Dordogne with kids: 15 family activities!
A vacation to the Dordogne with kids is fun! Every year many Dutch families visit this area in the south of France during the summer months. There is plenty to do in the Dordogne for families with kids, making for fun trips in this French region. In this blog, we list the best activities to do in Dordogne with kids!
Table of contents
Dordogne with kids #1: castles
You can visit several castles in the Dordogne with kids. The Dordogne was an area of conflict between France and England in the Middle Ages (100 Years War) and subsequently more than a thousand castles were created in this area. Of course, you can still visit several of these castles with kids. We list below the nicest and most famous castles.
#1 Chateau de Biron: This castle is located in the south of the Dordogne and the castle is on a hill. It is fun to walk up and see the castle up close. You can also visit the castle inside, but there’s not super much to see there. In fact, most rooms in the castle are empty. If you would like to see the inside of the castle, you can get a leaflet with Dutch information about the castle. By the way, at the top of the castle you do have a very nice view of the surrounding area. In addition, it is also nice to visit the village located near the castle.
#2 Chateau Castelnaud: This is one of the most beautiful castles to visit in the Dordogne with kids. You can see this castle inside as well, and there is much more to see here for families with kids. They still have a lot of weaponry from past times here that you can check out and keep in mind that you cannot visit this castle with the baby carriage. Kids pay about half the adult entrance fee.
Also from this castle you have a nice view of the village. The castle also has interactive computer games related to the castle. It is advisable, however, to visit the castle as early as possible, as it can get quite crowded during the day.
#3 Chateau de Beynac: This castle is also located on a hill and you can walk to it from the village, or drive to it by car. If you are visiting the castle with small kids then you’d better choose the car option, as it is quite a tough climb up the hill. It is possible to visit the castle inside and with Dutch audio you will get a good idea of the castle in former times. Of course, even at this castle you have a beautiful view of the surrounding area. The village located near the castle is also nice to visit.
Dordogne with kids: animal parks
You can also go to several animal parks in the Dordogne with kids. We list the best ones below!
#4 Aquarium Perigord Noir: You can take kids to the largest freshwater aquarium in Europe in Dordogne. You have 70 basins at this aquarium containing over 6,000 animals to view. You will find not only lots of colorful fish, but also reptiles such as the crocodile and snake. You can also have your picture taken with the snake when it is around your neck. Kids can also feed the fish here. Count on spending an hour (or two) in here.
#5 Reserve Zoologique de Calviac: This is a small animal park located on a hill. Because of this, you have to do some walking. You can get into the cage at different animals, so you can walk between them. It’s best to give your kids good shoes when visiting this animal park, though. The various monkeys are the biggest attraction of this animal park. The zoo has no restaurant and the only thing you can buy is ice cream. So keep this in mind. In total, you can have an hour (or two) of fun with your kids at this park.
#6 Reptiland: this park is all about reptiles and you have many different species of lizards, snakes, turtles, frogs and spiders here. You will also find alligators here. It’s not a very big park, but it can definitely be an option if the weather is a little less in the Dordogne and you still want to do something with the family!
#7 Parc de Thot: This is a large petting zoo with some other animals like wolves and bison as well. The entrance fee for this park is on the high side for what you get for it. Also, the information about the animals is only in French. If you have little time in the Dordogne with kids, you can skip this park just fine.
Dordogne with kids: parks for kids
You can also go to several parks in the Dordogne with kids that are geared toward kids. We list the best parks below!
#8 Monkey’s Forest: If your kids love climbing, then this climbing park could be a cool option during your vacation. Monkey’s Forest is accessible to kids as young as two years old. For them, there are some play elements and some small climbing equipment that is low to the ground. You can purchase climbing packages for four different age groups. The older your kids are, the higher they get to climb and the more courses they get to climb. You can park your car for free at the climbing park.
#9 Jacquou Parc: This park is a combination of an amusement park and a water park. The park has about 20 attractions aimed mainly at young kids. You have to think about a Ferris wheel, a roller coaster, a carousel, a small swing ship and more such attractions.
Then, in the middle of the park is a large water area with several slides. These are also more suitable for older kids with, for example, a ramp that you go down with a tire. Of course, you also have some catering establishments here where they mainly sell fast food like fries and a snack. You can have a great time here with young kids for a whole day.
Dordogne with kids: nice villages
You can also visit several nice villages in the Dordogne with kids. We list some of them below!
#10 Domme: This is an ancient city with a walled fortress. What is nice about the town is that it is so well preserved and at times you feel like you are back in the Middle Ages. To visit the city you go through a large gate with two towers, and you can also climb these towers. In the city’s main square, you can also visit the medieval market hall. Visit these types of villages early in the morning or at the end of the day when temperatures are a bit cooler in the summer months.
#11 Belves: this is a beautiful medieval walled city with seven towers that sits on a hill. It is one of the most beautiful villages in France and it is fun to walk through the village. In the center is the old market hall built in the 15th century. Underneath the city are still cave dwellings that were once inhabited and are now accessible to tourists. You can book a guided tour here.
#12 Beynac-Et-Cazenac: we already discussed above the castle of this village that you can visit, but the village itself is also worth visiting with the family. This village is located on the water and in the center of the village you can still find old stone houses. Again, it looks like you are walking through some kind of open-air museum, yet people are still just living in the houses here. This village is also a twenty-minute drive from Domme and just over half an hour from Belves, so you can easily visit the three different villages in a day by car.
Dordogne with kids: other activities
You can still do some fun activities in the Dordogne with kids. We briefly list the best activities below!
#13 Quercyland: you can do several things around here with kids. For example, there is a swimming pool with several slides, but it is also possible to explore the area by canoe. There are also several air cushions for the kids in the summer months and there is a labyrinth, where you can get lost with your kids.
#14 Cave visits: you can visit several caves in the Dordogne with kids. In many of these caves you can still find prehistoric drawings that you can view. The most famous caves are those of Lascaux near the village of Montignac. You have more than 600 murals to view here. You also have an excellent museum near here, which is also fun to visit with kids.
#15 Velorail Perigord Vert: a fun activity you can do with kids is cycling on train rails in the Dordogne. You sit on a special bike and ride a route along the railroad tracks out and later back. The outward journey requires mostly pedaling, but because you have pedal assistance it is not hard to pedal. On the way back, you go mostly downhill and hardly have to pedal to get back by bike. At the halfway point it is possible to rest and have a drink. You spend just over two hours in this activity.
Where to stay in the Dordogne with kids?
You can stay in the Dordogne with kids just fine. There are plenty of accommodations where they rent rooms for families with kids. We have listed the best rated accommodations in the different price ranges in this French region. Click on the blue link for more information about the respective hotel.
Budget hotel: Abbys Hotel
Mid-range hotel: Europ’Hotel Bergerac
Luxury hotel: Hostellerie Les Griffons