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Rural gîte in the Lot near Montcabrier & Puy l'Evêque

Duravel, France
  • Cottage1291 sq. ft.
  • Bedrooms2
  • Sleeps8
  • Bathrooms3
  • Half Baths0
  • Mininum Stay0 - 7 nights

Self-catering holiday rentals for 2 to 6; family and walking holidays

Welcome to Fraysse Haut, situated between Montcabrier & Puy l'Evêque, near Cahors. This is the perfect location for a relaxing holiday in rural south-west France. The accommodation is flexible and perfect for family and group holidays and especially recommended for walkers and nature lovers. This is an independent property, at the end of a long track, with no near neighbours, and set in 6 hectares of meadow and woodland. Only 5 km from the river Lot for canoeing and river activities. Hiking trails from the doorstep.

The principal gîte is a bright comfortable barn conversion, perfect for 2, but will sleep 4. The Tower apartment is alongside, increasing the accommodation to sleep 6 - 8 in summer. (Please read the bedroom notes carefully, the bedrooms are in two separate buildings.) A small studio for two is also available, and may be let seperately. The main gîte has under-floor heating and a wood burning fire for all year holiday rentals. 3* classification with the Lot tourist office.

The buildings surround a courtyard with a barbecue and seating areas in sunshine or shade. The owners, Sheila and Dan, live in the main house & will ensure you make the most of your stay in the Lot. We have 2 horses and 2 chickens, a vegetable garden and fruit trees, but it is not a working farm. We love and protect our bird life so we do not have cats. The swimming pool is a wooden frame 7m x 4m pool with deck terrace, set into the hillside with views over the fields. The pool (open from June to September) is exclusively for the use of our guests in all the gîtes in summer. The gazebo by the pool provides a shady spot for reading and enjoying the view.

Fraysse Haut and the unspoilt countryside around is a haven for wildlife, and the calm and quiet of the surroundings are a tonic for people seeking to escape from stress and take a break from work or city life. Shops, produce markets and restaurants are a short drive away, in Puy l'Evêque and Prayssac. Cahors is our nearest main town, with a fine cathedral, old quarters and the famous Pont Valentré.

The Barn features a large room on two levels, with the living room open to the eaves, with a mezzanine (which would once have been the hay loft) with a large double 160 cm wide bed. The kitchen is situated below the mezzanine and is open plan to the living room (three steps up) and has a large pine dining table which will seat up to 10. The Tower is an annex, with a two storey room; on the first level there is a breakfast kitchenette and a sofa bed 140 cm for 2, and on the second floor are two single beds and a shower room with toilet. The Tower is not suitable for mid-winter lets.

Read our reviews - we have many return bookings and happy visitors.

Walking Holidays and Special Interest Groups: Fraysse Haut is perfect for walking holidays being on the GR652, one of the long distance paths which cross France. A network of other hiking trails and way-marked tracks provide a variety of walks and scenery, some with fine viewpoints from the limestone cliffs overlooking the Lot river valley. Connection with the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostello is at Cahors. Maps and guides are available for your use.

Airports: Toulouse at 150 kilometres is the nearest main international airport.

Bergerac at only 80 kilometres is now served by an increasing number of low cost airlines, including Ryanair, from several UK airports. The new airport at Brive with flights from London City is within easy reach. Limoges, Bordeaux, Carcassonne and Rodez are within 3 hours drive.


Sheila Cosma

Member Since 2005
Response rate:
Response time:
within a few hours
english, french, Romanian
Calendar last updated:
Mar 08, 2018
About Sheila Cosma

We are a couple who moved to France from near London, where we worked and commuted and dreamed of escaping the rat-race. We purchased this old farmstead in a state of ruin, and came to France in July 1997 to start work. It took us 3 months to clear the brambles, weeds and rubbish. The property had been unoccupied for almost 30 years. We wanted to do as much work as possible ourselves. We lived in a caravan for the first 6 months, then as winter approached we moved in to the first renovation project. Work continued over the next few years, and having converted the barns as accommodation for family and friends initially, we started welcoming paying guests, many of whom became friends and like us, fell in love with the area, and some even bought their own properties. However, we came to integrate and enjoy French life, and for that we couldn't have chosen better. Montcabrier is a friendly community and we have wonderful French neighbours who welcomed us and helped us and partied with us over the years. In July 2012 they joined us in celebrating 15 years here with a wonderful meal and party.

