You will be ideally placed for access to all the beautiful sites in the Dordogne
and Charente. There are chateaux to visit, prehistoric caves to explore or pretty
market towns to meander around. Not to be missed is market day in Riberac on Friday
or you could go to Villebois Lavalette for their modest market on a Saturday morning
under an incredible old oak structure, where you can join in with the locals eating
oysters with beer, it also has a beautiful chateaux up on the hill.
Within easy reach (biking distance) is Brantome, a delightful riverside town with
prehistoric caves, a magnificent Benedictine abbey & canoeing along the river, whilst
Aubeterre, a beautiful hillside village with its Monolithic church (not to be missed),
arty shops & river beach lies SW into the Charente. The cities of Angouleme & Perigueaux
are both within an hours’ drive, offering an abundance of both sightseeing & shopping
opportunities. Further afield take a day out to explore Cognac(70km), Bergerac (75km),
the vineyards of St Emilion(80km), or visit the city of Bordeaux(120km)
Shopping / Facilities
We like to encourage our “yurties” to shop locally. There are many local producers
within easy cycling distance. Fruit, vegetables and eggs are available from Chez
Devalon, and depending on availability, lamb and pork from our freezer. We have
local dairy farmers for milk, fantastic ice-cream and occasionally beef. A goat
farmer for milk, cheese and occasionally meat - they make excellent sausages. Our
local mayor is a trout farmer and you can go and choose a fish right out of one of
his many vast tanks, and an excellent, award winning duck and goose farmer is nearby
in the village of La Chapelle Gresignac. There is also local wine (red white and
an excellent sparkling white wine) and pineau (a fortified drink a bit like sherry
but nicer!!) available from a producer just outside the nearby village of Champagne.
The local small town of Verteillac has a boulangerie, butchers and large convenience
store (known as the Harrods of the Dordogne) along with a newsagents, post office,
tourist office, bank, doctor and pharmacy, as well as bars and restaurants. Just
15kms away is Riberac, renowned for its busy Friday market, or in the other direction,
Villebois Lavalette, both have good supermarkets & other town amenities.
To help you get the most out of the area we have put together a comprehensive guide
with leaflets & lists of local events (eg. village festivals, night markets & brocantes).
Activities Around and About
For the more energetic there are plenty of outdoor activities. Try canoeing along
the river from Brantome, the little Venice of the Dordogne, to Bordeilles with its
fortified chateaux, or explore the quiet but well signed lanes by bike or on foot.
Several river beaches are within easy reach – you could cycle to Lake Jemaye situated
within a nature reserve, where there’s a beach with a couple of bars & restaurants
overlooking the waterfront and lovely wooded walks.
There are two nearby outdoor swimming pools / lidos, one in Verteillac our nearest
small town and one in the middle of nowhere with a large park and bar/café – it’s
perfect for a picnic and swim and has diving boards so you can perfect you high-diving!
Tennis courts are scattered around in many of the villages, and there is also river
and lake fishing locally as well as horse-riding and a good 9-hole golf course about
10 miles away.
For walkers and cyclists we can provide you with local maps and routes – we have
bikes and a tandem that you can hire out. The area really is exceptional for both
road cycling and mountain biking and there is very little traffic on the roads.
Eating and Drinking
The Perigord region is renowned for its quality food and wines and there are numerous
good yet affordable restaurants locally. Typically a four or five course lunch costs
between around 12 euros, often with wine included. Dinner is usually more expensive
but still good value for money and there is a lot of choice both locally and further
a field. For the serious wine lover, Bergerac is just over an hours’ drive away or
you could take a day trip to St Emilion (1hr45mins) or Bordeaux (2hrs). Cognac is
another interesting day out where you can take a tour around one of several brandy
houses and then take a wander around the shops or along the river.