The Vézère valley view from the viewing platform
Looking back at St-Leon-sur-Vézère
Some argue the fun of discovering any area is not to go to all of the commercialised tourist attractions, of which there are so many in the area surrounding La Tournerie, but to go somewhat “off piste” and do a whole host of exploring on foot, on bike or in the car with map book in hand................
For walkers and cyclists, there is no need to get in your cars as the number of public access tracks right from the door of your outfits is very extensive, but cyclists be forewarned, some of the inclines are very steep, so if they weren’t bulging before, your leg muscles will be at the end of your time here!
The local commune village of La Tournerie Ferme is Aubas, which itself is only just outside Montignac.
Aubas is a very quiet backwater village that really doesn’t have much going for it, however along the back road (please note NOT the D704) which connects it with the (old) and central part of the village of Condat there are some quite beautiful sights to be seen from a specially constructed viewing point set high above the Vézère river, from where you can not only see 3 small chateaux, but also some wide ranging views over some truly unspoilt countryside......... you are also unlikely to see many people, which speaking personally, is the kind of sight seeing I enjoy the most.
A little further down this winding road from Aubas, you will arrive at the old village of Condat-sur-Vézère which is a magical gem and just one of those places you might want to take a very gentle stroll through, unlike the more modern part of the village that straddles the D704 on the opposite side of the Vézère.
Slightly further afield is the small town of Terrason-Lavilledieu, that from the congested trunk road looks like nothing worth visiting at all, but why not take the back road from Condat (the first few hundred meters of which are quite dire as you go past the decheterie and then a very busy and dusty quarry), taking this back road to Terrason not only normally saves quite a lot of time, but you will also arrive in the old part of the town where there are some excellent shops, restaurants and an all together far nicer place than the main road impressions would suggest.
Following the D706 for 8 miles from Montignac, you will arrive at St-Leon-sur-Vézère.
St-Leon is gorgeous and as a result slightly more touristy but not to too large a degree, so it is well worth a walk around, there are also 3 good restaurants to be found here.
AND IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION FROM MONTIGNAC
September sunrise at La Tournerie
A little further along the D706 and shortly after passing over the Vézère river bridge on your left hand side can be seen an imposing outcrop of rocks.
This is the location of the amazing La Roque-St-Christophe where over 100 carved-out dwellings and a remarkable cave fort can be found, making it an absolute must to visit, most especially for those with an interest in archaeology.
This enormous natural terrace was first inhabited over 70,000 years ago.
There was an imposing visitor centre here but unfortunately the centre was burnt out in the summer of 2007 and is currently being rebuilt.
A further 6 miles along the D706, is the picturesque village of Les Eyzies-de-Tayac which is famous for it’s troglodyte dwellings. Unfortunately those who like tranquility, peace and quiet
might find Les Eyzies a bit busy at times, most especially at peak holiday periods, however the aura of the place in general and places such as the Préhistoparc (where scenes from the daily life of the Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon people) can make all the hustle and bustle worthwhile.
So that is all for my brief preamble around this truly amazing area, where there is quite literally so much to see and do wherever you care to go, on the other hand, some of you might just want to stay at home at La Tournerie and soak up the peace and tranquility of this heaven sent place with a glass or two of your favourite wines!
Canoeing on the Vézère from Montignac, where even mature adults can enjoy the gently meandering river without ever really having to use their padels !!.
The Gothic Chapelle du Cheylard
at St. Geniès
Throughout the area can be found both restored and unrestored shepherd shelters that are known as either ‘cabane’ or ‘bothy’.
Even our local post box has a character of its own!
GOLF: - For those who like to play golf, although there aren’t any on the doorstep, there are a number of quite good courses within less than an hours drive.