On a sweeping bend on the River Dordogne sits the village of Beynac-et-Cazenac with the 11th Century Chateau Beynac commanding views across the valley! Like many of the Chateaux across this area, they sit upon secured positions defending a medieval 'stand-off' between the French and the English! It was a very confusing time for the locals who found themselves torn between feuding land-owners. The River Dordogne became a lifeline for many by providing a navigable supply route to and from the west! The Gabarre, with its shallow draft became an indespensible mode of transport.
Today, the Gabarres are motorised and provide tourists with a tranquil river ride along leafy river banks and under bridges with a guide providing a wealth of history that brings the whole experience to life! The village itself is has a few restaurants and a hotel near its entrance from the main road with one of them sitting on a terrace overlooking the river. The walk up to the Chateau is steep and cobbled and should not be underestimated for those of us less sure footed or short of breath! However, there are rewards at the top with a restaurant or two and the sheer scale of the Chateau battlements which are not visible from below! An entrance fee is required to enter the castle.