We are returning to Perigord Retreat in 2022!
We had such a marvelous time in 2019 that plans are secure for a return 9-18 October 2022 (10 days/9 nights). The Dordorgne and Lot Rivers area offers much for our visit and those who return are promised to see new villages (and maybe some of our favorites from 2019). We are a small group, so make plans now! Pics below are from 2019. A few of the towns to visit next time are at the bottom.
Learn how to record your travels with an art journal and enjoy plein aire sketching. Or, if you choose to rest and relax at the property, our studio at Perigord is available to us at any time. Our private family-owned villa in the countryside also offers an indoor pool. And, now a new jacuzzi has been installed for unwinding at the end of another beautiful day~ Wonderful gourmet meals will be prepared daily for our group by Angela and Chloe.
For travel: There are several options.
1) Fly into Paris and spend the night in Paris Austerlitz, then take a train to 46300 Gourdon (it takes about 5 hours)
2) Fly into Paris, take the train to 46300 Gourdon and spend the night in Gourdon. Connect with fellow group members at breakfast and spend the morning investigating the town. After lunch we are picked up by our hosts, the Turners of Perigord Retreats.
3) Fly into Toulouse. This is the nearest airport (TLS is the airport code). Spend the day and night in Toulouse and then travel north to Gourdon.
4) Fly into Touslouse, catch the afternoon train to 46300 Gourdon, spend the night in Gourdon the day before we begin at Perigord Retreat. [This is what I am doing--Darla]
Additionally, you may choose to add days on your own before or after our event to acclimate and discover more!
So, both alternatives require taking a train into 46300 Gourdon. As the time nears we can coordinate travel plans (Darla is flying from DFW airport).
Note: for some reason, there are 2 Gourdons in France...be sure you come to 46300 Gourdon in Southern France, Dordogne and Lot River area.
This note from Perigord Retreat:
"Some participants have found it easier to fly in to Toulouse a day or two early to get acclimatised to French time which leaves you ready and raring to go when you arrive at Perigord Retreats. On departure day, anyone flying back to the USA via Paris may find it easier to take the train from Gourdon, 5 minutes from Perigord Retreats. This is approximately a 5 hour train ride taking you through the countryside of France before arrival in central Paris. Some find this a nice alternative rather than taking an extra plane ride.The choice is yours. For anyone needing to travel on a different day, the train also travels to Toulouse, one hour 40 minutes with a shuttle service to the airport.
For reference, our transport is air conditioned minibus/people carriers and dependant on the number in the group, one or two vehicles may be used."
[Note from Darla: In 2019 most of my group flew into Paris then took the train to Gourdon. It is 5.5 hours but a lovely ride and you can buy food on the train if you wish. There is more than one Gourdon. The one to use is the Gourdon 46300 train station (directly south of Brive-Gaillarde). My group spent one night in Gourdon and strolled through Gourdon the next morning shopping,visiting the church, had a beer at a sidewalk cafe and lunch outside at our hotel. After lunch we were picked up by our Perigord hosts. Ask me for details.]
From Darla: Perigord is a lovely 5-acre property where Harrison tends the gardens and Angela's favorites are the chickens. Rows of lavender grow behind the studio. The Turners have 2 homes on the property with an indoor pool and plenty of room to relax. My husband, Gary, provided morning yoga when we were there last and half our group partook of the relaxation. Come and see why we are anxious to return!
What is included: The 10 days include your Gourdon pickup/return with the group, excursion transports, lodging and gourmet meals prepared for our group (with the exception of 2 lunches and 1 dinner) plus your workshop instruction from Darla.
Where we are visiting: I will be canvasing returning artists for favorites, but I hope to see all new places this year. Of course, our visit will include a visit to ancient caves to see the remarkble pre-historic cave paintings!
The Nitty Gritty:
The rates include your workshop, transport from Gourdon and excursion transport, entry to those locations that charge, lodging and chef-prepared meals. (It does not include your airfare).
Check with Perigord Retreats for rates. https://perigord-retreats.com/about/
The Perigord website video shows the property and a 3-D video of the villa rooms.
To register use the Perigord website. https://perigord-retreats.com/ Email me with any questions, or the Turner family at Perigord Art Holidays is very patient with questions, so feel free to ask!
I will be checking out airfare options. Let me know if you want that info! It's fun to fly together. Check your passport now to be sure it doesn't expire at least 2 weeks after travel is due to complete. Due to the pandemic there is a delay in passport renewal.
If you have never been to France and want to add more, talk to Darla about ideas for a longer holiday. For example, there is a train you may take from the retreat/workshop to Paris. Giverney is only a day train trip from Paris to see Monet's garden and Versailles is the same if you wish to see the opulance of the palace and grounds. Of course, the Louvre and many other world-class art museums are in Paris...a train ride from Perigord. So many options! The train from Paris is about 5.5 hours, so you will need accomodations in Gourdon for one night before the workshop/retreat begins the following day. It allows the perfect amount of time the next morning to visit the sites in Gourdon and have lunch before being picked up to begin our art adventure. In 2019 those taking the train chose the same hotel and it was a terrific way to casually get to know the group as we met for breakfast the next day.
WHAT VILLAGES WILL WE VISIT ON OUR UPCOMING FRANCE ADVENTURE?
There are many possibilities...here are some of them:
This medieval town has several highlights in the town center with lovely squares , streets and has a frontage on the Dordogne River. On Rue Saint Clar one can find good examples of the half-timbered buildings where the upper story overhangs the lower floor of the building. The favorite square of the locals is nearby--the Place de la Mirpe. Above the main square one finds the Saint Jacques Church, part of the Saint Jacques de Compostella pilgrimage. Although much of it was destroyed in the Wars of Religion, the attractive and original bell-tower and balcony are present. A statue of Cyrano de Bergerac stands next to the church. The cafes, small houses and shops are worth a visit. One unusual home is located near the square on Re Saint James. You will find a 14th century building and number 26 is known for its odd sculptures set into the walls. As one wanders the streets of this town. Angela is famous for her Perigord picnics and it is possible we might do that below the village on the Dordogne River banks near the old bridge. Historically this area was important as a port but today the gabarres (traditional boats) carry only visitors for a river trip. On Saturdays the village holds market, one of the largest and most colorful markets in the Dordogne.
A charming midieval city, Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne is known for its abbey St Pierre, of which only the abbey remains today. It contains outstanding art works. The Chateau d'Estresse is a must-see. It was built on a terrace supported by a medieval retaining wall on the Dordogne river. It consists of buildings from the 14th-16th centuries and the restored Chateau is among the historical buildings of the city. While we will miss the strawberry festival in May, we can taste the jams.
Cahors is located on the Lot River and is celebrated for its deep red wine, elaborate municipal gardens and the Pont Valentré, a medieval bridge with 3 towers. The village has many half-timbered houses with narrow alleyways. The imposing Cathédrale St-Étienne (Cahors Cathedral) was built in Gothic and Romanesque styles, with large domes and centuries-old frescoes.
PECH MERLE PREHISTORIC CAVE VISIT
We missed seeing this cave in 2019 and it is absolutely a must see for 2021. It is one of the few caves open to the public and boasts of woolly mammoth, spotted horses, reindeer, handrpints and even human images. Most remarkable, childrens' footprints are seen here, preserved in what was once clay half a mile inside the cave.
In a village where each building is red, it is easy to see the reason for the name. Homes hang over the walkways creating tunnels as one walks the intimate streets. The architecture is unique using the local red stones. To say this village has charm is an understatement!
There are so many other options!