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Fairy Tale French Farmhouse

Bedrooms 2
Half Baths1
Property type house
Minimum Stay 7 nights


About the property

House, 2 Bedrooms, 1.5 Baths, (Sleeps 4)


Set in a high meadow in the heart of France’s Périgord Noir region, Gaurenne is a charming farmhouse dating from the early 1700’s. The property is within 15 to 30 minutes of the most famous sites in the Dordogne, and yet it offers a peaceful tranquility that makes sight-seeing a choice but not a necessity. In this beautiful setting, with its views of neighboring hills and hamlets, it is possible for a visitor to remain undisturbed, walking through the property’s 22 acres of meadow and woods, following footpaths through the valley and nearby villages. Next to the house are both fruit and walnut orchards, and the covered stone terrace catches summer breezes and provides a gracious place for outdoor dining and relaxing. There is also a saltwater swimming pool, which functions in summer months.


In its bucolic setting, Gaurenne is a three hundred year old farm of special charm. Arranged around a courtyard in the traditional manner of French farms, it is a fine example of Périgordine architecture. The buildings are constructed of the golden limestone that is typical of the region and have steeply pitched roofs made of stone slabs. These highly prized “lauze” roofs are found within a limited 20 mile radius in this part of the Dordogne and give the local architecture its fairytale quality. Climbing roses, jasmine, and lavender fill the courtyard with fragrance, and the herb garden by the door is intended for your use. The house has been restored in a way that respects its original rustic character, while modern conveniences have been added for comfort.

The interior has many walls of exposed stone and beamed ceilings throughout, with floors of the honey colored local stone downstairs and of chestnut upstairs. Furnishings include antiques and French fabrics. The main floor is comprised of an eat-in kitchen, a living room/dining room, a utility room, and a half-bath. The kitchen is of generous size and includes a dishwasher and the usual amenities. From the table, a lovely stone window looks out into the meadow. The living room is large and includes a comfortable sitting area as well as a long farm table for dining. Upstairs, there are two bedrooms, one with a queen-sized bed and the other with two single beds that can be joined to make a king-sized bed. Both rooms have large, French casement windows, antique armoires, and generous dressers. There is also a bathroom with tub and rain shower, a heated towel rack, and a sink set into a tile counter. The WC is separate. The house is equipped with central heating, a washing machine, and high-speed wireless internet access.


Guests arriving at Gaurenne enter a gate leading into a courtyard that is filled with flowers and partially shaded by a plane tree. At the far side of the courtyard, a stone terrace adjacent to the kitchen holds a long teak table and chairs for outdoor dining. A tile roof shelters the terrace, making it a pleasant seating area in the heat of the day. On the north side of the house is a fruit orchard; the fruit is yours for the taking if you happen to be there when it’s ripe. There is also a walnut orchard. On the south side of the house, the swimming pool is hidden from view but is open to the meadow and the hills beyond. Measuring 17′ x 36′, it was just rebuilt and bordered with stones from Burgundy. This is a favorite spot for guests and is a welcome pleasure at the end of a day of sightseeing. Lounge chairs, beach towels and mats are provided, as are kickboards and some water toys for children. Gaurenne’s 22 acres are yours to explore, and the trails that you can pick up on the property can be followed for miles through the countryside, either on foot or on bicycle. The woods below the house are a delightful place to walk, and below them is a completely private valley that makes a wonderful picnic spot. Five minutes away is a village where you will find a post office, two restaurants, and a grocery store/bar/café that serves wonderful, inexpensive home cooked meals. Just as close is a lake with a public beach and tennis courts. Fifteen minutes away, the medieval town of Sarlat has everything you might need, including shops, restaurants, movie theatre, hospital, summer festivals, and, twice a week, a large outdoor market.


Located in Southwestern France, the Dordogne is a region of gentle beauty, renown for its fine cuisine, medieval villages, proud chateaux, and extraordinary examples of prehistoric cave art. Owing to the unique combination of abundant fish and game and of cliffs rising up from the valleys providing safe dwellings in myriad caves and grottos, more traces of man’s presence thousands of years ago have been found here than anywhere else in France.

Gaurenne is situated in the part of the Dordogne known as the Périgord Noir, which offers a lush landscape threaded with meandering rivers and dotted with charming villages. Dense forests alternate with rolling meadows and fields. Although there are towns and sites that attract visitors in summer months, this is a region that is primarily agricultural, with a quiet, unspoiled countryside where the traditional way of life is still very much in evidence.

