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Julie Bacon

Member since: 2011
Speaks: english, french

Private Retreat for 2 in the Heart of the Dordogne Valley

33 Reviews
Bedrooms Studio
Property type studio
Minimum Stay 5 nights

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Castels Studio Rental Photos and Description

Studio, Studio, 1 Bath, (Sleeps 2)


Rural France awaits you. Small towns, quiet roads, open air markets, castles and of course fabulous restaurants.

Beautiful apartment in lower level of medieval home in St. Cyprien, heart of the Perigord Noir. Very comfortable little private getaway for 2 in the upper, or Montmartre section of the town. St. Cyprien is very well located in the valley, situated between Sarlat-la-Canada to the east, and Bergerac to the west.

Although this unit is located on one level, the little streets leading down/up to it are quite steep and therefore probably not suitable for anyone with serious mobility problems. It is always possible, however, to drive down to town, approximately 2-3 minutes away.

The Dordogne Valley area of France is truly one of the semi-hidden gems of the country. Most tourists don't make their way here until their 4th or 5th trip to the country, having first visited Paris, Normandy, the Loire, Provence, etc. before hearing about the Dordogne. It is very much small town France, full of ancient towns, villages, hamlets and farms. Many of the best producers of local, boutique type products still flourish here.

Situated just north of the Dordogne river, this is still very much an authentic French town, with all the amenities that these little gems have to offer. Everything you need on a daily basis is easily available within walking distance. The town hosts great little restaurants where you can sip coffee and watch the world go by, one of the best pastry shops in the Dordogne, and numerous small restaurants and other businesses. The town is essentially built into a hill, with the most ancient areas being around the church and the upper section referred to as Montmartre or Haut de la Ville (top of the town), where the streets are steep and narrow.

The town has an interesting history, having occupied a border position between Eleanor's Aquitaine and the French armies and was thus under attack during both the Hundred Year's War and the Wars of Religion. It is said that Richard the Lionhearted passed through here.

Views from the Montmartre section, where the house is located, are superb. The town is just below and one has a horizontal view of the valley and the hills ascending the south side of it. The ancient church is one of the largest in the area and was formerly a training center for priests and nuns.

The town hosts the principal day market in the area each Sunday. Numerous venders sell everything you could possibly need to satisfy every possible taste. There are numerous other day and night markets throughout the area.

Numerous historic sites are within easy driving distance. Font-de-Gaume, one of the original caves still accessible to the public is 7 ks away, in the historic town of Les Eyzies, home of the Museum of Pre-History. The very charming town of Beynac is only 8 ks away, and is home to the famous Chateau de Beynac, which overlooks the town from it's elegant position high on the hill behind the town. It is said that cannon balls were frequently fired between this Chateau and the Chateau de Castelnaud, which sits almost directly across the river. During the Hundred Year War it is said that the British occupied the south side of the Dordogne and the French the north side.

You can easily visit the Chateau des Milandes, home of Josephine Baker, the famous American Jazz singer, La Roque-Gageac, Domme, Tremolat and numerous other medieval and Bastide towns (walled villages).

A less than one hour drive can take you to the famous villages of Montignac (home of Lascaux II, the most famous cave in France), Monpazier, or Saint-Leon-sur-Vezere. In fact, the possibilities are virtually endless.

Activities abound. The Dordogne and Vezere Rivers are available for all water activities. Local day and night markets are full of amazing local products, each with it's own character. Local small farm producteurs still make their own goat cheese, honey, soaps, fois gras, etc.

Hiking and biking are available virtually 'outside the door'. Bikes can be easily rented and I don't think you can find better biking in the world. Everywhere there is a big road in France, there are smaller roads nearby with almost no traffic. But, yes, there are hills!

This apartment is the lower level of my house. It has a southern exposure with nice sized windows in the living and kitchen areas and a door leading directly onto the stone-walled patio. There is a separate kitchen which is partially walled off from the living/sleeping area. The living/bedroom area is essentially one room. The bed is king size and has two separate mattresses. The bathroom has a shower, toilet, sink and a clothes washer. A drying rack is available and my dryer is available upon request. Parking is available very close to the unit, (less than a 2 minute walk), but not directly on site.

It is, all in all, a very comfortably furnished and private little getaway, in town but yet far enough up the hill to have a very tranquil experience. Evenings spent on the private patio are magical, especially with a bottle of excellent French wine, some bread and cheese, and a few nice candles. My terrasse is available with permission. ENJOY!

Keywords: apartment, gite, pied-a-terre

More Details
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Julie Bacon (Owner)
Member since: 2011
Speaks: english, french

About Julie Bacon

I originally visited this part of France in 2003, via bicycle with 2 friends, on a month long trip of the area. I had heard so much about the Dordogne but didn't really know what it was. I was totally amazed and blown away by the area.

I totally fell in love with the area, but it was very much sort of an Act of Fate that I ended up buying a house here. I had no intention of doing so when I arrived. But one day it was raining and we didn't bike and ended up in a small town with a real estate office, and, as they say in France, Voila! I found a house I couldn't resist. It was, however, VERY small, and when I realized that I wanted to spend a fair amount of time here, I sold it in 2008 and bought this one. Now I spend around 5-6 months a year here in the Dordogne, which is full of interesting ex-pats and colorful French characters. I think that it is truly The Good Life.

