Ref: DL174, Dordogne, Aquitaine, France, £2530 to £4500 pw
This is an elegant and classically-styled Dordogne country mansion, over 300 years old but completely comfortable and modern. With lovely views over the rolling countryside of the Périgord Vert, northeast of Périgueux, Domaine de l'Auvézère offers spacious bedrooms sleeping up to twelve, and is set in one of France's most enjoyable holiday areas, with a rich variety of sporting activities, interesting sites to visit, and of course the especially rich local cuisine.
Living room, sitting room, sitting room/games room, dining room, kitchen, 1 double bedroom with en suite bathroom with wc and en suite bathroom with separate shower and wc, 1 double bedroom with en suite bathroom and wc, 1 double bedroom with en suite bathroom with separate shower and wc, 1 twin bedroom with en suite bathroom with wc, 2 twin bedrooms, 1 bathroom with wc
Washing machine, dishwasher, dryer, cot, highchair on request, no telephone, good mobile reception, WiFi, satellite and cable TV, DVD player, CD player, heating (100€ per week), open fireplace (small charge for wood), electric fans, charcoal barbecue, table tennis, table football, 2 adult bikes available
Bed linen, bathroom towels and pool towels are provided, as well as a weekly change for bookings of more than one week. Cleaning for 3 hours once mid-week is included. Additional cleaning is available (minimum 4 hours) at a cost of 20 € per hour. Cooking services are available on request, at a cost of 20 € per hour + cost of food. Services are payable locally.
Prices quoted are subject to change.
There are wonderful uninterrupted views of undulating countryside from the house, especially from the spacious paved terrace to the rear, with fine quality outdoor furniture and parasols for al fresco relaxing and dining. The salt water pool can be heated to 28°C (charge of 200 € per week) and is set in a paved border on a lower level, with sun loungers and parasols, and is enclosed by a fence for security. There is a picturesque old (secured) well adjacent to the pool, and more seating areas under shady trees, including an additional dining table. There is plenty of parking available on the large gravel terrace to the front of the house. The terrace wall outside the living area is quite low with an unprotected drop-off, so care must be taken with children.
The very spacious interior is tastefully and comfortably furnished with a nice mixture of mostly period furniture and some antiques, and retains an elegant charm. There is a large living area, and a separate sitting room with TV. The dining room is furnished in a more modern style, and the large kitchen has a dining table for eight.
On the first floor is is the huge master bedroom with a king-size four-poster bed and two en suite bathrooms, one with bath and the other with bath and a separate shower, both with wc. A second bedroom has a queen-size four-poster bed with an en suite bathroom with wc, and a further twin bedroom on this floor has an en suite bathroom with wc. Most of the bathrooms feature elegant old-style freestanding bathtubs.
On the second floor under the original roof beams are two twin bedrooms sharing a bathroom with wc, and one queen-size double bedroom with a large en suite bathroom with wc and a separate shower and a sunken bathtub.
9 hole Domaine d'Essendiéras 14km
18 hole Domaine de Saltgourde 43km
Domaine de l'Auvézère is set in the lovely rolling countryside of the Périgord Vert, 36km northeast of the beautiful regional capital of Périgueux. The Dordogne region, in the heart of the southwest, has been fought over for centuries by the English and the French – some would say they’re still at it – and no wonder. It is an area rich in all the delights France has to offer. Beautiful dramatic scenery greets you at every turn: castles perched high over the Dordogne River valley, the spectacular Gouffre de Padirac caves, tranquil rivers winding their way through limestone cliffs. Our earliest artists descended 17 thousand years ago into the caves near Lascaux, on the Vézère River, to paint in breathtaking colour the animals they hunted; you can visit a replica cave, as well as many other prehistoric sites in the area. The fortified “bastide” towns of Monpazier, Eymet, Villefranche, and others are remarkably well-preserved witnesses to turbulent times. The mighty donjon of Bourdeilles castle looms imposingly, while Brantôme (the “Venice of France”) wears a more serene aspect, the beautiful Benedictine abbey gazing contemplatively down onto the river Dronne.
Tourtoirac (3.5km): bakery and a few shops
Hautefort (17km): larger selection of shop
Tourtoirac (3.5km): Tuesday night market (in the summer)
Hautefort (17km): Wednesday mornings
Brantome (46km): Tuesday and Friday
Le Bugue (58km): Tuesday
Tourtoirac (3.5km): Le Bistro Passage - delicious food and set in the village square. Le Relais D'An - produce, good local fare with lovely setting next to the river.
St Agnan (7km): Les Voyageurs - in the centre of the village - good for lunch and has a wide selection of local cuisine. Excellent for children with delicious pizza.
Excideuil (8km): Hostellerie de Fin Chapon - food excellent. Domaine D'essendieras - there are 2 restaurants here - a casual snack bar in the golf club house with simple food and a restaurant in the main part of the hotel with excellent food.