Nonetheless, you will not lack for activities to fill your days. There are extensive hiking trails, canoe trips on the Dordogne or Vezere rivers, horseback riding, swimming, and tennis, all nearby. There are also numerous chateaux to visit (Beynac and Castelnaud are not to be missed) as well as unique sites like the ruined Chateau de Commarque and the Cabanes de Breuil (an unusual cluster of ancient, round, stone dwellings of unknown origin). The region’s wealth of prehistoric sites is close at hand. The Lascaux caves, Font-de-Gaume, the National Museum of Pre-history at Les Eyzies-de-Tayac, and the Abri de Cap Blanc, with its carved horses, provide a memorable experience. Local outdoor markets offer regional produce and products, with that of Sarlat being one of the most colorful in France. A listing of suggested outings, restaurants, and market days is provided to help visitors make full use of their stay.

More Details

Judith Lit
Member since: 2008
Speaks: english, french
Response time:
Within a few hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
June 25, 2017

About Judith Lit

I had studied at a university in France and for years dreamed of returning. When my daughter went off to college I began searching for a small house in Provence. But each year I ended my search by visiting friends who had bought a cottage in the part of the Dordogne known as the Périgord Noir. I slowly fell in love with this peaceful, rural countryside, with it’s rich history, stunning landscape, and friendly residents. This felt more authentic than the more touristy areas farther south where I’d been searching. I finally decided to spend one day looking at property, and at the end of the day drove up a little road, turned into the meadow, and saw this small farm. Built around a courtyard, the three buildings with ancient stone roofs and covered with roses looked like a dream. Set in the middle of a gentle ridge top meadow, it felt at once intimate and open. I fell in love.

I’m a filmmaker, and ten years later I began filming my neighbors in their nearby farms. This has anchored me even more deeply in the community and their story has been shown in cinemas across France, in the U.S. and even in Russia, winning awards and captivating audiences.

The property gets more beautiful each year, as I slowly renovate, adding luxurious comforts while respecting the original architecture. Gaurenne remains a “as close to heaven as one can get,” as a recent renter put it, for me and for our guests

Judith Lit purchased this house in 1996

What makes this house unique

Guests enjoy the privacy and serenity of Gaurenne as well as its easy access to numerous sites, and activities of interest. How much 'exploring' one does becomes a choice and many families enjoy going out to caves, villages, markets, river trips etc. in the early part of the day and spending much of the balance of the day quietly at Gaurenne, swimming, cooking, reading, hiking.

Guestbook comments from the owner

“We’re the luckiest of visitors – we had a month at Gaurenne.

For some, that would be just enough time to visit every chateau, tour every grotto, sample every restaurant. This is, to use Gaurenne as a base of operations for a vast touristic expedition.

That’s not us. And if there is any advice we pass on, it is: Don’t overlook the joys of just being…here.

Granted we have a 15-month-old who requires two naps a day. And one of us was determined to write a big chunk of a book. And when it comes
Jul 2003
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Marquay House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 4
  • children welcome
  • pets not allowed
  • non smoking only ...
Location Type:
  • Mountain View ...
  • Rural
  • Village
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Broadband Access
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Parking Off Street ...
  • Telephone
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Bathroom 1 -
  • Newly remodeled bathroom with rain shower and tub. Half bath downstairs.
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 4
  • King size beds (1), Double Beds (1) This bed is wider than an American double, Twin or Single Beds (1), Baby Cribs (1)
  • Books
  • CD Player
  • Games
  • Stereo
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Lanai / Gazebo
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Outdoor Grill
  • 6 garden chairs
  • 4 beach chairs
Pool / Spa:
  • Private Pool ...
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • library
  • live theater
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • ruins
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hot air ballooning
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • rafting
  • swimming
  • tennis
House has recently been renovated and has new washing machine, dishwasher and central heating.


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(10 traveler reviews)

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Fairy Tale French Farmhouse
average rating of 5.0 based on 20 reviews

A Wonderful Return Visit

  • 5 of 5

We spent a week at Gaurenne 16 years ago when our daughter was a teenager. It was a wonderful week and we always intended to return. We finally did and it was even more enjoyable. The house is the countryside.. you won't see a neighbor, but it is twenty minutes to Sarlat which has all services you will need. It is in the middle of many locations in the Dordogne you will want to visit on day trips.

The house is a stone farmhouse with lovely outdoor spaces. The bathrooms were redone since our visit and many other improvements were made. All updates were made tastefully and in keeping with the atmosphere of the house. The house is very well equipped and renting it from Judith was a breeze. She is very responsive to all questions and concerns.

