Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère, My Favourite French Village

Recently I’ve been contemplating what makes one French village more lovely and desirable than another and came to the conclusion that it all depended on the day, time and season of the visit. Maybe I was very fortunate on the day we visited Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère: the weather was warm, the day bus visitors had vanished for the season, and the lunch offerings were most appealing.

Around the village of Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère

The village of around 500 residents sits right on the Vezere river which flows like liquid molasses, gently and lazily around the village and nearby woods. Sparkling miniscule mites buzz in the golden rays, the warm air tinted with the colours of Autumn. A leaf strewn walk beside the river, a crunch through carmine and russet, provides a wild contrast to the benign and domestic village. St Leon’s tastefully restored church invites quiet reflection. The hardest part of my fascination with this village is sorting through the prolific amount of photos I took on the day. Come for a walk around Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère with me.

Late September is still warm in the Dordogne and the colours of Autumn paint the walls.
Glimpses of cottage gardens, ramshackled and stone-walled.
Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère has many picnic tables by the river, an unusual and rare gift in France.
Inviting tracks along the river.
Can I move in and tend your gardens?
The Immobilier( real estate agent), always high on Mr T’s list.
St Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère village church with a difference.
The castle is privately owned.

Next time I visit, I’l stay a while, hire a canoe, walk till the paths run out, and visit the cemetery. But then perhaps beautiful memories should not be tarnished through revisiting.

19 thoughts on “Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère, My Favourite French Village”

  1. How absolutely lovely, Francesca, the colours are wonderful. It would seem such a dream to live in such a place, but i guess life has just as many problems and worries, ups and downs as any where else. How interesting that the French for a Real Estate agent is so much like the word ‘immobilise’ – we are going through the process of downsizing and negotiating for our next home and i feel completely immobilised! Pear Tiramisu sounds like a very nice variation, and i would most definitely invite myself to one of your picnics.


    1. I would feel immobilised too – such a huge task. Funny, but the opposite, mobilised, at least in Italian, means the personal things you can move, unlike the real estate, which you can’t. But then over a long life, you just get too much stuff and moving it becomes immobilizing.
      On France, I couldn’t stay in those lovely villages too long-the houses are just too dark and I love the sunlight streaming through the windows here.
      Good luck with the move Jan.


  2. A most beautiful village, river and surrounds. Off-season – gorgeous. While the facilities for the many visitors that apparently come in season (June/July and especially August) look appealing and admirable, it could be a time to be elsewhere.


  3. What a beautiful treat, thanks to you and the interweb’s magical transcendence of time & space. Our weather appears to have -at least for the moment- turned it’s back on a lingering summery autumn, becoming slightly chill & damp. Unsurprising as ANZAC Day is nigh. And I was feeling it, until I took myself off for a restorative wander via your reminiscence.
    For me, Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère and such places where one could linger, enthrallment is a distinct possibility.


  4. The river looks so inviting. Drifting along in a canoe, a paddle in one hand and a large glass of chilled Loire Valley Rose in the other, bliss. Lovely post.


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