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Villefranche de Lonchat - pretty bastide in the Bergerac winelands

Villefranche de Lonchat is a pretty little bastide village which lies in the very heart of the Bergerac winelands in south-west France. With landscapes of typical Bergerac character all around, you can enjoy gazing out onto hillsides dressed with manicured ranks of productive vines, or the lower lying pastures and woodlands which provide a good income from agriculture. The village itself sadly lost many of its original features, such as walls and gateways, to the ravages of war, but still retains a huge amount of charm and endears itself to all who stumble upon it.

Unspoiled by modernity

The village is tranquil and unspoiled by much tourism, however, with attractive and unassuming old stone houses, narrow alleyways and a seemingly ever present sun above. Sights worth seeing include the Church of Notre Dame, which, unusually (especially for a bastide church), lies some 400 metres outside the village itself, whilst still being very definitely the village church.

Villefranche de Lonchat's museum and town hall

You should also make time to visit the Museum, which traces everyday life in the area around Villefranche de Lonchat from pre-historic times to modern day. The town hall is an interesting building, having been recently classified as an historical monument. As well as these, you can see an old wash house and a weighing house with traditional scales.

Lively heart with all amenities

Small it may be, but inside this little bastide village beats a lively and warm heart. There are shops, bars and restaurants and better services than in many a larger village or town, with a bank, post office and petrol station, so there is plenty to enjoy for visitors and residents alike.

Markets, carnivals and cycling races

There is a market on Tuesday mornings and a very charming Christmas market, ideal for entertaining visitors or for those inspired last minute gifts. There are several cultural events throughout the year, including a spring carnival held in March, and a cycling race heralded by a great display of fireworks on August 15th every summer.

Out and about

The village is charming but it is not extensive, and you will almost certainly want to get out and about to explore more of this wonderful area. One of the first places to see could be Montpon Ménestérol, a lovely nearby market town with a few more shops and amenities. Then there is Bergerac, which deserves much more than just one visit, and a myriad of delightful towns, villages and country beauty spots all within easy reach of Villefranche de Lonchat.

Sports on offer

For those of you who seek sporting activities, this is a great area. There is a huge leisure lake very close to the village, Lac de Gurson where you can take part in a number of activities such as fishing, swimming, sailing, tennis, horse-riding and simply sunbathing on the pretty white sand beaches protected by a backdrop of tall pines. Within a short drive of the town there are many other sports available, with golf and canoeing and many more easily accessible.

How to get there

It's easy to get to Villefranche de Lonchat thanks to the airport at Bergerac, served by budget airline Ryanair and flybe. Also accessible is Bordeaux, which is served by British Airways, flybe, bmibaby, Aer Lingus and easyJet. The super fast TGV will get you to Libourne from where you can hire a car or take a local train to nearer your destination. If you are driving, the A89 is the closest auto route. The town is actually situated at the crossroads of the D9 and D32.

Property prices and availability in and around Villefranche de Lonchat

Prices in the Dordogne are sometimes rather high, when compared with some parts of France, as the area is very popular with foreign buyers. There are still bargains to be found, but you need to watch the market closely and move quickly when you spot something! There are many different types of property available, from old stone houses and farms to luxury modern villas.

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Villefranche de Lonchat AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Villefranche de Lonchat?

Villefranche de Lonchat is situated in south-west France. It lies in the west of the Dordogne department.

Villefranche de Lonchat Property Map

IN THE REGION OF AQUITAINE

Aquitaine Guide

Aquitaine Property Map

IN THE DEPARTMENT OF DORDOGNE

Dordogne Guide

  Dordogne Map


Population: 800


Access: By air: Fly to Bergerac or Bordeaux. By rail: There are TGV stops at Libourne and Angoulême, from which you can link to a local train to Castillon la Bataille or Montpon Ménestérol. By road: Villefranche de Lonchat is near the A89.


Economy: The economy is agricultural, with wine of particular importance.


Interesting fact: If you want to feel less of a foreigner, Villefranche de Lonchat may be ideal, as it is an English bastide, built under English rule in the 13th century.


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