Many rentals in France come completely bare bones without any supplies. This house had many items on hand that you would need during your stay , but it might not be as completely equipped as a luxury rental in other parts of the world. Just check with Judith as to what you might need to pick up on your way in to avoid multiple trips to the store.

We had a great stay this time and I hope it doesn't take another 16 years to get back

  • Submitted: Oct 19, 2016
  • Stayed: Sep 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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New Hampshire

Ideal location and property

  • 5 of 5

This is an ideal spot from which to visit the many attractions of the Dordogne – or just relax and enjoy the area around the property and the on-site swimming pool, terrace, walking trails and lovely views. The house and property are beautiful inside and out. Amazing esthetics and comfort. The owner has thought of everything. This was our first sightseeing in the Dordogne, and we were delighted to find so many different places to visit and the way in which they welcome tourists. The people we met were very friendly and helpful. One of us lives in rural southern New Hampshire, the other in New York, and it suited us both! One of the best vacations ever.

  • Submitted: Oct 19, 2016
  • Stayed: Sep 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Near Boston, Massachusetts

La Gaurenne - A Dordogne farmhouse

  • 5 of 5

My wife and I and my wife’s sister spent a week at La Gaurenne in September 2016. The farmhouse, quietly situated in a hill-top meadow, is simply beautiful inside and out – comfortably furnished inside, and outside a lovely private garden, orchards and its own swimming pool. The ambience is fully in keeping with the Dordogne, and the location, despite its apparent isolation, provides ready access to local markets, villages, farms and hiking trails. Moreover La Gaurenne is ideally located for those wishing to explore the extraordinary pre-historic cave art found throughout the region – indeed several of the most famous caves are almost on the doorstep! La Gaurenne offers amazing peace and quiet in the heart of the Perigord Noir, otherwise a very busy and popular tourist area, renowned as one of the most scenically beautiful France has to offer.

  • Submitted: Sep 20, 2016
  • Stayed: Sep 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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San Francisco, California

Perfect vacation spot in the Dordogne

  • 5 of 5

Gaurenne is a beautiful, comfortable stone cottage in a lovely meadow setting. There is history in its old stones, yet it has all the modern conveniences one requires.

We spent two weeks there in late August and early September using Gaurenne as our home base for exploring the Dordogne. Farmers markets, caves, prehistoric sites and lovely villages are all close by as are excellent restaurants. After a day of touring, the swimming pool was a welcome respite. At the farmers markets we found bread, vegetables, fruit, wine, cheese and take-away chicken, ham and potatoes. We also dined in restaurants in nearby Marquay, Tamnies and Les Ezyies.

Driving up the hill to Gaurenne and turning left out of the woods into the sunlit meadow with the house ahead on the right will always be a sweet memory.

  • Submitted: Sep 14, 2016
  • Stayed: Aug 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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A stunning, private sanctuary in the hills of Sarlat

  • 5 of 5

When the Bruno Chief of Police mystery series by Martin Walker (set in nearby Le Bugue) brought us to this area of France, I determined to find a family friendly lodging with a pool. Narrowing the search to Gaurenne was a very lengthy process since there are innumerable gites in the Dordogne. But a decision was made based on the proximity of this sanctuary to Sarlat, Les Elyses, Lascaux II, Rocamadour, Roque de Christophe etc. We wanted a spot with a pool, and the stunning rock buildings of Gaurenne depicted on the VBRO site were unsurpassed by other advertised gites. This lodging is so serene, with local cows being the nearest neighbours. But Gaurenne is located smack in the middle of the most desirable sites in the region. On the property is stunning and we couldn't have been more pleased with our decision.

  • Submitted: Mar 28, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Paris, France

Fabulous Holiday!

  • 5 of 5

We were 2 couples in this perfect farmhouse on a hilltop, in the middle of a gorgeous landscape. The property is very close to the famous market of Sarlat, where we loved to wander in the small streets of this medieval town. We were there in June when everything was in flower and warm days allowed us to swim in the beautiful pool. In short, we had a fabulous, relaxing holiday. One of the best we’ve ever had!

  • Submitted: Mar 2, 2016
  • Stayed: Jun 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Car: necessary

Set in breath-taking nature and within easy reach of medieval villages, chateaux, Lascaux and other pre-historic caves and shelters, with some of the most celebrated prehistoric cave art in the world. There are also numerous outdoor markets, and two magnificent rivers. This is 'deep France' with the added advantages of fascinating cultural and historic sites. A full listing of sites, suggested activities for adults or children, and recommended restaurants is available in the house.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Damage Deposit $800

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.