Places of Interest
Chalais - approximately 10kms, 10/15 minutes
Chateau Tallyrand The Chateau dates back to the 13th century & was the ancestral seat of the famous Tallyrand family for over 200 years. The tour of the Chateau (in English & French) includes the main house & private gardens,the cloisters & a Romanesque church. An interesting insight into some local history. Afterwards you could always dine at the excellent Tallyrand restaurant - but don't forget to book well in advance.
Opening Hours - Daily visits April to September (except Tuesdays) 10am to 12pm and 1.30pm to 5.30pm
Aubeterre sur Dronne - approximately 20kms, 15/20 minutes
The picturesque hill top village of Aubeterre is considered to be one of the prettiest in France with wonderful views across the valley. The remarkable monolithic church carved out of the rocks by monks in the 11th century is well worth a visit. Also lots of small artisans shops displaying different crafts. Tables are set beneath leafy shade in the village square (4 different cafes/restaurants) where you can have a drink or a meal.
Opening Hours - All the shops are open daily (closed lunch times & Sunday) In the high season they remain open Sunday mornings when there is a small market in the square. The monolithic church is also open daily (closed lunch times)
Libourne - approximately 30kms, 30/35 minutes
Libourne was founded by Henry III in the 13th century but was actually named after Roger De Leybourne, an English noble from Kent, who was put in charge of the town some years later as a reward for helping Edward I in battle. It was the perfect position for a fortified town, on the banks of the Dordogne river and was an important trading centre for the Pomerol, St Emilion and Entrede Mars wine regions. It had a busy port exporting wine to England and Holland and many of the wine warehouses can still be seen today. Nowadays the port has closed down as the vineyards prefer to send wine by road, but the town centre still hosts a bustling market three days a week and all the popular high street shops.
Jonzac - approximately 30kms, 35/40 minutes
This picturesque town with its old castle & Eiffel-style covered market is a lovely place to wander around & has lots of good shops, cafes & restaurants. Apart from the tropical water park, there is also a lake outside the new thermal spa (part of a health resort). An ideal place for shopping & eating out or swimming and fishing or just relaxing.
Opening Hours - Shops open daily except Monday & Sunday
St Emilion - approximately 35kms, 34/45 minutes
The old city of St Emilion is set high upon a hilltop. This historic ancient town with its narrow cobbled streets & profusion of wine shops &"caves" is a great place to wander around on any day. There is an artisans square with shops selling a wide range of crafts & finer wares. Having a coffee or lunch in the market square beneath the canopied shade is a bliss - menus are good value but this is the one place where the wine can be expensive, because of its renowned heritage. Plenty of different chateaux nearby where you can go wine tasting. St Emilion is a popular tourist attraction and well worth a visit.
Opening Hours - Shops & restaurants open daily during the summer months.
Cognac - approximately 35 kms 45/50 minutes
Cognac is on the Charente river. The old town with its cobbled streets leading down to the river are full of history. The pedestrianised shopping area is a great place to discover the delights of the chocolaterie, coffee house, clothes & perfume shops. Many lovely cafes & restaurants. Tours around the great Cognac houses (in English & French) - Martell, Remy Martin & Hennesy with the option to "taste" the cognac afterwards. River cruises on board a reproduction barge or river boat are a peaceful way to enjoy the sights along the river (usually morning & afternoon trips). Also beautifully kept public gardens & a nearby water park along the river. Guided tours in most of the Cognac houses & trips on the Charente river from May to September.
Angouleme - approximately 50kms, 1 hour
The old town has lots of quaint shops & lovely restaurants & cafes. Wandering around the ramparts of the old walled city & looking across the city wonderful scenery is a great way to spend a couple of hours before lunch. There are alsoplenty of different shops to explore. This large town has more lively night life than our local towns with of bars & clubs if you want to dance the night away.
Opening Hours - Shops are open daily ( except Sundays & bank holidays)
Bergerac - approximately 50kms, 1 hour
This is a lovely old town famous for wine, boats & tobacco. On arriving in Bergerac you must go to the old quarter and park in the riverside car park, wander up through the quaint alleys & old squares with many fine stone and half timbered buildings. There are numerous excellent restaurants to choose from and don't forget to sample the famous red Pecharmant wine and the sweet wine of the Chateau Montbazillac. Take the D13 road from Bergerac to the Chateau. The impressive Chateau was built in 1550 and is open to the public with guided tours and you can sample the Pecharmant wine.
Opening Hours - Vary for shops and Chateau.
Bordeaux City- approximately 60kms, 1 hour
Bordeaux is made up of "arrondissements" like Paris, but people tend to talk about the city in terms of quarters(quartiers). Each quarter has a name and encompasses a relatively precise area, often flanked by two main streets.
Saint Pierre is the oldest quarter and is often considered the most beautiful of all. It is right in the heart of Bordeaux and is made up of beautiful little streets some of which are still paved. It is the culinary centre with a large amount of restaurants to suit every taste and pocket. The Place du Parlement is home to some wonderful architecture and a decorative fountain. Also in the area is the eglise Saint Pierre, built in XVth and XVIth centuries on the site of the former Gallo-Roman port.
Meriadeck is a large shopping centre with some of the bigger chain stores and the tram can take you straight there. The main shopping street in Bordeaux (St Catherines) is pedestrianised and will take you all day to walk through. One of the nicest ways to get to Bordeaux is to drive to Lomont where you catch a tram that takes you into Bordeaux across the Pont St Pierre which will give you some superb views of the architeture . The price for the tram is under 3 Euros for a car full and that includes your parking for the day and your tram ride!
Opening Hours - Many shops stay open during the lunch time and there are a wide range of restaurants to choose from.
Le Bugue sur Vezere - approximately 70kms, 90 minutes
Le Village du Bournat
One of the most visited places in the Dordogne, this village by the Vezere river jumps back to a hundred years ago. The old craftsmanship, farming and breeding methods are still alive
Opening Hours - Open all year round
Royan & St Georges de Didonne - approximately 90kms, 90 minutes
Superb wide sandy beaches stretch for miles along this part of the Atlantic coast. Royan is the main resort - both are great places for swimmers & water sports enthusiasts. Excellent seafood in local restaurants.
Looking to the south and over the estuary from Royan's seafront, you will see a big beach which stretches out and ends at the foot of a high limestone cliff. Without realising it, this is your first sight of St Georges Du Didone. By following the beach from Royan you will arrive at the St-Georges-de-Didone beach of Vallieres which is in fact an extension of the Royan beach. Royan also has a very good zoo with an excellent sea-lion spectacle.
Opening Hours - Public access all year round
Talmont - approximately 60kms, 90 minutes
Quaint fishing village, historic church and hollyhocks abound everywhere in this village of low houses and small alleys. Wherever you walk you cannot escape the tall, bright flowers. Everything is painted white, a little bit like a Greek village.
Fifteen kilometres south of Royan, Talmont-sur-Gironde is famous for its Romanesque church which overlooks the Gironde river. The hollyhocks stand proud all year and you are almost certain to fall in love with them and you are able to buy their seeds for your own garden,
Opening Hours - Shops & restaurants open daily during the summer months.