Beynac is having major road and pavement constructions which will not be completed until next winter. However, the road will be open as normal from spring to autumn for the tourist season.
We wanted to go to St Cyprien which unfortunately is to be found at the other side of Beynac, so a new route was in order. We have already followed the diversion signs that take you around Beynac to avoid the roadworks but this new route, told to us by friends in the village, did sound promising for the lovely vistas. So off we set on a rather cloudy morning.
From the bridge at Castlenaud take the D53 leading to Les Milandes so you will have the river on the right hand side and a stone cliff face on the left.
Bridge over troubled waters
The trees looked like they were slowly descending into the swollen river Dordogne.
Continue and you will pass Château de Fayrac on your left.
Château de Fayrac, how awesome is that!
Unfortunately the Château is not opened to the public, but is still magnificent on the outside and is worth a look.
In the 14th century, the Château belonged to the Lords of Castlenaud to serve as a lookout post during the Hundred Years War between the French and the English. In the 18th C during the French Revolution, it was seized has a National Property and sold to the composer Fernard Fouant of Tombelle who restored the Château to its former glory.
Like Beynac, Castlenaud, Milandes and Marqueyssac, it is part of the tourist complex called the “Valley of the five Castles”, which I hope will open to the public at a future date.
If you want to go on to St Cyprien follow the D53 until the junction where the road bears left to Les Milandes, do not turn here but head straight on to take you through two lovely villages of Envaux and Allas les Mines and over a narrow, single track bridge to a wonderful vista taking in fields, hamlets and forested hills and on to Les Cauffours at the D703 between Beynac and St Cyprien.
The bustling market at St Cyprien
On our return journey the sun was shining so we had to stop and take this picture of Beynac, still magical in winter with the houses clinging to the rock face.