Sheila Cosma purchased this Cottage in 1997

Why Sheila Cosma chose Duravel

Location, location, location! Off the beaten track and yet we don't feel isolated; a delightful setting amid our own fields and woods. French speaking owners on hand to help if necessary.

What makes this Cottage unique

The setting. Attractive tracks and walking from the doorstep, in all directions. No main roads. The birdlife, wild orchids; unspoilt countryside around. The wild beauty of the Lot.


    • Internet
    • Swimming pool
    • Heater
    • Fireplace
    • Satellite or Cable
    • Kids Welcome
    • Washer & Dryer
    • Parking
    • TV
    • No Smoking


      • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
      • Bedroom 1
        2 twin/ single
      • Gallery (mezzanine)
        1 queen
      • Tower
        2 twin/ single, 1 sleep sofa /futon
      • The Barn has a bedroom with twin single beds. The double bed is on the first floor gallery (mezzanine). In addition, there are twin single beds in The Tower bedroom, or the sofa bed can be used. Thus 2 to 8 people can be comfortably accommodated. PLEASE NOTE that the apartment in the Tower is adjacent to the main gîte and serves as an annex to increase sleeping capacity to up to 6 or 8 persons. However, the bedroom in the Tower is not accessible from the Barn so is not suitable for children to sleep there unsupervised by an adult.


      • 3 Bathrooms
      • Shower room 1
        toilet, shower, bidet
      • Shower room 2
        toilet, shower
      • Shower room 3
        toilet, shower
      • The Barn has a shower room with shower cubicle, pedestal basin, bidet and toilet on the first floor. There is a second toilet with shower on the ground floor. The Tower bedroom has a compact shower room with toilet and basin.

      Location Type

        • Rural


            • Away From It All
            • Family
            • Sports & Activities
            • Tourist Attractions


                • Guests provide their own meals


                    • Parking
                      Guest parking area outside the courtyard for 2 - 3 cars; large vehicles can park in the field.
                    • Activities Guide
                    • Firewood
                    • Heating
                      Underfloor heating in the Barn; takes the chill off the tiled floor. Operates from October to March. Additional oil heaters available for cold corners if needed.
                    • Internet
                    • Iron & Board
                    • Linens Provided
                      Hollofill pillows, some square french, some UK rectangular. Duvets. All beds made up for arrival. Cotton or polycotton bed linen.
                    • Living Room
                    • Local Activities Guide
                    • Local Maps
                    • Local Restaurant Guide
                    • Fireplace
                      Large enclosed woodburner in the main room of the Barn; heats the upstairs too.
                    • Parking Off Street
                    • Safe
                    • Sofa Bed
                    • Telescope
                    • Toilet Paper
                    • Towels Provided
                      Shower towels are normally provided. Please bring your own pool and outdoor towels. Kitchen towels are provided.
                    • Tumble Dryer
                      Tumble dryer in the Barn.
                    • Washing Machine
                      Front opening washing machine in the Barn. Provide your own powder or liquids.
                    • Wireless Internet
                      Free wi-fi connection to our satellite internet. Not suitable for films and streaming. Fine for emails and Googling. Computer not provided; bring your own laptop.
                    • Wood Stove
                      French style "insert" - wood burner with glazed door. Logs available at no extra charge from October to April.
                    • Free Wifi


                        • Grill
                        • 4 Ring Stove
                        • Cooking Utensils
                        • Dishes & Utensils
                          Aplenty. If there's anything missing, tell us.
                        • Dishwasher
                        • Freezer
                          3* freezer compartment in the fridge.
                        • Coffee Maker
                        • Kitchen
                          Well equipped modern kitchen and appliances.
                        • Microwave
                        • Oven
                        • Refrigerator
                        • Stove
                          4 gas burners.
                        • Toaster


