Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

A little help with our Dordogne itinerary

A little help with our Dordogne itinerary

Mar 11th, 2014, 07:57 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,786
>>Train Bleu looks fabulous - but sadly it will be closed this summer.<<

Not permanently, I hope. We dine there almost every year.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Mar 11th, 2014, 07:58 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,786
Never mind - I read the message on their web site.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Mar 11th, 2014, 10:13 AM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 46,048
There is a municipal pool in Le Bugue, 7 kms away. And one at La Rivière campground right across the bridge from Les Glycines, where the owners will probably let you swim for a couple of euros. Les Eyzies will be jammed at that time of year as well, appearing even more so because it is nothing but a few long blocks of a main street that is full of tacky tourist shops and cheap places to eat. Tour buses jam up the whole town with regularity. IMO it's the ugliest town in the Dordogne,though of course the prehistory museum and Le Pôle there are big attractions. At least in Sarlat the tour buses can't get into the interior and there's a nice selection of cafés and restaurants and shops.

I'd much rather stay in Le Bugue or St-Cyprien or Montignac or many other places.
StCirq is online now  
Mar 11th, 2014, 10:45 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 24
Hi-

I did your similar trip 3 years ago with younger kids ages 5 and 8 but did add 4 days in Languedoc too and found the Cathar castles fascinating especially for teens in case you come again.

We trained on the TGV from Paris to Toulouse and then rented a car. We spent 7 nights at Le Chevrefeuille in St-Cyprien (surrounded by sunflower fields, big pool, bikes- can't recommend enough) and loved the location and the dining - not more than 40 minutes to any site we visited (Lascaux was the farthest away). With teens, I'd say kayak or canoe, definitely visit a cave. My kids loved Rouffignac but the tour is all in French and it was the train that captivated them so not as exciting for teens. I don't think Font-de-Gaume no longer takes advance reservations but it's really interesting as well as Lascaux. I'm not the author, but contributed to an article http://ciaobambino.com/dordogne-holi...-for-families/ that hits the highlights of Dordogne well. I used Rick Steve's guidebook and found it useful.
doorcountygirl is offline  
Mar 11th, 2014, 01:30 PM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,456
Font de Gaume is again taking limited reservations. Current information here:

http://eyzies.monuments-nationaux.fr/fr/

In French:

< Billets en vente sur place le jour même, dans la limite des places disponibles.
En 2014, il est possible de réserver ses billets pour Font de Gaume pour 2 visites :
- en basse saison : 15h15 (13 places) et 16h (13 places)
- en haute saison : 13h30 (13 places) et 14h15 (13 places)

Ces réservations doivent être faites par courriel : [email protected]
ou par téléphone de 14h à 16h30 : 05.53.06.86.00>>

If you don't read French, it says one can reserve tickets for two visits: In low season: 13 places each at 15h15 and 16h.
In high season: 13 places each at 13h30 and 14h15

Reservations must be made by email at the address above, or by phone from 14h to 16h30 at 05.53.06.86.00
MaineGG is offline  
Mar 11th, 2014, 01:44 PM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,754
We are doing something similar in June. We arrive at CDG and will take the TGV directly to Bordeaux, spend the night and pick our car up to drive to La Roque Gageac. We have a gite for 1 week and plan to explore Beynac, Castelnaud, Pech Merle, La Roque St Christophe, Chateau Commarque, the river, Sarlat and laze by the pool too. My kids are 18, 11 & 10 and really like castles and history so this is right up our alley.

I could only find a minivan in either Bordeaux or Toulouse so we are somewhat limited in our train options. You will have better luck with a car for 4 from other locations.

After our week we will drop the car back in Bordeaux and train to Paris for a week where my sister and BIL are meeting us.
trvlgirlmq is offline  
Mar 11th, 2014, 02:23 PM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 46,048
You do realize, trvlgirlmq, that you needn't drive the car back to Bordeaux. With the exception of a couple of car rental companies, there is no drop-off charge unless you are dropping off in another country. Why not just drop the car in Brive and take the train back to Paris from there instead of backtracking all the way to Bordeaux.
StCirq is online now  
Mar 11th, 2014, 02:47 PM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,456
StCirq already mentioned it, but I too would recommend the site La-Roque-St-Christophe. I think it would be fascinating for your sons to see. This cleft in the cliff above the Vézère river has been occupied by humans for thousands of years through the Middle Ages. http://www.roque-st-christophe.com/

Also on the river, St-Léon-sur-Vézère is the site of a beautiful little Romanesque church that was built on the site of a Roman villa whose foundations can still be seen.
http://www.northofthedordogne.com/stleonsurvezere.php
It's also a charming and picturesque village and a great place for a picnic.

