Number 1 La Malartrie is a lovely traditional stone house perched above the Dordogne on the edge of La Roque Gageac. It has unsurpassed, uninterrupted views of the river, La Roque Gageac and the valley beyond. It has a spacious well equipped kitchen and 3 bedrooms each with their own bathrooms. The lounge/dining room opens onto a spectacular terrace with stunning views along the river to the famous village of La Roque Gageac and across the walnut groves in the valley to the bastide town of Domme on the skyline.
La Malartrie is a really superb location for a holiday in the Dordogne. Within strolling distance of La Roque Gageac - designated 'one of the prettiest villages in France', it is set in the heart of the most celebrated part of South West France. No fewer than five castles are within a mile or two of the house and the famous medieval town of Sarlat is only 5 miles away. With the beautiful bastide town of Domme three miles away, Castlenaud just over one and Beynac around two, you won't find a more central location to enjoy the best of the Dordogne's 'golden triangle' . In the village itself you'll find a boulangerie, gift, wine and icecream shops and several lovely restaurants and cafes to enjoy. With the river only a short stroll away there is no shortage of places to swim. Canoeing is available just a few hundred yards from the house and guests can step out the door onto a network of beautiful walks. Countless lovely cycle routes are accessible from the house and bike hire can easily be arranged.
The Dordogne is simply a glorious place to be - a paradise of beautiful tree-clad landscapes studded with medieval castles, ancient churches, bastide towns, and amazing caves. Pretty Perigordine houses abound, with their steep roofs and pigoniers. La Malartrie is on the edge of the famous village of La Roque Gageac - one of the most photographed places in France and designated by the French Government as one of the prettiest villages in France. From the house's position perched above the river there are breathtaking views of the village clinging to the cliffs and across the valley to the bastide town of Domme. If you're visiting the Dordogne it doesn't get any better than this stunning stretch of the river between Domme and Beynac. No fewer than five castles - four of which are open to the public - are within a mile or two of the house. Castelnaud (1mile) has a fascinating museum of medieval warfare and Marqueyssac has beautiful topiary gardens to visit. Chateau des Milandes was famous as Josephine Bakers residence in the 1930s. The medieval bastide town of Domme which is well worth a visit lies about 3 miles away. Here among the cobbled streets are lots more charming shops and restaurants. The Dordogne is also a place of walnut groves and potagers where local people harness the rich soil and warm climate to grow produce for the wonderful local markets. We were delighted early in our time here to buy melons fresh from the field from a man with a trailer and earthy hands! Everyone has a walnut tree or ten and the nuts are taken to the local walnut mill to be pressed for oil.
People have lived here for 40 000 years and evidence of the past is everywhere. From prehistoric dwellings, castles of the Hundred Years War to the medieval and Renaissance buildings of Sarlat, historical sites abound. The beautifully preserved town of Sarlat, 5 miles away, boasts the highest density of listed medieval buildings in Europe. The Dordogne is also famous for its prehistoric sites. The entire Vezere Valley is a Unesco World Heritage site, the home of the National Museum of Prehistory, Lascaux and countless other fascinating prehistoric sites.
The area is renowned of course for its food and there is no shortage of restaurants and auberges happy to let you sample the local cuisine, rich in duck, truffles, ceps and walnuts.
A fascinating cave - 'The Grotte de Domme' can be visited from its entrance in the village square in Domme. The route descends inside the caves past amazing calcium formations and ends in a spectacular trip back up in a glass-sided lift. From the viewpoint in Domme you can look back across the valley to your holiday house in La Roque Gageac. Sarlat with its cobbled streets, medieval buildings and festivals is only 6 miles away. A walk here in the evening when the buildings are all lit up and the gas lights are on is very special.
When you can tear yourself away from the view from the terrace there are any number of wonderful walks to enjoy. An extensive network of marked footpaths through the trees and along the rivers makes finding your way easy. Or you could just stick to wandering from boulangerie to restaurant via the charming cobbled streets of La Roque Gageac. Canoeing is very popular and a lovely way to see the countryside and castles from another angle. Just walk along to the canoe base, paddle down the river and then a minibus brings you back from your chosen stopping point. Take a picnic and stop off at a wee beach for lunch by the river before you finish. It's also a real delight to swim in the Dordogne which is only 50 metres from the house, or its beautiful tributary - the Ceou - with its crystal clear spring-fed waters. (a mile away) You can take a boat trip from the village too on the flat bottomed gabarres which used to transport produce up and down the river. There are tennis courts and horse riding at Beynac 2 miles away. Bikes can be hired at Castelnaud and delivered to the house - another wonderful way to enjoy the beautiful Dordogne countryside. Several recently completed cycle paths make this safe and easy.
There can surely be few better locations than La Malartrie from which to enjoy the glories of the Dordogne. To wake up to the river shining below and the view unfolding across the walnut groves in the valley is a joy. Perhaps you'll wander along to the boulangerie for the croissants. I can imagine happily spending a day reading on the terrace here watching the occasional kingfisher dive or canoeist paddle by. And in the evening what better vantage point could there be from which to watch the lights come on in La Roque Gageac over a glass of wine while debating which of the restaurants was the best.