Dordogne - Périgord Noir, South West France  16 – 25 May 2014

OVERVIEW

Please join me and savour the rich local culture and daily life of the Dordogne in south west France, which includes les plus beaux villages des France!

The village of Sarlat-la-Canéda is our base and one of the finest examples of medieval France with gas lit cobbled streets. We’ll explore troglodyte villages and rock paintings from the Ice Age; barge along waterways between ancient villages and castles; feast, walk and create art in beautiful settings.

This tour is a maximum 9 people.

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TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

Sarlat la Canéda – André Malraux, writer and resistance fighter, facilitated restoration of this town whilst Minister of Culture from 1960-1969. Famous for its medieval facades with their ancient lauze-roofs (flat stones). The Saturday and Wednesday markets welcome visitors with superb local food (truffle, foie gras, walnut oil, goat cheese, asparagus, strawberries, wild mushrooms, Bergerac & Cahors wines) as well as french handcraft.

Conques Abbey is one of the major monuments along the route to Santiago de Compostela. It is home to many spectacular treasures and legends including an arm of St. George the Dragon Slayer – the arm with which he actually slayed the dragon! Catching a glimpse of the golden statue of St. Foy was the main goal for pilgrims who came to Conques.

Rocamadour is set in a gorge above a tributary of the River Dordogne and a Unesco World Heritage site. During the 13th century pilgrims climbed the steps on their knees to perform penance and to pay homage to the Virgin Mary and seek miracles from St. Amadou. Built on the face of a sheer 400 foot cliff, a long staircase leads from the cliff-top château to the old town (or take the cable car).

Gabarre (a traditional 19th century barge) beginning from La Roque Gageac and the only way to see villages squeezed up against the cliffs.

Gabarre Beynac

Chateau de Beynac is a medieval fortress built in the 12th century and once the stronghold of Richard the Lionheart; still in beautiful condition.

Marqueyssac – 22 hectares of wild and tame nature with views over almost everything in the Dordogne.

Randoneé through fields and villages with magnificent vistas.

Domme with graffiti etched by the Knights Templar in the 14th century.

Castelnaud-la-Chapelle with views across the Dordogne valley.

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Saint-Cirq-Lapopie is a member of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France association. Perched on a steep cliff above the river Lot, the entire town is almost a museum and was home to the writer André Breton.

Grotte du Pech Merle with well preserved art, including mammoths, bison and horses painted some 25,000 years ago.

Lascaux cave paintings are estimated to be over 17,000 years old and the National Museum of Prehistory in Les Eyzies. The troglodyte village of La Madeleine includes a chapel in perfect condition.

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TESTIMONIALS

The trip was everything I imagined it would be.  Outstanding scenery and travelling companions. So much to see and do – we certainly covered a lot of ground and even managed to squeeze in some drawing!!
– Carolyn Delohery

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I thought the whole trip was just marvellous and I have to say it was the most enjoyable time in France that I have ever had.  Your organisation and planning was enormously thorough and the implementation was seamless. I will remember the trip and our hosts both in the BnBs and Christoph and Sarisa with great pleasure.  It couldn’t have been better.  Your own company was lively, great fun and  very thoughtful in an unobtrusive way of our individual needs.  I couldn’t have organised a trip for myself that better suited my desires – congenial company, wonderful landscapes, great food, beautiful settings, some history, some drawing and last but not least – shopping!  What fun we had.  Curiously, although I know it rained some of the time I barely remember that, and enjoyed it anyway.
– Ruth Maltby

 

It was a pleasure to meet you and have your art tour stay at La Lanterne. There is a lot of communication required in organising a group and you made it easy with speed and a professional response. Your group were delightful and it was our pleasure to look after them and ensure they were comfortable and enjoyed their time with us.

– Terri Bowen –  La Lanterne:  www.sarlat.biz    tel.: 0033 (0) 5535 91719

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This was our third overseas trip with Cilla Campbell and they just keep getting better. Cilla always manages to find great accommodation, wonderful locations and the best local guides. Flexibility and friendly small groups ensure that you never feel you are on a tour. Novices and the more experienced usually discover that making a little art enriches their travel experience, providing a great excuse to explore and observe their surroundings.

Cilla is a marvellous host and we highly recommend her trips.  Artists and non artists will all find plenty to enjoy.

– Julie and Ian York

 

After researching international art tours on the internet, I chose Cilla’s tour to Sarlat, France. Arriving on the train from Paris, I was greeted by Cilla and my fellow art tour friends in Souillac, before we drove on to Sarlat with our wonderful tour guides, Christoph and Sarisa. We could not have asked for a better base than the beautiful town of Sarlet. Cilla had arranged so many wonderful day trips including visits to amazing castles and medieval towns, wineries, a truffle farm, the famous Paper Mill Moulin De Larroque, a cooking class by the wonderful chef Fabrice Lemonnier, Marqueyssac Gardens, the famous Paleolithic cave paintings of Lascaux and many more! I had such a wonderful time and I thoroughly enjoyed spending hours drawing and taking notice of the beautiful surroundings. The tour was well structured yet casual. We managed to fit so much into our time without feeling rushed. I am so happy that I attended Cilla’s art tour in Southern France and I hope to one day join her on another artistic adventure! Thank you very much Cilla!

 – Carly

TOUR PHOTOS

Tour photos courtesy of Carly Smith

 

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