                            • Dining
                              Large pine table, in the kitchen area; seats at least 8. Semi-outside (covered) dining table for 4 - 6 alongside kitchen. Huge outdoor stone table for candlelit barbecues.
                            • Dining Area
                            • comfy seating for 8 people


                                • Books
                                  Large selection of paperbacks for holiday reading. Some in French.
                                • Books for Adults
                                • DVD Player
                                • Games
                                  Jigsaw puzzles, darts, badminton set.
                                • Satellite / Cable
                                • Television
                                • VCR
                                • Video Library
                                  Selection of English and French films.


                                    • Bicycles
                                      2 standard bicycles & 1 off-road; may be borrowed at renter's risk; helmets (not provided) must be worn.
                                    • Boat
                                      Boat trips on the river Lot depart from Puy l'Evêque or Fumel or Cahors.
                                    • Deck / Patio
                                      Deck and gazebo by the pool. near the barbecue in the courtyard is a large stone table in shade for outdoor dining.
                                    • Golf Clubs
                                    • Kayak / Canoe
                                      Several hire bases on the river Lot; the nearest is at Puy l'Evêque.
                                    • Lawn / Garden
                                      Flower and herb beds surround the courtyard.
                                    • Outdoor Grill
                                      Traditional charcoal or wood barbecue for use of guests.
                                    • Porch / Veranda
                                      A covered entrance to the Tower and Barn provides an area for sheltered outdooor dining.
                                    • Small Cooler
                                    • Tennis
                                      Courts may be booked by the hour at Puy l'Evêque or Prayssac. Free court at Montcabrier for use of our guests. Racquets available.


                                        • Long-term Renters Welcome
                                        • wheelchair inaccessible

                                          Pool / Spa

                                            • Communal Pool
                                              The pool and gazebo are for the use of all our guests, but we do not invite our own friends to swim and avoid using it ourselves when our guests are around the pool.
                                            • Outdoor Pool


                                                • museums
                                                • autumn foliage
                                                • churches
                                                • cinemas
                                                • coin laundry
                                                • forests
                                                • caves
                                                • pond
                                                • restaurants
                                                • ruins
                                                • water parks
                                                • winery tours

                                                  Leisure Activities

                                                    • bird watching
                                                    • horseback riding
                                                    • scenic drives
                                                    • sight seeing
                                                    • walking

                                                      Local Services & Businesses

                                                        • ATM/bank
                                                        • groceries
                                                        • medical services

                                                          Sports & Adventure Activities

                                                            • cycling
                                                            • equestrian events
                                                            • fishing
                                                            • fly fishing
                                                            • freshwater fishing
                                                            • hiking
                                                            • spelunking
                                                            • swimming
                                                            • tennis


                                                                • Bed linen is provided. Shower towels are available on request. Please provide your own outdoor pool towels. Services included. Smokers welcome, but no smoking in the buildings. The property is not suitable for small children unless well supervised (steps, changes of level, gravel courtyard). Pets may be accepted by prior arrangement. The Barn & the Tower are accessed by a covered entrance from the courtyard; they are separate buildings. Note that there is a narrow stone stairscase leading to the first floor of the Tower.

                                                                  House Rules

                                                                  Check-in: 5:00 PM

                                                                  Check-out: 10:00 AM

                                                                  Cancellation Policy

                                                                  100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date. You must contact the owner directly to request cancellation.

                                                                  9 Reviews


                                                                  Latest reviews

                                                                  Anne and Clan

                                                                  Anne & ClanPirnie, Kelso, SCOTLAND

                                                                  For three weeks, three generations took over all three Fraysse Haute properties. As a family, we've spent 20+ years "giting" our way round France and this one definately "ticks all the boxes". For a start, the accomodation was even better than described and absolutely everything actually worked! Directions given were easy to follow yet the farmhouse was delightfully "remote" set between forest and fields with loads of space for the grandchildren playing.

                                                                  The area is fantastic for walking and pottering about in the lovely little bastide villages while it is still close enough for the younger members to get to the more "active" centres of the Lot & Dordogne.

