Perigord - long term rentals in Dordogne, Charente & Lot
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The departments of Dordogne, Charente and the Lot in the central part of South West France are always popular with our long term rental customers when they are searching for a place to live in France.
This area of France regularly features on the Lonely Planet Guide's list of best destinations to visit in Europe. The combination of a rich culinary tradition, a stunning and varied landscape, excellent restaurants, pretty villages and historic castles and Chateaux; make this area a massive draw for tourists from all over the World.
The last tourism survey to be completed prior to the Coronavirus shutdown, showed that Nouvelle-Aquitaine (of which Dordogne and Charente are both a part) was the 5th most visited region in France, after Paris, the Alps, Cote d'Azur/Provence and the Languedoc [SOURCE: Statista.fr 2021].
Moving to South West France?
So it is easy to see why this beautiful area of rural France attracts so many visitors in the summer months, but what is it like to live here all year around? Where are the best places to find long term rental properties? Where should you live to find some life all year around? What are some of the factors you need to take into account when deciding on where to live? And finally, what sort of rent will you have to pay when you rent a house in Dordogne, Charente and the Lot?
I will try and answer each of these questions in turn.
Long term rentals in France
Well the first thing to mention, is that as a foreigner moving to France for the first time, you will find it quite difficult to rent a property. Most French landlords and rental agencies will want to see a minimum of 2 Years of French tax returns (which you won't be able to provide) before they agree a rental lease.
You will then be left with a choice of either stumping up the full amount of the rent in advance (plus paying a sizeable deposit) or choosing an extended holiday rental through Airbnb (which again is going to cost you a lot of money).
The French landlords are not being xenophobic or particularly difficult. If I was renting a property in France with the French rental laws, as they are, heavily on the side of the tenant, I would also be extremely wary of who I rented to. I have dealt with situations where the tenant has stopped paying the rent and the legal process stretched on for 12 months before the Landlord could even start eviction proceedings. So I know full well their fears.
In effect, that is why we have our business. We work as an intermediary between the French Owners (and other foreign owners) and international clients. Because they know us and trust us, they also trust our clients. Also, because the majority of the rentals we arrange are for furnished rentals and normally for less than 12 months, we are able to use rental contracts drafted under the French Civil Code (which is much more flexible and balanced), rather than Loi Alur (the French rental law) which is ridiculously one-sided in favour of the tenant.
Where to live in France?
So the next question to tackle is where to live in France?
Paris? Very expensive and over-crowded. Visit Paris for long-weekends and benefit from all the joy and culture, with none of the pain.
Northern France? Kent in the UK has a better climate.
Brittany or Normandy? Very beautiful and the coastline is stunning. It is also quite cheap to rent here (except in the summer). But the winters are a bitch.
Cote d'Azur? Well it is very unlikely that you will get a rental property that you can rent past May or June because the Owners can make so much money from summer rentals. The winter period is lovely in Cote d'Azur, but you are still going to need deep pockets.
Provence? I would say yes, but it depends where you are. I have to say that there are parts of Provence I wouldn't want to live in. It also can be expensive. The Western side of Provence can get extremely windy over the winter (the famous Mistral) and the central part of Provence is, well, pretty boring.
The Languedoc? Yes absolutely. It is cheaper, but just as pretty as Provence. It has better beaches than Cote d'Azur. It also has lovely countryside, pretty towns and villages and has wonderful food & wine. The only downside is that it does get very hot in the summer. And thanks to the latest Climate Change talks, probably a lot hotter in the years to come!
So you can see why a lot of people are attracted to moving to South West France.
Weather in South West France
I think that my customers are always surprised when I bang on about the weather in certain locations where they are looking to rent a house. But it does make a massive difference to your lifestyle in France, especially in the winter months.
Near where we are in the Languedoc, there are places that get so windy in the Winter, if you lay a table for lunch, by the time you bring your baguette out of the oven, the table and chairs are half way down the street. When it is windy, you literally cannot sit outside. Likewise, there are places in the summer, that are so infested with mosquitoes, that you don't go outside because you will get bitten to death
I always said that I came to France for the summers but I stayed because of the winters. I just love the fact we can have our pre-Christmas meal apero outside on our terrace under the clear blue skies and sunshine.
In terms of the climate in South West France, whilst the summers can be glorious, the winters can certainly get quite cold in Charente, Dordogne and the Lot.
The temperatures in the summer months are for me absolutely perfect - averaging a pleasant 26°C / 77°F in July and August. You do get the odd heatwave and some summer storms, but in the main it is a very comfortable summer temperature, rarely getting above the mid-30's. You can also experience some lovely Indian summers in September and into October.
The winters however can get cold (averaging 9°C / 47°F in December to February). But that is the average daytime temperature and it will often go below zero, especially at night.
There is also a reason why the countryside is so green in this part of France. The Dordogne especially, does receive a lot of rain. In March, it often averages around 12-15 days of rain per month (ie, on average there are only 15 dry days per month).
