places to visit from Dieulivol
This is our nearest town, 5km away. It is a very distinguished bastide town with cafes and shops situated under the arches. Friday morning is the market.
The chateau is worth a visit and the views from the top of the towers of the surrounding countryside are superb. There is a small agricultural museum in the dungeon.
Monday is market day and in the season, it is full of people having coffee/drinks and later lunch. Duras attracts quite a lot of English people because of its character.
10 minutes’ drive. St Ferme is a small local village with a lovely old Abbey. Drive from Dieulivol up through the vineyards – magical. Have a wander around the courtyards and alleyways behind the abbey. There are concerts held in the summer months of a very high standard. They also have a Son et Lumiére – look out for the posters advertising the programme.
There is a baker in the village.
This visit could be combined with a trip to Pellegrue.
15 minutes’ drive. The old market square is enchanting and worth visiting on market day, which is Wednesday. There is a beautiful old Mairie.
It is 15 minutes’ drive to the smallest city in France. Perched high on a rock, you can meander around the streets and admire the flowers. There is a good pottery shop for small souvenirs and a bar that serves simple menus and crepes.
About 1 hours’ drive. Bazas has a cathedral with a beautiful stained glass window. It is a fabulous square and warrants a visit one morning or afternoon. Market day is Saturday.
STE FOY LA GRANDE
This is a lovely old town, narrow streets, and old buildings with their herringbone brickwork being preserved.
Market day is Saturday. It is a huge market selling livestock as well as the usual wares.
There are lots of bars where you can sit and watch the hustle and bustle. There is usually music to provide ambiance.
The baker in the main square is a firm favourite. You can buy a picnic from the stalls and head off to the banks of the Dordogne.
15 minutes’ drive. The town hall is the oldest in France and is worth visiting. The town hall and the cloisters were built by 9 Benedictine monks who became very rich from their land taxes.
La Réole is steeped in history, well worth researching.
It is set high up above the river. Sadly La Réole is in a bit of decline at the moment, but still has the best restaurant of the region called ‘Aux Fontaines’. Great for lunch after a walk around the town.
About 25 minutes away, Eymet is a beautiful old town. Market day is Thursday , so why not round off your trip to the market with lunch at the Cour d’Eymet (32 Boulevard National Tel: 05 53 22 72 83). They serve an excellent fixed price menu on Thursday and have a beautiful courtyard to sit and enjoy the good food and beautiful weather.
Eymet attracts lots of English people but the restaurant is full of local French people.
Bergerac is about 50 minutes away. Head to the old town which drops down to the Dordogne river. There are lots of restaurants and beautiful old buildings. The musée du Tabac is a lovely old building next to the square where the statue of Cyrano de Bergerac sits.
The market is around the church and the old part of town is opposite the church. Here you will find a labyrinth of lanes crammed with interesting shops. There is another covered market area which leads down towards the river.
You could have lunch in Bergerac and then head off to the Monbazillac chateau for a wine tasting on the way back. It is a lovely ivy clad chateau and its sweet wine, served cold on a hot day is very refreshing.
Arcachon is about 1 hour 40 minutes away. It is well worth a visit as it is picturesque, set in a bay with lots of sea front restaurants and good shopping.
You can either eat in the restaurant or grab a picnic from the covered market, which sells an amazing assortment of seafood and other goodies.
There are fantastic views of Cap Ferret and lots of sea excursions around the bay.
Take your bikes and follow the cycle trails.
For an all day event, you could take a boat trip, which leaves at 10am, passes the oyster cultivation parks, then the houses built on stilts where you can see lots of sea birds. It follows the coast up to Cap Ferret where the boat captain points out places of interest.
You can stop for lunch at Cap Ferret. The first 3 restaurants are the best. Alternatively you can stay on the boat and do the round trip. If you stay at Cap Ferret for lunch you can catch the 4pm boat back to Arcachon.
If you would like to just spend the day at the beach, Le petit Nice or other beaches south of Arcachon are splendid.
If you are a wine buff, then this is a must for you. It takes 1½ to 2 hours, depending how far up the peninsula you go. Take the motorway to avoid Bordeaux. Set off early. Use a wine book and give the chateaux you want to visit a ring to make an appointment. Don’t forget everything stops for lunch in France! The chateaux will give guided tours as well as tastings.
St Emillion is a very beautiful, touristic town and justly famous for its wines. The caves underneath St Emillion are much bigger than the town itself. There is a monolithic church and the home of St Emillion the hermit.
Start by going to the excellent tourist office at the top of the town as they have very reasonable and interesting tours on offer, especially the Catacoombes.
The Maison du Vin will give you information on all the wines made in St Emillion. In June they have a ceremony of the blessing of the flowers of the vines; the jurade parade down the town in their robes of scarlet. It is a great feast day. They also have another ceremony at the start of the picking of the grapes in September.
Saint Emillion is full of wine boutiques and they are always happy to accommodate you. Flat shoes are recommended in St Emillion because of the cobbled streets. The streets are steep and are made of Cornish granite which was brought back on the empty boats after the exportation of wine to Britain, as the local lime stone was too soft to pave the streets.
Bordeaux is a beautiful city with plenty to see and do. It is a UNESCO world heritage site. There are so many different areas to visit with great architecture and a warm, friendly vibe.
It has many underground car parks which are well lit and safe.
It is great to walk the length of the river, by the quayside, where everyone is out walking, skateboarding, riding bicycles and generally enjoying themselves.
There are plenty of cafés and restaurants where you can enjoy anything from an ice cream to a plateau de fruits de mers.
The main centre of Bordeaux is the Place du Théatre, where you will find the beautiful opera house. This leads onto the Rue St Catherine, a very long shopping street.
There are many beautiful side roads and squares to explore behind Rue St Catherine, either towards the river or north to other areas.
There are plenty of places to eat and here are a couple of suggestions:
L’entrecôte on Place de Tourney is near the Place du Théatre. Locals queue for this restaurant. It is expensive but worth it.
La Tupina at Port de la Monnaie is one of Bordeaux’s most popular gourmet restaurants. Traditional South West food cooked on the open fire. It’s a special treat but worth it.
Bar á Vin at the Place de Tourney, has underground parking. It is the wine school and they have converted the ground floor into a wonderful modern wine bar. Reasonably priced glasses of wine and a great place to escape the hustle and bustle.
La Place de Grand Homme is a lovely round covered shopping hall surrounded by great boutique shops, cafés, bars, restaurants and delicatessens. It has underground parking.