The Dordogne department covers almost the identical area as the former province called the Périgord (still the term that most of its long-time inhabitants prefer to use!). It is habitually divided into four Périgord colours, descriptive of each terrain’s predominant characteristics.
The White Périgord, is the country round the main town of Périgueux and the valley of the River Isle, in the centre of the department - a land of limestone plateaux and large stretches of rolling grassland, crossed by the River Auzère as well as the Isle.
To the north, the Green Périgord, embraces the Nontron region and the valley of the River Dronne, together with the Périgord-Limousin Nature Reserve - a veritable treasure of greenery, criss-crossed by a multitude of streams.
Moving downstream towards the mouth of the River Dordogne, you enter the Purple Périgord an apt colour for the Bergerac region and its thriving vineyards, which form the second largest wine-growing area in S.W. France. The region also has some of the best surviving bastides, formerly fortified villages created in the Middle Ages.
Centred on the medieval town of Sarlat, the Black Périgord is the focal point for the world-famed cave paintings and other prehistoric marvels discovered in the Vézère and Dordogne valleys. The scenery here is exceptionally beautiful.