Holidays France -The Dordogne – Self Catering Cottage

Country France

Your Holidays  2020 The Dordogne – Self Catering Cottage

In the South West of France between Bordeaux and Bergerac…. for a ‘get away from it all’ relaxing holiday, can we propose a cottage within the historical market town of DURAS. The cottage (a gem) is called ‘Puitsnoir’ and is near to the majestic chateau.

Duras Map France

Duras Map France

Situated alongside the Dordogne area of France where the countryside is glorious, you will find the hilltop chateau town of DURAS amongst rolling green hills dotted with vineyards producing ‘renowned’ world-class wines and fields of bright yellow sunflowers (‘tournesols’), whose faces keep turning during the day theyfollow the sun. There are quaint little villages bathed in the sunshine with farmer’s traditional markets selling locally grown produce; hand-made cheeses, morning dew-fresh vegetables, saucissons and cured hams. You will find sparkling streams cascading into the three rivers; the Lot, Garonne and the Dordogne which flow peacefully in the lush fertile valleys of the region.

There are fairytale chateaux with turrets, and villages with half-timbered houses, dovecotes, ancient churches, medieval walled towns – a region bursting with history just waiting to be explored.  To find Duras on a map –see above – from Bordeaux you will see the road leading eastward to Bergerac- along this road is Ste Foy La Grande, south of which is Marmande, ….between the two towns is DURAS with its majestic chateau.  The cottage is in Rue Jauffret in the town.

All around Duras are many villages and farms and ‘domaines’ producing some of the best produce and wines in the whole of France !

For holiday rental, in the town of Duras in a semi-pedestrianised street is the cottage ‘Puitsnoir’ – it is a short stroll to all shops and the village ‘square’ with pavement cafes and parasols under the sun. –  In Duras there are traditional Boulangeries for your ‘daily bread’, Boucheries, small Supermarkets, Post Office, Newsagents, Hairdressers, Florists, Estate Agents, Craft shops and Wine outlets and Banks with cashpoints (use the same number just as if at home). There are three ‘pavement cafes’ in the main square, and two Hotels- one with a very reasonable menu and the other, well…. a real ‘gastronomical experience. Each Monday local farmers bring their produce very early and set up market stalls, when you awake the streets are full of a vast variety of produce…an absolute delight. The people and shopkeepers of Duras are very friendly and enjoy having visitors. Many local fetes are organised throughout the year for locals and visitors alike to enjoy.

For the regular Wine Fetes in the Chateau you buy a ‘wine glass’ at the entrance (with the Duras emblem for you to keep) then take this same glass with you as you pass from stall to stall, sampling as you go and buying if you come across something special….ahh !

The chateau is open to the public and has wine museum, turrets with fantastic views, a ghost room and dungeons.

The Duras Tourist office is in the next street and has a large selection of leaflets on the region and ideas of what to do and see. Tell them your interests from wine sampling, walking, local fairs and village markets, prehistory, museums, boat trips on the rivers, antique fairs in the town, farm visits etc etc they will be happy to help – also there are lots of leaflets in the cottage. There is so much to see in this historical area of France

We’re sure you’ll love the whole area.

The cottage which can sleep up to four has two double bedrooms. You can see it’s a cosy, comfy place

There is a large living room with three piece suite, and a large farmhouse dining table with six chairs. The floor is tiled in terra cotta tiles and a curved wrought-iron stairway leads to the second floor. Brand new Sky TV with hundreds of channels. –  music centre with CD player and record deck with a choice over 200 old L.P.’s so lots of romantic nostalgic evenings with old classic love songs.  Also a chess set, jigsaws and around 300 books.

At the rear of the ground floor is a separate long, narrow room with washbasin and WC. The second floor has kitchen, well equipped with gas cooking rings, electric grill/oven, fridge etc all to a good standard with breakfast bar. There is a large walk-in shower room on this floor. Two double bedrooms – each has a double bed – though one is a traditional ‘Dordogne honeymoon bed’ and more like a three-quarters than a double !  Additionally however, so that this second bedroom can be used as two singles there is, if required, a ‘Z’ bed.