It is not just in the Spring when you can expect rain in Dordogne. The Dordogne receives over 860mm of rain annually, which puts it above the average rainfall for France (783mm). The rainfall in the Summer and Autumn is also quite a bit above the national average. Dordogne also receives a below average amount of sunshine per year (1968 hours per year against a national average of 2089 hours).
In terms of the Charente and the Lot departments, they both receive roughly the average amount of rainfall for France (782mm and 799mm per year), but both have an above average amount of sunshine (2151 hours and 2135 hours per year). Depending on the altitude, the winters in the Lot can be quite cold.
So if you are looking for that all-year-around al-fresco lifestyle, then you need to do your research on the Weather, month by month. I am not saying that the weather in South West France is terrible, but equally over the winter period it is not sub-Tropical either. If you think that you are going to be wearing T shirts and shorts all year around, then think again.
Moving to South-West France
South West France is a big area of land. The region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine is the largest region in France, covering 84,000 square kilometres and home to 6 million people. It is the same size as Ireland or Austria. So if you are looking for a long term rental in South West France, you need to narrow down your search area to specific locations.
If you look at the different parts of South-West France, the coastline is beautiful, but also expensive. It is also rammed pack in the summer and virtually empty in the Winter.
The North-West part of the region you have the area know as 'la Venise verte' (Green Venice) covering the Charente Maritime and Deux Sèvres departments. This former marshland area features many canals, rivers and waterways. The landscape is largely flat and for me not particularly interesting.
In the North-East of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, you have the Limousin. This is not a bad area to choose. The long term rental prices are generally cheaper here (as are the property prices), you have some beautiful towns and villages, but it is also one of the least populated parts of France - the so-called Empty France. So if peace and tranquillity are what you are after, then this area could be a good choice. Similarly, if you are looking to find cheaper places to live in France, the Limousin also ticks the boxes. But I also think you have to be comfortable in your own skin living here and the social scene will be limited.
The Southern part of Nouvelle-Aquitaine is occupied by the rolling hills of Gascony, the dense forest of the Landes department, the rather dull Lot-et-Garonne department and the mountains of the Pyrenees-Atlantique. There are some lovely places here, such as the towns of Pau, Dax and Marciac, but it is predominantly a rural area with not a lot going on.
It is in the central part of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, in the departments of Charente and Dordogne, together with the neighbouring department of the Lot (in the Occitanie region), that most foreigners head to when moving to France. This area of France corresponds with the old French Provinces of Perigord and Quercy, which have been bound for centuries by trade, culture, gastronomy, a regional dialect and historical events such as a Peasants revolt in 1789 (a pre-cursor for the French revolution).
Perigord-Quercy South West France
South-West France is extremely popular with Foreign residents moving to France. For example, over 25% of British people in France (39,000), live in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region .
According to the 2016 French Census, 9,185 European nationals live in the Charente department (including 6,000 British people) and over 4.5% of the population of the Lot department is made up of foreign nationals. Dordogne is home to over 14,000 European nationals and is the second most popular area in France for British people to live (the first is Paris). Just over 7,800 British people live full time in the Dordogne department - which doesn't sound very much. But when you consider that there are only 149,000 British living in the whole of France (0.2% of the total population) and in Dordogne the Brits make up nearly 2% of the department's residents, it goes to show how popular the department is.
I would also argue that this figure underestimates the true extent of British diaspora in Dordogne. When you add in the number of second-home Owners and summer tourists, the number of Brits in the department can swell to nearly 10% of the population of Dordogne at certain times of the year.
The airport at Bergerac (in the South of the department) receives over 300,000 passengers per year. It is estimated that nearly 78% of these visitors are of British nationality.
The Census also shows that these foreign residents are clustered around certain locations (where they can make up nearly 10% of the population of the town or village). The area around the town of Eymet is the most popular destination for British people living in Dordogne, making up 9% of the local population. In Eymet there is even a local cricket club and an English pub. Ribérac is the next most popular destination with around 4.3% of the local population being British and other popular destinations being Sarlat, Lalinde and St-Jean-de-Cole.
For France, the influx of foreign immigrants/ex-Pats to the rural parts of France, from Scandinavia, Germany, Canada, Ireland and America is on the whole a welcome development. Large parts of Nouvelle-Aquitaine are extremely sparsely populated and also suffering from de-population as young people leave for the cities in search of work. For example, in the neighbouring Corrèze department, the population has fallen by 25% since 1901.
The French Statistics office, INSEE, has noticed a clear trend of Foreign residents favouring the least populated areas of France in which to live. Foreign residents from North America and other European countries are 16 times more likely to choose to live in areas with a declining population or a low density of population. The analysis showed that this group favoured moving to Nouvelle-Aquitaine, especially in the area covering the departments of Creuse, Haute-Vienne, the south part of Vienne, the north part of Charente and Dordogne) [SOURCE: INSEE July 2020].
