Le Petit Pible sits on its own in the valley below the village of Montignac-le-Coq approximately one kilometre from the village. The village has a pretty French feel with an old church which is open every day. It is surrounded by beautiful countryside often adorned by golden fields of sunflowers or the lush green of maize. We are surrounded by rolling countryside ideal for long country walks or cycling along the many kilometres of designated cycle routes and small country lanes.
We are approximately four kilometres from the village of St Severin where you can find a bar, restaurants, a boulangerie, cash machine and a very friendly Spar mini supermarket
Aubeterre-sur-Drone, approximately 10 minutes drive from Le Petit Pible, is one of the 'most beautiful villages of France' and it has an amazing underground church of St Jean, hewn out from the rock which we would say is a ‘must visit’. It is also known as the Monolithic church, Eglise Monolithique, or the troglodyte church.The village has been built up the hillside above the river Dronne in a curve of the river - giving the village the feeling of being a large amphitheatre. At the centre of the village is a lovely square filled with shops, artists' workshops and bars and restaurants where you can sit out on a sunny day and savour the atmosphere of the village. You can walk down to the river beach and have a picnic or swim in the river Dronne. For the more energetic there are several canoeing stops where you can hire a canoe and take off down the river for an hour or two.
Riberac (15 minutes away) is a pleasant market town which is ideal to explore, stop for lunch or a coffee or browse the shops along the high street. It is popular with the British especially on Friday morning where you have one of the biggest markets in the area. There is another market in Chalais (15 minutes) on Monday mornings.
Look out for the mairie of Riberac (town hall) which is housed in a beautiful building. The tourist office is housed in another imposing building - the ancient gendarmerie!
Bourdeilles (40 minutes) is a lovely village which sits on the edge of the river Dronne and boasts a chateau, a moulin (mill), a medieval centre and a panoramic viewpoint.
Its main feature is its chateau which is actually two castles. There is a fortress dating back to the 13th and 14th century and which has defensive walls and an octaganal donjon 35 meters tall. Within the walls there is also a second chateau built in the Renaissance style during the 16th century. There are some lovely café/restaurants here and some interesting walks.
Brantome is 5 minutes along the road from Bourdeilles. It is an attractive town near the northern edge of the Dordogne department, sometimes known as the Venice of the Dordogne - the town has a nice mix of medieval and renaissance architecture to admire. The town is classed as one of 'les Plus Beaux Detours' in France. The Benedictine Abbey on the river's edge is superb and this along, with the old stone bridge, weir and pretty mill now turned into a splendid hotel and restaurant, all make for a very photogenic scene.
St Jean de Cole
Another 5 minutes along the road from Bratome is St Jean de Cole. It has been officially classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France (les plus beaux villages de France). A charming village with ochre coloured houses, including many half-timbered houses, and lovely tiled roofs. Indeed the roofs once won the ‘finest roofs in France’ competition. The river Cole runs along one edge of the river and you can stop and admire it from the lovely little humpbacked bridge or the small river beach below. This stretch of river is very green and tranquil.
The village square, the Place de Saint Jean, is flanked on one side by the 12th century Chateau de la Marthonie. The castle has a XVth century part made up of towers and a donjon and is quite austere and added to this is a XVIIth century wing in a much softer style, built over a series of arches. One of its most famous residents was Mondot de la Marthonie who was a counselor to the Queen Mother of Francois I. He also built the nearby Chateau de Puyguilhem.
45 minutes north is the historic town of Angouleme. Angouleme is full of large wide open boulevards which stand above the original. The ramparts that protected the town, of which there are more than two kilometres remaining, hang over the Charente River and the surrounding countryside.There are lofty bell towers dotted among pink tiled rooftops and a colourful town with a pleasant disposition. Don't miss the city's museums, which are best discovered on a walking tour of the town. Every September, Angouleme's roads become race tracks as vintage cars from far and wide come to take part in its famous 'Circuit des Remparts' classic car race.
45 minutes south is the ancient city of Perigueux has a Gallo-Roman villa crowned by a glass roof which stands on one side of the town in the medieval and Renaissance district. On the other side is the Cathédrale St-Front with its Byzantine feel. This neighbourhood is the hub of the action. Shops and cafés share doorsteps on narrow pedestrian streets that are interrupted by squares with views of the astonishing cathedral. Active yet peaceful, Périgueux is a most engaging city.
Bordeaux and St Emilion
Why not take a day trip to the beautiful city of Bordeaux. Historic Bordeaux offers an exceptional architectural portrait, with some 5,000 buildings dating from the 18C. The extensive restoration programme has restored the glorious colour of the honey-coloured stone, extracted from local quarries. Admire the facades of the bourgeois homes adorned with mascarons. These keystone medallions are generally human heads, often grotesque, and also feature symbols related to wine (leaves, twines, barrels). A walk around the "village" of Les Chartrons, with its many shops, or the Bassin à flot and Bassin de la Bastide on the other side of the Garonne, reveal a city that is at once chic and bohemian, peaceful and festive. Bordeaux is well deserving of its place in any list of must-see cities.
Just half an hour away from the city of Bordeaux on the way back to the gite is Saint-Emilion. Saint-Emilion isn't much of a secret with wine lovers. It's known for its Grand Cru wine and it's actually one of Bordeaux's largest winemaking appellations. It is a charming medieval village located in the heart of the famous Bordeaux wine area. It is a very unique site where world-famous wineries, fine wine, beautiful architecture and great monuments are a perfect match. Why not sign up for a wine tasting that can be arranged by the Tourist Office.