                                                                  Sheila & Dan were welcoming, informative and great company but they were never intrusive. In fact, the whole area of Puy L'Eveque has a friendly feel to it and the nearby vineyards are just a delight to explore. Shops, restaurants and markets can be found within 5 miles of the property.

                                                                  We opted to "eat in" most of the time because we loved getting the whole tribe around the tables in the courtyard and talking/eating/drinking until long after the stars came out. When in France....

                                                                  A thouroughly enjoyable holiday, a lovely property and we'll all - very definately - be back.

                                                                  An idyllic rural retreat

                                                                  Chris P.

                                                                  We loved Fraysse Haut so much we stayed for three months! If you’re looking for a get-away-from-it-all retreat in rural France, you really can’t do better than Dan and Sheila’s delightful renovated barn. The accommodation is extremely comfortable and well equipped, from kitchen pots and pans to wi-fi, washing machine and English and French television channels. For chilly nights, there is a terrific log burner with a plentiful supply of wood.

                                                                  Fraysse Haut is located in idyllic surroundings at the end of a track and in the middle of a beautiful wooded area, so country walks are literally right there on the doorstep. You can take a stroll through the trees, nearby vineyards and farms or, for more adventurous walkers, there is a network of footpaths you can follow for miles.

                                                                  By car, there are a variety of places to visit – our favourites include the ancient chateau at Bonaguil and the picturesque villages of Monflanquin, Pujols, Albas and Villefranche-du-Perigord. Parts of the local town of Puy L’Eveque are medieval with old buildings that rise up above a pretty stretch of the River Lot. There’s an excellent boulangerie, a good butcher and several restaurants.

                                                                  A little further down the road, you’ll find Prayssac, which has a Carrefour supermarket and a not to be missed Friday market selling the best of the region’s fruit, vegetables, cheeses and jams.

                                                                  Without doubt, Fraysse Haut has everything needed for a relaxing break, which is made perfect by Dan and Sheila. Always friendly and helpful, they are the ideal hosts.

                                                                  Thank you so much Dan and Sheila for an unforgettable stay!

                                                                  A great location for our two week cycling holiday

                                                                  Graham E.

                                                                  We had a great holiday in the area staying at Sheila and Dan's place.The accomodation in the barn was excellent with all the facilities we needed and it was a great base for our cycling which we did most days.The network of very quiet roads around was ideal for us and although there were some good climbs there is also flat cycling in the Lot valley itself always bearing in mind that a descent to the valley inevitably meant a gradual climb back up to Fraysee Haute each day! Given the very hot weather we had for most of the fortnight the shade of the trees was most welcome at times.Although we were on road bikes the short track to the gite was no problem for our skinny-tyred bikes.The location is very tranquil, a real away from it all situation.It is also a great centre for walking as way-marked routes radiate out from the gite.

                                                                  Shopping was no problem with basics available in Puy L'Eveque or supermarket in Prayssac.Sheila and Dan were there if we needed them for general advice (and providing lovely freshly picked tomatoes)and were most welcoming.

                                                                  All in all a perfect place to enjoy an outdoors sort of holiday and very relaxing.

                                                                  Autumn 2007


                                                                  Our group of four were immediately made welcome by Sheila and Dan who have painstakingly restored their farmhouse and outbuildings with the addition of Dan's Pigeonaire to provide extra accommodation. Set in sweet chestnut woods with walking tracks from the door, it is peaceful and yet within easy reach of local amenities. The accommodation is flexible, comfortable and well equipped with everything in immaculate order. A file of tourist information was suppplied but helpful advice on walking and local attractions was always readily available from Sheila. The October weather was warm and sunny and we had a perfect five days walking and exploring many of the towns and villages mentioned in 'The Three Rivers of France'

                                                                  Quality time with daughter and friends

                                                                  In October 2007 my daughter and I were looking for the opportunity to just catch up with one another from our busy schedules. Sheila and Dan the owners of Fraysse Haut, we met some 20 years ago skiing had told us about there dream of building a special home in the Lot area. We decided we wanted to visit their home and see the beautiful scenery and forests and enjoy local French quisine.

