From our accommodation you can visit two villages that are on the list of the most beautiful villages of France (Les plus beaux villages de France): the artist village Gargillesse-Dampierre and the medieval Saint-Benoît-du-Sault.
A charming artists’ village high up on the banks of the Creuse that many famous French painters have visited or lived in. This small enclave was also home to the writer Georges Sand. There is a chateau and a beautiful 12th century church, (the venue for concerts and harp festivals). This church has a vaulted crypt with well-preserved frescos from the 13th century. During the season, artists welcome visitors to their homes to see them at work.
The small streets of Saint-Benoît-du-Sault take you back to the Middle Ages. It has ramparts, buildings of a former Benedictine priory and medieval streets. It is a pleasure to walk around, visit the beautiful Roman church or enjoy the (classical) music during one of the festivals in summer. Tip: During the Eva Ganizate festival in August (festival-evaganizate.com) you can enjoy several concerts and an opera is performed in the church with international singers. There is also a festival of Baroque music: www.letempssuspendu.fr/
It is possible to get a guided tour through the old centre with a French speaking guide. Reservations at the Tourist Office of the village. Or in summer on Tuesday mornings in english.
Or hire electric bikes from the tourist office to tour the area.
The famous French writer, Georges Sand was the first to discover the beauty of Crozant. She dragged in her wake a large number of artists, such as Chopin, Maurice Rollinat and Claude Monet, who left their Parisian studios to come and paint the subtle and changing lights, the coloured reliefs of heather and broom, the flowing rivers and the old fortress overlooking the confluent rivers Creuse and Sédelle. This movement became known as the “Ecole de Crozant”. A nice compilation of paintings and photos can be found here.
Cruise on the Creuse
The boat tour takes you on a 1h10 (14km) excursion. The boat leaves in front of Hotel du Lac in Crozant. A guide will tell you about the interesting sights and the history of the region: the ruins of Crozant, the sorcerer’s island, the mill of Pillemongin.
From the Creuse, and also le Rocher de la Fileuse on the northern bank, you have a nice view on the ruins of the Forteresse de Crozant. (Don’t forget to visit it!) This, and also the Moulin de la Folie were frequently the subject of paintings.
The ‘Venice of the Berry’, Argenton-sur-Creuse is about 20 kilometres away. Argenton owes its nickname to the old houses with galleries and balustrades overhanging the Creuse. A charming medieval town on the river Creuse with a variety of shops, hotels and restaurants. Argenton sur Creuse has a fascinating history and a wonderful atmosphere. Picturesque alleys and old houses hanging steeply over the meandering river make this town a popular subject for artists and photographers.
It is possible to get a map of a circular walk with explanations via an app on your phone at the Office de tourisme in Argenton.
A delightful artists’ village where beauty, simplicity and authenticity merge. In 1883, the poet and musician Maurice Rollinat took refuge in Fresselines and brought his friends with him; musicians, writers, painters, including Claude Monet, who in 1889 painted 23 scenes in the vicinity of the two Creuse rivers, as the confluence they form is a “magical” place that has always attracted visitors and walkers.
Markets and flea markets
Most towns and smaller villages in the area organise lively markets and flea markets. You can find them on these sites: Brocabrac or Vide-greniers. Use our postal code 36170 or the numbers of the departments (36 Indre, 23 Creuse, 87 Haute Vienne) to find the markets and bric- à-bracs near us. You can also find information about markets on our events page.
A big market in our neighbourhood is the one in Les Herolles. You can walk around for a couple of hours. This market is held once a month – on the 29th (until 2pm). And there is really a lot to find. From fruit and vegetables to lawn mower tractors. And how about a stall with only French berets!