The house is situated in the picturesque village of Beynac et Cazenac on the ancient cobbled path leading up from the riverside to the medieval castle. The house is within 3 minutes walk of all amenities and overlooks magnificent views of the Dordogne and neighbouring castles while looking directly upwards from the peaceful garden terraces at the rear reveals a remarkable view of Beynac Castle.
The house is built into the rock face on the steep road up to the castle and is therefore on three levels. Originally, it was a cobbler’s shop, and has been renovated over the last few years, mainly internally, to reveal the beautiful yellow rock and wooden beams with the living quarters on the first floor to take full advantage of the beautiful views and to provide easy access to the rear terrace.
On entering the front door; to the left is the master bedroom with king sized bed and en suite bathroom.
To the right is a staircase to the first floor where you will find a large sitting room (30sq.m) with magnificent views of the Dordogne. There is Internet access, a TV with French TV channels, a dvd player with a selection of dvd's, a 'pirates' chest with a selection of board games and also a selection of novels in the book case. In addition there is a folder full of details of things to see and do in the region.
At the far end of the sitting room are five steps up to the kitchen/dining room with French doors leading out onto a small balcony where once again the views are spectacular. The kitchen is fully equipped and supplied with a dishwasher, gas cooker, fridge and multi-function microwave.
Leading off the kitchen is a shower room with a large glass brick walk-in shower, W.C. and wash hand basin and beyond, a further door to a utility room where the washing machine and dryer are located.
The staircase leading down from the kitchen provides access not only to a second exit door but also to bedroom 2 with a double bed.
The beautiful wooden staircase leading up from the kitchen provides access to the third bedroom which is furnished with two single beds.
From the rear of the kitchen is a door to the terraces with sun loungers, patio table and chairs, a charcoal Bar-B-Q all set off by spectacular views of the castle directly above.
There is now a new upper terrace with a stunning view of the river over the rooftop - lovely for catching the evening sun.
There is car access to the front door to unload your luggage, but be prepared to reverse 50 yards back down to the main road if necessary. Alternatively, park on the quay and use our case trolley (in the entrance hall) to bring the luggage up to the house. Car Parking is close by in Place d'Alsace Car Park. An economical weekly parking ticket can be obtained from the Mairie.
There are 6 restaurants to choose from in Beynac all within 5-10 minute walk of the house.
The village has all the the major essentials - mini-market, butcher, baker, hair stylist, chemist, ATM, Post office, Tabac, and Doctor who does speak English.
Beynac et Cazenac is a magical village of honey coloured stone houses nestled alongside the beautiful Dordogne river below the stunning cliff, from the top of which the medieval Beynac Castle keeps watch on the river below and on the countryside to the south, west and east, as it has done since the 12 century. It is no surprise that it has been listed as one of France’s most beautiful villages.
The surrounding area is steeped in history including the oldest cave drawings at Lascaux Caves, and witnessed the Hundred Years War (1337-1453) between England & France. Beynac Castle changed allegiance many times and was once the home of Richard the Lionheart having scaled the cliff face to gain access to the castle(King of England 1189 to 1199). Sarlat la Caneda a beautiful nearby town, was rescued in the 1960’s from demolition and is now thriving with many restaurants, shops, outdoor markets and outdoor theatre.
The narrow cobbled street that leads up to Beynac castle (as seen in the opening scenes of the film Chocolat) was the main road following the Dordogne river from Sarlat via Bergerac to Bordeaux – most traffic was then along the river and you can still take a trip on the traditional gabarres today.
This region of France has a reputation for gastronomic delicacies such as foie Gras and truffles. The relationship between foie gras and the perigord region dates back to the 18th century, and continues to be celebrated with festivals and tasting events.
Walnuts are produce in great quantities in the region and the local walnut liqueur is well worth sampling.
Places of interest
Sarlat la Caneda (about 10km), a medieval town that developed around a large Benedictine abbey, is one of the most visited towns in France. This is largely due to the efforts of Andre Malraux, Minister of Cultural Affairs, who chose Sarlat as a trial town in 1962 for the Loi Malraux Law to protect the heritage of France's towns. Sarlat is now classified as a ville d'art et histoire and has the highest density of certified 'Historic Monuments' of any town in France. It is on the list for future nomination as a UNESCO world heritage site.
Marqueyssac Gardens (about 2km), already listed as a national historical monument, covers 22 hectares of land, with more than 6 km of shaded paths edged with 150,000 hand pruned boxwoods that are over 100 years old. It is the most visited garden in Perigord and overlooks the entire Dordogne valley providing spectacular panoramic views.
Bergerac (about 40 km) to the west on the northern bank of the Dordogne is characterised by elegant Renaissance buildings from medieval times. One of many highlights is the old town, with restaurants & boutique shops along quaint cobbled streets. There are 2 statues of Cyrano do Bergerac from the famous play of the same name. On both sides of the river are 13,000 hectares of vineyards producing red, white and rose wine, although not as revered as Bordeaux, they have good flavour and should not be overlooked.
Les Eyzies-de-Tayac about (25km) is the home to the Musée National de Préhistoire (National Museum of Prehistory) and the area contains several important archaeological sites. Les Eyzies-de-Tayac was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979. In March 1868, the geologist Louis Lartet discovered the first five skeletons of Cro-Magnons, the earliest known examples of Homo sapiens sapiens, in the Cro-Magnon rock shelter at Les Eyzies-de-Tayac. These skeletons included a foetus.
Gouffre De Proumeyssac (about 20km). This Cathedral of Crystal is a spectacular cavern with incredible formations of stalactites and stalagmites. From the ceiling hang four huge stalactite formations. These resemble, and are named after: a siren, a waterfall, a jellyfish and an octopus. From one of these water pours down adding to the pools of water on the floor below.
Legends surrounding the 'Trou du diable', the 'devil's hole'. In the winter the hole emits a mist in the same way that rivers do on a cold day and in olden times this was thought by the local people to be smoke from the fires of hell. The hole was used as a general tipping site and so the stench from this added to the myth. Wealthy travellers were targeted by robbers and disappearing travellers were rumoured to have been dropped down the hole adding to the area's reputation.
It wasn't until 1907 that the hole was explored and the cavern discovered. As of 1924 visitors were allowed, being let down into the cave by cable & basket. Then in 1956 a tunnel was built providing the easy access today's visitors enjoy.
Keywords: Vacation home, Holiday rental house, Sarlat vacation rental, Beynac vacation rental, Dordogne Rental