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glsebs Sep 7th, 2006 07:40 AM

5 Day Dordogne Itinerary Help
We finally decided to stay in Sarlat for the 5 days we have in the Dordogne rather than move around. I had wanted to stay at the Chateau de la Treyne and/or Le Vieux Logis for part of the time, but with only 5 days I think we should stay in Sarlat. I have chosen the hotel Clos la Boetie which is about a 5 minute walk to the center of is a new 4 star hotel and it looks to be lovely.
I am having trouble figuring our our days...trying to make the best use of our time. What are the highlights we should not miss for our first trip to this region?
And can anyone help me organize these highlights into day trips.
Thanks for all the good advice I have already received!

ira Sep 7th, 2006 08:32 AM

Hi G,

You might find the Dordogne part of my trip report helpful.;tid=34676645

Photos at


moolyn Sep 7th, 2006 02:04 PM


My husband and I stayed in Sarlat for two weeks this past June and it was a wonderful base for exploring the Dordogne. Besides day trips, you can wander around town in the evenings when the town is much less crowded and enjoy a choice of good places to eat without worrying about driving home afterwards.

Enjoy lunch at le Vieux Logis in Tremolat, especially since it's a place you considered staying. If you book this for a Tuesday you can take in the morning market in nearby le Bugue beforehand as well as exploring the town.

After lunch, walk through the 12th century Romanesque church in Tremolat. Take note of the school across from le Vieux Logis as this building played an important part in the Claude Chabrol film, le Boucher. Drive out of Tremolat to the northwest to see the scenic Cingle de Tremolat. Just drive to the top of the mountain to take photos. No need to go further along this route. Instead, head east to the nearby village of Limeuil, one of the plus beau villages of France. Notice the bridges built at right angles over the confluence of the Dordogne and Vezere rivers. If you drive to the other end of the village there is a road to “haut Limeuil” which will let you drive to the top and wander around the highest part of the town. If you're still full of energy, visit a chateau on the way back to Sarlat: Castelnaud, Beynac or Milandes.

Visit at least one of the caves. Font-de-Gaume, Lascaux II and Peche Merle seem to be considered the top three and we enjoyed them all as well as Lacave on the way to Rocamandour. You need to call at least a month ahead to book an English tour at Font-de-Gaume. Peche Merle can be combined with visits to St-Cirq-la-Popie and Cahors or Figeac and a drive along the Lot or Cele Rivers.

Don’t miss the Saturday or Wednesday market in Sarlat.

Get up early one morning and drive to Cenac, just below Domme, to rent a canoe for an idyllic three hour trip down the Dordogne past lovely villages and chateaux. For more details, see my trip report. You can then visit Domme and some of the places you saw from the river afterwards.

Check out my report for many other ideas. I’m just halfway through but hope to get back to it soon. When is your trip?

ekscrunchy Sep 7th, 2006 02:36 PM

Moolyn, Thank you for the tip on lunch at Le Vieux Logis after the Le Bugue Tuesday market. If you have the time, would you provide a few details about your lunch there, including prices. And the driving time from Le Bugue to the Logis. I am most grateful because I am about to begin planning places to eat for our week-long stay in the area next month.

ekscrunchy Sep 7th, 2006 02:42 PM

I had a look at the website for Le vVeux Logis; the restaurant seems a bit expensive. I wonder if anyone has taken a meal at their "second" restaurant, the bistro on the premises.....

moolyn Sep 7th, 2006 04:12 PM

ekskrunchy, le Vieux Logis is indeed expensive for dinner but the wonderful set lunch for 32 euros is a bargain both for the quality and the experience. Tremolat isd less than half an hourr from le Bugue. I'll try to post the next two sections of my report next week with lots of photos.

ekscrunchy Sep 7th, 2006 04:37 PM

Thanks so much, Moolyn! I see they have e-mail reservations so I will book lunch next week for a Tuesday in October. Looking forward to reading your full report when you have time!

lmernal Oct 1st, 2006 12:44 PM

How did you make the e-mail lunch reservation at Le Vieux Logis? Was there a link on their website?


ekscrunchy Feb 1st, 2007 11:01 PM

I just saw this question and realize it is probably far too late, but the answer is that I had someone phone the restaurant for me from France and book the lunch.
It was a highlight of our week in the Dordogne.

