Two years ago I was blessed enough to take a trip to France. We all know that Paris is beautiful. Places like Switzerland and Greece can't be compared to anywhere else, but I have never experienced a life while on holiday as if I were a citizen of a village like this one.
When I ventured into the small village of Carennac I was amazed by its sense of tranquility, friendly nature of the people and pure charm.
I suggest when you have the chance you should pack your bags, look out for a beautiful French villa rentals on the internet, which are generally not badly priced, seeing it's France we are talking about. Before you know it, you too will be living in a quaint village in the country experiencing life as it was and you will be living a fine life. I have travelled a lot, but never experienced the lifestyle of past centuries in a tiny village called Carennac.
French Village Lifestyle
The village dates back as far as the 11th century, and this explains the fact of the ancient remains, which you will see as you walk around.
Carennac is situated on the banks of Dordgorne River and with a population of just under 400 you won't feel too overcrowded.
There is a wonderful French village bakery, which bakes fresh loaves of sourdough every morning. Walk over here every morning, and that is breakfast sorted out!
There are 2 ideal restaurants - Auberge du Vieux Quercy and the Hostellerie Fénelon where you can chill drinking french wine under long summer nights
Where to stay in Carennac?
It's funny how we can't imagine life without the internet these days, but just to think how much longer the whole process would take to go through and book a house, instead it's just a click away.
You can find private villa rentals for a week or two, which fits into the whole lifestyle. You can almost become one of the locals instead of being served hand and foot in a westernized hotel. Of course, there are amazing Bed and Breakfasts and smaller friendly hotels which are also great.
There is a cluster of French villages you could pick from and they are within a couple of kilometers of each other. Martel and Sarlat are well preserved. Carennac doesn't have any hotels, so you will have to go the rental route.
You can't not go to any part of France without sampling some of the finest French cuisine. After all this is where it all began. Great chefs more than often base their recipes on french food and work around it, adapting and creating their signature dish
The French are passionate about good food and fine produce. You can just see this by looking at the many colors and shapes of vegetables and fruit. I have not even heard of some of these walking into a local supermarket. As for a fresh market, this was just another story completely because they do one thing, and they do it well.
Being a chef and being trained in French cuisine, I felt like I was in my backyard. All the things that I had been taught at chef school appeared on every menu. It was great!
If you have the chance go to Sarlat, then take a seat at the Auberge de Mirandol for the best Duck Confit ever.
It might be wise to brush up on a few French phrases to get by. Most people know that the French are quite proud of their mother tongue.
What can I do?
A stroll down to the market on a saturday is great for keeping an eye out for the latest foie gras, which is renowned in this region or a couple of truffles for the foodies.
I would be happy to sit on the banks of the Dodgorne for an hour watching a couple of canoeists go by, so silent you can hear each stroke of the oar greeting the water and behind you birds are in constant chatter.
If you have ever watched the Tour de France, you can't but help noticing the vast array of castles and fortresses, which are evident in this area mostly which have been turned into chateaus. One spectacular site would be the chateau de Hauteford in Périgueux, which is surrounded by French style gardens. Hire a bike and take on the challenge of one of the many cycle routes in the area or go for the canoe option paddling up the river. Of course, if you would rather just take it easy, that is completely up to you. There is something for everyone here.
Come and Explore Burgundy
This is another option - about 4 hours from the village of Carennac
The region of Burgundy is located in the East of France, surrounded by places, such as Champagne and Lorraine. The major town of Dijon is associated with the making of fine wines and certain foods like Coq au Vin. It also hosts the gastronomic fair once a year. The history of medieval towns, along with the culture, no doubt explains why holiday properties in Burgundy are so popular.
What Can Visitors Do Here?
Different types of holidays in Burgundy can be planned ahead of time, which could involve a certain activity, such as mountain biking or hiking in the beautiful countryside. However, for people who want to experience something a little more tranquil, one could search for one of the holiday rentals in Burgundy in one of the historic towns.
The warmest months are over June, July and August with an average temperature of 25 degrees Celsius, making it a nice time to travel. However, some people may want to travel outside of these months in order to attend a special event, such as the Trois Glorieuses wine auction, for example, which is held every November.
More people are finding holiday properties in Burgundy to be a lot more convenient in terms of travel arrangements. This also allows you more freedom. For people who plan to travel while they are in the region, then hiring a car is a good idea. However, this is not always necessary, depending on the type of holiday. The high speed TGV train also travels from Paris to Burgundy in 1 hour and 20 minutes.