5 nites Sarlat + 2 Nites Figeac? help!

Old Jun 21st, 2022, 10:35 AM
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5 nites Sarlat + 2 Nites Figeac? help!

We have 7 nites to spend in Dordogne in late September and then drive to Gordes. We prefer not to drive more than 3 hours in a day, so plan to spend one nite in Brantome when we leave La Rochelle.
We would be driving to Sarlat area on a Monday. We looks forward to seeing charming villages, scenery and markets. We won't be entering caves this trip.
1. Should we spend 4 nites near Sarlat and then 2 in Figeac? Figeac looks charming.
2. Where to spend a night between Dordogne and Gordes? (to avoid a 5-6 hour drive in one day). I looked at Pezenas, but it adds more driving time to the total drive.
3. I've read in this forum that it is recommended to stay south vs north of Sarlat. Any recommendations for a nice relaxing place in the country w/air conditioning? We stayed years ago at Les Granges Hautes and like the feel, but wanted to try something different this time.
Thank you!



Thank you!!
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Old Jun 21st, 2022, 11:19 AM
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It's about 6 1/2 hrs from Sarlat to Gordes. I would stop in Carcassonne along the way. 3 1/2 hrs to get to from Sarlat, then another 3 hrs to Gordes.

Figeac is one of our favorite villages in France - so I would certainly recommend spending time there. You could leave Sarlat around noon & drive to St Cirq Lapopie for a visit. Then drive alone the scenic Cele River (NOT the Lot River) to Figeac. The sun will be at your back for the drive.

Attached is my Dordogne itinerary, which describes the St Cirq to Figeac route. Also attached is my 35 page Provence & Cote d'Azur itinerary.

Stu Dudley
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Old Jun 22nd, 2022, 07:55 AM
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Another possible route, and one that's a bit shorter, is to go by way of Millau (especially if you haven't seen the viaduct). We drove from Aix to Millau, with a stop at La Couvertoirade, a tiny walled medieval town that's on the way, and spent a lovely evening at the Chateau de Creissels, just outside Millau (very nice restaurant on the premises; we had a great dinner on the balcony with views of the viaduct--doesn't get much better than that). The next day we went on to the Lot, where we were staying, after stopping at Belcastel for lunch.

Figeac is indeed charming. If you visit, try to walk up to the church of Notre-Dame-du-Puys for a wonderful view over the town (it's not a long walk).

Figeac to Millau is a bit over two hours' driving; it's a bit over three hours from Millau to Gordes.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2022, 08:25 AM
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Is there much difference between Sarlat and Figeac to warrant staying in both places?

In my opinion, Sarlat is completely overrun in the tourist season. Not sure if September is still a problem. I would suggest staying in Gramat (which has about six hotels, maybe some gites, I don't know). This would put you close to both Rocamadour and the Gouffre de Padirac, which are both excellent outside of the heart of summer.

I enjoyed staying in Millau to get a look at the viaduct from below and also on it (toll!), and that was also convenient for visiting the cheese cellars of Roquefort.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2022, 09:28 AM
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Actually, Gramat instead of Figeac would put you closer to the pretty villages in the north of the area, like Carennac, Martel, and Turenne, as well as Rocamadour. But it doesn't do much to chop any time off the drive from the Dordogne; Figeac is a little bit further along. OP doesn't say anything specific about where she wants to go--don't know whether Rocamadour is on her radar, for example. She does mention charming villages, which are plentiful toward the northern Lot and the southern Correze.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2022, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by alainr View Post
We have 7 nites to spend in Dordogne in late September and then drive to Gordes. We prefer not to drive more than 3 hours in a day, so plan to spend one nite in Brantome when we leave La Rochelle.
We would be driving to Sarlat area on a Monday. We looks forward to seeing charming villages, scenery and markets. We won't be entering caves this trip.
1. Should we spend 4 nites near Sarlat and then 2 in Figeac? Figeac looks charming.
2. Where to spend a night between Dordogne and Gordes? (to avoid a 5-6 hour drive in one day). I looked at Pezenas, but it adds more driving time to the total drive.
3. I've read in this forum that it is recommended to stay south vs north of Sarlat. Any recommendations for a nice relaxing place in the country w/air conditioning? We stayed years ago at Les Granges Hautes and like the feel, but wanted to try something different this time.
Thank you!



