Chartreuse Le Cariol

Naussannes, Dordogne & Lot, France Book from Book from £225 per night

A sociable retreat in an ancient French farmhouse, with 3 self-catering family gites and an intriguing history
Once upon a time in the ancient French region of Périgord, the Knights Templar took shelter from the world, hiding beneath the rafters of an elegant country house, accepting solace from the kindly owners. Fast forward 800 years and outdoorsy families can seek escapism on the very same spot - in one of 3 family gites for 2-8. Dutch artist Marthijn and his wife Irene fell in love with this rural Dordogne farmhouse when it was just a ruin and have lovingly restored it, adding their own wonderful sense of style and creativity.

Details are exquisite: from the antiques in each room and flower beds bursting with edible goodies, to the sauna built next to the ancient water source under the house and jacuzzi positioned perfectly for sunset. But best of all, it feels like home. Warmth and passion radiate from every corner: convivial communal dinners lead to philosophical discussions under the stars, while the huge gardens offer space and freedom for kids to hang out and play. It's also an ideal base for exploring the great gastronomic region of the Dordogne with its castles, caves and vineyards. Chartreuse Le Cariol is a hideout we’ll return to time and time again.


  • Heaven for families: parents can relax in the wood-fired jacuzzi and watch the kids run free, climb trees, play pétanque and burn energy on the trampoline
  • Marthijn and Irene have created a special atmosphere: relaxing, inspiring, inclusive - and full of surprises
  • Plenty of sociable spaces, and delicious communal meals on offer, served alfresco
  • Yet the 3 self-catering gites offer complete privacy; each has its own entrance and private outdoor space
  • Marthijn’s art studio is on site and he’s more than happy to show you his work


  • Note, Gite Jardin and Gite Hammam are family suites within the main chateau and only available April-September. Gite XL is a private cottage for 4-8, rentable all year round
  • No restaurant on site - if you don't want to cook you’ll need to drive 8km to the nearby village of Issigeac or 20km to Bergerac
  • The properties get booked up months in advance by return guests, and there's a minimum 7-night stay in high season - plan ahead
  • You'll need a car to make the most of the area
  • Couples in search of a romantic respite might be better off avoiding July-August when it is very popular with families

Best time to go

This region has something to offer all year round. Our favourite times are late spring (May) and early autumn (September), as trees are colourful, the weather warm and the area not too busy. Summer can be swelteringly hot and late autumn often means unpredictable weather. Gite XL remains open all year, but some local restaurants close in low season (October-April) and the famous Dordogne night markets are only in July and August.

Our top tips

The Dordogne is a foodie’s heaven. Each season provide something mouth-watering: cèpe mushrooms, chestnuts, foie gras and black truffles, not to mention cheese, honey and asparagus. Ask Irene about the best local markets and make sure you venture out with an empty stomach so you can taste everything!

Great for...

Great Outdoors
  • Boutique gites
  • 3 rentals for 2-6
  • Self-catering (meals on request)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen


We stayed in Gite XL, a perfect Périgordine house, full of elegant design touches and Marthijn’s artwork. Sleeping up to 8 in 2 double bedrooms and 2 mezzanine rooms, it's ideal for one large family or 2 small families. The living room, 2 bathrooms and fully equipped kitchen offer a sophisticated combination of historic character and modern comfort. A real highlight for us was the terrace, on which we could build a bonfire, and the private garden complete with sandpit.

The other 2 gites (more like suites for 2-5) are located in the main house and have their own private entrances and outdoor spaces, as well as a private kitchen. Gite Jardin is split over 2 levels, and has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. We loved the rustic décor: carved antiques from Asia paired with local French furniture. However, our favourite was Gite Hamman, thanks to its underground bathroom featuring an ancient water source, sauna and standalone tub. It effortlessly manages to be simultaneously romantic and family-friendly with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a lounge area that radiates oriental ambiance.

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Dishwasher
  • DVD player
  • Fan
  • Fireplace
  • Food blender
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hairdryer
  • Ipod dock
  • Microwave
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Mosquito net
  • Oven
  • Terrace
  • Toaster
  • Toiletries
  • TV
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi


Breakfast is the only meal available on a daily basis; a luxurious affair. Irene brings plate after plate of mouth-watering French delicacies either grown in the garden or picked up from one of the many local markets. It was a real pleasure to laze on our terrace overlooking the fields, feasting on buttery croissants, warm crusty bread, delicate cheese, fresh figs and creamy yogurt, while alternating between coffee and sage tea.

Once or twice a week in summer there’s a lively communal dinner eaten at the long wooden table under the stars. Wholesome dishes, such as barbecued fish, fresh vegetables and gratin, are paired with local wines - all excellent, Irene is something of an expert. Children are welcome to join in, or they can enjoy their own communal dinner at an earlier time with a special menu, fun and music.

Other meals at Chartreuse Le Cariol are available on request 5 days a week and can be discussed with the chef (May-September). The gites have their own fully equipped kitchens so food can be prepared at your leisure throughout the day. Ask Irene to point you in the direction of the best local markets.

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Communal dining
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Dishwasher
  • Food blender
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Microwave
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Oven
  • Room service
  • Toaster


  • Laze at the pool house: spend your days curled up with a book soaking in the Dordogne sun; spend the evenings star-gazing while sat around a fire with a glass of wine
  • Explore the grounds: Chartreuse Le Cariol is built on top of an ancient water source and there’s another hidden under the trees in the garden; wonderful hiking trails lead out from the house
  • Marthijn is happy to show you his studio and offers children's art lessons
  • Irene leads yoga sessions in the garden on request
  • Explore some of the many nearby castles such as Bridoire, Biron and Lanquais
  • The Vézère Valley contains some of the oldest prehistoric cave art known to man
  • Go kayaking down the Dordogne River past small villages such as la Roque-Gageac or Beynac

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Historical sites
    • Kayaking
    • Massages
    • Petanque
    • Playground
    • Shopping / markets
    • Swimming
    • Well being
    • Yoga


Marthijn and Irene have 3 young boys and have designed the property to be both sophisticated and family-friendly. There's lots of outdoor space to run free and play with other kids.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

All the accommodation is well set up for families - your decision simply depends on the size of your group. Gites Jardin and Hammam each sleep 4-5; Gite XL sleeps 4-6 and has an enclosed garden complete with sandpit.

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cot
  • Baby bedding
  • Potty
  • Pushchair to borrow

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kids Activities on site:

  • Playground
  • Trampoline
  • Treehouse
  • Table-tennis table
  • Football field
  • Petanque pitch
  • Fenced pool
  • Children's art classes
  • Kids DVDs

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Farm animals
  • Playgrounds
  • Castles
  • Canoeing
  • Hiking
  • Horse riding
  • Ancient caves to explore


  • Airport: 20km (Bergerac)
  • Shops: 8km (Beaumont-du-Périgord)
  • Hospital: 24km (Bergerac)
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests


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