When you’re thinking of places to go on holiday with your toddler, the Dordogne probably isn’t top of the list. There’s no beach or Disneyland on your doorstep, but Lonely Planet recently named it one of the year’s best destinations in Europe and it has plenty of other things to offer for your little ones and for you!
It’s not far away
Depending on where you’re travelling from, you can reach the Dordogne on a short flight to Bergerac, Bordeaux, Brive and Limoges, or make the 7-hour drive across the channel. On my recent trip we took a 1.5 hour flight on Ryanair from Manchester to Bergerac – easy peasy when travelling with a toddler!
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My first and lasting impression of the Dordogne is that it’s vibrantly green and picturesque. The river is lined with trees and there are châteaux and villages perched on cliffs offering breathtaking views. Explore beautiful medieval towns by meandering through the streets with an ice-cream or crêpe in hand. With older kids you can take in the views from a canoe on the river, or with little ones, you can take a boat trip tour.
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The Dordogne is steeped in history with lots of caves and castles to explore including the Lascaux Caves with examples of prehistoric paintings and the Prehisto Dino Parc, which gives a flavour of Neanderthal and Cromagnon life – with the added bonus for toddlers of being able to get a glimpse at some dinosaurs!
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There’s lots to do
We relaxed in the evening and explored in the daytime, but still didn’t visit all of the attractions the region has to offer for kids. A couple of must-visit places with your toddlers are:
Parc Le Bournat – Set up as a reconstructed 1900 village, your toddler will love having a go on the traditional fairground rides as well as meeting the farm animals.
Jacquou Parc – this is a mini theme park and aqua zone combined and just up the road from our St. Avit Loisirs campsite. To go on most of the rides, children must be 90cm+ so do check your child’s height before you visit.
Aquarium Du Perigord Noir – A mix of indoor and outdoor, this aquarium has lots of fish, reptile and alligators to see and for older kids there’s a mini golf course of maze of mirrors you can make part of your visit.
Les Jardins de Marqueyssac – These hilltop gardens provide fantastic views and it’s a good opportunity for your toddler to enjoy a roam around as well as burning some energy in the playground and climbing up the treehouse.
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Toddler-friendly place to stay
Our campsite in Le Bugue, St. Avit Loisirs is right in the heart of the action and as a Mini Paradise Parc is perfect for toddlers. You’ll get all the free toddler extras you’ll need for a home-from-home stay, our Mini Fun Station kids’ clubs, Learn to Ride and Learn to Swim. The parc facilities are fantastic for toddlers with open space, a large playground, pools and a spectacular spray ground.
If you’ve got any questions about holidaying in the Dordogne, please ask in the comments section below or take a look at our 6 reasons to visit the Dordogne.