The French Factor - Villebois-Lavalette
With a largely restored medieval castle on top of the hill, the Michelin-starred Villebois-Lavalette, (home to Studio Lavalette), is a thriving town with all the modern-day conveniences and shops, such as: a butcher, bread shops, hairdressers and a pharmacy; petrol station; restaurant and pizza shop; plus a Super U supermarket.
There’s a colourful market under Les Halles in the centre of the town every Saturday morning and the Tourist Office offers guided tours of the heritage trail from June to September. Elsewhere there are tennis courts, a floodlit football pitch, bikes for hire and wonderful surrounding countryside for long walks.
The French Factor - Towns and Villages Near Studio Lavalette
Each summer nearly every village in the area offers a range of sporting or cultural activities from para-gliding to pétanque. There are numerous fetes and festivals with attractions like medieval music; dancing; hot air ballooning; giant puppetry; art exhibitions; and of course fabulous markets, which sell speciality wines, food, clothing and are particularly magical when experienced at night.
There are also stunning baroque concerts in the surrounding old Romanesque churches. The acoustics are fantastic and quality of performers outstanding: people travel from all over Europe just to come to these concerts.
If however if you fancy getting that hole-in-one, there is a 9-hole golf course at Pillac and an 18-hole course at Angoulême just waiting for you! The spectacular views from the Angoulême course aren’t to be missed.
The French Factor - Countryside Near Studio Lavalette
The gentle curves of the rolling hills of the Charente region are a paradise for walkers. There're 43 Charente en Pied walks on our doorstep, with splendid ancient sites and an abundance of flora and fauna. You can see: dolmens at St Brice; medieval gardens in the Abbey at Tusson; monolithic churches carved out of the rock in Gurat and Aubeterre. You can experience panoramic views from limestone cliffs or archaeological sites at Roc de Sers. At the Lac de Mas Chaban you will see a profusion of herons, grebes, ducks and terns.
There are many watermills dotted all along the Dronne, Lizonne and Charente rivers. There’re plenty of woods with deer and great swooping birds of prey. If you bring your own bikes (velo) there’s 450km of the Charente to be discovered on a velo - quite!