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21 days in France & Spain - 2 energetic couples 60ish years old

21 days in France & Spain - 2 energetic couples 60ish years old

Old Nov 16th, 2013, 11:21 PM
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Is that a region?

You need a guidebook.
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Old Nov 17th, 2013, 05:35 AM
  #22  
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I would agree I need a guidebook. However, the information you guys have given me has caused me to re-think several things. We are going to the dordogne region and spending 5 nights there. We found a b&b that is amazing. Thanks to this forum for being so informative!
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Old Nov 17th, 2013, 08:50 AM
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I thought this trip was all about wine! The Dordogne isn't really a wine region, you know. You won't be able to "hop around wineries" there without traveling long distances. Which B&B did you find?
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Old Nov 17th, 2013, 09:06 AM
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Balcon en Foret is the B&B we found. It looks like saint Emilion is only an hour away. We love to drive. Staying 5 nights at Balcon. So,we can take day trips from there. The trip actually isn't ALL about wine. But, certainly want to include wine.
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Old Nov 17th, 2013, 11:02 AM
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If you love to drive you will really enjoy this region. There are so many beautiful villages in the area. We are of the same age & spent 3 weeks in the Dordogne region last year. Absolutely loved it as whilst driving you will encounter some beautiful chateau, river view etc practically around every corner. A very informative blog you may find interesting is 'Radio Daglan' ......just google it. Written by a Canadian who lives in Daglan near Sarlat. He gives lots of tips on wine & restaurants & also a very entertaining read.
Have a great time!
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Old Nov 17th, 2013, 11:58 AM
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Thank you, stefoylagrande! I will check out blog!
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Old Nov 17th, 2013, 12:05 PM
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You'll probably discover that Balcon en Forêt is more than an hour away from the Bordeaux wine region. Maybe an hour from the Pécharmant, Monbazillac, and general Bergerac region. There is a wine museum with tasting on the Bergerac waterfront.
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Old Nov 17th, 2013, 07:52 PM
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But Bergerac is not considered central to the Dordogne.You seriously need a guide book.
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Old Nov 17th, 2013, 09:19 PM
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But Bergerac is not considered central to the Dordogne

That's why it will take an hour from the B&B.
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Old Nov 18th, 2013, 03:11 PM
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i just spent 10 days in and around barcelona. my highest
recommendation for a worthwhile day/night trip, especially with a car, is to cardona, where there is a magnificent parador in a 2nd and 9th century castle. i am well-traveled and have stayed in paradores before, but this was singular and amazing. here's the link: http://www.paradores-spain.com/spain/pcardona.html

another more popular day trip is to the fascinating town of girona, a vibrant university town with a rich and ancient history. there's a train or it's an easy drive.

if you love dali, a pilgrimage to figueres, the site of his wild, self-designed museum might be in order. many people try to include a drive up to cadaques to see dali's house, but we skipped the longer journey to visit beautiful and quaint besalu. there are numerous little towns worth exploring nearby as well in the area of garrotxa.

yet another option would be to drive to the costa brava north along the coast. we looped back through tossa de mar on our girona-figueres-besalu trip on the way "home" to barcelona. we stayed in girona for two days, but any one of the options could be done during the day with a return at nightfall to barcelona.

my fellow fodorites are right, having a car IN barcelona is unnecessary and expensive. we stayed in barcelona for 4 nights, then i picked up a car, we left for three and returned for the rest.

happy travels!
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Old Nov 18th, 2013, 07:28 PM
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When in the Dordogne also find out what day and where the open markets are. We thoroughly enjoyed the variety of sausages we bought from the village market in St. Cyprien which lasted us well into Spain. Almost everyday we snacked on sausages, fresh-baked bagette and of course, wine. It is most worthwhile to visit Chateau des Milandes, once owned by American Josephine Baker. Also visit the prehistoric caves of Font de Guame, Maison Forte de Reignac and Chateau de Castelnaud. Further east you will find the incredibly fascinating cliff village of Rocamadour. Google it all.
I appreciate that the wine aspect is part of your goal but it be a real disservice to yourself if you don't take the opportunity to enjoy the Dordogne.
I would love to read your trip report afterwards. Enjoy!!!!
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Old Nov 18th, 2013, 07:50 PM
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Definitely do not fly RT unless there is a specific reason to do so. I just flew into Barcelona and out of Paris myself. I can't imagine having to double back all the way! (Similarly on Friday, I fly into Dusseldorf and out of Munich). Reconsider the use of the car in the big cities.
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Old Nov 18th, 2013, 11:27 PM
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A car in Barcelona is more of a burden than a convenience.
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Old Nov 19th, 2013, 10:40 AM
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A car will be a complete liability in Barcelona. And while rogandgee's suggestions are great IF you are actually staying in the Périgord Noir, which is the part of the Dordogne that most people, for good reason, choose to stay in, you're hours from most of those places if you stay in the B&B you've chosen. Hope those guidebooks are on their way to you soon.
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Old Nov 19th, 2013, 11:09 AM
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When I looked at the B & B the owners noted it was a 5 minute walk to Beynac so I don't think they'll be hours from most sites.

I don't understand much of this trip (rt air, car the whole time, 3 nights Paris and 7 nights Barcelona) but this location in Dordogne does make sense to me.
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Old Nov 19th, 2013, 11:46 AM
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Oh, I didn't google Balcon & Fôret until just now. I was just assuming it wasn't in the Périgord Noir because the OP said it was an hour's drive to St-Emilion, which is not the case from Beynac. And Beynac is most definitely NOT in a wine region. Gorgeous, for sure (though insanely crowded in high season, and the OP hasn't said when s/he's traveling).

This whole trip is very confusing to me. I don't think the OP has a clear sense of what s/he's doing at all.
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Old Nov 19th, 2013, 11:51 AM
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StCirq,

You are losing credibility by insisting on things that are not true. Balcon en Forêt is close to Beynac: http://www.ladordogne.info/
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Old Nov 19th, 2013, 12:16 PM
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That's exactly what I just posted, Michael. I just stated that until I just googled it, I didn't know that it was in Beynac. Now, obviously, I do know that.
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Old Mar 17th, 2014, 12:31 PM
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terrilyn - do you have my 20+ page itinerary for the Dordogne? My wife & I have vacationed for 10 weeks in the area, and the itinerary describes our favorite villages, Bastide towns, caves, chateaux, scenic drives, river canoeing, restaurants, markets, etc. I've sent copies to around 2,000 people on Fodors & aol. If you would like a copy, e-mail me at [email protected] & I'll attach one to the reply e-mail.

You do need some guide books, however.

IMO you are trying to see too much, and with too much driving between destinations. We've lived near the Napa/Sonoma wine country since '75, and like others have stated - visiting wineries in France is not like visiting wineries in the US. If they are open, you usually only get a tasting, they close for long lunches and on weekends, and many require appointments. There are exceptions - but IMO those are not the ones you want to visit anyway.

Also, St Emilion is not in a particularly attractive area compared to the Dordogne/Lot to the east. Seumur looks better from the outside than from the inside - but the area is nice (we've spent 4 weeks in Burgundy/Beaujolais).

Stu Dudley
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