The village of Carlux, dominated by the ruins of its 13th century chateau sits at the heart of all of these sites. Within a 30 minute drive you will find the vast majority of the principle sites of the Dordogne
and the Lot.
Whatever your interest you should be able to find it here: History, natural scenery, nature, walking, water sports, gastronomy, markets, rural life........
One of the finest examples of a medieval town in France. The centre of the town is picturesque and all the buildings are beautifully preserved. Market days -Wednesday and Saturday- are well worth a visit and an evening visit is a must as all the old town is lit up. During the period between mid July and early August there is a theatre festival and throughout the summer you are able to watch the street performers and listen to the musicians who perform in the streets of the old town
One of the great chateaux of the Dordogne, dating from the 13th century and playing pivotal roles during the Hundred Years War. Castelnaud has an impressive museum of warfare, and both Castlenaud and Beynac have spectacular views of the Dordogne river (and each other!)
The waterside village with it's cliff hugging chateau is one of the most picturesque in the area. Across the Dordogne river from Castlenaud it's a photographers dream.
One of the most visited sites in France and a must see. Stunning architecture, the village clings to the hillside. Kings of France have been crowned here and it is one of the key pilgrimage points on the route to Santiago de Compostela. A total of 7 churches are located on the religious level. There is also a wild bird sanctuary Rocher des Aigles)and children love the monkey forest (Forêt de Singes)
The biggest geological cave in the region, the Padirac chasm is over 100m deep and 32m wide. You descend through it into the cave complex by way of a boat journey on an underground river. The biggest cave (the Grand Dôme) is a staggering 91m high.
In the Vézère valley, you will have the opportunity to visit a replica of some of the most important prehistoric cave paintings ever discovered. The Lascaux cave is outstanding and the paintings are breathtaking. See bison, mammoths and cave dwellers dating back 10,000 years.
Domme The city in the sky perched on the cliff tops overlooking the Dordogne valley, the medieval bastide of Domme is one of the treasures of the Dordogne. The views down the valley are stunning and you will feel very much part of history as you walk around the streets. Market day is on Thursday.
One of the most incredible attractions in the region, a UNESCO World Heritage site, La Roque St Christophe is a 1km long cliff, 80m high with 5 enormous galleries. Since troglodyte days, it has been a place of safe refuge. You get to see how the city was arranged and there are working replicas of the lifts which were needs to bring supplies up the cliff face.
Les Eyzies, known as the Capital of European prehistory (National museum of prehistory, Grotte du Grand Roc, Abri de Cro-Magnon ). Font de Gaume located at the entrance of the village has one of the finest collections of prehistoric paintings still open to the public. Admission is limited to only 200 per day so you need to plan ahead.
The Dordogne river flowing through the Lot and the Perigord Noir must be among one of the most picturesque river valleys in Europe. With countless medieval villages, breath taking scenery and cliff top chateaux.
Travelling upstream you get to see the beautiful villages of Creysse, Carennac with it fortified abbey, Loubressac, a cliff top village with panoramic views of the Chateaux at Castelnau and Beaulieu a market town where the river widens.
The site manager can arrange canoe trips for you on the Dordogne, our partners are based at Cenac and offer half day and full day outings taking in the two most beautiful stretches of the river. Carsac to Cenac and Cenac to Beynac. Suitable for all ages (over 4) it is a unique experience watching history pass you by as you float gently downstream. Once you have reached your destination a bus service brings you back to your car.
If you fancy swinging through the tree tops then there are two aerial parks located about 10 minutes from the Gites. The biggest, the Forêt d’Ecureuils has 120m slides and some of the tyroliennes are reputedly 40m high. The complex is divided into different zones, from young children through to adults. Since it opened it has been a very popular attraction for families staying at the Gites.
There is a very popular equestrian centre at Vitrac (about 15 minutes drive away). They have a full range of facilities for all ages and abilities.
The GR6 runs through the centre of Carlux so you can use this national footpath to walk to Sarlat or Souillac. There are also a series of local circuits suitable for all abilities. We have detailed maps available.
The former railway line between Sarlat and Souillac has been restored and tarmaced and now provides an excellent cycle and walking track. It runs for around 22km, often by the river and is ideal for families as it is free of cars and is relatively flat. GOLF Souilllac Country Club welcomes non members to it's 18 hole course. There is also a 9 hole course at Vitrac nestled below the Chateau de Montfort.
The markets shouldn't be missed and the biggest is the Saturday and Wednesday market in Sarlat, the Friday market in Souillac is also worth a visit. Go early to get the best selection and to avoid the crowds. There is a local producers market in Carlux on a Wednesday morning in July and August and a small market in the local village of St Julien de Lampon on Thursday mornings.
Our local village offers a full range of shops, butchers, bakers, mini-supermarket and the halle paysanne. In July and August there is a weekly farmers market and there is a weekly market throughout the year in the village of St Julien de Lampon. There is a post office in the village and a pharmacy and bank in St Julien. Sarlat and Souillac are both 15km away with a full range of exciting shops and a choice of 5 major supermarkets and 4 discount outlets.
FOOD AND WINE
The Dordogne is a region where food is a corner stone of life. This region is famous for its ducks and geese: in all the towns and villages you will see countless shops selling Foie Gras, pâtés and rillettes. It is also one of the principle places where “black diamonds”, otherwise known as truffles are found. Walnuts feature heavily in the regional cuisine, from oil for salads, gateaux, liquors and chocolates. The charentine melons and strawberries can be found in all the markets during the summer months. The famous goat’s cheeses (cabecous, crottins) can be enjoyed on a traditional cheese board or warmed and served with a salad as a starter. The wines of the region are of excellent quality, the Cahors region producing a very distinctive full bodied red wine and the Bergerac region producing full range of white, rose and red wines including the very famous sweet wines of Monbazillac or try the local Pecharmant for a true taste of the region.