5 day Dordogne Itinerary help please

Apr 14th, 2007, 02:11 PM
  #1  
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5 day Dordogne Itinerary help please

I have come up with what I think is a weeks intinerary but could some of you please review it and give it a "tweek" where you feel it necessary. I'm concerned about packing in too much or missing something we should be seeing. Mon.: Pech-merle, St. Cirq LaPopie, Tues: Montpazier, Montflanquin, Domme, Wed.: Sarlot, LezEysies,LaRoque Gageac, Thurs. Domme, canoe in afternoon, Collomges La Rouge in evening. Friday: hiking in am, Rocamadour in p.m. Thank you for any help.
mjsamherst is offline  
Apr 14th, 2007, 02:24 PM
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Well, only a very small part of that is actually in the Dordogne. And you've got Domme down for two days. And while both are great towns, Monflanquin and Monpazier aren't exactly highlights of the area.

Generally speaking, it looks kind of random to me. Are you doing this on your way to and from other places? Do you have a good map?
StCirq is offline  
Apr 14th, 2007, 02:32 PM
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The quality of an itinerary depends on what one expects to experience. IMO, St. Cirq and Sarlat (which are about 1.5 - 2.0 hours apart) EACH deserve one full day, and one could easily spend 2 days (or more) in Sarlat alone. If you provide some additional information about your expectations, you may get more useful advice.
zorrosf is offline  
Apr 14th, 2007, 03:19 PM
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Well, I agree that 2 days is good for Sarlat (or 3 or 4), but St-Cirq-Lapopie IMO can be done in about an hour.
StCirq is offline  
Apr 14th, 2007, 04:27 PM
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We just got back from spending roughly a week in Dordogne and Lot, coming/going from the south. We basically just took our Michelin book and map and headed in a certain direction each day and tried to hit as many * and ** villages as possible (as well as plus beaux villages). So, we did not have a fixed plan each day, just a "direction" with some "not to miss" type of things. The last day, we took it really easy and did a gabare tour on the river in the afternoon.

I'm not sure where you're sleeping each night based on this itinerary. Are you also coming from the south? If so, do not miss Albi. It is a beautiful town, with a great pedestrian area with old houses and shops. IMHO, the Toulouse-Lautrec museum and the Cathedral can't be missed.

In contrast, we spent just under an hour in St Cirq Lapopie, and ONLY because we sat down to have a very, very, very (did I already say very) expensive crepe and espresso. While the small, winding alleyways and old architecture make it a charming stop, it is still tiny and quite overpriced (they do live off tourism). Since you're visiting Pech Merle, it won't take you out of your way that much, so I'm not suggesting you scrap it, but maybe you can visit Rocamadour (or even Figeac).

I also think you can see a lot more than what you are scheduling without "packing in too much". For example, your Tuesday looks pretty light. Montpazier is lovely and so is Domme, but again, 1 hour at each would allow you to walk the entire town, take about 25 pictures of each, *and* enter every single shop of interest to you. It's easy to stop at Cadouin and visit the cloisters there on the same day you visit Monpazier.

Since you're already seeing Domme on Tuesday, maybe you can stop at Castelnaud on Thursday morning? The medieval warfare museum is really well done and very atmospheric.

Finally, Sarlat is fantastic and I agree with other you'll definitely need at least a full day there! And you'll be there on a market day, so that can easily take a couple of hours. The walking tour also takes a while. I would spend the entire day in Sarlat and see LaRoque on the same day you visit Domme. HTH!
Mariarosa is offline  
Apr 14th, 2007, 05:14 PM
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I personally enjoyed both Monflanquin and Montpazier, though we did not visit both them the same day. Both were "on the way" to a different main destination (Moissac and Cahors if I remember correctly) As such, I am very glad to have visited both of them.

I don't consider them "worth a trip", but more "worth a detour", to use the Michelin designations.

IMO all of the bastides town are interesting in their own right, but few need more than an a couple of hours-we generally arrive around 11:00...see the "main attraction" first (the square, covered market, cathedral, whatever) until 12:00, have a nice lunch (talk to wait person/owners who generally give you more interesting tips/sights/roads to take) walk around another half to on hour walk off lunch and finish visit. Then, back on the road.

I very much enjoyed visiting St. Cirq LaPopie, in spite of others' negative feelings, but this was in September when it was less crowded and knowing it was "tourist-trap" prices, we didn't visit during a meal time. I was going for the total effect, if you will, and the view of the valley from the top of the hill/rock/mountain (whatever it is, technically)--did not disappoint.

On the other hand. I did not appreciate Collonges La Rouge as much as some others on this board. Again in September, it was beastly hot that day, crammed with tourists, the shop owners (except for the wonderful foie gras products shop owner) seemed crabby and tired of dealing with tourists. Though lovely buildings, it just struck me as a soul-less shell with very few locals out and about.

Friday, maybe you are hiking in the am to avoid the heat? but Rocamadour is situated on the west cliff face if I remember, and as such is much more striking/photogenic in the am light. It also is only about an hour out of Sarlat (which I assume is your base?) so you can get there in the am before most of the tourists is you get an early enough start.

We visited Domme mid-morning and really enjoyed the tour of the grotto and the ensuing ride back up the cliff in the glass elevator. The early morning mist had burned off and the view of the valley was a sight to behold. Domme is like 15 minutes drive from La Roque Gageac and we had called from Domme to reserve a table at La Belle Etoile and enjoyed lunch out on the patio which overlooks the river, so I would combine visiting these two towns the same day.

You also might want to check which days are market days in these various towns to see if you do/don't want to visit that particular day.
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