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The close green valleys of Périgord Vert are very rural, with plenty of space and few people, large tracts of wood and uncultivated land. Less well known than the Périgord Noir, its largely granite landscape bears a closer resemblance to the neighbouring Limousin than to the rest of the Périgord. It’s partly for this reason that in 1998 the most northerly tip, together with the southwestern part of the Haute-Vienne, was designated as the Parc Naturel Régional Périgord-Limousin in an attempt to promote “green” tourism in this economically fragile and depopulated area.

It’s undoubtedly in the countryside that the region’s finest monuments lie. One of the loveliest stretches is the valley of the Dronne, from Aubeterre on the Charente border through Brantôme to the marvellous Renaissance château of Puyguilhem and the picture-postcard village of St-Jean-de-Côle, and on to the Limousin border, where the scenery becomes higher and less intimate.

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