Lots to do
This little corner of south west France is rich with many different activities for the visitor to the Dordogne. From historic medieval towns and chateaux with spectacular gardens, the limestone caves of prehistoric civilisations, to a wide range of sporting activities such as canoeing, fishing, horse riding, clay pigeon shooting, tennis, cycling.
In 2017 the Tour de France came past our house! It was a fabulous day enjoyed by all who stayed with us but that was only one day, you can cycle in the area surrounding us every day and experience the amazing scenery and beautiful rides.
Cycling is a very popular pastime here in the Aquitaine, for those who like to take their site seeing slowly. There are plenty of routes available without big climbs but which still take you through some beautiful countryside and enable you to visit some of the lovely villages in the area. One of our favourite routes is from here along the road under Roque Saint Christophe to Saint Leon sur Vezere. Stop and have a coffee, lunch or an ice cream then return, either by the same route or along the main road when it's not peak time.
There is a wonderful Voie Verte (converted railway line) which starts on the outskirts of Sarlat la Caneda. The Sarlat/Cazoules Greenway is 35km long but you don't have to do it all! http://www.sarlat-tourisme.com/docs/voie_verte_veloroute.pdf You can hire bikes where it starts which makes it a very user friendly way to enjoy the route. The picture above is part of the route.
We had this comment from one Canadian customer - Jim Miller, World Championship Triathlon competitor and four time IronMan participant: "It’s always a bit of a risk choosing a place to stay from the internet, especially when you sign up for more than one or two days. In this instance we were extremely fortunate in finding Le Manoir des Granges and being able to take advantage of not only the fabulous region you live in but also the amenities provided within the complex itself. Having a place to ride from each morning into the hills was a real treat even for someone like me who has had the opportunity to ride in some of the best locations throughout the world. When you combine that along with all the local sites of prehistoric man, medieval castles and towns, along with the immediate locale of “one of the most beautiful villages in France” ,St Leon Sur Vezere, what can I say…PRETTY COOL SPOT…!"
You can either bring your own bikes or they can be hired from one of the local companies:
For a perfect summers day, take a canoe at nearby Montignac down the Vezere River, slowly paddling downstream with the current you will arrive at the beautiful village of St Leon sur Vézère, which has an ancient church and a fairytale chateau built on the banks of the river itself. After a picnic lunch or perhaps a visit to one of the local restaurants you may continue your journey, with your next stop La Roque Saint-Christophe - actually opposite Les Granges. Your journey can continue down-stream visiting the little towns and villages on the way for as long as you wish. It is a tranquil and pleasant way to spend a day or even half a day.
Alternatively, there are many canoeing opportunities on the river Dordogne
How to keep the children entertained!
Apart from canoeing, walking and cycling what will the children enjoy on holiday in the Dordogne?! It's amazing to see just what is available for the whole family. Our document below has just a few suggestions and we can give you more if you need them but hopefully you'll be spending most of your time in the pool and enjoying the relaxation!
The walking around our area is endless and will suit all levels of physical fitness. There are gentle walks by the river, hill walks, walks with views and walks through the wooded areas in the shade. We have maps and routes available for you to borrow and can recommend a variety of routes to suit your level of walking ability.
For walking groups, no more than 16 people, outside the main July and August season, we can offer the option of breakfast and packed lunches provided by us. We can also organise evening meals at one of the many restaurants in the area.
There are too many chateaux and castles to mention but the first Chateaux in the Dordogne were constructed in the 10th Century.
The Chateau de Castelnaud is a fine example of the familiar, embellished style of chateau and houses a museum of medieval weaponry. Approximately 40 minutes drive this chateau is well worth a visit.
Chateau de Beynac is situated on top of a hill protecting the town of Beynac below. The path to the Chateau is very winding to ward off potential invaders but the view over the surrounding landscape is stunning. Approximately 30 minutes drive from Les Granges.