The reason for this trend, is that these areas tend to have lower house prices. For example, The city of Limoges in the Limousin remains one of the cheapest place in France to live (average house sale price of €167,000 in 2021). INSEE found that over 92% of foreign residents in this area were home owners and they had bought their house as their main residence. Furthermore, over 56% of this group are classed as retired or economically inactive.
Whilst the Charente, Dordogne and the Lot are all equally attractive areas of France in which to be based for a long term rental, they are each very different departments. The rental prices vary quite a bit depending on the location and there are pros and cons of renting in each area (especially over the winter period).
Charente department France
The Charente is located just on the Northern edge of Dordogne and it is a popular location for foreign house buyers and long term rental customers. The Charente is especially popular with British Ex-Pats, with just over 6,000 British people living full time in the department (putting it just behind Paris and Dordogne as the most popular place in France for British people to live).
A total of 350,000 people live in the Charente with a third of people living in the agglomerations of Angoulême and Cognac. Nearly half the population of Charente live in just 15 towns. The rest of the department is rural and relatively sparsely populated.
The Eastern part of the department is dominated by a large limestone plateau, with deep valleys, forests and grazing pastures for the local Limousin cows. The centre of the department contains many rivers, flood plains and marshland.
The West of the department is largely taken up with the vineyards for growing the grapes that go into making Cognac brandy. The South of the department is part of the Périgord Vert containing forests, lush meadows and wide river valleys.
Compared to its surrounding departments, Charente has a relatively healthy local economy, with the production of Cognac brandy being especially important. It also produces over 20% of all the roof tiles in France (by the company Terreal, based in the town of Roumazières-Loubert), there is a large paper & packaging manufacturing sector and it is home to two multi-national conglomerates: Leroy-Somer, one of the biggest manufacturers of electrical motors in Europe and Saft which produces lithium batteries.
I didn't quite appreciate how big the production of Cognac was. With international brands such as Hennessy, Martell and Remy Martin, the area produces over 160 million bottles of brandy per year, contributing over 65% of the department's exports. Nearly 5,000 vineyards are dedicated to the production of Cognac (74,000 hectares). Together with all the allied activities such as the glassworks for making the bottles and the oak forests for the corks and wine barrels, Cognac accounts for 45% of agricultural income in Charente.
The actual town of Cognac is quite a pretty place, located on the banks of the Charente river, the town has a nice medieval centre. The town and surrounding suburbs are home to around 27,000 people. Some of the early founders of the brandy industry in Cognac actually came from outside of France. Jean Martell was from Jersey, Richard Hennessy was from Ireland and Thomas Hine was from Dorset, England.
The capital of Charente is Angoulême, a large town perched on a rocky outcrop above the Charente river with a population of 41,000 people. Angoulême is a university town, with a stunning cathedral and old rampart walls which offer lovely views. It is also home to
For some unfathomable reason, Angoulême is twinned with the town of Bury in Northern England. You can imagine the first visit of the Angoulême Town Twinning committee to the outskirts of Bury ("surely there eez some mistake . . . non?").
One of the prettiest villages in Charente is Verteuil-sur-Charente, which sits on the banks of the Charente River. The Château de Verteuil, with its numerous turrets is considered one of the finest castles in the area and the nearby water mill, Moulin de Verteuil, is a popular local restaurant. The centre of the village is full of narrow streets and little boutiques.
Aubeterre-sur-Dronne is another Charente village which is officially classified as one of the Most Beautiful Villages in France. The village is built in an arc around a large bend in the Dronne river and features narrow cobbled streets with white-washed houses with red tiled roofs. For centuries the village has been a centre for pottery and leather work - and there are still artisans working in these trades in the village today.
The village also features one of the underground churches that were built throughout this part of France. The church is carved into the limestone rock and features a central nave 20 metres high.
Property prices in Charente tend to be cheaper than in the popular parts of Dordogne (€1,307 per m2 compared to an average of €1600 per m2 in Dordogne), but you still benefit from the same beautiful scenery and relaxed pace of life.
Long term rentals Charente France
In terms of renting in Charente, it is certainly going to be cheaper than neighbouring Dordogne. A 1 bedroom property will set you back about €600 per month + bills (October to April) and a 3 bedroom property will be between €1200-1350 per month + bills.
Here is a selection of our current long term rental properties in Charente, France:
Le Texier cottage Charente France for long term rentals Ref: 1874
Le Texier is a 1 bedroom cottage in Charente, France; available for long term rentals between October to April. This beautiful property can sleep two people and comes with a super-king size bed. There is a large open-plan living and kitchen area with log burner, high beamed ceilings and stunning views across the fields towards the village.
Le Texier Cottage has all the facilities and finish you would normally expect to find in a larger house:
- The open plan living room comes with a log burning stove and 2 comfortable sofas
- The lounge comes equipped with fast Wi-Fi and a Smart TV with English FreeSat channels.