Julie Bacon purchased this studio in 2008

Why Julie Bacon chose Perigord Noir

When here in 2003 I just found that this area of the country just resonated with me. I loved the ancient aspects of it -- the villages, hamlets, farms, caves, chateaux, etc. I didn't originally buy the house to create a rental, but the lower area is really lovely and I thought why not create an environment where others can enjoy this fabulous part of the country??

What makes this studio unique

I love being right in town, yet out of the main hustle and bustle of the main street. It is usually quite tranquil in this upper part of the town.

At the same time, everything is easily accessible in a 5 to 8 minute walk down the hill. Maybe 15 coming back up!


Living here I feel that I have somewhat stepped back in time to my childhood. Things move at a slower pace. Neighbors still hang out their windows to talk to each other, and cars sometimes block the small streets while the drivers chat. A good thing but somewhat annoying at the same time! The French, in general, still take great pride in their food, and that is displayed on a daily basis by the food sold and served in the local shops and restaurants.

The town is very well located in terms of sightseeing. The Bordeaux region of the country, known for it's excellent wines, is a couple of hours away. The area is full of small towns, some of them bastide towns (walled) original caves, small local producers of wonderful products. It's difficult to get too lost, as there are villages and hamlets everywhere and the roads are very well marked.

Wonderful hiking and biking are available right out the door.

There is truly something for everyone here!


based on 33 traveler reviews

Private Retreat for 2 in the Heart of the Dordogne Valley
average rating of 4.909091 based on 33 reviews

Cosy rustic cottage

  • 4 of 5

Had a wonderful week in St Cyprien , Dordogne region. Great location in town and as a base to explore

the surrounding towns. The cottage had everything we needed and is a short walk to the centre of

the village.

Some of the nearby towns are extremely busy and it was great to return to St Cyprien which

is still a lively town but probably not suffering from tourist overload . The main street has plenty of options

with plenty bars and restaurants and shops. 2 markets per week are great for food etc.

Julie was terrific and offered as much help as we needed.

  • Submitted: Aug 4, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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0 0

Perfect Dordogne Location

  • 5 of 5

My wife and I enjoyed a week in May at Julie's beautiful, well appointed gite in St. Cyprien. As mentioned in the other reviews, the gite is very comfortable, very clean and check-in is trouble-free. The kindness and helpfulness of Julie, our host, cannot be over-stated. She gave us many excellent suggestions about sites to visit suited to our tastes and interests. We were very happy with our decision to stay in St. Cyprien rather than Sarlat because we strongly prefer quaint villages such as St. Cyprien that are centrally located to area attractions, over the busier touristy towns, like Sarlat, which can easily be visited with a short drive. We would definitely stay here again and highly recommend it to others. Thanks again for your kind hospitality Julie.

Frank & Joan - Toronto, Canada

  • Submitted: Jun 6, 2016
  • Stayed: May 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Frank and Joan were a delight to have in my gite. I am constantly thrilled by the quality of the people who come my way and are interested in exploring this still-a-little-hidden corner of this fabulous country. Thanks so much for your kind words. You are both welcome any time!
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Fabulous French Gite, just as i imagined.

  • 5 of 5

We have fallen in love with France all over again. This was a second visit to France particularly to tour the Dordogne . We are so glad we did , we hired a car and covered many destinations, including Sarlat ,(markets),Lascaux caves, St Cirq la popie, Roccamadour and much more. Our little gite was everything we wanted,it very definitely filled my want to stay in a stone cottage in a smaller French village while being comfortable and well appointed. The local supermarket and bakeries have everything you could want and it was a joy to return each evening and share a drink or simple meal in our private courtyard.Julie was a great communicator and everything was as described. The bed was very comfortable and the washing machine a great help. We would return again ,and have great memories of our time.

  • Submitted: Oct 21, 2015
  • Stayed: Sep 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: It's been my great pleasure to host clients like Carollyn and Mark, who are seasoned travelers and love quaint and authentic places like this little corner of France. I have to agree that the Dordogne is a very special place!
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Cosy, comfortable apartment in Saint Cyprien.

  • 5 of 5

The apartment is well located for your vacation in the Dordogne, and is exactly as described. It is within easy driving distance to good markets, medieval villages, castles and caves. Central shopping in Saint Cyprien is a ten minute walk down the hill, and shopkeepers are welcoming. The kitchen is well equipped and easy to work in. The washing machine is well appreciated. Overall, the apartment is spacious, comfortable and a welcome retreat at the end of the day. Our landlord was helpful and considerate throughout the process and a joy to work with. We could not ask for more. The church bells ringing during the day, were a delight. We truly felt we were staying in a French village.

Liked best: The apartment is very homey and comfortable.

Liked least: Driving to nearby sites.

Traveling group: Spouse/Partner

Would I recommend this vacation rental to my best friend? Yes.

Recommended for:

Friends getaway

•The property was "as advertised".

