Dordogne River: from source to sea (Volume 4)
By: East, George
Deadly Slipper
By: Wan, Michelle
24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Laminated)
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Travel Guard provides an on-tour Insurance Plan. On-tour emergency evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only). It also includes up to $25,000 medical and up to $500 dental expense coverage, and 24-hour worldwide travel and medical assistance. Please click here to view complete coverage details.

Please visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1-800-208-6142 to learn about additional (optional) coverage.