Corrèze is in the South-West of France; one of the prettiest and less recognised regions. It is rich in history, culture and cuisine and a great place to explore for families. It is just next to the also very beautiful Dordogne region.
There are many things to do in the Corrèze. It is a region of pretty villages, cobbled streets, forests to explore, medieval towns, castles and fortresses and lovely sandy beaches along the flowing Dordogne River with its quaint bridges.
We stayed in Argentat-sur-Dordogne which is situated on the Dordogne River in the department of Corrèze, in France. This article will give you lots of information on how to create your perfect family holidays in the Corrèze.
How to get to Corrèze
From the UK you can either arrive to Bergerac (in Dordogne) or Limoges Airport. Or travel by ferry; from Dover to Calais and driving down to Corrèze which could take around 8.5 hours. If you plan to do this option you can spend it overnight in Tours which is another lovely town to explore.
We were travelling from France from Manosque; we set out at 5 am to avoid the summer traffic on the road. With a few stops on the way, we arrived at our hotel for the week in the afternoon. We stayed at the Résidence Les Belles Rives. It is a beautiful setting alongside the River Dordogne. Great also for the small kids as there is an indoor and outdoor play area. There is also a protected outdoor pool; which is secured by a gate. The Residence is self-catering and is fully equipped, so you can stock up on some food from the local nearby supermarket or outdoor markets. You can also find some beautiful holiday rentals including French gites with pools in Dordogne; if you prefer private holiday rentals.
There are many activities to do in this beautiful region especially for older children and adults. At the time we had a 3-year-old and a 2-year-old so we stuck to the small kid-friendly activities.
Day 1 Relax, visit Argentat
Day 1 started in the swimming pool as our kids love the water.
We then took a little walk along the river route (there is direct access from the hotel) to the city centre. The riverside is stunning, you can stop for ice cream (but avoid the food in the riverside cafes). We made the mistake of having a ‘very chewy’ crepe!! In the evening back at the residence the kids played in the park whilst we organised our next few days over an aperitif.
Day 2 Visit Beaulieu-sur-Dorgogne
Day 2 we got up early in the morning we did a guided tour of the city centre, it is always nice to do a tour with a local who loves his city and usually, they tell you a few stories that you wouldn’t know otherwise. In the afternoon we visited Beaulieu Sur Dordogne, a lovely little village with cute cobbled streets. We also booked a boat tour on the “garbare”, a traditional boat.
This was a 1.5-hour boat tour where the French guide tells you the history of the region ‘basse Correze’.
There is an English printed version which you can read if you don’t understand French. To our surprise, as we finished our boat tour, there was a local market with local producers selling their products.
French markets are always a delight to the senses; from delicious cheese to charcuterie and fresh fruits and vegetables. Locals explained to us that every Monday in the summer, people get together, buy some local products, for example, wine, meat, cheese and jam and eat by the riverside with live music.
For more information on local market days, you can visit https://www.visit-dordogne-valley.co.uk/french-living/markets/market?page=1.
We also loved the fact that we could buy some meat from the market and cook it directly on the bbq installed by the local community. Such a great idea and we all had a great time eating and chatting away with the locals. The kids had an absolute blast.
Day 3 Visit Chateau Bridoire and beautiful villages
One of the best things to do in Dordogne France is to visit a castle.
We love discovering Castles and Corrèze and Dordogne have over 1000 castles, not all of these are open to the public.
We decided to visit Chateau Bridoire which was a 2-hour drive from Argentat but made for a perfect day out.
Chateau Bridoire is a great place to explore with the kids as there are many medieval games for the whole family to get involved in. There is also a labyrinth where you have clues and different routes to go through which is so much fun. You can also visit the stables where you will see some horses and rabbits. For cooling down on a hot summer day you can visit the cellars and dungeons of the castle which is always exciting for the kids.
TIP – You can spend most of the day here so bring a little picnic with you or snacks; otherwise there is a cafe that serves some food too.
Also for the labyrinth, it is a good idea to have closed shoes; light trainers are ideal.
At the time of writing prices were as follows; To visit just the labyrinth Adults 8.50 Euros and Children age 4-12 5.50 Euros. You can also get a combined ticket to visit the chateau, games and labyrinth adults 16 Euros and children 10€.
Depending on where you are located in Corrèze there are many other castles that you can visit including Chateau de Beynac, Chateau de Castelnaud and Chateau de Castelnau-Bretenoux.
