LOCATION & DIRECTIONS
Driving directions from Toulouse and Paris, local directions from Castelnaud and Cenac, and arrival directions.
Find us on Google Maps (see also driving directions, incl. local directions and arrival instructions, below).
Esparoutis is situated 700 metres north of the village of Saint Cybranet, and 2.5km south of Castelnaud-la-Chapelle on the Dordogne River, in the delightful Céou Valley. The Céou is spring-fed, cold and famed as one of the cleanest streams in the region.
One of the great pleasures of life at Esparoutis is to pedal to Castelnaud along the valley to buy croissants for breakfast at the excellent Castlenaud bakery/patisserie (if you want much more vigorous exercise, go over the hill to Cenac, 3 kilometres from Esparoutis).
Turn left on the narrow laneway from Esparoutis, and you can make an easy walk to Saint Cybranet along the Céou valley. Further south is the cute village of Daglan (7 kilometres from Esparoutis). The lovely route along the Céou from Daglan to Castelnaud can be found on Bikely. This valley route meanderss through walnut groves (for which the region is famous) and is very flat and with almost no traffic, so ideal for easy, leisurely rides.
Train Stations: Nearest station is Souillac (40 mins) or Gourdon (30 mins) for the direct train to/from Paris & Toulouse. However, for car hire you are better getting off at Brive La Gaillarde (1 hour drive), which has more trains, all direct. It’s a very pleasant journey on the Intercity train, generally not crowded. Alternatively, from Paris you can take the TGV to Bordeaux St Jean station (now only just over 2 hours from Paris) and from there take the slow train to St Cyprien (20 minutes drive) or Sarlat (15 mins drive). You can also take the TGV to Toulouse Matabiau station (another couple of hours, but often cheaper than travelling to Bordeaux) – both St Jean and Matabiau have plenty of car hire, and you can also take a shuttle out to Toulouse airport for more choice.
Airports: Brive-Vallée de la Dordogne (45 mins), limited flights mostly from UK; Bergerac (1h10), budget airlines from UK, Netherlands and elsewhere; Rodez (2h10), Toulouse (2h10) and Bordeaux (2h30), major and budget airlines; all approximate driving times. The drive from Toulouse is a little easier – easier navigation, less traffic – than the drive from Bordeaux.
If you planned to visit us in the 18th Century, then here is your map. The name of our property – Les Paroules – is the 18th century name of the hamlet. This image is from the Cassini map of 1785 (visit the David Rumsey Map Collection for this and other fascinating historical maps).
DIRECTIONS – FROM TOULOUSE
If you arrive in France at Toulouse Blagnac airport, you can rent a car at the airport. From here, it is a little over a two-hour drive to Esparoutis. Getting out of the airport and navigating the peripherique roads around Toulouse appears complex – indeed, we really have no spatial sense of where the airport is located – but we use a very simple solution: exiting the airport, follow signs towards Toulouse until you see signs for Bordeaux or Paris. Once you see these, continue following Bordeaux or Paris. These will take you out onto the Bordeaux motorway (A62/E09/E72), and ‘our’ motorway, the A20 towards Montauban, Cahors, Brive, Limoges and Paris forks off going northwards half an hour out of town. Remember, if you are in Toulouse and heading towards Bordeaux, you’re right!
In more detail: from Blagnac airport, drive in the direction of Toulouse (A624). After several kilometres, take the A620/E09 exit in the direction of the A62/Bordeaux/Toulouse-Centre/Albi/Castres. After 6.5km you take the exit A62/E09/E72 (the directions say Bordeaux/Paris). After 33km, by which time you are well out of town, there is an exit (exit no. 10) which brings the E09 and the A20 together—direction Paris/Limoges/Montauban.
