Cabanes Flottantes du Lac de Pélisse
As the wind rustles softly through the willow trees that surround the waters of Lac de Pelisse, any avid reader can’t help but remember the aptly named Wind in the Willows. “There is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as messing about in boats”, the famous sentence goes. Come visit Cabanes Flottantes and we’re sure you will agree.
Set within eight-acres of parkland, once an organic farm and today a tranquil natural space, Cabanes Flottantes is a truly unique glamping experience comprised of two floating cabins bobbing gently on a lake. Crafted out of finely selected woods – larch, Douglas fir and pine – the cabins are encircled by a wide outside deck, finished in the same wonderfully exposed style and mirrored inside by superb joinery that includes inbuilt furnishings and bunk beds.
The real magic, of course, comes not in the comfortable beds, large glass doors or sun-chairs on the terrace but from the sheer tranquillity of floating on a lake in the heart of the French countryside! And what a charm it is. In the mornings, cold weather can be a pleasant surprise as wispy hairs of mist hang in the air beyond the windows, magical and serene, while warmer, midsummer dawns wash the waters in a sunny glow, attracting kingfishers and herons who fish around the edge. When the wind catches, the cabins can even begin to turn slowly in the water, shifting the direction of your view across the lake.
All of it can be surveyed over breakfast as you enjoy a French collection of freshly squeezed orange juice, jams, croissants and other, seasonal goods paddled out to your cabin each morning. And then, you can head off to explore, either in the private rowing boat you use to paddle to and from the cabin or by taking out one of the kayaks found beached on the sand at one end of the lake. If you bring along some fishing tackle you can even dip for fish in the waters below. You do have to put them back though, partly as there are no cooking facilities in the cabin but more importantly to protect the stock!
On shore, picnic benches are found beneath the dappled shade of the willow trees and there’s a climbing frame and playground for kids. They’re located conveniently close to a communal BBQ too, perfect for a family meal back on terra firma. And then beyond there are the medieval towns that this region of France is so famous for: Issigeac, Bergerac and magnificent Château de Monbazillac are all within an easy half hour drive. Not that you’ll be too interested in going there. After all, nothing beats staying put and simply messing around in boats.
FacilitiesCabins are accessed by rowing boat (one for each cabin) and there is parking on the shore of the lake. They're 15sqm in size, with a wrap around wooden terrace, sheep's wool insulation and solar panels providing electricity. There's a sink and water tank, as well as a 'dry' toilet, in the cabin, though, for obvious reasons, the bathroom and further toilets have to be located back on shore (a private one for each cabin). Inside there is a double bed and bunk beds (bedding and towels provided), dining furniture and benches with views over the lake and further furniture on the terrace outside. The terrace also includes two sun loungers. Kayaks are also available to hire if you want to explore the lake more extensively. They're located at the far end, near a small sandy beach. Within the park there are also picnic tables and a BBQ available for your use, as well as swings for the children.
Suitable ForGlamping only: suitable for couples and families. No tents, campervans, caravans or pets. Note high heels are also not allowed in the boat or cabins.
It’s a 5-minute drive to the pretty village of Castillonnès where the local tourist office (+33 5 53 36 87 44) is a handy place to begin your trip and plan some activities. Chateau de Monbazillac (+33 5 53 61 52 52) is a must. The grand, 16th-century castle is in an early Renaissance style, complete with multiple towers, fairy tale spikey roof and finely decorated rooms. What makes it particularly interesting, however, is that, not only is it an ancient castle, but also home to a vast vineyard and winery. Around the building, 3500 hectares of vines produce one of the most widely known (and most highly reputed) dessert wines in the world. Tours are available, both of the chateau and the co-operative winery.
Food & DrinkIt is not possible to cook in the cabins themselves, but the price includes breakfast delivered directly to your terrace each morning and dinners can also be added at an extra cost. 'Appetizer' food hampers can also be pre-ordered. For other meals, the local village of Castillonnès (10 minutes by car) has a couple of tiny eateries or head the half hour to Bergerac, a beautiful settlement clustered along the banks of the Dordogne, with heaps of great restaurants. There's also an interesting wine house by the river, featuring a small exhibition on the history of wine growing – worth popping into.
OpenApril – end of October (weather dependent).
The Owner Says
Follow the N21 to Castillonnes, then turn onto th D254 (signposted 'Douzains'). Exactly 3 km after the turning there is a turning on the right signposted for the campsite and the lake. Follow this road and it leads you to the campsite\lake.
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