Places To See In Charente And Dordogne

Like much of France the towns and villages of Charente and Dordogne are steeped in history, with ancient buildings, cobbled streets and situated on one of the main rivers in the region. We have some of the prettiest in France - Aubeterre, Brantôme, Cognac, and St Emilion.

Angoulême is the capital of Charente and home of the French cartoon industry. Famous for its' paper mills industry it is a real must to visit with cathedrals and museums and you can enjoy an al fresco meal at any time of the day or night.  Every September, you can see old cars race in the 'Circuit des Ramparts' and this year is the 71st anniversary.

Aubeterre is built in the form of an amphitheatre on a chalky outcrop that dominates a bend on the River Dronne west of Riberac. The village is designated as one of the prettiest in France with its carefully restored streets, monuments and the impressive church of St Jean, known as the monolithic church. Carved out of rock, it is the largest subterranean church in Europe.

Bourdeilles is a lovely small town situated south of Brantôme and situated on the river Dronne. The chateau at the top of the hill is worth a visit and if you can climb to the top of the tower an excellent view.

Brantôme is known as ‘The Venice of the Perigord’ as the centre of the town is situated on an island in the middle of the River Dronne. A very pretty town, there is an 8th century Benedictine Abbey, riverside gardens and troglodyte caves.

Cognac & Jarnac are the centre of the cognac industry and situated on the Charente river, with a number of large cognac houses where you take a tour, learn about the history and production of cognac and sample the produce.

Saintes is near Cognac and was once occupied by the Romans. It has the remains of a roman archway and a museum dedicated to roman life with the most complete roman chariot in Europe.

St Emilion You will fall in love with this beautiful village situated in the heart of the Bordeaux wine region about an hour and a half away. If you love wine then it is a must; you can buy the local wine at any price to suit your budget. Enjoy a stroll around the narrow streets to admire the beautiful buildings. At the bottom of the town is a private museum of pottery with examples of pottery from roman times.

Villebois-Lavalette About 10 mins away is the small market town of Villebois Lavalette that boasts one of the oldest covered markets in the country under which is held a small local market every Saturday morning, filled with fresh produce of every description and when the market has gone you can sit and have a drink or dinner served by the nearby restaurant La Lavalettte.

Sport/Outdoor Activities The area is wonderful for walking and cycling with quiet roads. Just feet from the door are tracks through the woods to a lake next to the Priory at Rozet and beyond an arboretum. From the house you can hear the frogs croaking in the stream at the bottom of the hill.

There are beaches on the lake at Angouleme and at Aubeterre and Lisle. Angouleme also has other watersports. At the lakes of St Estephe and La Jemaye you can swim, walk, cycle, horse riding and canoe. There are golf courses at St. Severin, Angoulême and Château des Vigiers. Canoeing can be done from Aubeterre, Brantôme and Bourdeilles.


Combiers is a small commune of aproximately 60 properties mostly set in small hamlets like Les Monneries.

There is a boulangerie which calls twice a week. Other boulangeries, butcher and groceries are all five minutes drive away. There are three market days at different villages.

We have bikes that you can use to explore nearby villages at a slower pace, or perhaps you would like to walk through the lanes to catch a glimpse of the wildlife; deer, wild boar, buzzards, hoopoe and cranes are just a few you will see.

Local Restaurants

We have a number of good local restaurants. At lunchtime in France the restaurants will do a 'menu du jour' when you can have a three course meal for 12 to 15 euros. You will find regional dishes on the menus, duck and foie gras featuring widely in this part of Charente and Dordogne. Produce is fresh and seasonal.

Le Petit Restaurant - Rozet
L'Olive Noir - Mareuil
Mia's - Mareuil
Le Lavalette - Villebois-Lavalette
Les Jardins - Brantome
Le Moulin du Pont - Lisle
Le Saint-Victor - Saint Victor

House Hunting

If you are house hunting we are near Leggett Immobilier at La Rochebeaucourt and other estate agents at Mareuil and Villebois-Lavalette.  We can provide bed and breakfast for one or two nights or you can rent the gite for a long weekend.