Tremolat is certainly one of the most delightful villages in the Dordogne. It sits about 30km east of Bergerac, along the D660/D29. The road follows the meandering Dordogne, and after a short drive along tiny country roads, D30/D31 there is the most stunning bridge, which leads you directly into the village of Tremolat. (Whilst driving over this bridge looking right you will note there is another equally stunning arched bridge, which is used by the trains to Bordeaux and Sarlat). This direct railway link to Bordeaux is certainly a bonus for this tiny village.
Arriving at our gites the’ Coach Cottage’ Karen and Andrew Calvert were on hand to supply us with information about the area; a myriad of festivities – fetes, marches gourmands, many of which were held locally during the forthcoming week (we arrived the week of Bastille Day July 14th).
The village of Tremolat is a delight to wander through, or visit for a holiday or just somewhere to eat. The beautiful 4-star luxury hotel Le Vieux Logis with splendid gardens, and a heliport (!) bring many people to this tiny medieval village.
Across the road there is Le Bistro d’en Face , there is the local pizzeria and bar, a boulangerie, a little shop where you can purchase any forgotten items, from tinned produce to fresh fruit and veg, a post office, a railway station, visiting markets, a (very helpful) tourist information office, a church, and a village hall.
There is a charming little gallery called Dubois Emaux where you can simply view or indeed purchase these wonderful enamel pictures and jewellery on show. The community is predominantly French, but with a small English population now living here, homes – which may have become empty – are now beautifully restored and cared for. There is an air of quiet charm about this village, which I fell in love with.
St Nicholas’s Church – the village church is built on the remains of Trémolat’s first, 9th century church. It is dominant and extremely tall yet inside it is narrow and simply painted in cream. The stations of the cross are wooden crosses of a design similar to the celtic cross.
On the edge of the village is a 12th century chapel, Saint-Hilaire Chapel which has been renovated by the locals.
The Dordogne plays such an important role in this area – in the past, a lifeline for trade, nowadays used for electricity (hydro-electric) and hobbies; fishing, camping, canoeing, walking. The Cingle at Tremolat attracts many visitors – you simply follow the road called the Route du Cingle, for breathtaking views of the Dordogne. The ‘cingle ‘is a bend in the river giving the view of the Dordogne an extra dimension. Cingle de Tremolat and Cingle de Limeuil are both worth a visit and the view from the Belvedere de Tremolat are magnificent.
Tremolat is home to The Base Nautique and also a great campsite on the Dordogne. Kayaking, canoeing and water skiing are all on the menu here! Great fun, if you can stay upright!! I watched some lads showing us all how it ‘should be done’ on Saturday. Some were better at this sport than others!
Whilst walking between the two bridges in Tremolat late one evening – there is a wonderful walk along a small path at river level – you cannot help but notice the large fish rising.
A holiday license (Carte Blanche )which can be purchased from the local tabac or fishing shop in Lalinde allows you to fish for 14 days on all public waterways in the Dordogne. If you catch a ‘tiddler’ (smaller than 25cms) then it must be put back. However you are allowed to take any larger fish – up to 6 fish per day – home!! Given that there are large stocks of fish in the Dordogne – brown trout, pike, salmon, carp, roach and bream to name just a few….. there is a strong chance that you will be walking home with your daily quota!
During our stay Karen and Andew Calvert very kindly invited us to a party in the village. All ex pats who live in Tremolat!! “Just bring a plate, knife, fork and spoon, a bottle of wine and yourselves….” So we did! We met Alan and Liz who kindly allowed everyone to gather together to dine on their land. We met another Karen and her older children who come all the way from South Africa to their gites in Tremolat, together with many other residents who now all enjoy living in this delightful village. The typically British cuisine for the evening all prepared, cooked and served by Karen and her family was excellent; steak and chips, or curry and rice, followed by bakewell tart, cheesecake or lemon drizzle cake and plenty of cream. Perfect weather, great people, and a fab evening. Thank you!
Around 11pm we all walked round to watch a brilliant firework display followed by ‘the disco’ in the village square until 2am!! Tremolat, if you are in this part of the Dordogne is certainly worth a visit!
The weekly market duly arrived on Tuesday with home grown produce, bottles of olive oil, fresh meats, wines and English Cuisine. A colourful display of tasty products.
Tremolat is a delightful old village in the Dordogne but….. Shhh, don’t tell everyone though!