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   Email andrew@calvertgites.co.uk.....Andrew & Karen Calvert....Tel (from U.K.) 0033 553 740191....France 0553 74 01 91....
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The area

Around Tremolat

Whatever your interests, the Dordogne will suit you. The scenery is magical, and just driving around the country lanes through the forest and over the hills and along the rivers is pure pleasure. There are numerous "plus beaux villages de France," including Beynac. La Roque-Gageac, St-Leon-sur-Vezere, Domme, and Belves.

The markets are some of the finest in France, with many designated as "marches de France." The town of Sarlat, the market hub of the region, has been restored to its 17th-18th-century magnificence with such perfection that it is lit at night by gas lamps and is the set for myriad French movies.

The Dordogne is rich in layer upon layer of history, too. There are more than 150 prehistoric sites along the Vezere River alone. The best known prehistoric site is, of course, Lascaux II, which though a reproduction will still amaze you. Others include Font-de-Gaume and Combarelles in Les Eyzies (chromatic paintings); Rouffignac and Bara-Bahau (engravings); and numerous smaller sites with sculpture, dwellings, shelters, and other prehistoric goodies. The Village Troglodytique de la Madeleine and the nearby Roque St-Christophe are sites where man has lived in successive periods of history for as many as 50,000 years or more. In Belves too there are some fascinating troglodyte caves under the market square which were inhabited until relatively recently.

If prehistory doesn't interestyou , perhaps the history of the Hundred Years War will. The cliffs overhanging the rivers are lined with impressive castles dating from the 10th to 12th centuries. At Castelnaud you can see a catapult exhibition and watch a video that will teach you how to sack a castle. The Chateau de Beynac has been carefully restored in the past ten years and now houses a nice collection of medieval furniture. The castles on the north side of the river were French; those on the south, English. Renaissance and later castles litter the hillsides, too. You can visit Josephine Baker's 19th-century chateau, Les Milandes, where she gathered her brood of adopted children.

Canoeing and kayaking on the rivers are popular sports, and there are plenty of rental companies. One of the nicest ways to spend a day in the area is to pack a picnic, rent a couple of canoes, and glide down the Dordogne admiring the castles looming above you, then stop for a picnic on the riverbank. There are plenty of places to rent bicycles, go horseback riding play tennis or golf, too. Tremolat also offers water ski on the Dordogne river.

Of course, one of the big draws of the region is food. The Perigord has been called the gastronomic capital of France with good reason. Here, foie gras and truffles are everyday fare, and every town has shops filled to overflowing with these local treasures. Other local specialties are confit of duck and goose, stuffed goose neck (it's good!), walnut cakes, chocolate-dusted walnuts, and walnut wine and liqueur. Local wines include Monbazillac, Bergerac, and Pecharmant.

Restaurants abound, and it's hard to find a bad meal in the Perigord. With very few exceptions, the "cuisine du terroir" reigns supreme here, and meals are hearty. Tremolat itself boasts the fabulous Vieux Logis which has a Michelin star and its Bistrot d'en Face (translates as the bistrot opposite) as well as a friendly pizzeria and bar. There are 2 Ferme Auberge (working farms who sell their own produce in a restaurant) close by. Both incredibly good value for money and very authentic.



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Email andrew@calvertgites.co.uk
Phone 00 33 (0) 553 74 01 91
Portable 00 33 (0)601310747