mjsamherst Feb 3rd, 2007 07:12 PM

We are first time travelers to the Dordogne this August and plan on spending a week in the area. My questions are: is a week too long to spend in this area? What are highlights and villages that we must not miss? How do I make reservations at the caves which I understand we will need in advance? And the big question is: we will be traveling by train from London to the Dordogne and then renting a car for the week and driving back to Paris thru the Loire Valley to fly home. I am so confused as to how to get from London to the best town in the Dordogne by train to pick up a rental car. How and where do I negotiate the train. Preferably the high speed train ( I don't even know what the high speed is called) !!! Thank you to anyone who can help me.

StCirq Feb 3rd, 2007 07:33 PM

First of all, I would NOT bother with lunch at the Vieux Logis, as there are about a zillion other places in the Dordogne that have fabulous food that are neither as expensive (overpriced, really, for what you get) as the Vieux Logis, as far afield as the Vieux Logis, or as stuffy and boring as the Vieux Logis. And Trémolat is out of the way and not a place you'd want to go to for any other reason unless you are an afficionado of "cingles."

I'll be happy to provide alternative restaurant suggestions, but as to your question as to how to get to the Dordogne, how are you getting from London to France? You can fly to Bordeaux and take the train from Bordeaux to Périguex. Or fly to Paris and take the TGV (fast train) to Libourne and then pokey train to Périguex, or fly to Toulouse and pick up a car and drive. There are myriad ways. But where are you coming from?

Highlights for a 5-day visit would include Beynac, Domme, La Roque-Gageac, Sarlat, Castelnaud, Les Eyzies, St-Cyprien, Font-de-Gaume, Monpazier, Montignac (Lascaux II), a couple of markets, a few prehistoric sights,and plenty of time just wandering around the D roads marveling at the beauty.

christycruz Feb 3rd, 2007 07:53 PM

mjsamherst, you are in good hands here, esp. with StCirq.

To answer your question "is a week too long." No!

We have spent the equivalent of 3 months there, and each time we go we see something new. There is an incredible amount of things to do. August is high "Fete" month. You could spend every night of the week at a different nearby village party if you wanted.

mjsamherst Feb 3rd, 2007 08:09 PM

Well we are planning on taking a train from London thru the Chunnel to Paris (the airport) to make a train connection to the Dordogne. I am assuming I can take a train from London to Paris ?? Does anyone know how long it will take us to get from London to the Dordogne by train? A long day I am hoping and no more?? I am feeling overwhelmed with getting to the Dordogne from London but surely it must be easier than I am thinking?? Would I be better off to just get to either Calais or Paris and renting a car?

ira Feb 4th, 2007 11:43 AM

Hi MJ,

It is a very very long day on the train.

Why not fly to Bergerac, Bordeaux, Limoges, or Toulouse.



StCirq Feb 4th, 2007 11:47 AM

No, it's not easy getting to the Dordogne from London by train. It will take anywhere from 9-12 hours, depending on connections.

I too would suggest you fly into Bergerac or Bordeaux or Toulouse. You'll then have a drive of 1.5-2.5 hours, depending on which airport you choose.

mjsamherst Feb 4th, 2007 12:40 PM

It sounds like flying will be our best option - can we get non-stop flights out of London? Also since we are going to have to go way out of our way to get to the Dordogna is it really worth it to go or would I be better off settling for someplace easier to get to? Again thank you everyone. Talking to all of you is light years better than guide books - they just don't explain the logistics of getting from one place to another ---

Nikki Feb 4th, 2007 12:48 PM

mjsamherst, I did what you are considering in July, 2005. My husband and I were in London. We flew Easy Jet from Gatwick to Toulouse and rented a car there. We drove to the Dordogne for several days, then we drove to the Loire valley and returned the car at CDG airport in Paris.

All went smoothly and we had a great time. It didn't seem at all difficult to get there. London is a great place to find flights to anywhere in Europe. The Dordogne is a wonderful destination.

Bobt Feb 17th, 2007 11:56 AM

Further up this thread someone asks if a week is too long to spend in the Dordogne. I moved here just over two years ago and think that I'll need another ten to see everything that interests me!
I love going out taking pictures and have put loads on a blog about bikes and the Dordogne. Let me know if I can be of assistance.

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