Welcome to Romestaing, once the home of the Knights Templar. 'Au Bourg' is a charming 160-year-old traditional village house that sleeps eight and is the perfect place to wind down, relax and enjoy the best that rural French life has to offer.
The area is rich in history and there are plenty of wonderful places to discover - whether a 12th Century cathedral on the old pilgrimage route to Compostella, the castle where Henry IV kept his wife the Reine Margot locked up, or the home of some of Bordeaux's most prestigious wines, Saint Emilion.
For those of a more active disposition, there is plenty to do in the area, from cycling to canoeing, riding to golf - and there are three fantastic places to swim within a 15 minute drive: a pool, a spa and a freshwater lake.
The area is known as the orchard of France, and you can buy the most delicious food from the many local markets, as well as sampling some surprisingly good wines (Cote du Marmandais) from the local wine cooperative. An ideal home for two families to share, or for groups of friends.
|Size||Sleeps up to 8, 4 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||Casteljaloux Lake 16 km|
|Will consider||House swap, Long term lets (over 1 month), Short breaks (1-4 days)|
|Nearest Amenities||5 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Bordeaux 80 km, Nearest railway: Marmande 20 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
|Luxuries||Log fire, Internet access, DVD player|
|General||TV, CD player, Telephone, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Dishwasher, Cooker, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms and 1 Shower rooms|
|Furniture||Single beds (4), Double beds (2), Dining seats for 8, Lounge seats for 6|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ, Bicycles available|
The Aquitaine region is one of the most fertile and varied in France. Home to some of France's greatest wines as well as 'the legendary 'foie gras', it is an area where 'la douceur de vivre' is taken very seriously: life is about enjoying the fruits of the earth and the vine, at a considerably more leisurely pace than in the north. The area is rich in history and there are plenty of wonderful places to discover - whether a 12th Century cathedral on the old pilgrimage route to Compostella, the castle where Henry IV kept his wife the Reine Margot locked up, or the home of some of Bordeaux's most prestigious wines, Saint Emilion. Here below are just some of the local sights that are well worth a trip. And if you fancy being more active, there is no lack of choice, from playing golf to cycling, swimming to kayaking, and of course... wine-tasting.
Bazas is a charming hill-top town about 20km away, which boasts a magnificent cathedral, the Cathédrale Saint Jean-Baptiste. The cathedral looks onto a beautiful square, dotted with cafes and local artisan shops, and you also can walk out onto a part of the old city ramparts with a lovely view into the green valley below.
The Château Royal de Cazeneuve is an historic 13th century castle once home to the kings of Navarre, and later King Henri IV of France and his wife Queen Margot. Located a stone's throw from the Ciron Gorges (a Natura 2000 site), the château and grounds have been lovingly restored to their former glory. The castle features royal quarters fitted out with authentic period furniture, as well as a storehouse, outbuildings, medieval underground wine cellar, and bakery. Dotted with trees and featuring several ponds, the beautifully landscaped grounds feature an historic prison, troglodyte caves, and a nymphaeum. Count around 45 minutes to get there by car from Romestaing - well worth the trip.
La Réole lies about 25km north west of Romestaing and is full of hidden gems. The town centre has narrow, cobbled streets, with many houses built in the traditional colombage style, with their wooden beams visible on the facade. The best way to discover the town is to walk along the well-signposted 'Circuit Pédestre', which will take you past the main historical buildings, including what was the oldest town hall in France, originally built for Richard the Lionheart.
And finally, for further inspiration on what to do and see, have a look at the France-Voyage website for the Lot-et-Garonne, which has dozens of great suggestions and photos.
The village of Romestaing is nestled among rolling hills, right on the edge of the Lot-et-Garonne, bordering the Gironde. The settlement dates back to Roman times - Romestaing is thought to originate from Romana Statio, or Roman Station, and as it is based on a hill top, it was most likely an important crossroads. In the second half of the 12th Century, the Knights Templar founded a Commanderie, of which the fortified church still remains.
At the beginning of the 14th Century the French king Philippe Le Bel abolished the order of the Knights Templar, which was succeeded in the 16th Century by the Knights Hospitaller, also known as the Knights of Malta. Allegedly, you can find still stone markers in the area that bear the Maltese cross, though after several years of assiduous searching, we have yet to find them. Let this be your holiday treasure hunt...