Hautefort (17km): La Table d'Erillac - excellent restaurant - call in advance as it gets booked. Le Petits Plaisir - new restaurant.
Many good restaurants in Périgueux
These restaurants have been recommended by our owners and this list is updated by us as often as possible. Their ownership and quality may have changed since the list was last updated.
La Roque-Gageac - Part of the Dordogne’s spell is its drop dead gorgeous villages, as this waterfront huddle on the Dordogne testifies. There is no better way to experience this magnificent site than a boat or kayaking trip down the river to be taken back in time!
Beynac - The village of Beynac is set along the northern bank of the Dordogne River. Its white and honey coloured streets wind up the (steep) hill to the extensive grounds of the chateau of Beynac. From there one can see magnificent views of the Dordogne River, often full of canoes, and the Château de Castelnaud, which lies across the river.
Périgueux - This is a beautifully small and provincial old Roman town. The open air markets on a Wednesday and Saturday are superb. Trestle tables are crammed with fruit, vegetables and local fare. Shops do still shut by noon when the long traditional lunch beckons. The town is the sight of amazing ancient architecture and the pearly white domes of Périgueux’s byzantine cathedral evocative of St Mark’s basilica in Venice. In the summer the Périgueux office of tourism offers guided tours of Medieval and Renaissance or Roman Périgueux. However, it is also easy to see much of the astounding remains in a self-guided walking tour. (Maps are available in the office of tourism.) While great for a dive into history the town also has a contemporary vibe with lots of boutiques and shops to choose from.
Château Hautefort - This magical château with the beautiful topiary gardens was used as the film location for "Ever After". This 12th century fortress which has been destroyed and rebuilt numerous times is now restored to its full glory. Perched high, as the name suggests, towering possessively over the pretty town with stunning views over the countryside, a visit to this château is highly recommended.
Castelnaud - The Château Castelnaud is nestled high above the Dordogne River opposite the château Beynac, once its prime rival. The Château is now the location of the museum of medieval warfare, with an extensive collection of medieval arms and armour. As well as models explaining the different methods of attack and defence once used by the habitants. An excellent museum and the sights are spectacular too.
La Roque St Christophe - A visit to the ancient village on the cliff of La Roque St Christophe is a must. The preserved cavities were once refuge to a Neanderthal civilization who settled there as early as 55000B and housed inhabitants through medieval ages. Replicas created to emulate authenticity will transport you back to the origins of this society.
Brantôme - A small town surrounded by the River Dordogne, is linked to the outside by five bridges giving its reputation as the Venice of the Dordogne. It is impossible not to be moved by the romance of boating beneath the stone arches of its bridge or wandering its cobbled streets. The town is host to excellent restaurants and a lovely Friday market. A fun place for children, too, with canoe hire. Don't forget to visit St Jean de Côle (another one of the beautiful villages of France) en route there or coming back!
Domme - Another village deserving of its reputation as “one of the most beautiful villages in France”. Domme is a perfect example of a bastide town built in the 13th century. It retains a substantial amount of its original protective walls encasing the village. The main square often attracts a lively crowd and is the entrance to the Grottes de Domme; the historic caves used as protection during the 100 year's war. Strolling down the streets adjacent to the square is an excellent way to experience the rich history of the village.
Montignac - This charming riverside town is nestled deep in the heart of the Vézôre Valley in the Périgord Noir. Take a leisurely stroll down the main road, Rue de la Pègerie lined with 14th century architecture or join the bustling market (Wednesday and Saturday) for a bite to eat and shopping. A day can also be spent kayaking and riding quad bikes which are available for rent in the town centre. If your stay includes the 14/07 or 15/08 be sure to catch the firework shows!
Sorges - A 30 minute drive north of Périgueux is the Dordogne’s self-proclaimed truffle capital. Its museum unravels the mysteries behind the black Périgord truffle. In the shop you can buy pear and truffle jam as well as chutney, mustard, honey and ice cream. It is fun to end with a walk along the Sentier des Truffieres, a 1.8 mile truffle rich trail winding through vineyards.
Sarlat - An hour's drive from the house you can find the famous town of Sarlat. This is a beautiful town filled with cobbled streets and fantastic architecture. However beware during the summer months because it becomes incredibly crowded.
La Grotte de Tourtoirac - A “fascinating and beautiful surprise” these immense caves just recently opened. Well lit and wheelchair/stroller friendly, families can freely venture deep into the mountain side. The one hour tour is full of some of earth’s most spectacular formations. Every Tuesday in summer is a night market selling local delicacies, foie gras, truffles, and magret.
Lascaux caves - On the outskirts of the lovely town of Montignac, the Lascaux caves are truly a historic artefact. At many points one can see ancient Paleolithic paintings, an estimated 17,300 years old.