                                                                  Lots of us look for the "Wow factor", and we were not disapointed, Frasse Haut was a bit of a dream for us, accomodation was second to none, and the hospitality is just one thing to be enjoyed from both Sheila and Dan and the local community.

                                                                  The forest walks, the river Lot and all the towns nestled along it banks are just very French, a great escape.

                                                                  There are many activities on the river to enjoy if you want more than just walking and site seeing.

                                                                  We are looking forward to another visit.

                                                                  Lots of happy memories, from Paul & Kay

                                                                  You Can Go Home Again

                                                                  We stayed in the "barn" at Fraysse Haut for six weeks in the Spring of 2007 (late March - early May), and for a week in January, 2008.

                                                                  We are over 55, and we were looking for accommodations which would provide a comfortable base, in a quiet rural setting for (1) walking the immediate area, and (2) for auto day trips, or over-nights, through southern France and northern Spain.

                                                                  The "barn" facility, the landlords, and the surrounding area all met or exceeded our needs and expectations in every way. The facility is newly renovated, appealing visually ("charming" is an overused term, but it truly applies to this unit), clean and property maintained, equipped with modern kitchen and bathroom appliances, and otherwise comfortable furnishings. The landlords reside in an attached unit. They are cordial, and available at need, but they have actual lives and they are not intrusive. The surrounding area is decidedly rural, but only a 6km drive to Puy L'Eveque.

                                                                  In six weeks of walking, we never ran out of tracks to pursue, we did two over-nights in Spain, and several day trips in every direction. Each time in returning, from walks or driving, we knew we were coming home again. For us, as strangers in a foreign land, that feeling of returning to a place where no language phrasing is misunderstood, where no rules of social conduct are being broken inadvertently, where retained breath finally can be released, was valuable beyond measure. And when we returned in January, '08, it was as though we had never left.


                                                                  I would like to add that I found Fraysse Haut on the internet. It looked and sounded like a very special place. I did not anticipate that the reality would match my fantasy. As it turned out, it far exceeded it. From the moment we were greeted by our hosts on arrival and were "introduced" to the barn, where we stayed for the next six weeks, I felt completely at home. I can't emphasize enough the graciousness with which we were treated. I look forward to our next stay. Bruno


                                                                  Duravel, France

                                                                  The bastide village of Montcabrier is 5km by road, less by woodland path. Shops, supermarkets and weekly produce markets are at Puy l'Evêque (5km) and Prayssac (8km). Visit Cahors, our nearest main town, with the Pont Valentre and old quarters; Cahors Blues & Jazz Festival in July. The Lot has charming villages and hidden treasures, frescoed churches, natural springs and old washing stones, dinosaur footprints, small museums and local craftsmen. Les Arques and the Zadkine museum; or the châteaux of Biron and Bonaguil, imposing hilltop castles; Monflanquin, Monpazier and other bastides with arcaded squares (in neighbouring Lot-et-Garonne & Dordogne). In July and August villages organise evening markets with regional specialities and in summer there are many wine fairs and music festivals. Discover the wine of Cahors with wine tasting at a friendly vineyard. Toulouse is the nearest main airport, but Bergerac at only 80 km is served by Ryanair and other low cost airlines. Other Activities: Wine tasting, bird watching, wild orchids, language breaks. Walking holidays; nature walks. Canoe-kayak. River excursions.


                                                                  Additional information about rental rates

                                                                  Tax Rate

                                                                  Mid-week booking and changeover may be possible out of season or on request, depending on other bookings. Night and week-end rates, please ask. The Tower is an annex alongside the Barn with a shared covered entrance. The accommodation in the Tower may not be used for children without the presence of an adult. Beds are as stated and must not be moved around. Please note: some low beams and steps. Low season and monthly rates are for 2 - 4 persons only.

                                                                  9 Reviews
                                                                  Exceptional 5/5
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                                                                  For booking assistance, call 888-829-7076

                                                                  Property # 55887