This is a useful page for more information on the different castles you can visit; https://www.visit-dordogne-valley.co.uk/discover/cultural-heritage/land-of-1001-castles and https://www.tourismecorreze.com/en/tourism/fortresses_and_castles.html
Day 4 Visit Curmonte
We went to see Curemonte, which is a medieval city, (noted as one of the most beautiful villages in France).
In Curmonte you can see one of the oldest churches and castles in the region.
After visiting Curmonte, we also booked a 3-hour guided visit to the forest (free tour in July and August, book it with Curmonte tourism office).
Our mistake was we forgot we have toddlers who had no nap and ice cream just before. As soon as we got there Andy decided to exercise his vocal cords in the silent forest. Others on the tour were not impressed! and we had a sudden feeling of being unwanted.
So we decided to let them do their tour in silence, whilst we opted for our own private tour of the forest. On the way back to Argentat we went to a local night market with live music. In the summer, these are quite common and a nice way to end the evening.
Day 5 Visit the impressive Gouffre de Padirac
We made our way to The Gouffre de Padirac, an amazing cave which is 103 metres down by lift or stairs.
Once down in the cave, there is a short boat trip; which the kids absolutely loved. There is also a tour in the caves where you see the ‘pendeloque’, a huge 60-metre stalactite.
We thoroughly enjoyed spending our morning at the cave, a great fun day out. You can book tickets online, prices at the time of writing were
|Children aged 4 to 12*||€14.00|
|Children aged under 4*||free|
On the way back to our residence we stopped by the “Maison de abeilles” (house of bees). Here the kids were quite excited to see the bees and taste some of the local “pain d’épice” (spice bread); lots of different flavours. You can also learn about how honey is made and the importance of bees.
In the evening we did a little tour of Rocamadour, where you can walk around the historical monuments. There is also the Rocamadour castle which is perched on a cliff. You can walk or drive near to the castle; make sure you have some 2€ coins to pass through. You will get an amazing view of the valley from there.
Day 6 Visit Tour de Merle and way back
On our last day in this beautiful region; we decided to drive past the “Tour de Merle”, these are the ruins of a castle from the 12 and 15th centuries. Made for a beautiful drive through the forest and winding roads.
We then made our way back home, We had a wonderful and beautiful trip where we all had a chance to discover something new, relax and spend time all together as a family.
Definitely recommend this trip in the summer. There were a few activities that we did not manage this time but that is great as we have an excuse to come back.
Places to Visit on your next Dordogne Trip
Canoe on river Dordogne
On our next trip, we definitely want to hire a Canoe to go down the River Dordogne. The children need to be over the age of 4 which is why we left it on our first trip. This is a popular activity to do and you can find plenty of websites to book your canoe on.
We were told about https://www.canoe-kayak-dordogne.com/en/. Here you can book different types of canoes and rent for the day or longer. There are canoes to fit a family of 4 so that is ideal if like me you may be a bit nervous to get into a separate canoe with your child.
The routes I have been informed of are pretty easy for beginners too and if you are more experienced there are more challenging and longer routes you can take. Price-wise you are looking at around 20-30 € per Adult.
Dordogne is a great place for wine lovers too; you might be able to fit this in if you promise the kids ice cream at the end of the day 😉 Bergerac would be an ideal place to see the vineyards and at the same time visit the old town. It is also along the banks of the River Dordogne.
Visit Saint-Emilion Vineyards
You could visit another wine area, Saint Emilion, about an hour away from Bergerac. Here you can enjoy wine and the beautiful steep cobbled streets (just bear in mind you will have to leave the buggy behind).
Visit beautiful gardens
If you like gardens then visit Eyrignac Manor or the Marqueyssac Gardens which overlook the Dordogne Valley and offers plenty of beautiful space for your kids to run around and for you to relax and enjoy the beauty.
Day at the beach
Spending the day at the beach; along the river banks of the Dordogne River, you can find some areas of sandy beaches with shallow water great for a little dip. You may even have one all to yourselves if you get the advice of locals. Take a picnic with you and splash and have fun.
Visit a cave with prehistoric drawings
We have also heard a lot of the Caves of Lascaux which are very well known and get pretty crowded so you probably want to book this in advance. You can check out the prehistoric cave art. Another recommendation to us was the Grotte de Rouffignac which the kids usually love as you can go on an electric train through the cave.
Have you been to this region? If you have any recommendations to share we would love to know.
We hope this article gave you lots of ideas to create your best holidays in Corrèze and Dordogne. If you found this article useful do pin it 🙂
You can also read more about other French regions here:
Thanks and see you on our next adventure.
You can follow us on our Instagram for more travel inspiration @travelingbambinos