Closer to Les Granges is the 16th Century Chateau de Losse dominating the Vézère valley and only a 10 mins drive.
There are several lovely gardens in our area that are well worth a visit. There are gardens to suit everyone; from those with lots of colourful plants and garden ‘rooms’, to those with bamboo and grass, and those which are more like parkland with panoramic views of the Dordogne river.
The Centre of the Prehistoric World
The valley of the river Vézère is simply the country of mankind. In this valley the archaeological digs go back to ancient history. In the caves and grotto's you can gaze on drawings dating back to 35,000 years before our times. However it's the paintings of the Magdalenian era that we find the most fascinating. Bison, mammoth, reindeer, horses, wolves, elks, and rhinoceros, the list is long.
There are a few suggestions of places to visit in this document:
Golf in the Dordogne
There are 8 different golf courses available in our area, most are within a one hour drive. The closest is Golf de la Marterie near Le Bugue.
You can find out where you can play Golf with this document: Golf in the Dordogne
Sarlat has one of the best French markets people have ever been to. Extremely popular with both tourists and locals alike. The Saturday market is the biggest (and the busiest) where the Wednesday market is smaller and tends to be mainly local produce.
Montignac has a wonderful street market twice a week and nearby Rouffignac has a splendid Sunday morning market where you will generally see the local farmers exhibiting their freshly picked vegetables. Plump ducklings, fresh Foie Gras, unbelievable selections of cheese local to the Dordogne and don’t forget the walnuts which are very important to the region.
Night markets are a different thing altogether. It is an occasion where you go to eat and drink the local food provided for you by the local producers of the area. A wonderful social occasion with music. Take your own plate, cutlery and glasses, and go early to get a space. The one in Saint Leon sur Vezere is extremely popular and not too far to drive.
Local Food and Local Restaurants
Why not enjoy the superb local cuisine in one of the local hotels or restaurants. The specialities of the area are walnuts and walnut oil, duck and foie gras. If you have never eaten foie gras it is well worth a try, our favourite can be found at Auberge du Pont in St Leon sur Vezere which is only 5 minutes drive from us. If you don't mind driving a little further then Bistrot de la Place in Tremolat is also excellent. Or, you can buy it in the local shops.
Confit de canard and magret de canard are the two main options that you will find on most menu's but aiguillette is a great alternative. It is the piece of meat that you find alongside the backbone of the duck, delicat and tasty.
Our local restaurant, Table du Moustier, is very unusual because it does not feature duck on the menu very often. They prefer to offer a varied menu, which changes most days. There is a meat, fish or vegetarian menu to choose from. They have only been open one year but their reputation has grown so much so that you need to make a reservation in order to ensure you get a table.
Walnut cake and walnut tart's are everywhere. One of our favourite places to buy a walnut tart is in Sarlat la Caneda (30 minutes drive), Patisserie Massoulier on Rue de la Rebublique has the most wonderful walnut tart covered in very healthy, very gooey, caramel!
Les Granges is situated in the region of Aquitaine.
From Fishing in the Arcachon basin to picking peaches on the plains, checking out the cinnamon cake of Bordeaux to the famous Lamb of Pauillac, from the Basque games , to the thermal springs of Dax – there is never a shortage of things to see and do – remember to take some time off to rest!
Golden stone characterizes the wine growing areas in and around Bordeaux and Bergerac where a wealth of different Red, White, and Rose wines are produced at some of the world famous chateaux such as St Emillion, Pomerol, Medoc and Monbazillac.
It is in the Dordogne that the famous and delicious truffle is grown and 'hunted' by dogs and pigs whose trained and sensitive snouts detect the faint odour this 'underground mushroom' gives off.
The Dordogne is a popular place to study Buddhism and our property is just 1km away from the Dhagpo-Kagyu-Ling Buddhist centre. (For more information please click the link on the left). As we are open all year our accommodation is an ideal place to stay when visiting the centre at any time of the year.