Thich Nhat Hanh's Plum Village is now Europe's largest Buddhist monastery with more than 200 monks and nuns in residence. It's been on my travel experiences wish list for decades, and with Thay's passing on Friday, it's moved up some spots on my list. If you'd like to really really zen out, you can visit Plum Village on a retreat. Or, just take in the gorgeous surrounding Dordogne region, filled with charming hamlets, winding rivers, medieval castles, one of the largest prehistoric caves in Europe, plus fascinating villages like Roque Saint Christophe (pictured above) - built into the cliffside! One of my favorite travel partners in France is Chocolatine, whose tour of Dordogne highlights this delightful region which is under two hours from Bordeaux. Their tour description is below, but we can always customize any touring to match your pace and interests!
Below excerpt of tour info with Chocolatine can be found HERE.
Discover the Vézère Valley, well-known to be the birthplace of humankind, and go for a guided tour of the most famous prehistoric cave in the world: Lascaux II. It is a replica of the cave of Lascaux, discovered in 1940. The colors of the walls are absolutely gorgeous, deep red, rich ochre and black being the dominant tints. The pictures are beautifully painted and show a sense of perspective and movement.
Stop in Saint Léon sur Vézère, enlisted as one of the most beautiful village of France and admire the Roman church. You can enjoy a walking tour around the village and enjoy some free time for lunch in the village near the river.
Continue to the Roque Saint Christophe. It’s the unique example of a cave village and its development. Many dwellings were built in the time-hewn grottoes of this kilometer long limestone cliff on the banks of the River Vézère in the middle Ages.
Guided tour of Rouffignac. The cave is one of the largest prehistoric caves in Europe. The remarkable construction of this system extends for almost 10 kilometers and offers huge corridors whose walls bristle with countless strangely shaped often red-colored flint nodules and ceilings punctuated with wide natural domes. In 1956, 260 prehistoric drawings and engravings dating from 13,000 to 14,000 years ago were discovered. This bestiary where 160 mammoths hold pride of place also contains bison, horses, ibex and woolly rhinoceros. The guided tour on an electric train takes you through places where bears dug their lairs and shows you part of the cave with its wall paintings.
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