Issigeac & Area
Gageolle itself is surrounded by beautiful countryside walks – we even have our own footpath to the village of Issigeac!
Pays des Bastides
www.pays-des-bastides.com www.perigorddecouverte.com Within a half hour drive of Gageolle are some of the most beautiful unspoilt sites and villages in France. With a history closely linked to that of England the Bastide towns of Monpazier, Beaumont, Eymet, and Villereal give a unique insight into a time when, for 300 years, parts of France and England came under the same rule. The chateaux of Monbazillac, Lanquais and Biron, Abbeys of St. Avit Senieur and Cadouin and of course the ancient town of Bergerac itself are all wonderful places to visit.
www.issigeac.fr In the southern Dordogne the medieval village of Issigeac is only 4 minutes drive away and is very popular with visitors with its winding streets with overhanging half timbered buildings. The village is uniquely arranged on a spiral pattern the shops and houses encircling the central church and chateau. There are fascinating examples of medieval architecture and sculpture at every turn. Although a small village, Issigeac is at the centre of a large rural community and so you need not travel beyond the village for all your holiday needs. There are 2 small supermarkets, 2 pharmacies, 3 boulangeries, 2 butchers, a tabac, 3 fine restaurants, a pizza restaurant, 3 bars, health centre, garage, post office and a bank with cashpoint. The community is especially diverse and cosmopolitan – newspapers and magazines are available in the village in French, English, Dutch and German. The village is quiet and undisturbed except for Sunday mornings when it comes alive with one of the best street markets in the Dordogne. Issigeac plays host to many special events and festivals throughout the year.
www.bergerac-tourisme.com The ancient land of the Perigord was renamed by Napoleon along the lines of many French ‘departments’ after the main river which flows through it. The river Dordogne offers plenty of distractions whether a gentle stroll along its banks at Lalinde or Bergerac, an historic boat trip to see the 5 grand chateaux perched high above its banks between Baynac and Domme or something more energetic – water skiing, canoeing etc at Tremolat.
The local area is world renowned for its wine. As you drive from Bergerac airport to Gageolle you will pass through the Monbazillac vineyards producing many of the areas finest wines. We have AOC Bergerac wine growers all around us who welcome visitors for a tasting (degustation) selling by the bottle or, more usually, bag-in-box (from 5 to 20 litres). A good quality local wine should cost no more than 3.50 euros a litre. Guided tours with explanations of the wine making process (in English) can be easily arranged locally. For the more serious ‘wineaholics’ a day’s pilgrimage would read like a ‘who’s who’ of wine taking in Duras, St. Emilion, Cotes de Bordeaux, Medoc (Chateaux Mouton and Lafite Rothschild) Sauternes and Barsac!
An hour in the car and you will find an incredible range of things to see and places to visit. The National Museum of Prehistory at Les Eyzies could be the start of an unforgettable day exploring the regions prehistoric sites ending with a visit to the World Heritage site of Lascaux. Following the river to the east the ‘chateaux run’ (Baynac, Milandes, Castelnaud etc.) takes you to Sarlat La Caneda a beautifully preserved old town. There are gardens and parks, caves and grottos, museums and galleries and, of course, gastronomic delights around every corner.
Bordeaux is a beautiful city under 2 hours drive away. It is usually possible to drive straight into the centre and park without too much trouble. Failing that there is an excellent Park and Ride service.
The Atlantic coast is under 3 hours drive with miles and miles of beautiful beaches and dunes all fringed by shady pine forests – well worth a day out.
There are two Michelin Green Guides which cover the area – Atlantic Coast and Dordogne, Berry, Limousin. www.ViaMichelin.com