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Dordogne to Lake Como driving

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We are in the initial planning stages of a 17 day-trip to the Dordogne area in September. We plan to rent an apartment in Sarlat but we have nothing booked as yet -- not even airfare. DD would like to spend a week or so in the Dordogne and then another week somewhere else and has suggested Lake Como area. While I know it would make more sense to fly open jaw say to Paris and return from Milan, we can get flights from Toronto to Paris return for about $900 which is a very good price and open jaw would be about $1500.

Michelin maps shows the driving time from Sarlat to say Cernobbio is about 9 hours -- that is the fastest route and the scenic route is 16 hours. Has anyone done the 'scenic' route? I am afraid of heights so narrow mountain roads could be an issue. Also it would be nice if we could return a different route and maximize our sightseeing. If we took the fastest route -- any ideas of interesting stops along the way or good places to overnight?

Any advice or ideas would be appreciated. I'm still trying to get a handle on the Lake Country area so perhaps Cernobbio would not be the best place to make a home base. We would also like to take the Bernina Express.

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