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Villeréal - a perfect bastide town

Villeréal (or Villereal) is as perfect example of a characterful bastide town as you are likely to find anywhere in France. The town, which lies in south-west France in the Lot-et-Garonne department of the Aquitaine region, was built in the 13th century, and conforms to the usual pattern of buildings on a grid, surrounding a central arcaded or covered square. The market square, which was built in the 14th century, is particularly remarkable. Villaréal also has the superb 16th century addition of the municipal offices, which are built on top of the market square forming a unique point of interest and hub of the town.

Villeréal's Saturday market

It is definitely worth getting up early to catch the best of the market that is held in the town every Saturday morning. Not only does this afford the chance to buy fabulous fresh local produce and to sample local specialities, but also provides a huge dose of the colour and character of south-western French life, held as it is in the atmospheric central square and narrow streets of this lovely town.

Shops and town life of Villeréal

Some of France's prettiest character towns are tourist traps only, and seem to fall asleep in the winter months leaving those left behind feeling rather marooned. This is not the case with Villeréal, where there is a lively feeling throughout the year, and where the shops, cafés and restaurants are open in winter as they are in summer. There's plenty to see and do too, around town, with some intriguing heritage to follow and enjoy. Take a look at the old Leper House, with its sculpted door, and reflect on how times have changed for the better in at least some respects! There is a leaflet you can obtain from the Tourist Office that will guide you to these interesting sites and historic parts of town.

Leisures and pleasures

Whatever your pleasure and preferred way of spending your leisure time, there will be something to suit you in or near Villeréal. The countryside around the town is very beautiful and relaxing, so you could simply choose to spend time driving around and exploring the fascinating towns and villages that dot the landscape here. If, however, you want to be more active, there are lots of sports that you can easily access in the areas close to Villeréal. Horse-riding, swimming, fishing, hiking, cycling... all are available.

How to get there

Fly to Bordeaux, Bergerac or Toulouse. Bordeaux is served by British Airways, bmibaby, Aer Lingus and easyJet; Bergerac by flybe and Ryanair; and Toulouse by British Airways, easyJet, bmi and Jet2. Train travel is another possibility, with TGV links from Paris to Bordeaux and Toulouse.

Property prices and availability in and around Villeréal

If you love the Perigord but not the prices that can prevail in the very popular Dordogne, then you might do well to consider Villeréal. The prices may be a little lower, as the "Dordogne price hike" doesn't apply, yet the Dordogne is on your doorstep and you will have many of the advantages of this lovely area. It is not however the cheapest place in France for property, as its position between Toulouse and Bordeaux makes it highly desirable.

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Villeréal AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Villeréal?

Villeréal is situated in south-west France. It lies in the north-east of the Lot-et-Garonne department, close to the border with the Dordogne.

Villeréal Property Map


Aquitaine Guide

Aquitaine Property Map


Lot-et-Garonne Guide

  Lot-et-Garonne Map

Population: 1,317

Access: By air: Fly to Bergerac, Bordeaux or Toulouse with a variety of airlines. By rail: The TGV goes to Bordeaux and Toulouse, so you can travel most of the way to Villeréal by train from the UK.

Economy: The economy is primarily agricultural, and tourism now plays a part.

Interesting fact: Villeréal possesses one of the best examples of a covered bastide market square in France.


Sextant France
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