Duras Living room area

Duras Living room area

A ladder type stairway leads from the kitchen to the large roof terrace which has surrounding wall area and pots of flowers .  It is in the sun most of the day and has table and chairs and parasol. Try an afternoon or two sitting on the terrace under the vivid blue skies with a good book and a glass of quality local wine – which can be purchased from local producer’s outlets in Duras town at local prices – around 3 euros a bottle…..aah bliss.

Places to visit when there…..

In the region you will find chateaux, including the Duras chateau itself certainly one of the best, allow the whole morning to visit….it includes a fascinating wine museum, a dungeon and a ghost room !

There are many medieval towns, we would recommend you visit these at least – Beaumont, Issigeac, Domme, Belves, Moliers, Monpazier and Sarlat and Eymet – when you get back home please do e-mail us to suggest others you have found that we could add to this list as ‘must sees’. Prehistory – Caves, including those at Domme, Les Eysies and the unmissable caveman cliff dwellings of Roque St Christophe. Meander through the quiet lanes of the unspoilt countryside on every side of DURAS…green valleys with sparkling streams, rivers, beautiful gardens, scruffy farmyards and quaint untouched villages – several classed as ‘most beautiful villages in France’. Traditional Rural architecture abounds – ancient houses, barns, pigeonniers and churches – for photographers and artists there’s a subject around every corner.

For Chateaux we’d suggest Beynac, Biron, Bonaquil, Castelnaud and Les Milandes and…. not forgetting this one Montbasillac  see photo- now beat that for fairytale – worth a visit and the vineyards produce an excellent white wine to accompany your puddings.

Nearby are the small towns of Eymet with its pretty square, ramparts and ruined castle: the historic village of Allemans-du-Dropt and medieval village of Monteton. The bastide towns of Miramont-de-Guyenne, Monsegur, Castillones, Issigeac and Monpazier are all only a short drive.

About 2 hours drive, on the Atlantic coast is the lovely town of Arcachon with its magnificent sand dunes and very French chic shops. Also of course the city of Bordeaux and old Bergerac.

Throughout the year there are colourful local fetes and markets.

In particular the Fete du Vin in Duras (main one usually 2nd weekend in August but there are others- ask at the Tourist Office) – lots of samples and a display of Hot Air Balloons.

Duras attractions france

Duras attractions France

Also Music festivals – the ‘Monsegur Swing’ (usually the 1st weekend in July) this is a 24hr Festival of Jazz held in the square of the Bastide town of Monsegur, and of course everywhere Bastille Day celebrations on 14th July. There are Antique markets and French ‘car boot sales’ (look out for posters – ‘Vide Grenier’- ‘empty your attic’- and that means old farmer’s attics !) grab a bargain and take it to Antiques Roadshow !

            Local Market Days.

  • Monday –              Duras, Miramont.
  • Tuesday –             Marmande, Sauveterre-de-Guyenne.
  • Wednesday –      Bergerac, Allemans-du-Dropt.
  • Thursday –           Eymet.
  • Friday –               Monsegur, La Sauvetat-du-Dropt.
  • Saturday –            Ste. Foy-la-Grande, Marmande, La Reole, Lauzun, Bergerac.
  • Sunday –              Issigeac.

We have an excellent cleaner, Emma, who will get all ready for you – sheets and pillow cases are provided but please take you own towels

We are aware that sometimes ‘holiday cottages’ can be a little ‘un-cared for’ – ours isn’t.    

For travel arrangements on Flight & Ferries

For bookings please download the Booking Form and e-mail or post to

Ken & Barbara Blackwell

Two Beaches, 8 Cliff Mews, Paignton Torbay TQ4 6DJ





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