- The kitchen is very well equipped with modern amenities including dishwasher, microwave, gas hob, electric oven and washing machine.
- The bedroom is fitted with a king-size double bed
There is an en-suite bathroom off the bedroom with a large rain-head shower above a bath.
Outside: the cottage has a south-facing terrace area and garden with its own heated pool (open May to September/October), in a lovely private setting with views across the fields towards Verteillac.
The village of Verteillac is close-by and this comes equipped with a butcher´s, bakery, local store and a couple of bars/restaurants. The village is famed for its monthly Brocante antiques market. There are 4 airports within a 1 hour 40 mins radius and TGV train services run from Périgueux.
This charming French cottage for long term rentals in Charente, France, is available to rent on a monthly basis from €850 per month + bills.
The Haybarn cottage in Dordogne France for long term rentals Ref: 1873
The Haybarn is a lovely cottage on the Charente/Dordogne border in South West France, available for long term rentals between October to April. The cottage is located in a quiet and peaceful are, with lovely views over the surrounding countryside. The village of Verteillac is close-by and this comes equipped with a butcher´s, bakery, local store and a couple of bars/restaurants. The village is famed for its monthly Brocante antiques market.
This cottage for long term rentals is laid out over 2 floors and comes with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms:
- a large bright kitchen which is well equipped with modern amenities including dishwasher, microwave, washing machine and fridge/freezer.
- The living room features beautiful oak beams and a large wood burner.
- The luxurious master bedroom overlooks the garden and French countryside and comes with polished wooden floors and an en suite shower room
- Bedroom 2 contains a double bed
- Bedroom 3 also comes with a double bed
There are 4 airports within a 1 hour 40 mins radius and TGV train services run from Périgueux. The cottage is perfect for couples on a house-hunting trip.
This charming cottage for long term rentals in Dordogne, France, is available to rent on a monthly basis from €1350 per month + bills.
The famous Dordogne department in the central inland area of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region is one of the most popular places in France for visitors. The Lonely Planet Guide, goes especially mad for Dordogne and the department regularly features in its Top 10 Places in Europe to visit:
"With its rich food, heady history, château-studded countryside and picturesque villages, the Dordogne has long been a favourite getaway for French families on les grandes vacances. It's also famous for having some of France's finest prehistoric cave art, which fill the caverns and rock shelters of the Vézère Valley".
The Dordogne is home to over 410,000 people and the population has increased by more than 10% since 1968.. The landscape contains forests (about 45% of the department is taken up with forests), agricultural land, river valleys and a limestone plateau.
The capital of Dordogne is the town of Périgueux which has a population of 30,000 people. The beautiful cathedral in Périgueux is an UNESCO World Heritage site. The town is the real administrative and industrial hub of the department and it is home to the head offices of several regional companies.
Other sizeable towns include:
- The wine centre of Bergerac has a population of 26,000 people. There are over 12,000 hectares of vineyards surrounding the town. The development of the low-cost airport in Bergerac has led to an increase in tourism to the Dordogne, with over 300,000 people flying into the airport every year.
- Boulazac Isle Manoire, is located in the South-West of Dordogne and is an important commercial town, being the home of 11 of the largest companies in the department. The town has a population of 10,000 people.
- The beautiful town of Sarlat-la-Canéda has a population of 9,127 people. Sarlat is the most-visited town in the whole of Dordogne. Sarlat is a medieval city which developed around the Benedictine Abbey of Carolingian. In the cente of the town there are a total of sixty-five monuments and protected buildings. As the capital of the Black Perigord region, the town also holds an annual Truffle festival every year, as well as a classic car festival, film festival and numerous food & wine festivals.
There are only 7 towns in Dordogne with a population above 5,000 people and it is often remarked that it is a land of villages.
Dordogne was part of the ancient province of Perigord and this is still used as a tourism term to distinguish the different landscapes of this region.
Périgord Noir (Black), is located in the east of the region (mainly the Eastern half of Dordogne) and with the town of Sarlat as its capital. It takes its name from the dark oak forests that predominate here. In the South of the region on the border with the Lot department, lies the unspoilt area known as the Quercy, with its historic towns such as Cahors.
Périgord Blanc (White) is located in the centre of the region and is named after the numerous white limestone plateaux in the area (the stone from which was quarried and used to build many of the buildings). The historic town of Perigueux is the located in the centre of this area.
The French writer, Jules Verne (who wrote Around the World in Eighty Days) was the first person to use the term Périgord Vert (Green) to describe this area of northern Dordogne and the Southern belt of Charente. The name comes from the forests, lush grass meadows and wide river valleys that dominate the landscape. The area also includes one of the top 10 prettiest villages in France: Brantôme.
Périgord Pourpre (Purple) covers the famous vineyards of the Bordeaux and Bergerac wine regions. The area correlates to the border between southern Dordogne and Lot-et-Garonne. In the Dordogne, you will find 13 different varieties of wine. Whilst not as illustrious as the neighbouring wine regions of Bordeaux and St Emillion, the wine region around Bergerac is still important producer of wines in France. The red Pécharmant wines and sweet Monbazillac wines, often paired with foie gras, are probably the two most well-known wines from this region.
