Gite in France

Local attractions - Villars, Brantôme, Thiviers, Bourdeilles, St Jean de Côle and Périgueux the capital of the Dordogne, South West France


Villars: boasts its own prehistoric caves ‘Grottes de Villars’ and has the largest underground network of caves in the Perigord with cave paintings and spectacular stalactite and stalagmites. There is also the fairytale ‘Château de Puyguilhem’ within a stones throw from the house which was built during the First Renaissance and is a fine example of a François 1st château, and is on a par with the many wonderful châteaux which can be found in the Loire Valley.

Brantôme: known as the Venice of the Perigord is only 12 Km away and is one of the most popular attractions in the area. It is surrounded on all sides by the River Dronne and is very popular for canoeing and provides a great deal of enjoyment for onlookers who can be seen cheering canoeists, as they try to steer their canoes over the waterfall and navigate through the chute taking them to the river at a lower level. Brantôme boasts a fine reputation for super restaurants both for the gourmand and those looking for the less expensive meal. The medieval abbey topped by an ornate 11th century belfy overshadows the village and its unlikely abbot, appointed at the age of 15, was the poet Pierre de Bourdeille (1540 – 1614), whose lovers were rumored to have included Mary Queen of Scots.

Bourdeilles: with its famous medieval castle over looking the River Dronne is approx 20 kms away and is an historic village not to be missed.

St-Jean-de-Côle: with its medieval humpbacked bridge is only 8km away and has been voted ‘the village with the most beautiful tiled roofs in France’ and also ‘one of the most beautiful villages in France’.

Périgueux: is 35 kms away and is the busy regional capital of the Périgord and is noted amongst other things for its gastronomy. There are two notable parts of the town, one medieval around the Cathedral St. Font and the other is the Gallo-Roman Quarter of Vesuna (or now known as Vésone), with its very modern and interesting museum.

There are more castles, romanesques churches and abbeys and pre-historic caves in the Dordogne than would be possible to visit in just one holiday. Madame Goursolle who speaks very good English would be happy to help plan your visits for you.

Further away, approx a 90 mins drive is the Vezere Valley, listed World Heritage by UNESCO, which offers numerous cliffs with natural cavities in which people lived thousands of years ago.

The Cave of Lascaux near Montignac should not be missed because it contains one of the most outstanding displays of prehistoric art ever found.

Les Eyzies where the “Cro-magnon” our ancestor was found has the national musuem of prehistory.



Sport: Canoeing on the River Dronne, tennis, horse riding and cycling can all be arranged locally.

Farm Visits can be arranged with tasting of local produce. 

From June to September there are many cultural events arranged. These take the form of music concerts in the Romanesque Churches. There is an international festival of ‘mime’ (Mimos), which is held annually in Périgueux at the beginning of August.



The weekly markets are a must in the Dordogne, with all the local produce, cheeses, breads, home grown vegetables, local sausages and hams and even sea food when in season. Herewith a list of a few:

Brantôme: Tuesday and Friday mornings

Périgueux: Wednesday and Saturday mornings

Thiviers & Nontron: Tuesday and Saturday mornings

St.Pardoux-la-Rivière: Sunday morning

During the summer there are several night markets arranged more in line with the English Fairs.



Restaurants in the Dordogne are numerous and for every occasion and a few are listed below in categories. (1) inexpensive (2) middle of the road (3) gastronomic (3*) highly recommended

Villars: le Trincou (1)

St.Pardoux-le-Rivièrè: l’hotel de France (2) Pizzeria (1)

Agonac: La maison Saint-Martin (3*)

Périgueux: le Bienbon (1) le Clos St Front (2) Pizzeria les Coupoles (2) Le Fou du Roy (3)

Champagnac de Belair: le Moulin du Roc – two michelin stars (3*)

Brantôme: les Frères Charbonnel(3*)

Sorges: Auberge de la Truffe (3)



Boulangerie – in front of the church – they also stock a selection of groceries

Vival Supermarket – in Villars

The nearest Butchers and Pharmacie are 4km away in Champagnac de Belair

There are larger supermarkets further afield and plenty of other shops within a 15km radius of Villars – in Nontron, Thiviers and Brantôme

There is a Doctor in the centre of Villars and the nearest hospital is in Périgueux