Why spring is the best time for a self-guided walking holiday in the Dordogne
Let’s talk about the weather first. Spring in the Dordogne is pleasantly mild, and the skies are often a crisp blue. There may be the odd rainy day here and there, but the different shades of green are remarkable as the oaks and walnut trees regain their foliage. We recommend packing a raincoat as well as your sunglasses, the latter should prove more useful than the former, but you will be grateful for both depending on the day!
A sure sign that the Dordogne is awakening after a peaceful winter slumber are the number of job offers suddenly appearing for seasonal positions in campsites, hotels, restaurants, museums etc. March is the recruitment and training month and come April, everything is open and ready to welcome the crowds. Another clue lies in the markets. The stalls are slowly doubling in numbers, taking up more space in the streets of the local villages and towns. They are becoming more colourful and flavorsome. Asparagus makes an appearance early spring and the strawberries of the Dordogne are at their best early May.
Play a game of ‘I spy’ on your walking holiday in the Dordogne
As you follow our route notes on your Dordogne walking trip, hiking along the Dordogne or Vézère Rivers on paths that will lead you through oak forests and green valleys, you will most probably spy wild orchids, baby deer and maybe even some piglets in the farms. Every April, a transmigration takes place from Rocamadour, a 5-day walk that leads the cattle up to graze in the surrounding hills.
May is a great time to enjoy a walking trip in the Dordogne as it is the perfect month to visit the many gardens and enjoy a boat trip along the river. Kayaking is hugely popular in the height of the season with hundreds of people out on the water but in May, it is still relatively calm, and you will feel like you have the place almost to yourself! The water may be a little cold though still so try not to fall in! You can also expect fewer crowds if you visit the castles and the prehistoric caves. The coolness of the caves is a great retreat during the summer months but bring an extra layer in the spring as it is rather chilly underground.
Search for a unique or quirky souvenir of your self-guided Dordogne walking holiday
You will undoubtably see some ‘vide-grenier’ in the towns you pass through, especially on weekends. A car-boot sale in British English, a garage sale in American English and translates literally from French as ‘emptying the attic’. These a very popular among the locals and are a great place to spend some time browsing, listening, and soaking up the atmosphere. As the saying goes – one man’s junk is another man’s treasure – and you just might find a small treasure to take home as a souvenir.