This part of Southern Dordogne is especially popular with visitors. Many are attracted by the numerous impressive castles dotted around the Dordogne river valley, such as Château de Beynac, Chateau des Milands, Chateau de Commarque and Château de Castelnaud.
Dordogne most beautiful villages
What attracts people to Dordogne is the collection of beautiful towns and villages throughout the department. Within the officially designated 160 Most Beautiful Villages in France, the Dordogne has no fewer than 10 entries, rivalling only the Aveyron department for the number of designations.
- Saint-Jean-de-Cole is a small but very pretty village in the North of Dordogne. It comes with a nice church and beautiful riverside setting. It is also conveniently located for visiting the town of Brantôme.
- The village of Saint-Amand-de-Coly is one of the prettiest in the Dordogne, and also well placed as a base if you are exploring the region around Sarlat. Its 12th century abbey, considered the most beautiful fortified church in Périgord.
- Monpazier is an exceptional 13th century bastide town (fortified village) and it is widely recognised as among the most beautiful villages in France. The large open market square, which still holds weekly markets today, is always popular with visitors.
- Limeuil has a popular river beach where the Vezere and Dordogne rivers join. Despite its peaceful appearance today, the village suffered greatly at the hands of Viking invaders and many battles during the Hundred Years War, of which only the three fortified gates can still bear witness. This former river port grew prosperous during the middle ages due to the commercial activity here and this wealth can be seen in many of the preserved Merchant mansions throughout the village.
- The picture-postcard village of La Roque-Gageac is situated along the banks of the Dordogne river. The village is also home to a tropical gardens and ancient cave dwellings.
- Domme is a beautiful hilltop village with lovely honey-coloured stone buildings. Under the village there is an extensive network of caves. From the top of the village you have fabulous views across the river and countryside
- Castelnaud-la-Chapelle is a very pretty village best known as the site of the Chateau de Castelnaud - the most visited castle in the region
- Beynac-et-Cazenac is situated about 10km South-West of Sarlat, on the banks of the Dordogne river. The local castle here was once put under siege by Richard the Lionheart. Below the castle is the pretty village with honey-coloured stone buildings with black slate roofs.
- Belves is one of the liveliest and most attractive medieval town in Dordogne. This former fortified village features 7 bell towers and has several historic monuments of interest. It has a lovely market square in the centre of the village.
Living in Dordogne
I have to say I have the same feelings about Dordogne as I do about Provence. I have been to Dordogne quite a few times over the years and there are some absolutely stunning places - as there are in Provence - but in between these places, it seems, well just a bit empty and rural.
In a sense, that is the point. It is about searching for a quite and peaceful lifestyle, away from all the stresses of life, where you can just take your time to enjoy things. But I just wonder if there is enough going on all year around.
As for Sarlat, yes absolutely, a great place to visit, but in terms of living there, I think that you would feel like you were living in a film set for a period drama. It is just an all year around tourist attraction.
I also think, for me personally, I am a bit put off by the concentration of English people in parts of Dordogne. I am saying this as an Englishman myself. It is a personal preference, but I came to France to experience a new culture and to try and integrate myself into French life, not to be hardwired into playing cricket (which I love) or going to the English pub (again, which I love) - which is what you have, especially in places like Eymet and to a lesser extent in Ribérac, Bergerac and Lalinde.
I suppose in contrast to this, if it is important to you to have an active Ex-Pat community with which to interact with, then Dordogne-shire could be a good option. This will be especially important when you first move over to France or if you are looking to retire in France (and you won't have your day-to-day socialising with people at work). I do get a sense that Charente and Lot-et-Garonne tends to attract the more grounded, down-to-earth people, whereas Dordogne is definitely more Waitrose than Tescos. These areas also tend to have cheaper property prices.
I think if you are still working or planning to open a business in France, unless this is strongly linked to the UK market, I would probably look at different areas of France. I just wonder if there is enough of a working community here.
Long term rentals in Dordogne
The prices of long term rental properties in Dordogne are generally more expensive than in Charente and the Lot. Between October to April, a 1 bedroom property will generally rent for €700 per month + bills, a 2 bedroom property for €800-850 per month + bills and a 4 bedroom property for between €1000-€1250 per month + bills. In the summer months, prices will escalate significantly, with Owners able to rent property on a weekly basis for the same if not more than the low season monthly price.
Here is a selection of long term rental properties in Dordogne, currently available:
Acabanes - Dordogne 6 bed farmhouse for rent long term in France (Ref: 2098)
Acabanes, is a luxury 6 bed farmhouse for long term rentals in Dordogne, France. The farmhouse is located close to the pretty towns of Bergerac and Eymet and is situated in peaceful beautiful, gently rolling countryside, surrounded by sunflower fields, cypress trees, vines and woodlands. The farmhouse comes with a large heated pool with retractable cover, air conditioning, wood burner, WIFI, large 50" plasma with Freesat TV channels, extensive grounds with supersize trampoline and a large selection of well maintained bikes and helmets for all ages..
