I have owned "Cantou" since 1989 and I enjoy it any time of year. The area is a getaway and base of operations for those
who want to explore rural France, la France profonde. Guests appreciate the authentic, warm welcome, historical
and cultural sites, fine moderate-price restaurants with renowned local cuisine and wine, the authentic people, appealing
"antique-ing" opportunities, and sometimes just the total relaxation, with nature, history, and beautiful and good-tasting
things all around.
Pech La Teulière is a 1300-foot (400 m.) hill that was a refuge and lookout for the Resistance during the Second
World War–the farmers never let the Nazi occupiers get to the top, even though they tried. "Cantou" is on a dead-end
road (cul-de-sac) serving about a dozen houses, in a hamlet with as many as 65 inhabitants in high season, as few as a dozen
in the winter. The national hiking trail, the Grande Randonnée, runs directly through the hamlet. At
the bottom of the hill and within 5 miles are all amenities like post office, banks (ATMs), supermarkets, movie house, bookstores
and other merchants in Biars-sur-Cère, Bretenoux and Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne. There are farmers' markets twice weekly; and special
delights are the late-spring Fête de la fraise (strawberry festival) in Beaulieu and the late-November regional attraction,
the Foire Ste. Catherine in Bretenoux.
The summers are brilliant and warm, usually around 75° – 85° F. (25° – 30° C.), with cool nights.
Winters are mild, typically around 40° – 50° F. (5° – 10° C.) by day and around freezing at night, with the occasional
light snowfall that melts by mid-day. The silence in spring is broken only by cuckoos' calls, and in the fall by dropping
walnuts and chestnuts.
Day trips can include the Dordogne, Lot, Célé and Tarn river valleys, historical, cultural and religious sites like
world-renowned Rocamadour, local secrets like Collonges-la-Rouge, natural wonders like the Gouffre de Padirac (a huge cave
300 feet below ground you visit in a boat), lots of caverns with prehistoric remnants; or even a visit to the Mediterranean
at Narbonne or the Atlantic at Bordeaux. Animal lovers will especially like the Parc Animalier de Gramat, with 100 acres
of wild, domestic and endangered species, lovingly cared for. Regional museums abound and include the Musée Champollion of
Egyptian treasures in Figeac, the Musée de la Déportation in Brive-la-Gaillarde, the Musée de l'Homme for prehistoric man
in Les Éyzies; and the Musée Ingres in Montauban houses his stunning portrait of Madame Gonse that's worth the trip in itself.
Périgueux has significant Roman ruins and a lovely city park built within the confines of the former Roman arena,
and Sarlat is a completely restored medieval town. Nearby St. Céré hosts a nationally recognized summer music festival, with
performances of grand opera in the courtyard of the Château Castelnau-Bretenoux. Guests always tell me they run out of time
long before they run out of attractions and activities. Below are the present weather conditions nearby.