•I recommend the location.

•The property was a good value for the price paid.

•The property provided wifi/internet access.

•The deposit was returned on time.

An automobile is a necessity in this location.

  • Submitted: Oct 11, 2015
  • Stayed: Aug 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks so much for your wonderful comments. I have tried to create the kind of place I would love to stay in, and am thrilled that you loved the gite and this little somewhat hidden corner of France.
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Perfect Pefect Perfect

  • 5 of 5

We stayed for a week in mid October and had a wonderful experience. We had just finished walking the Camino de Santiago and wanted a peaceful place to stay in the Dordogne area for some R&R. We couldn't have asked for a more perfect place. The apartment was comfortable, nicely appointed and interestingly decorated. The kitchen was very huser friendly and after 30 days on the road eating out we took full advantage of preparing home cooked meals. Julie was a wonderful and knowledgeable host, providing excellent suggestions on the best places to visit in the area. She also did a great job of communicating prior to our arrival. St Cyprien was a beautiful little French village with a fabulous market on Sunday. It's located perfectly to make the most of touring the area which is filled with castles, caves and wonderful vistas spread along the beautiful Dordogne River. The town is small, intimate and comfortable, just the right size to make you feel like you're living in a classic French village, unlike the feeling you will get from a larger tourist filled city like Sarlat-la-Canéda. It was such a perfect setting that after 7 days we were not ready to leave and we look forward to a return visit.

  • Submitted: Nov 6, 2014
  • Stayed: Oct 2014
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: I continue to get the most interesting clients in this little gite! This couple had just finished 30+ days on the Spanish side of the Compostello. I thank them and all the others who have found my little place in the multitude of gites available in this beautiful, still partly hidden little corner of France.
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Montreal, Quebec

Petit nid d'amour!

  • 5 of 5

First time for us in beautiful Dordogne region! Not only is the loft warm and beautifully decorated, it is very clean and the kitchen is very well equiped and the bed is amazingly comfortable! We didn't have the pleasure of meeting Julie because she was away on her own vacation but she made sure we got all the proper information before our arrival and during our stay, and she made sure to have a personnal friend take care of us if we needed to!! Charming Colleen! Walking down to the village for our morning croissants and back up to the loft was a joy everyday, regardless of the steep hills. Don't miss the market to try local foie gras and cheese, bread, and wine!!

There are so many attractions very close by that you can have a full day of visiting castles and villages and be back in time for a romantique dinner on your personnal terrasse. if you want a break from making your own food, we highly recommend Les Glycines in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac, about 12 minutes from the loft by car.

Simply an amazing area and untraditional place to stay.

  • Submitted: Oct 31, 2014
  • Stayed: Sep 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
25 Miles
Nearest Train
0.25 Miles
St. Cyprien
Nearest Motorway
0.25 Miles
Nearest Beach
125 Miles
Car: recommended

Summer in the Dordogne Valley is full of wonderful musical and food events. Both day and night markets are available and full of local gastronomique delicacies such as duck, fois gras, walnuts, honey, wine, etc. The Dordogne and nearby Vezere Rivers offer wonderful canoeing and kyaking experiences. And of course the most famous caves are all close-by, the most famous being Laxcaux II,approximately 25 miles away. Wine tasting available in the nearby Bordeaux area, small bastide towns (walled) towns abound. All is available in this wonderful, still a little bit hidden (which is a good thing) corner of France! Those interesting in trying out their biking or hiking legs, you can't find a better place in all the world. For those looking for an activity a little more relaxing and who dream of floating over this historic area in a hot air balloon, it's also readily available. ENJOY!!


Rates & Availability

Castels Studio Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
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Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
late Summer/Fall
Sep 1 2016 - Oct 31 2016
5 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Minimum weekly rental, Saturday arrivals and departures. Shorter stays and different arrival and departure dates may be possible depending on availability. 50% deposit required at time of booking and 50% balance required 2 months before date of initial occupancy. Inquire about discounts for stays of more than 1 week!!

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 7 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
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Available arrival
Available stay (no arrival)


Castels Studio Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • studio
Location Type:
  • Downtown
  • Mountain View
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 -
  • Bathroom is equipped with glass door shower, sink, toilet, and clothes washing machine. Clients are able to use my dryer upon request.
  • Studio, Sleeps 2
  • King size bed. (1) King Size bed with two separate mattresses
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • botanical garden
  • caves
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • forests
  • library
  • live theater
  • museums
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hot air ballooning
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • rafting
  • swimming
  • tennis
St. Cyprien, still very much a 'French' town, is located in the heart of the fabulous Dordogne Valley, one of the gastronomic centers of France, within 20 minutes of Sarlat la Canada, Beynac, Domme ancient caves and all the best of the Perigord Noir. The gite is located in the higher, i.e.Montmartre section of this town, with small streets and ancient houses of stone and wood. All amenities in town available in a 5-8 minute walk down the hill to the main street of town. Amazing boulangerie, patisserie et boucherie (bread, pastry and meat shops) within easy walking distance. Great views of Dordogne Valley from upper terrasse, available for use with owners permission.

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