There are different ways from this road to get to Esparoutis. The quickest way (see map), which is also very scenic, is to take exit 56 and go on the D801 in the direction of Payrac/Gourdon. Drive all the way to Gourdon. In Gourdon, turn left on the D673, then on the D46 in the direction of Saint-Martial de Nabirat. You pass this village and will arrive in Cénac-et-Saint-Julien (or just Cénac). Go through Cénac village and take a left turn on the D50 to St Cybranet. From here it’s only 3km to Esparoutis (see local directions below).
Alternatively, stay on the autoroute until you see the turn-off to Souillac, exit 55. From Souillac, look out for the road to Sarlat (see local directions below).
DIRECTIONS – FROM PARIS
If you come by car from Paris, take the A20/E9 in the direction of Limoges.
After Limoges, continue in the direction of Brive-la Gaillarde and Toulouse. About 10km after the péage (toll booth) after Brive, take exit 55 to Sarlat and Souillac (you will have seen a viaduct on the right). Follow the signs to Sarlat. There are several ways from here to get to Esparoutis:
- Via Vitrac port and cross the Dordogne river to Cénac, and then over the hill to Esparoutis (see local instructions below).
- Drive through La Roque Gageac and then turn left to cross the Dordogne river to Castelnaud and in the direction of Daglan. At Pont de Cause (2km from Castelnaud) there is a crossroads. Turn sharp left into a small road (sign says ‘Camping Maisoneuve’), go over a bridge over the Céou river and from here you will see Esparoutis in front of you.
For those without a map, here are detailed driving instructions from Souillac onwards. (Some guests felt these instructions were *too* detailed, so be watchful. It all sounds more complicated than it actually is!)
At the roundabout (by the viaduct), go onto D804 to Sarlat and Souillac.
After 2-3km, at the next roundabout, go into D820 (direction Cahors and Sarlat), and after 200-300meters, follow the sign of Sarlat to the right (D103). You now drive straight ahead through the suburbs of Soulliac.
At the next roundabout, go to D231 in the direction of Sarlat, and then at the next roundabout again, you get back onto D804 in the direction of Sarlat.
You will now be following the north side of the valley of the Dordogne river. After Cazoules, the road number changes to D703.
Stay on D703 and at Calviac, turn left in the direction of Carsac-Aillac, La Roque Gageac and the Vallee de la Dordogne (so NOT to Sarlat)
You will be driving on a winding road through the lovely village of Aillac, and then Carsac. In Carsac, go under the railway, and the turn left to follow D703. The sign says Vitrac, La Roque Gageac, Montfort and the Vallée de la Dordogne (again, DO NOT go in the direction of Sarlat).
You go past the Chateau de Montfort on your left and arrive at Vitrac Port (you do NOT go to Vitrac Bourg). In Vitrac Port you turn left at the T junction on the D703 in the direction of La Roque Gageac, Cénac and Domme. (Cénac – full name Cénac-et-Saint-Julien – is where you want to go.)
Stay on the D703 in the direction of La Roque Gageac and drive through Gaillardou (just a few houses). Then turn left on the D46 to Cénac.
Cross the Dordogne river and you enter the village of Cénac. In the village, turn right on the D50 to St Cybranet.
A few hundred meters after you have left Cénac the road splits into a fork. To the left the road goes downhill, to the right the road goes uphill. IMPORTANT! You take the road to the right even though it is the smaller road (in the direction of Fondaumier and Simon).
You now go 2km over the hill through forests and some houses. As you reach the bottom of the hill you are almost there. At the intersection, you take a sharp left turn to Esparoutis (which is signposted). See local directions below.
DIRECTIONS – FROM BERGERAC
If you come from the UK or the Netherlands several low-cost airlines can take you to Bergerac airport, to the west of the Dordogne. Bergerac airport is about 55km from Esparoutis and the drive will take you about 75 minutes when taking it easy. You can either take the main road along the Dordogne river via Lalinde, Badefols-sur-Dorgnoe, Le Buisson, Saint Cyprien, Beynac, and Vezac, from where you cross the Dordogne river to Castelnaud-la-Chapelle. From here, drive a few kilometres south to Pont de Cause. At the crossroads at Pont de Cause, turn left on a narrow road, cross the bridge over the Céou river (take this gently!) and a few hundred metres along the walnut trees. You will see Esparoutis from here. At the intersection, you take a right turn to Esparoutis (which is signposted). See local directions below.
