RENTING OUR HOLIDAY GITES AT LA BALADE AU BOIS PUTS YOU IN THE MIDDLE OF ALL THAT THE PERIGORD NOIR HAS TO OFFER
LES CABANES, NABIRAT is so well located with many of the Dordogne’s most famous sites just minutes away. Here are some of our favourites:
Diabolo Fraise - not to be missed! Our local restaurant in Nabirat open just for lunch Monday-Friday. Fantastic! (5mins)Plan d’eau du Roc Percé - man-made lake with bathing, play beach and fishing Grolejac (5 mins)Dordogne River at Grolejac – with its kayaks and its canoes for rent (5 mins)Domme – a high up medieval bastide with spectacular views. Also belongs to ‘Les plus beaux villages de France’ (15 mins)La Roque Gageac- on the Dordogne river, built into the rock face also ‘un des plus beaux villages de France’ (15 mins)Beynac et Cazenac – on the Dordogne river with a fantastic château also ‘un des plus beaux villages de France’ (20mins)Sarlat – the medieval town which is the jewel in the crown of the Perigord Noir (25 mins)Lascaux Caves Version 4 – state of the art facsimile of the caves & exhibition (55 mins)Jardins de Marqueyssac- Beautiful gardens- but much, much more- great for kids- beginners rock climbing- lots of activities - Fantastic candlelit evening with music and entertainment every Thursday during the season- not to be missed- Vezac (20 mins)Chateau des Milandes-Fabulous chateau to visit, Parisian inspired gardens, fantastic costumes, falconry and endangered bird species- let the kids feed the birds! - Castelnaud (15 mins)Cenac Perigord Loisirs- A great way to see the Dordogne and its spectacular, surrounding countryside- Cenac St Julien (15mins)
TRIPS WITH CHILDREN
Château de Castelnaud. (15 mins) The Château de Castelnaud was held predominantly by the English during the 100 years war and was in direct conflict with the occupants of Château de Beynac on the opposite side of the valley. The chateau has been beautifully restored and contains a large collection of medieval weaponry. During the summer, the Château de Castelnaud has costumed re-enactments. Visit both châteaux and the stunningly beautiful and recently renovated village of Beynac-et-Cazenac for a very full day out. Followed by a walk by the Dordogne river in nearby Roque Gageac- also recently renovated.
Stay local and have a swim in the Plan D’eau du Roc Percé in Grolejac (5 mins) or visit the Insectorama museum at the same place.
Canoes & Kayaks can be hired also in Grolejac near the bridge or Cenac St Julien (5-15 mins)
Horse riding. Horse riding is available at L’Etrier de Vitrac near Sarlat or Le Centre Equestre de Sarlat (both 25mins away) or Centre Equestre de Gourdon (15 mins)
La Foret des Ecureuils- great activities: tree climbing, paintball and Via Ferrata (rock climbing trails for non-climbers). Fantastic day out just outside Sarlat (25 mins)
Visit Le Bugue (50 mins) for the water park, Aux Etangs du Bos (swimming pools and lake with lots of slides and inflatable pontoons etc), the Aquarium du Périgord Noir (the largest privately owned aquarium in Europe) and the wonderful, underground 'Crystal Cathedral' of Gouffre de Proumeyssac.
Visit the lovely 19th century living village 'Le Bournat'. This is also in Le Bugue (50 mins) but is a full day on it's own- the children will love all the activities and entertainment.
Forest adventure park at L'Appel de Forêt. This park is much bigger than many we have experienced elsewhere: 10 courses (ranging from relatively easy to hard enough to challenge dad!), 110 stations and 25 zip slides. You can stay on the park as long as you like and there is a picnic area with tables so you can make a day of your visit. The park is at Thenon, which is about 50 minutes from La Balade au Bois.
Visit the prehistoric trail along the Vézère Valley between Montignac (45-50 mins) and Les Eyzies: the cave paintings at Lascaux 4 (pre book tickets - enquire at the Office de Tourisme at Montignac), the prehistoric dwellings at the Roque St Christophe and then Forte Reignac* (the mysterious fortress built into the rock face). If you still have time, then there is always the prehistorc museum at Les Eyzies. All the sites are equally spectacular for grown ups. (*For older kids there is an exhibition of devices of torture at the Forte Reignac!) There is probably enough here to keep the prehistory enthusiasts busy for two or three days.