The farmhouse comes with 6 bedrooms and four en-suite bathrooms. The farmhouse can accommodate up to ten adults, 5 children plus infants. The farmhouse is laid out over 2 floors and comes with exposed beams and stone walls..
- The huge living room has an oak beamed ceiling, traditional stone walls and tiled floors. There is sitting room area organised around the wood burning stove with large, luxurious sofas. There is also a TV snug with leather sofas and a 50" plasma TV with Freesat TV and satellite sports package. This area has a choice of hundreds of DVDs of all genres and also surround sound.
- The fully fitted oak kitchen is fully stocked, including a large, dual fuel SMEG stove. Wine buffs will love the two wine fridges.
- There is a 11m x 5m heated swimming pool with a retractable cover, enabling swimming from Easter to the middle of November, with a guaranteed minimum temperature of 24 °C.
- There is a large Driveway with parking for lots of cars. The large bike shed is located here.
- There is a 2 acre fully enclosed Garden, a wonderful space for all activities with football goals, super size trampoline, children's play area
This farmhouse in Dordogne is available for long term rentals from September to June from €2500 per month + bills. Pets maybe accepted through prior agreement.
St Jean de Cole 5 bed house to rent in Dordogne France Ref: 1891
A beautiful 5 bed house to rent in Dordogne, France, available for 3-6 month rentals from €1650 per month. This stone-built house sits on the edge of the river in the picturesque village of St Jean de Cole.
This stone-built house is located in the centre of the village, next to the small river. The house is laid out over 3 floors. The house is newly renovated to a high standard and comprises
- 5 bedrooms
- 3 bathrooms
- The kitchen is recently installed with new appliances and includes a 6 seater breakfast table.
- There is also a dining room table for 10 people.
- 2 living areas - one with a fireplace and one with views of the river.
- Outside there is a large terrace with beautiful views of the river and village.
This Dordogne house for long term rentals in France, also comes with a good sized garden and parking.
The property is available for long term rentals from mid-September to May.
Eymet studio apartment rental Dordogne France Ref: 1845
Eymet is a beautiful market town in Dordogne, France. This studio apartment rental is on the first floor in a renovated 14th Century building. The building opens out onto the main market square in Eymet. The apartment looks out over a quaint medieval alleyway and is conveniently located for all the shops and restaurants in the town. The apartment is available for long term rentals from €480 per month + utility bills.
The apartment is located in a small side-street which opens out onto the main square. The apartment is fully furnished and is perfect as a cost-effective alternative to a hotel whilst you enjoy France or look for a place to buy.
- 1 bedroom
- 1 bathroom
- Walking distance to shops, cafes, restaurants
The apartment can be rented from 6-12 months. The Owner may accept one small dog, through prior agreement.
Le Grange Sud luxury long term rentals Dordogne France (Ref: 2004)
La Grange Sud is a beautiful barn conversion, situated in a stunning area of Dordogne close to the pretty town of Bergerac. The barn overlooks the 2nd and 4th fairways of Chateau Vigiers, one of the best golf resorts in the South West of France. Chateau Vigiers also boasts a Michelin star restaurant as well as a brasserie.
La Grange Sud is a beautiful two bedroom property, with exposed oak beams, Italian travertine floors and high quality furnishings and fixtures.
This high-end long term rental property in Dordogne is perfect for golfers and couples looking to enjoy a few months in South West France with all your creature comforts. The property is furnished to a very high standard.
- 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms
- large open-plan living room with fireplace, oak beams and TV with international channels
- well-equipped oak kitchen with dishwasher, oven, washing machine and plenty of cooking utensils, plates and cutlery
- large terrace with Jacuzzi and stunning views
This barn in Dordogne is available for long term rentals from October to May from €1400 per month + bills.
The Lot department
This weekend I was up in Paris watching the France v New Zealand rugby with some French friends of mine. I mentioned to them that I was writing this article about moving to South-West France and all three of them said " . . . . ah ouais, le Lot est magifique . . . ". They didn't talk about Dordogne or Charente at all, instead they spoke about the Malbec red wines from Cahors, the local truffles and foie gras, the fantastic walks in the Quercy regional park and visits they had made to Rocamadour.
For me, the Lot has many advantages over its neighbouring departments. It is less expensive to live than Dordogne and the countryside is just as beautiful. There are certainly more sites to see and things to do than the Charente and there is much more going on than in Corrèze.
This part of France is known as Quercy, which was an ancient French province up until the French revolution. The countryside is pretty spectacular, with deep gorges, stunning villages and pre-historic caves. The capital of the Lot is Cahors, a pretty town of about 20,000 people, built on a big bend of the River Lot. Cahors is located on the ancient pilgrim route to Saint-Jacques-de-Compostella and its famous Valentré bridge over the River Lot is an UNESCO world heritage monument.