There are other, smaller and more scenic routes from Bergerac airport, taking your through places such as Beaumont du Perigord and Cadouin. Check Google Maps for precise route.
DIRECTIONS – LOCAL
From Castelnaud: After crossing the bridge over the Dordogne into Castelnaud, continue south along the road towards St Cybranet/Daglan. At Pont de Cause (approx. 2km, first hamlet) turn left, signed ‘camping Maisoneuve’ and ‘Ferme equestre de Simon’. (Note: this left turn is opposite the larger road going right and almost hidden behind the house at the crossroads). Cross over the very narrow bridge, you will see Esparoutis across the valley in front of you. After approx. 200m veer right into the small laneway, which has a no entry sign (‘sauf riverains’, that is, except local residents). Esparoutis is signposted here. See arrival directions below.
From Cénac-et-Saint-Julien: Coming from the Sarlat direction, cross the bridge over the Dordogne into Cénac. Approx. 200 m after the bridge there is a 5-way intersection (restaurant/bar on the left corner, real estate agent on the right), turn right towards St Cybranet (D50). Follow this road out of the village, pass the church on your right-hand side, stay on the main road which veers left and starts to climb (do not take the smaller road going right towards St Julien). After some 250 metres there is a fork in the road, take the smaller road veering right going uphill. (This road has a sign to the Ferme Equestre de Simon and a couple of other signs.) Follow it up over the top of the hill and down the other side. It comes out right beside Esparoutis when it gets back to the valley floor. Turn left (sign to Esparoutis). See arrival directions below.
ARRIVING at LES PAROULES @ ESPAROUTIS
Coming from the Castelnaud or St Cybranet direction, at the small intersection follow the laneway on the right with the ‘no entry’ sign (‘sauf riverains’, or ‘except local residents’). Coming from Cenac, after you come down the hill, the turn onto the laneway will be on the left.
To the left you will shortly see our neighbours’ small house, set back off the lane. Drive a further 100 meters until you see the wooden Sechoir on the left (with the house and barn behind it). Enter here to park the car. You have arrived! WELCOME!
To go to the Gîte, you can get back onto the laneway and walk approx. 30 metres further (between trimmed box hedges) until the next left turn (between hedge and stone wall); the Gîte is the house on the left with the triangular patio with small white cafe table. Or, you go through the property, walk up three sets of steps along the garden and the swimming pool and onto the triangular terrace.
An approximate outline of the properties is shown opposite.
A car is almost a must if you want to see the tourist sites of the Perigord when you are staying at Esparoutis, unless of course you just want to stay put and enjoy the immediate environment (basic amenities from restaurants and bakeries to small supermarkets are available within easy walking or cycling distance in St Cybranet, Castelnaud or Daglan, and a stiff cycle ride or 45 minutes walk gets you to the larger supermarket, pharmacy, newsagents etc. at Cénac).
If you wish to hire a car, opposite are some websites for car consolidators, most of which seem to be based in Ireland, where you can book a car online with a choice across most of the main rental companies and some lesser known companies. We have used all of these at different times and generally found the service excellent, including changes to bookings. These days we mostly use Argus car hire.
Close to Esparoutis, we recommend that you hire a car from either Brive La Gaillarde (or just Brive) or Toulouse Matabiau stations (if you come by train from Paris), Bergerac airport (if you fly in there), or Toulouse airport. There is also a small Europcar office near the train station in Sarlat, but they have to order in cars specially. Feel free to email us if you need some more detailed advice. You can also hire from Bordeaux airport or St Jean station but it is a slightly longer and less direct drive, with more traffic, and the airport is generally less connected with international flights into London (since flights are from Gatwick).