RiberacRiberac is a bustling market town. The Friday morning market offers cheeses, foie gras, wine, fresh oysters, meat or even painted plates and pots - an essential visit. Riberac has banks, a post office, chemists, two large supermarkets, several boulangeries and patisseries, and many individual shops. There are coffee shops in the market square and excellent restaurants.
Cycle hire is available in Riberac. Horseriding and fishing are available nearby. The Office de Tourisme in Riberac town centre can give details on these and on the marked mountain bike routes in the vicinity.
In the summer months Canoe/Kayak hire is available at the Riberac campsite and at most towns along the Dronne river: Aubeterre, Bourdeilles, Brantome - just choose your stretch of river! Again the Office de Tourisme can give details. The routes are all downstream and a minibus will either take you to the starting point or collect you from the finishing point.
Other places of interest include:
Aubeterre (9 miles)A medieval hilltop village on the Dronne river, officially classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France. It has a fascinating monolithic church dug into the cliff. Aubeterre also has river swimming with a good sandy beach.
La Jemaye (9 miles)The Grand Etang is a large lake with sandy beaches. Windsurfers and pedalos can be hired there. You can ride in the forest and there are snack bars and restaurant.
Lac Garenne (7 miles)Offering swimming, pedaloes and a restaurant under the watchful gaze of Chateau de Belet.
Chateau de Bourdeilles (17m) and Chateau de Puyguilhem (31m)Very popular - you can tour from Chateau to Chateau all day and still be back in time for supper.
Brantome (22 miles)A spectacular riverside setting and historic caves carved into the chalk cliffs. Brantome is built on an island in the Dronne river. Its abbey features an 11th century bell tower - the oldest still standing in France
Bergerac (32 miles)Here you can visit the vineyards and chateaux, taste and buy direct from the Vintners - Bergerac reds and whites and the nearby famous Monbazillac sweet white wine.
Les Eyzies (50 miles)Les Eyzies and the surrounding area is famous for its caves with prehistoric paintings. Two examples are the 5 miles of Rouffignac caves with 270 paintings and friezes and the Abri de Cap Blanc with a life size frieze of horses and bison sculpted in the rock. Also visit he cave at Grand Roc with its impressive crystals, stalagmites and stalectites.
Lascaux II (56 miles)Lascaux is world famous for its prehistoric cave paintings. The original has been closed for decades because of deterioration but an identical copy, Lascaux II, has been created using identical materials a few minutes walk away.
Cognac (56 miles)Cognac - famous for the cognac drink. Vist the manufacturers Hennessy in Cognac itself or Courvoisier at Jarnac (8 miles before Cognac).
Sarlat (65 miles)Sarlat-le-Caneda is famous for the largest concentration of medieval, Renaissance and 17th century facades of any town in France. It is also famous for its huge Saturday morning market - one of the best in France - street after street of stalls.
Castles along the DordogneNear Sarlat on the river Dordogne are the famous clifftop castles of Domme and Castelnaud and the picturesque village of la Roque Gageac with its cave dwellings in the cliffs inhabited since prehistoric times. Canoe/Kayak hire at Vitrac allows you to sedately paddle past them all.
Further afield:The well known Futuroscope theme park is just over 2 hours drive away (5 miles north of Poitiers).
Royan (NW of Bordeaux) on the Atlantic coast is a popular resort with 5 sandy beaches - approx 2 hours drive.
Arcachon (SW of Bordeaux) is another popular Atlantic coastal resort approx 2 hours drive away.
Just south of Arcachon is the huge Dune du Pilat - the largest sand dune in Europe - almost 2 miles long.