To enjoy the very best of France and avoid the crowds, head to the Dordogne, the romantic backwater in rural Aquitaine. Rupert Springfield, co-owner of the charming Le Mas & Le Mazet reports that “luckily the only traffic jams in the Dordogne are around Sarlat in the summer on a market day!”

Crossed by the Dordogne river to the south, and the Vézère running north-east from Limeuil, the region boasts some of the lushest landscape in all of France. The area is dotted with ancient monasteries and castles and is home to the world-famous Lascaux Caves. The Dordogne offers excellent wineries, fine cuisine and some of the prettiest villages to be found anywhere.

Le Mas & Le Mazet - at Home in France's Peaceful DordogneLe Mas & Le Mazet is a 16th-century farmhouse located in the heart of the Dordogne countryside, provides the perfect base for exploring. In 2016, owners Rupert Springfield and Franck van der Hooft teamed up with Dutch interior designer Joris van Grinsven to renovate both houses, adding modern design to complement the history and character of the buildings. With six bedrooms, Le Mas accommodates up to 10 guests and  is ideal for multi-generational families, groups of friends or even a garden club. Le Mazet is a charming 1-bedroom cottage with the most gorgeous views over the valley to the 12th-century village church. Le Mas & Le Mazet can be rented individually or together for groups of up to 12 guests. On behalf of the Ministry of Tourism, Le Mas was awarded 5-stars by the Dordogne Perigord Tourist Board. The classification is based on the facilities, space, accommodation and information offered to guests. It is the perfect base to explore all of the castles, markets, prehistoric caves, wineries and restaurants that the Dordogne has to offer. Recently recognized by The Times’ 50 best holidays in France for 2019, it is an idyllic retreat for families or groups of friends after a day’s excursion.

Surrounding Sights to Delight
20 minutes away – Belvès
Built in the Middle Ages on the site of an ancient hill fort, this small village has seven towers and is classed as one of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France. It is nicknamed the ‘city of the Pope’ as  it was part of the medieval fiefdom of Pope Clement V.

40 minutes away – Bergerac
Bergerac has always been an important trading town, with a quayside on the river where boats would carry goods to the port of Bordeaux. It’s home to Cyrano de Bergerac and to wine. There are over 300,000 acres of vineyards in the area with 13 appellations for red, rosé, dry and sweet white wines like the famous Monbazillac.

60 minutes away – Sarlat
Often described as the pearl of the Dordogne, Sarlat is a town of exceptional beauty with its narrow winding streets, stone roofs & open squares. It is one of the most important undamaged medieval city centres of the world. Thousands of tourists visit this small town yearly, so plan your trip well!

100 minutes away – Saint-Émilion
On the way to Bordeaux, Saint-Émilion is a beautiful town world famous for its wine. The vineyards around the town are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and offer wine tours and tasting.

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