It's definitely a big part of the region's charm that so many places feel as though they haven't changed in decades. I loved this old tabac in the sleepy village of Bourdeilles, which reminded me of holidaying in this neck of the woods as a child.
One of my favourite things about this part of France is the abundance of great markets, which are always stuffed full of gorgeous local fruit and veg. The one in Cahors (Wed & Sat) is particularly good, though you need to get there early to see it at its best.
The Dordogne is full of pretty bastide (fortified) towns in striking hilltop positions, and Domme is one of the prettiest, with bright bunting decorating its streets, and fabulous, far-reaching views over the surrounding countryside.
Jardins de Marqueyssac
These astounding gardens were the absolute highlight of my trip. Situated on a wooded promontory above a wide meander of the Dordogne, at times it felt like stepping into a Tim Burton-esque fantasy, at others like I was in the heart of an ancient forest.
Even the countless tour groups can't detract from the fairytale-like beauty of Rocamadour, perched above the River Alzou in one of the region's most spectacular settings.
Road to Limeuil
My favourite time of day is just before dusk, when the sunlight casts an almost magical glow upon the countryside. The roads in the Dordogne are blissfully quiet, and it was hard to resist stopping from time to time to soak up the views - and the silence.
Grab a copy of the Rough Guide to France