Out and About: Activities
The region around Le Mas offers a wide variety of activities for those who want to do more than catch up on sleep and laze in the sun with a good book. They include cycling, canoeing, horse riding and golf. There are also many beautiful surrounding villages waiting to be explored and the region was once home of prehistoric man so it boasts a number of caves decorated with stunning paintings.
There are a number of places where you can hire canoes and enjoy the Dordogne and the surrounding countryside from the river. We like Canoes du Port D’Enveaux. (05126.96.36.199).
Port D’Enveaux is located on the road from St Cyprien to Beynac (D703). 6km past St Cyprien turn right onto the C3, it is after the road to Allas Les Mines and at a small crossroads. Once you have turned right you pass a red brick building and an abbatoir on your right. Continue along the road until you reach the river.
You will be taken by minibus the river to just before Cenac and you canoe down. If you paddle fast you can do it in just over a couple of hours, or you can make a day of it and take a picnic, stopping on the way down at one of the beaches. Alternatively there are few restaurants en route. Probably the easiest such stop is just before the bridge at Castelnaud.
Also at Port D’Enveaux is a great accrobranche adventure with exciting trails through the treetops connected by ropes, rope ladders and zip lines. Check the Airparc website for more information.
Amazing caves are found at Le Grand Roc, Les Eyzies. This is a sheltered spot where archaelogical digs have revealed evidence to suggest it was inhabited by prehisoric man. It’s a fascinating tour. On site there is a restaurant and toilets. Additional sites can be found at La Roc St-Christophe, past Les Eyzies on the D706. It’s another archaelogical site, but unlike Laugerie Basse it is set on a shelf in the cliff rather than in an eroded cave at the bottom.
There is an 18 hole course at Siorac en Perigord, about 18 kms away at Golf de Lolivaire / Tel: 05 53 30 22 69 and more basic 9 hole course close to it : Golf de la Forge /Tel: 05 53 31 99 76.
Other local courses can be found via this link : golf-dordogne-perigord.com
Although our friend and neighbour Arnaud Lascombe has horses, he only trains and convalesces those of others and is not licensed to take guests. He recommends either Didier Benne at Biron (labrideducazal.fr) or Maeva Pollen at Belves (boschevalrouge.fr).
If you want a change from the swimming pool then it is lovely to go and swim in one of the nearby rivers. We usually go to Limeuil, which is where the Vezere and Dordogne Rivers meet. There is a pebbly but quite nice beach on the south side, down a track just by the bridge off the D 51E. The water is fast flowing so potentially dangerous for young children and weak swimmers, but it is very shallow. It is really fun to float and let the water carry you away. It’s hard work swimming back though so we usually walk back up the beach! We also swim whilst canoeing… see above.
Tremolat has an organised bathing area which is sign posted from Beynac. There are small beaches on both sides of the river which can be stopped at when travelling by canoe or alternatively it is easy to climb down from the banks. It is often busy with tourists. Just outside Monpazier there is a small man made lake next to the camping site on the road to Marsales. Although small you can rent pedelos there. There are two bars and one right on the water’s front. The second on the far side by the camping site is a drinking spot for the local teenagers. In Belves there is a public swimming pool. It is on the left hand side, just after the swimming pool as you enter Belves from the Monpazier direction.
There are courts at Monpazier on the road to Beaumont (as you leave Monpazier on the right hand side). There are more courts at Belves on the road to Monpazier (on the left as you drive from Monpazier, just after the supermarket).