Grottes de Rouffignac - “The cave of the hundred mammoths” is one of the more extensive cave systems discovered, with more than 8 kilometres of underground passageways. Visitors can travel about a mile into the cave where one can view the fascinating artistic representations left behind. The cave is located 10km north of Les Eyzies.
Grotte de Domme - The Domme caves are the biggest caves in the Périgord Noir area, with their entrance in the heart of Domme, the main square. The adventure through the cave concludes with a lift that takes you to a panoramic viewpoint overlooking the Dordogne Valley.
There are festivals in Périgueux throughout the summer.
L’Espace du Sixième Sens in Périgueux, whose owner, Mr Delpey, has created an association, the ‘Club des Ambassadeurs de la truffe’ to share his passion for traditional and innovative truffle recipes which can be tasted on site or dishes can be taken away. He is also a member of the Périgueux paté club with its interest in foie gras and its history.
Neighbouring the villa is the noted foie gras producteur Mr Phillipe Trimouillas, whose products are sold far and wide, but particularly in Belgium.
The area is famous for its foie gras, duck, and truffles.
The Bergerac Appellation produces some excellent red and white wines and wines are also available from the Bordeaux, Duras and Cahors wine growing areas.
Golf & Tennis (14km): Domaine D’Essendieras - Golf is one of the many activities offered at the Domaine D’Essendieras. This magnificent property accommodates an excellent 9 hole golf course and driving range. There is a 18 hole golf course at Domaine de Saltgourde (43km).
Bicycles: 2 adult bikes available at the villa. Local bike hire company can deliver bikes to the house.
Horseback riding (1.5km): Angie's Ranch - Just outside Tourtoirac, Angie’s Ranch is an exceptional horse riding centre. Home to 26 horses and ponies it is accommodating for a small child’s pony ride or group outings in the wild.
Canoeing (70km): Many villages offer kayaking along the banks of the Dordogne. However the most spectacular we have experienced is from La Roque Gageac. The company to call is Canoes Roquegeoffres. Closer to home the town of Cherveix-Cubas, just east of Tourtoirac, has exceptional kayaking along the banks of L’Auvézère.
Cycling: What better way to discover the beauty of the La Vallée de L’Auvézère than by bike? Many villages offer biking but bike rentals are available for independent exploration.
Velorailing: The bicycle-rail is on a disused railway line in the Thiviers region, starting from nearby Corgnac. It is great fun and exercise for all the family.
Ballooning: Hot air ballooning can be a great way to get an aerial view of Dordogne. There is spectacular ballooning over the Hautefort Château.
Zip wiring: L'Appel de la Forêt adventure trail. A quick drive from Périgeux, about 30 km, L’Appel de la Foret offers more than 30 zip lines. This is a good activity to combine with the velorailing as they are in the same direction.
Water sports (28km): Lac de Rouffiac. This water-based adventure playground is great for children. It offers a large lake with boats, canoes, pedal boats, walking and cycling trails and about 200 meters of real sand. Part of the lake is cut off by an artificial barrier to separate an area for "teleski"- a drag lift going around the lake towing water-skiers!
Theme parks of different types are within a short drive, including an aqua park, a dinosaur theme park, and a treetop adventure park.
Thank you to our dear friends for generously donating one week of time towards our kid's school auction. It was a perfect vacation spot to marvel at the French countryside and the glorious cuisine of this region. We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly and the kids too were keen to try many local activities including kayaking and the cave exploration. Still the pool remained the favourite! I have many sweet memories of these six nights with very close friends who made it here with us, including pan seared fois gras and some amazing local produce.
We had a perfect week here exploring the area and making the most of this beautiful house and its pool and terraces. A perfect week with perfect weather.
We have had a wonderful time in this grand house and countryside. One week or two weeks - too short.
What an incredible time we have had during these two weeks. With so many activities so close by we could have kept ourselves busy every day for a month, and yet this lovely home offered the perfect amount of seclusion for hikes, horseback riding in the woods and long leisurely days by the pool. We cooked fantastic meals fresh from the markets and ate at great restaurants. It was a perfect venue for our family of all ages - 8 to nearly 80. Everyone had a wonderful time sharing your beautiful home!
We have had a truly wonderful time here. We will never tire of the peace and tranquility and the stunning views. A very special place - thank you for sharing it with us. We look forward to seeing the topiory hedge next time William!!
Please note that the comments given above were taken from letters and holiday questionnaires from our clients over the years. We cannot acccept responsibility for any misleading information but the comments are given by us in good faith.
We have not always been able to obtain written comments from clients so the number of comments does not necessarily reflect the quality or the popularity of the villa.
A very elegant, typically Dordogne country manor, nicely furnished and very comfortable. The area is full of attractions; plenty to do and see, and of course there's the marvellous cuisine.