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Advice on a trip to the Dordogne region of France

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I’m fairly early in the process of researching a 2 week trip to the Dordogne region of France in September, 2014. I think I have a fairly solid general outline (listed below but definitely open to suggestions) and I’m ready to start digging into specifics but I'm hoping for confirmation/additional advice for the itinerary as it exists so far to make sure I'm on the right track. I apologize for the length in advance but I think the more specific I am the better.

Some key points about my travel habits. I will most likely be traveling alone and in a rental car. Photography is a hobby so the search for interesting photo opportunities is always key. I enjoy experiencing the culture, food, wine and beer of a region as much as possible. I don’t often visit museums but I will usually try to take in a few. I enjoy taking in architecture and churches. I (for the most part) only take group tours when I have to (I understand I will need to for any of the cave tours). I prefer to explore on my own and I always hope to discover at least a couple of off-the-beaten-path places that surprise me. In larger cities (as examples from other places I’ve visited - Prague, Paris, Athens, etc.) I have no problem covering 10+ miles a day walking and exploring.

I’m currently looking at spending the majority of my nights in Sarlat with day trips around it. In choosing this town, I wanted a decent size (but not too big) town that will offer a variety of restaurants, sidewalk cafes, etc., has some interesting sites to see and is easy to get in and out of. I’m definitely open to other suggestions for different towns along with hotels if there is one that better fits my needs. In Sarlat I’m currently considering La Villa des Consuls, Les Cordeliers, or Le Mas De Castel (don’t mind the walk) as places for my stay.

Below is my initial rough schedule. I believe it is all in a fairly small area so I don’t think I’m overdoing it but I’m sure I’ll hear about it if I am! :-) The days are somewhat interchangeable other than the travel days so if there are better days than others for visiting certain areas I’d love to know that kind of information! I am flying into Bordeaux as it allows me to use my frequent flyer miles.
Day 1 - Saturday - Arrive in Bordeaux. Spend the night in Bordeaux

Day 2 - Sunday - Explore Bordeaux and work on getting over jet lag. Spend the night in Bordeaux

Day 3 - Monday - Rent a car and drive to Perigueux. Spend the night in Perigueux

Day 4 - Tuesday - Explore Perigueux. Spend the night in Perigueux

Day 5 - Wednesday - Explore the region to north of Perigueux including Abbaye De Chancelade, Brantome, St Jean De Cole, Chateau De hautefort and Bourdeilles. Spend the night in Perigueux.

Day 6 - Thursday - Drive to Sarlat and take in whatever looks interesting on the way (suggestions?). Do some exploring of Sarlat. Spend the night in Sarlat

Day 7 - Friday - Explore the region to the Southwest including Beynac and Castelnaud. Spend the night in Sarlat

Day 8 - Saturday - Explore the region to the North including Lascaux II and St-Amand-de-Coly. Spend the night in Sarlat.

Day 9 - Sunday - Explore the region to the Northwest including Les Eyzies-de-tayac, the Vezere Valley (including Chateau de l'herm, Chateau de Commarque), La Roque-Saint Christophe, Vallee De l'hommr. Spend the night in Sarlat.

Day 10 - Monday - Explore the region to the South including Domme, Daglan, La Roque Gageac. Spend the night in Sarlat.

Day 11 - Tuesday - Explore the region to the East - Rocamadour and Gouffre de Padirac. Spend the night in Sarlat.

Day 12 - Wednesday - Explore the region to the Southeast - Cahors, Grotte de Pech-Merle, St-Cirq-Lapopie. Spend the night in Sarlat.

Day 13 - Thursday - Drive to Bordeaux with stops in Belves and Bergerac. Spend the night in Bordeaux.

Day 14 - Friday - Fly home from Bordeaux.

As mentioned this is just my initial rough draft of the itinerary and I am fully open to suggestions including other sites I need to consider.

Thanks in advance!

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