GREAT VILLAGES AND TOWNS TO VISIT
- Sarlat-la-Canéda - Sarlat is a beautifully preserved medieval town with more listed buildings per square kilometre than anywhere else in Europe. Sarlat's wonderful architecture and medieval style buildings and stone roofs have made a backdrop for a score of many top motion pictures since 1968, which has added to itS fame an its fortune. So, it's no surprise to learn that only Nice and Paris have had more films shot in their locales than Sarlat. Also, every year in November the town actually has its own film festival with comedians, film stars, producers, and film technicians arriving to host an informational get-together for 500 students.In addition, there's a theater festival here mid-July to the end of August.
- Saint Léon-sur-Vézère - Ranked among the most beautiful villages in France, Saint Léon-sur-Vézère is peacefully located in a loop of the Vézère river. Dominated by the Côte de Jor, it has the typical charm and authenticity of the medieval villages of Black Périgord, with their warm golden stone and their maze of narrow streets set alongside the meandering river.
- Saint Amand-de-Coly - designated as one of the 300 most beautiful villages in France. Its 12C abbey is considered as the most beautiful fortified church of Périgord and keeps a watchful eye on the typical houses made of Sarlat's stones and “lauze” tiled roofs in a well-matched contrast of ochre and grey colours.
- Domme - designated as one of the 300 most beautiful villages in France. Unusually among the bastide towns, Domme retains part of its original fortified walls and the gateways into the town. The ramparts are extremely thick and there remain three of the original doors. The Porte des Tours is perhaps the most impressive, with its round towers but the Porte de la Combe and the Porte del Bos are both very pretty and are reached by walking down really lovely streets lined with a mixed array of houses and cottages all in the lovely honey-coloured stone distinctive to this region. The towers of the Porte des Tours were converted into prisons in 1307 when the Knights Templers were arrested by the king, and it is still possible to see the engraved crucifixes they carved whilst they were imprisoned. The prison is open throughout the year. You can walk round the ramparts on the south side of the town between the Port del Bos and the Porte de la Combe. There are some great views across the countryside (and glimpses of some very impressive houses and gardens built just inside the ramparts).
- La Roque-Gageac - La Roque-Gageac is one of France's most beautiful villages. In a stunning position on the north bank of the Dordogne River, and backed by a steep hill / cliffs, with little to suggest that much has changed there in the last 300 years, La Roque-Gageac is truly the perfect picture postcard village. It is about 8km from the historic town of Sarlat. While in La Rocque Gageac take one of the traditional Gabarre boats for a memorable trip along the Dordogne river.
- Beynac-et-Cazenac - designated as one of the 300 most beautiful villages in France. The village of Beynac is set in the "Grand Site of Aquitaine" area, together with 6 neighboring villages awarded for their peculiar architecture. But Beynac has a character of its own: more defensive that Roque Gageac though more open than Domme, each step rewinds the time machine and offers a glimpse of a true simple medieval village life. Nested between cliff and river, the walk up on tiny paved streets to the Château's doors is steep but truly rewarding.
- Belvès - designated as one of the 300 most beautiful villages in France.
- Monbazillac - producers of the famous sweet dessert wine (free tasting for visitors to the Chateau).
- Monpazier - a gorgeous 'bastide town' and designated as one of the 300 most beautiful villages in France. Monpazier is labelled a "Grand site national", it has no less than 32 listed buildings and is regarded as the prime example of a "bastide" among the 300 in South-western France. Monpazier has had countless awards to salute, but also to protect, the outstanding heritage of this fortified village that was founded by Edward I of England in 1284. The Cèpe mushroom market every afternoon from August to October (depending on growth).
- Limeuil - designated as one of the 300 most beautiful villages in France and overlooked by the wonderful Panoramic Gardens of Limeuil set above the village with one of the most spectacular views in the region: over the conference of the Dordogne and the Vézère rivers.
- Segur-le-Chateau - designated as one of the 300 most beautiful villages in France. Combine with a visit to Saint Robert and the horse stud and chateau in the beautiful town of Arnac-Pompadour
- Turenne - designated as one of the 300 most beautiful villages in France. Combine with Collonges-la Rouge another village with the same designation.
- Carrenac - designated as one of the 300 most beautiful villages in France.
- Rocamadour - stunning village perched on a cliff top and one of the stops on the Santiago de Compostela pilgrim trail.
OTHER FANTASTIC TOURIST SITES
Eyrignac Manor Gardens
Maison Forte de Reignac Tursac
Vesuna Gallo-roman museum
Les Jardins d’eau
Grotte de Rouffignac
Cloitre de Cadouin
St Leon sur Vezere