•Dordogne (24250) • Population: 1,093 • Altitude: 70 m
The commune of Cénec-et-Saint-Julien, in the southeastern corner of the Dordogne (24) department, on the south side of the Dordogne river, is actually two very separated villages: St Julien and Cénac. Cénac village is on the main D46 road between Sarlat-la-Canéda and points south, while St Julien village is isolated at the end of a tiny road.
Cénac, which Beyond only passed through (but stopping to buy some great olive bread and walnut bread), is on the main road, and just to the west of the small town of Domme.
A small, local road goes northwest from Cénac about 4 km to the very isolated little village of St Julien, small but obviously very rich. Villas here are on large plots of land, expensively refurbished and with lavish gardens. There are great views out across the farmland of the cliffs along the Dordogne river.
The farmland here consists of huge fields of walnut groves, corn fields and a scattering of other crops.
It's an easy, and very pleasant 10-minute stroll north of the village down past the walnut groves to the banks of the Dordogne. Along the riverside you have a magnificent view of the cliff-side village La Roque-Gageac. On a sunny summer day, the river is full of kayaks paddling up or down stream, and at midday, the boaters picnic on the stony banks of the Dordogne.
History of Cénac-et-Saint-Julien
Prehistoric: A prehistoric shelter was found at Vaufrey, and a number of grottos in the nearby cliffs were inhabited in the paleolithic.
Gallo-Roman: The Gallo-Roman site of Ville de Quinte has remains of walls, canals, mosaics, and "hypocauste" (under-floor heating).
Medieval: A priory was founded here in the 11th century by Aquilanus, the Abbey of Moissac. The church of Cénac was razed by the Huguenots in the 16th century.
More Recently: In the 19th century there was a ship works at Port-Saint-Julien, on the Dordogne.
• GPS: 44.798666, 1.203964
IGN (1/25,000) #2036 ET "Sarlat, Souillac, Vallee Dordogne"
The GR 64 (Grande Randonnée) hiking trail passes through Saint Julien and Cénac.
East of Cénace the GR64 passes through the town of Domme and on east through the hills. The alternate trail GR64B goes eastwards, but a bit further north along the Dordogne.
West of Saint Julien the GR64 goes along the banks of the Dorgodne to Castelnaud, then Les Milandes and further west, joining other trails, including the GR36.