Places to visit

Here’s our selection of great places to visit nearby and by the sea.

nearby

Villebois-Lavalette

Our local market town, which is where you’ll handily find a doctor, dentist, bank, cash machine and a large modern supermarket, all just 5 minutes away by car.

The 10th century feudal Château dominates the region from its hilltop. The Château is open to the public 10am to 6pm (with the obligatory French 2 hour lunch break!). From the top of the ramparts you will find magnificent views over both the Dordogne and Charente valleys.

A market is held every Saturday morning where you can enjoy a dish of fresh oysters with a bottle of Picpoul de Pinet under the ancient covered market square. Situated in the square, the local restaurant La Lavalette is a firm favourite with our guests, a lovely opportunity to dine under the impressive covered market square (halles).

Bourdeilles

The earliest origins of the Chateau de Bourdeilles date back as far as the 12th century and the chateau is currently listed as a Historic Monument and a Major Site of Aquitaine, tracing eight centuries of history.  It dominates the Dronne River from a rocky outcrop. Located just 10mins away from Brantome, it can be easily combined for a cracking day out.

Aubeterre

Aubeterre-sur-Dronne

High on a hilltop, Aubeterre is an absolute gem. Officially one of the “Les Plus Beaux Villages” (most beautiful villages) of France. The village has many artist’s studios, along with potters and glass blowers. The lively village square is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a bottle of a local wine in one of the many bars and restaurants.

The fascinating monolithic (subterranean) church of St. Jean carved out of the cliff is a must see, you can wander around when you need to cool down from the French sun! With a 20m high underground nave and necropolis containing over 100 sarcophagi.

There is a weekly market held every Sunday morning and the village has several excellent restaurants in its vibrant square.

Angouleme

Standing on a rock high above the river Charente, Angouleme is an ancient city and capital of the district. The vibrant old quarter of the city centre has many shops, restaurants, bars and cafes.

Angouleme is known as the “Cartoon Capital” of France and is world renowned for its annual international comic strip festival and the national museum devoted to the art of the comic strip and caricature.

Around the city there are many buildings with specially commissioned murals. You can visit the Angouleme tourist office and pick up a guided walking-tour of the best.

Take a visit to the Cathedral of St. Pierre, the Octagonal early 12th cathedral has a richly carved facade depicting 75 figures, making it one of the most impressive in western France.The best way to discover Angouleme is to also walk the ramparts around the old part of the town, the views over the Charente plain are simply stunning.

Every year in mid-September Angouleme hosts one of the most important events for vintage car enthusiasts in Europe. The highlights being the Circuit des Remparts, a classic car race around the city walls. The festival lasts for 3 days and also includes rallies around the region and a concours d’ elegance.

Brantôme

Known as “the Venice of the Perigord”, this charming medieval town is built on an island on the river Dronne. Quite rightly, a tourist honeypot in the summer months, especially on market day (Friday morning) where there is a wealth of local produce on display. It’s always good entertainment to sit at one of the many cafes or bars and watch the canoeists paddling about – especially when they are attempting to get over the weirs!

A great place to visit for adults and kids alike.

Saint Émilion

St. Emilion is a beautiful medieval town built on the slopes of a limestone plateau overlooking the Dordogne Valley. With steep hilly cobbled streets running through ancient limestone buildings. The 13th century walls and winding ramparts remain, enclosing densely rowed caves (wine merchants) that offer a taste of the valley’s finest wines.

The town and surrounding vineyards are a UNESCO world heritage site and the towns name is derived from the hermit Emilion who lived there in the 8th century. Emilion carved out a cave for himself in the limestone and a monastery followed.

The 12th Century belfry rises above a rocky spur encrusted with catacombs, a hermitage, a chapel and an underground church. An absolute Mecca for any wine fan, the home of the most ancient and famous French red wine, the birthplace of the wine making industry.

The seaside

What’s a holiday without a trip to the sea! Here’s our favourite seaside treats…

Royan

Royan has over 2km of fine, pale, pampered sandy beaches (known as “conches”) backed by forests of maritime pine and oak. Grande Conche is a paradise for bathers, Conche Foncillon is a little beach near the marina and Conche de Pontaillac is at the western tip of the town and is quieter and more select.

Arcachon/Dune de pilat

The Bassin d’Arcachon is famous for its beaches and its dune, the Heart of the Bassin d’Arcachon benefits from a real diversity of landscapes. Located at the crossroads of the Leyre delta, the Landes de Gascogne forest and the Bassin d’Arcachon, its geographical location offers a wild and preserved universe. We can also highly recommend a visit to the Dune de Pilat (Europes largest sand dune) in the bay of Arcachon.

Lacanau Ocean

For a truly relaxed beach day French style, there are few places to rival Laccanau Ocean.

Bordering the Atlantic Ocean , Lacanau is a seaside resort where a major surfing competition , the Lacanau Pro, takes place every year. 

What are you waiting for? Book your French family adventure with us.