Thank you!!

Hi,

Figeac is a gerat choice, it is the city of the great archaeologist Champollion
If you want to make a stop between Figeac and Gordes : you can either do it in NÓmes (we call it the small Roma) or Arles (smaller but beautiful too)

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Old Jun 22nd, 2022, 08:01 PM
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Thank you for the suggestion. I will check out Millau and the Chateau. Sounds more different than Montepellier!
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Old Jun 22nd, 2022, 08:06 PM
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We won't stay in Sarlat, but either in a Bnb in Marquay or Roque Gageac. I will check out Gramat. we want to visit Figeac and St Cirq. thank you for replying!
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Old Jun 22nd, 2022, 08:49 PM
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"""I will check out Millau and the Chateau. Sounds more different than Montepellier!""

We stayed in a gite for a week near Millau and actually celebrated my wife's birthday at the chateau. But unless you are going to spend several days exploring the fabulous Gorges du Tarn - Montpellier is more interesting, IMO.

Stu Dudley
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Old Jun 22nd, 2022, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by StuDudley View Post
"""I will check out Millau and the Chateau. Sounds more different than Montepellier!""

We stayed in a gite for a week near Millau and actually celebrated my wife's birthday at the chateau. But unless you are going to spend several days exploring the fabulous Gorges du Tarn - Montpellier is more interesting, IMO.

Stu Dudley
Stu
I responded to your earlier reply but donít see it online. Thank you for answering.

I found B&Bs in Marquay and La roque gagarc. Based upon your itinerary, I think the one in La roque gagaec Might be better situated. Do you agree? We wonít be visiting caves.

we would be arriving in Figeac on Friday and leave on Sunday. Would it be more interesting to spend Saturday in St Cirq or Figeac?

if we visit St Cirq on our way to Figeac our luggage would be in the car. Is that safe?
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Old Jun 23rd, 2022, 06:42 AM
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Roque Gageac is a much better location, IMO. I didn't really enjoy Marquay that much.

St Cirq is a dinky little hill village that is crowded in the day, and practically nobody there at night. Figeac would have more restaurant options and a little more buzz. But if you like quiet - then St Cirq. We stayed there one night & enjoyed it!!

The parking lots are somewhat crowded in St Curq. Hard to imagine someone breaking into a car with all the people around. If possible, back your car up against a wall, rock, lamp post of some other immovable object so that your trunk can not be physically opened.

Stu Dudley

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Old Jun 23rd, 2022, 07:07 AM
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Absolutely Figeac. St. Cirq is one of those places that is spectacular as you approach it--like Rocamadour or Gordes. I think "dinky" is a bit harsh; it's very pretty to stroll through. But it's tiny, basically one street up and down the cliff, and, I think, not a great place to stay. Figeac is a much, much better option. Quiet is one thing; dead is another.

Last edited by frenchaucoeur; Jun 23rd, 2022 at 07:11 AM.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2022, 07:27 AM
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When we stayed overnight in St Cirq, we got up early in the morning to take more pictures. It was totally fogged in!!

It seems you are only going to spend only 1 night in Figeac. So make sure you arrive around 3pm on Saturday so that you can witness some good cafe life, poke your nose into a few shops, etc. Not much will be open on Sunday. However, we don't go there to shop. The architecture in Figeac is stunning with all the covered balconies that they used to store grain. Get the detailed walking itinerary from the Tourist Office.

