Cheval Blanc is a renovated stone home with a swimming pool overlooking the spectacular valley of the Lot river in southwestern France. With two double bedrooms, it is ideal for two to four guests.
The main building is a 19th century stone farm building which was completely renovated in 2011, keeping as many of the original features as possible. A new extension houses the kitchen and shower room.
The property is set in a hectare (two acres) of grounds, shared with the owners. There are many mature trees providing shade, including fruit trees, and guests can help themselves to the fruit.
Double doors lead out onto the gîte's own private terrace and garden. The terrace includes sun loungers and an outdoor dining table for four, shaded by a sun umbrella, which is an ideal spot to enjoy a meal. Outdoor lights let you also enjoy evening meals on the terrace at night or just sit in the dark and enjoy the night constellations.
The 10 by 5 metre outdoor swimming pool overlooks the valley and is surrounded by a terrace for sunbathing and relaxing. Across the road from the house, fields lead down to the river Lot. Hills and trees surround the property to the north and south.
On the ground floor, a comfortable living room has a pair of sofas and a dining table with four chairs and a breakfast bar. A TV & DVD player and a selection of DVDs provide entertainment, and wifi internet access is available.
Upstairs are two pretty double bedrooms, with the original wooden beams and stone walls. The main bedroom has a large door opening onto a Juliette balcony overlooking the garden.
Cheval Blanc is situated in the historic village of Larroque-Toirac, which has a medieval 12th century castle. In the adjoining village of Saint-Pierre-Toirac there is an 11th century church and a good pizzeria. The nearby towns and villages hold weekly markets, selling fresh regional produce and specialties, and there are also antique markets and flea markets.
Many sports and activities are available nearby, such as canoeing, windsurfing, and horse riding. The owners offer free use of bikes to their guests. The countryside is full of hiking trails to explore. This region has many caves, including the famous cave of Pech Merle with its original cave paintings, and Padirac which includes an underground lake that you can take a boat across.
For everyday shopping, the nearby town of Figeac has a variety of supermarkets and restaurants. It is officially listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France. It also houses the Museum Champollion, named after its most famous son, a 19th century scholar who deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphs. Figeac's Saturday market is particularly worth a visit.
Equally close in the other direction is the town of Cajarc, which has restaurants, supermarkets, and water sport facilities.
Plan to spend a day meandering along the Cère valley where one can hire a canoe, have lunch or a picnic, or do some hill climbing. It's also worth visiting Villefranche-de-Rouergue , Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, and the châteaux at Belcastel and Najac.
Also worth visiting on a day trip are the city of Albi, whose medieval cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The painter Toulouse-Lautrec came from here, and the city has a museum dedicated to him.
This region is rich in history, especially dating from the Hundred Years' War. The town of Rocamadour, built on the edge of a cliff in the turbulent middle ages, is well worth seeing. Today it's full of art galleries and studios. Cahors has an impressive medieval bridge and beautiful views of the river.