Cahors is known in France for 3 things: its local red wines, its rugby team and its local gastronomy.
Vineyards were first planted around Cahors by the Romans. The area is famous for producing deep red wines, often from Malbec grapes. The wines from Cahors are a successful international export, with Canada being an important market with 50% of export sales, but also the United States (14.5%) and China (8.6%). The wines are often marketed under the label of "Cahors Malbec".
Cahors is a famous French rugby town, with the rugby club dating back to 1908. The club were second Division champions in 1955 and 3 players were capped by the French national team (Dominique Harize (9 caps), Bernard Momméjat (22 caps) and Alfred Roques (30 caps)).
The countryside around Cahors is renowned for its gastronomy, including the production of truffles, foie gras , Quercy lamb, Quercy melon, walnuts and saffron.
The Lot is home to 6 of the Most Beautiful villages in France:
- In the eastern part of the department, in a deep gorge, is the pretty village of Autoire. Located between Figeac and Gramat, the countryside around Autoire is known as le causse, which refers to the rocky limestone plateau of the Massif Central. In the village there are many stone mansions with typical brown tiled roofs.
- Cardaillac is a small medieval village also located in the Eastern part of the Lot, close to Figeac. Cardaillac was the home of one of the most prominent families in the old Quercy province (descended from the 13th Century knight, Bertrand III de Cardaillac). In the centre of the village there is turreted castle which offers a panoramic views of the village.
- Perched on a cliff 100 metres above a bend in the River Lot, Saint-Cirq-Lapopie is a beautiful medieval village with a fortified church. Located in the centre of the Quercy Regional Park and just 30 kms from Cahors, the village was once the home of the artist Henri Martin and the writer André Breton. With its riverside setting and narrow streets, St-Cirq-Lapopie is a popular site for visitors.
- In the north of the Lot, the small fortified village of Loubressac is located on a rocky outcrop and offers beautiful views over the Dordogne river valley. The American poet Sylvia Plath wrote "Stars over the Dordogne" during her stay at Loubressac in the summer of 1961.
- The medieval fortress of Capdenac-le-Haut stretches along a rocky cliff, which stands 110 meters a meander of the Lot river. The site has been habited since the Bronze Age and was the site of a famous battle between the Gallic tribes and the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar (the Battle ofUxellodunum).
- Located on the banks of the Dordogne river in the north of the department, is the stunning village of Carennac. The village contains an 11th century Priory, a Romanesque church and the beautiful Château des Doyens.
The central part of the Lot department is taken up by the Regional Natural Park of the Causses de Quercy. This area of outstanding natural beauty was first made an National Park of France in 1999. The park covers 185,000 hectares and is home to 32,000 people. The park contains many deep caves (such as Gouffre de Padirac), gorges, rivers and a limestone plateau. It also contains some very pretty villages such as Beauregard, Sauliac-sur-Célé, St Cirq Lapopie, Cabrerets and Limogne-en-Quercy.
The Eastern edge of the Lot borders the Cantal department and is very pretty. The largest towns in this part of the Lot, are the historic town of Figeac and the former river port of Carjac. The villages of Capdenac and Faycelles are amongst the prettiest villages in France.
The South-West part of the Lot is dominated by the Cahors vineyards that stretch out either side of the Lot river valley. This part of the department contains many pretty villages such as Puy l'Eveque, Albas (a lovely place nicknamed "Albas la Jolie" in French), Bonaguil with its famous Chateau, the fortified village of Castelnau-Montratier, the arts & crafts village of Montcuq, the hilltop village of Luzech and the popular villages of Belaye, Prayssac and Castelfranc.
The northern part of Lot, as it borders the Dordogne river valley is especially popular with our long term rental customers. The standout attraction in this part of the department is the medieval village of Rocamadour. This fortified village is a pilgrim site featuring a large stone staircase which pilgrims traditionally climbed on their knees, up to the Saint-Sauveur Basilica and the 6 chapels (Sainte-Anne, Saint-Blaise, Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Notre-Dame, Saint-Louis and Saint-Michel). Rocamadour is reputedly the second most visited religious monument in France (after Mont-Saint-Michel).
Other popular destinations in the Northern part of the Lot include the medieval town of Martel, the village of Gramat, Gourdon, Souillac, the fortified town of Cazals, Floirac, Labastide-Murat, the villages of Carennac, Loubressac and Autoire and also the castles of Castelnau-Bretenoux and Château-de-Montal.
Long term rentals Lot, France
Generally it is cheaper to rent a house in the Lot than the neighbouring department of Dordogne. Between October to April, a 1 bedroom property will generally rent for €550-€600 per month + bills, a 2 bedroom property for €750 per month + bills and a larger 4 bedroom character property for between €900-€1250 per month + bills. In the summer months, prices will be more expensive, sometimes double the off season monthly price. with Owners able to rent property on a weekly basis for the same if not more than the low season monthly price.