Stu Dudley

Last edited by StuDudley; Jun 23rd, 2022 at 07:40 AM.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2022, 07:59 AM
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I believe the OP plans to spend two nights in Figeac, arriving Friday and leaving Sunday. In that case, you might go there directly, stroll around the town, and spend Saturday at St Cirq and perhaps taking a cruise on the Lot for an hour (it leaves from Bouzies, on the river, which is very close to St Cirq). You could also take a very pretty drive in the area along the D41 around Marcilhac-sur-Cele. All of this is quite close to Figeac. You could do it all and still have plenty of time for strolling in Figeac to see whatever you missed on Friday; Figeac at least for us was more about strolling than seeing "sights."

https://www.travelfranceonline.com/b...the-river-lot/

Les Croisieres de St Cirq Lapopie offers river cruises.

Again, I would not stay in St Cirq. We were there for about three hours, including a quick lunch, and were ready to leave. It's much easier to get in and out of Figeac, and it's a much bigger place, with far more options.

Last edited by frenchaucoeur; Jun 23rd, 2022 at 08:08 AM.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2022, 08:42 AM
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""I believe the OP plans to spend two nights in Figeac""

In that case, visit the Farmer's market on Saturday morning in Figeac. Then follow the Cele River west (D41) to St Cirq .

Stu Dudley.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2022, 08:26 PM
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Thank you for your suggestion about the river cruise. I will check it out. i just read about the towpath between St. Cirq and Bouzies.

If we visit just one villlage near Figeac, would you pick St. Cirq? I know it is a "most popular/charming" village, but i have not read many glowing reviews of it.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2022, 08:29 PM
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If we just visit one place near Figeac, would you suggest something other than St. Cirq? A "dinky little hill village" does not sound enticing. I have read it is a most charming village, but have not read raves about it. Figeac looks charming.
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Old Jun 24th, 2022, 04:26 AM
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As I said, I think "dinky" is a bit harsh for St Cirq. I thought it was very pretty, and I'm glad we went. I just don't think it's got enough going on to compete with Figeac as a base.

As for alternatives, how about Conques, about 45 mins east of Figeac? or Belcastel (under an hour)? Villefranche de Rouergue (about 45 mins)?
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Old Jun 24th, 2022, 06:55 AM
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Frenchaucouer - you've mentioned dinky twice. Maybe it's a difference in regional/generational language - but dinky is the same as "small" to me. No negative connotation intended.

St Cirq is one of our favorites - but Conques is a Michelin 3 star site and is perhaps one of the "top" 3 small villages in France. But you seem to want to minimize driving. Conques would add driving time. We've visited St Cirq 3-4 times and have always enjoyed it. Since 1999 when we retired early so we could travel more, we've spent 2 months in Europe each year (minus Covid years) - 90% in France. So we've seen a lot of "cute little villages". St Cirq can get overrun with tourists - which might be the cause of some negative comments. But, IMO, the entire St Cirq, Cele River drive with all the "cute little villages" along the way & houses built into cliffs, and then Figeac makes for an ideal itinerary.

https://francetoday.com/travel/trave...llages-france/

Stu Dudley
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Old Jun 24th, 2022, 10:18 AM
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I take "dinky" to mean small, insignificant, or not worthy of much notice, so, yes, a pejorative term. Small St Cirq certainly is, but perhaps not fitting the other definitions, at least to my mind. You're certainly free to disagree with my definition or my views on St Cirq; this forum is often as much about opinions as anything else.

I referred to the term a second time because the OP had brought it up in the preceding post, not to beat a dead horse or to attack you or your judgment.

I suggested Conques as a possible day trip for Saturday, before the OP's departure from Figeac on Sunday. I did so because the OP requested possible alternative places to visit. IIRC, the drive from Figeac to St Cirq was about forty-five minutes, thus no longer than the drive from Figeac to Conques. I also suggested several other possibilities, some closer to Figeac.

Truce?
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