Dordogne and Lot Valley

23rd July 2016
A few years ago I came across a campsite in the Lot Valley, France called "Camping Ruisseau du Treil". I read a number of reviews on the site and they stated that on the site there were at least a dozen different types of orchid. I was interested.

So, this year we planned our holiday for the end of April beginning of May, hopefully the best weeks for orchids. We decided to travel down via the Dordogne, and arrive at "Camping Ruisseau du Treil" when it opened in early May.

We have a campervan which gives us added freedom when travelling in France as we can stay in Aires. Aires are conveniently placed in towns and villages and can be free or at least cheaper than campsites. This is an advantage.

We started to see orchids as soon as we got down to the Dordogne. There were lots of them along the roadside. It was quite a sight and one we don't see in the UK.

Domme provided us with the first display of orchids. We were staying in the Aire at Domme, just a short walk from the old walled town. An evening walk through a woodland turned into orchid heaven. The woodland cleared and revealed a wonderful limestone bank each side of the path. It contained a Monkey Orchid, Fly Orchids, Bee Orchids, Burnt Tip Orchids, Helleborines, a Pyramidal Orchid and Lady Orchids. What a great start.

Lady Orchid

We continued to see orchids along the roadsides as we continued south to the Lot Valley. The Lot Valley is a wonderful area and well worth a stop. We stayed at a campsite near Saint Cirq Lapopie and discovered orchids on site, all was looking good for Camping Ruisseau du Treil.

We arrived at Camping Ruisseau du Treil on the day they opened and we were one of two paying campers, soon to be the only paying campers. Orchids were all over the site, mostly Lady Orchids. There were a few in the grass just yards from where we were camping.

We found a walk that left from outside the site and climbed up and around the valley. As we climbed we spotted an orchid we had seen once before, near Saint Cirq Lapopie but we didn't know what it was. When we got back to the site we asked about the unknown orchid and we were told it was a Man Orchid, a first for us.

Man Orchid

Man Orchid

We continued to see lots more orchids all over the Lot Valley and the only one we didn't see, as we were slightly too early, was the Lizard Orchid. So, we will have to go back!

No idea what orchid this is, but it nakes a nice image.

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