Here is a selection of long term rental properties currently available in the Lot department:
Lafage farmhouse for long term rentals Lot France (Ref: 2070)
This farmhouse for long term rentals in the Lot department, France, is situated on a south-facing hillside and is surrounded by 12 acres of woodland and fields. The farmhouse is approached via a long driveway and comes with 3 bedrooms, a sunny terrace, open plan living room with open fireplace. Table-tennis can be played in the vaulted cellar.
This farmhouse will ideally suit a family or a couple who are used to living in older properties in a remote location. Part of the beauty of this farmhouse is that you can feel totally "lost in France" and enjoy the peace and quiet. The stunning Quercy region is a beautiful part of south-west France to enjoy a long winter rental or to spend a full year in France.
The property comes with:
- 3 bedrooms
- 1 bathroom
- Well-equipped kitchen + washing machine
- Private parking
- Large grounds (12 acres)
- Character features: oak beams, exposed stone walls and original fireplace
Available for rental between October-May each year from €850 per month + bills. The Owner will accept pets through prior agreement. Minimum stay 3 months. 12 month rentals may be possible, although at a higher rate.
Payrac long term rental Lot, France near Sarlat and Rocamadour Ref: 2047
This beautifully situated 2 bedroom long term rental property in Lot, South West France, is conveniently located between the popular sites of Sarlat and Rocamadour. The house was built in 2019 and features a gorgeous master bedroom with breathtaking views over the village of Payrac. Start you day listening to the birds and enjoying a morning sunrise and cup of local French coffee from the comfort of your cosy double bed.
The house contains:
- 2 bedrooms
- 1 bathroom
- Well-equipped kitchen
- Beautiful countryside location
- WiFi internet
- Large garden
- Private swimming pool
- Close to restaurant and shop
This house is available to rent between October to May. The guide rental price is €800 per month + bills.
L'Ancienne Auberge long term rentals Lot France (Ref: 2006)
This old stone farmhouse in the beautiful Lot region of South West France is available for long term rentals between October and May. The property comes with 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, a garden with pool, a beautiful lounge and a stunning kitchen.
The farmhouse was thought to have been used by the French Resistance during the Second World War and when the Owners first accessed the house, they discovered a makeshift table made from an old door resting on grenade boxes in one of the rooms.
The property comes with:
- 5 bedrooms
- 6 bathrooms
- Well-equipped kitchen + washing machine
- Private parking
- Large garden
- Character features: oak beams, exposed stone walls, solid wooden floors and original fireplaces
Available for rental between October-May each year from €1500 per month + bills. The Owner will accept pets through prior agreement. Minimum stay 3 months.
Riverside farmhouse to rent long term in Lot France Ref: 1995
This beautiful 3 bed farmhouse by the edge of the River Lot in South West France, is available for long term rentals between October to May from €1250 per month + bills. The farmhouse is located on the border of the Dordogne and Lot departments, in between Bergerac and Cahors. The nearby village of Albas has a restaurant and shop and within 15 mins you can visit some beautiful sites. The house contains:
- 3 bedrooms
- 3 bathrooms
- Well-equipped kitchen
- Pet friendly
- WiFi internet
- Large garden
- Direct access to river + rowing boats
- Close to restaurant and shop
This house is available to rent between October to May. The guide rental price is €1250 per month + bills.
Cottage in France for long term rentals sleeps 8 (Ref: 1502)
If you are house hunting in the Dordogne, France, then these properties for long term rentals are a great place to be based. There are two long term let properties located in a beautifully-restored old stone barn. Both barns come with 4 bedrooms and can sleep up to 8 people. The barns are comfortably furnished and benefit from UK TV, WiFi, a washing machine and plenty of outdoor space. Pets may also be accepted. The barns are situated in the small village of Fajoles, close to the Dordogne river and the beautiful villages of Domme, La Roque-Gageac and Sarlat. The property comes with:
- 4 bedrooms
- 2 bathrooms
- Well-equipped kitchen + washing machine
- Private parking
- WiFi and flat screen TV
- Large garden
Available for rental between October-April each year from €800 per month + bills. The Owner will accept pets through prior agreement. Minimum stay 3 months.
Where to next . . . ?
If you are interested in renting a house in France on a long term basis in 2023, but if you are looking for more ideas on where to be based in France or the likely rental costs of properties, then the following articles may be of interest to you. We have also summarised some information on the rental process in France
Read our article on the Moving to South West France with your family.
Discover more about the surrounding area of South West France Renting a property in Limousin France
Read about Where to rent in France long term to find the best locations, towns and villages in France to rent
See our full selection of Dordogne, Charente and Lot-et-Garonne long term rentals France
Contact Iain by Email if you have any particular questions you would like to ask about living in the South of France. If you liked the article then please share it with others using the Facebook and Pinterest buttons below.