Dramatic scenery, good food, and great wine are staples of any
cruise along the Dordogne and Garonne. Trickling into life on the
slopes of Puy de Sancy, the highest mountain in central France, the
Dordogne makes its leisurely way through deep-hewn valleys and
sleepy towns in gastronomic Périgord. Much of its route has been
designated a biosphere reserve by UNESCO, thanks to its unique and
ancient characteristics - people have been living along its banks
for thousands of years, and it is one of the few freshwater
waterways in the world where you can experience a tidal bore.
A confluence of the Dordogne is the Garonne River, which wends
its way through the wine-rich lands surrounding Bordeaux, past the
ageless landscapes of the Gironde Estuary and out into the Atlantic
Ocean. Wine really is a big deal here, and this corner of southwest
France is renowned as one of the world's top producing areas.
Typical grapes that thrive in its temperate, Mediterranean climate
include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec.