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Beral

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8.5
Rating
 

The house

"We had a brilliant time!" "We had to come back!" Our beaming visitors say Béral is the perfect getaway for adults and for kids! The traditional 18th-century farmhouse in white Quercy stone is matched by the splendour of its private full-sized HEATED salt-fed pool, large terrace with ping-pong & barbeque, orchard and exquisite setting. All has been sensitively restored to be characterful but with modern conveniences. The property is set into the side of a hill, with everything facing south; the terrace, pool and gardens are spread out to give wonderful views over the fields of sunflowers. Inside, the farmhouse has a large main living room, with stone and whitewashed walls, a traditional corner kitchen and a beamed open fireplace. To either side are delightful bedrooms, one with a double bed, the other with a king bed and a cot if needed. All the rooms have views over the valley. The upstairs bathroom has a hipbath with a shower, and a toilet. Downstairs are two more bedrooms - both with antique floor tiles and two single beds - and a second bathroom. The house has been tastefully restored to retain all its ancient character, but with modern facilities throughout.

Facilities

  • Independent
  • Local contact
  • Dishwasher
  • Washing machine
  • Tumble dryer
  • Iron
  • Pets welcome
  • Cot
  • Internet
  • Fireplace
  • Hair dryer
  • Bath
  • With swimming pool
  • Heated pool

Surroundings

location Click on image to open an interactive map

The property is set into the side of the hill, with everything facing south. There are lots of places to sit out and relax. Behind the farmhouse you walk up the path to a grassy sitting-out area, a real suntrap, with lovely views over the surrounding valleys across the fields of sunflowers. The terrace is shaded, with a barbeque, table and ping-pong. The garden has seats, tables, and a hammock under the trees, as well as an orchard with a swing. The full-sized heated salt-fed pool has sunshine all day, with loungers, parasols and a solar shower.

At Béral, near the village of Lascabanes, the wine region of Cahors meets the plum and nut country of Agen. The Cahors vines ripen on the high limestone uplands of the causse and in the sun-drenched valleys of the Lot as it meanders spectacularly westwards from Cahors, studded with chateaux commanding the heights. This is bastide country, endlessly fought over in the Crusades. In these more peaceful times, the villages luxuriate in their heritage, with local markets for meat, cheese (Roquefort is not far away), vegetables, antiques, and everything else imaginable. The countryside is also great for walking and cycling. From Béral, you can walk straight out onto the oak-strewn landscape of the hills, joining the pilgrim trail of St Jacques de Compostela (GR65) less than a mile away. This is one of the classic walks through France to Spain, a legendary pilgrim route from the Middle Ages. Or drive into nearby Montcuq, 5 miles away, with its shops, cinema and cafés in the village square, as romantic in the sparkling sun as under the late-night stars. Within easy reach are attractions as varied as kayaking on the Lot and Célé rivers, exploring France's most important prehistoric caves at Pech Merle, with their 15,000 year-old paintings, visiting the Toulouse Lautrec Museum in the painter's home town of Albi, and wandering through the exquisite cathedral and cloisters at Moissac.

  • Rural
  • Hilly
  • Meadows and woodland
  • In or near a village
  • In or near a town

Restaurants, food & wine

The local Sunday market in Montcuq is fabulous. It fills the main streets with stalls selling local produce of all kinds. In addition, most nearby towns and cities host markets on certain days of the week. In Prayssac, the market is held on Friday mornings. In Cahors, the covered market (the best place for cheese, and good for wine, meat and vegetables) is open every day at the south end of the Place de la Cathedrale in the old quarter. There is an outside market by the Cathedral on Saturday mornings. Castelnau-Montratier has a Sunday market, and in Luzech it is held on Wednesday mornings.

Béral is situated in Cahors 'black wine' country. Cahors wine, made from Malbec grapes, is renowned worldwide for its unique style - a perfect accompaniment to the locally popular cassoulet. The Cahors vineyards are everywhere, from Béral to the river Lot.  The drive to Prayssac gives you a good view, and the overlook of the Lot valley from Belaye is very special.   The Clos de Gamot, outside Prayssac, is one of the most famous, but you are spoilt for choice.   If you want to converse in English with an owner to find out more about it, Michael and Susan Spring run the Domaine du Garinet at Le Boulvé - good wine in a beautiful setting.   You can get a nice 4 litres en vrac from them, excellent bottles of the Cahors red, a remarkable Malbec rosé, and - a rarity - a new line of white wine (vin de Quercy).   Outside the Cahors region, there are also interesting vineyards around Gaillac, specializing in white wine.

In Montcuq, the main cheap local bars/restaurants face each other in fierce rivalry across the Place de la République - the Café du Centre and the more touristy Café de France.   Good local food, including a prodigious salade Quercynoise.   North, nearer the river, the Auberge de la Tour in Sauzet serves authentic Quercy cuisine at a generally high standard.   In Cahors, we have enjoyed Le Rendez-Vous, in the Rue Clément Marot, a small lane just north of the Cathedral, with a good 3-course menu at around 35 Euros.   The gourmet experience nearby is at Claude Marco in Lamagdelaine, just up the Lot river from Cahors (about a 30-minute drive).   The Menu Gourmand (5 courses) is currently 60 Euros or so.   Well worth it for a splash out.   There are also many auberges serving lunches, and countless other restaurants, from pizzerias to Le Gindreau at Saint-Médard near Catus, with its Michelin star and remarkable prices.


Activities

The countryside is great for walking and cycling. From Béral, you can walk straight out onto the oak-strewn landscape of the hills, joining the pilgrim trail of St Jacques de Compostela (GR65) less than a mile away. This is one of the classic walks through France to Spain, a legendary pilgrim route from the Middle Ages.

Kayaking is available in Cahors and at various places up the Lot and Cele rivers. The local tourist offices (e.g., in Montcuq) will have details and phone numbers for this and many other sporting opportunities. Should you need it, there is a local "plan d'eau" - a swimming lake with sand, boats and so on, just the other side of Montcuq.

There are too many attractions to suggest more than a few. Among the distinctive villages, you might want to see Lascabanes with its flowers and church; Lauzerte, high on a hill, a carefully restored bastide with a remarkable town square and good festivals; Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, a 45-minute drive up the Lot, is the most famous village of the area, a medieval town in a spectacular cliffside setting hanging over the river - good restaurants too; Montpezat-de-Quercy has a beautiful arcaded square, and half-timbered houses. Rocamadour is not far away. Figeac is worth a visit.

With the porous limestone prevalent on the causse, there are important caves in the area. The two most famous are the Gouffre de Padirac, a set of enormous chambers going on for miles, with incredible rock formations (north of Gramat), and the huge underground village of Peche Merle, with its prehistoric paintings and traces of early man (up the Célé river from Cahors).

The most interesting castle in the immediate vicinity is the Chateau de Bonaguil, near Fumel, an extravagant folly that mixes the medieval and the Renaissance.

The most well-known museums in the area include the Toulouse Lautrec museum in Albi (which also has a wonderful red-brick cathedral), the Musée des Beaux Arts in Agen, and the Musée d'Ingres in Montaubon. There are many other types of museum covering every aspect of Quercy life.

Among the cathedrals and abbeys, apart from Albi, you might consider driving to the wonderful abbey at Moissac, which also has a stunning set of well-preserved cloisters.

  • Bicycle
  • Near hiking trails
  • Near ATB trails
  • Near riding
  • Fishing
  • Mountain sports
  • Flying and gliding

Further remarks

Look out for our SPRING BREAK SPECIAL for 2017 - 25% off published prices for couples traveling on their own: January - May 20, 2017. Plan a trip at the best time of year and book now!!


Additional price info and offers

For 2018:

SPECIAL SPRING BREAK 2018: 25% off (yes!) for a couple traveling on their own, January - May, 2018. Plan a spring break at the best time of year and book now!


Price includes

  • Towels, Bed linen

Price exclusive

  • Safety deposit € 250.00
  • Cleaning fee (compulsory) € 100.00

Availability of 'Beral'

Richard Evans has last updated the calendar on 16 Dec 2018

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Guestbook

Visitors of Beral evaluate this property in the past 4 years with an average of:

8.5
Visited in July 2017
Patrick Debacker

We hebben 2 weken verbleven in Béral. De gastheer en gastvrouw zijn vriendelijk en behulpzaam.
Het is een prachtige omgeving, maar het weer moet zeker ook meezitten.
We hebben een aantal dagen grijs weer gehad, maar het werd helemaal prachtig als de zon straalde aan een volledig blauwe lucht. Het mooie en verwarmde zwembad is super.
De rust van de omgeving is zeker een pluspunt, anderzijds ben je snel een uur of meer onderweg met de wagen als je iets wilt bezichtigen. Een aanrader als je van de rust houdt in een prachtige omgeving.

8
Visited in July 2017

We hebben een zeer fijne week in Beral achter de rug.
Het zwembad is fantastisch. Mooi terras met bbq. Prachtig uitzicht!
Mooie omgeving waar je verschillende leuke activiteiten kan doen!

9

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