We didn't do an inside visit here, but I think your sons might be interested to see the Maison Forte de Reignac. It's a large manor house built into the rock of a cliff. Much grander than many troglodyte houses I have seen in other places.
http://www.northofthedordogne.com/ma...de-reignac.php
MaineGG is offline  
Mar 11th, 2014, 03:38 PM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 974
>>The crazy summer crowds are a consideration too.<<

The crowds in Les Eyzies seem far worse than the crowds in Sarlat. The reasons are described by StCirq in a previous post. We were there to eat lunch before a July afternoon tour of Font de Gaume. Buses, cars, no place to park. When we finally found a parking place all we found a street full of tacky shops. The restaurant we ate at, recommended by StCirq, was near the edge of town, was kid friendly and had good pizza and salads. I do not think you will be happy staying in Les Eyzies. The museum is prehistory and would be boring for your kids. It is also too close to your other hotel, about 15 miles. Makes no sense.
Stay in Sarlat 3,4 or 6 days if interested in architecture, food, and history(other than prehistoric history).

>>What are the sites/towns in the Dordogne that will most captivate teenage boys<<

Michael Crichtons book "Timeline" and the B movie of the same name are worth reading and watching for a good introduction to castles Beynac and Castelnaud. Other locations you will see are also mentioned.There is also an HBO movie about Josephine Baker ( preparation for Chateau des Milandes
http://www.milandes.com/site.php?langue=ang )

Also, your hotels are a little far for a day trip to attractions east of the A-20, Rocamadour, Padirac, Pech Merle, Figeac, and villages St Cirq Lapopie, Carennac, Loubressac, Autoire, and Collonges la Rouge.
dugi_otok is online now  
Mar 11th, 2014, 03:57 PM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 225
Txtree, why not just stay at the Auberge de la Salvetat for the duration? It is a lovely peaceful place, with a pool (which will definitely be good for the boys after a busy day out) and is within easy driving distance of all the main things to do in the area. It also saves having to pack bags and transfer hotels halfway through your stay.
rosemaryoz is offline  
Mar 11th, 2014, 04:27 PM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,754
StCirq - Unless I am searching wrong the trains from Brive require 2 changes and take anywhere from 5 to 7 hours travel time. We decided we would rather spend 3 or so hours in the car and then 3 1/2 on one train. Just the trade off we decided to make. I've also got a really good rate already from Kemwel and the re-book would be another $200.
trvlgirlmq is offline  
Mar 11th, 2014, 04:37 PM
  #32  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 46,048
I think you must be searching wrong. It's a 4-hour direct ride from Brive to Paris. And I find it hard to believe Kemwel would charge for a simple drop-off change. I've done that several times with no fee, and AutoEurope, which I usually rent with, is the same company as Kemwel.
StCirq is online now  
Mar 11th, 2014, 04:39 PM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,649
Unless I am searching wrong the trains from Brive require 2 changes and take anywhere from 5 to 7 hours travel time.

I do not know if you will be sent to the same page, but there are direct trains to Brive when I tried:

http://www.voyages-sncf.com/billet-t...sultat?hid=ABT
Michael is offline  
Mar 11th, 2014, 05:03 PM
  #34  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 515
I found a direct train to/from Brive - 4 hours - though I don't think I can book yet. And easy car rental options.

Thanks so much, especially for your thoughts on our accommodations. I'm definitely mulling the Les Eyzies choice. I guess I thought it would be preferable to stay in the belly of the beast rather than drive in for a visit to Font de Gaume, the museum. But maybe that's wrong-headed (or maybe Sarlat is the preferable beast), and maybe the kids would die of boredom at the museum anyway.

We could, as rosemaryoz suggests, stay in one place for the duration. Will consider that too. And as I said before, I'm totally fine if we don't see all there is to see.

trvlgrlmq, I will look forward to reading your trip report!! you're like our advance team.
txtree is offline  
Mar 11th, 2014, 05:05 PM
  #35  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 515
BTW, we aren't renting a gite because our days aren't Sat-Sat (even if we flipped the Paris end).
txtree is offline  
Mar 11th, 2014, 05:39 PM
  #36  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 46,048
<>

No,it would not be preferable, actually. And the kids will NOT be bored by the museum. It's absolutely fascinating, no matter how old you are.

Stay in Sarlat the whole time. The kids will really enjoy being able to roam around in the evenings.
StCirq is online now  
Mar 11th, 2014, 09:40 PM
  #37  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 225
I think your kids will enjoy the Auberge, as it's so relaxed, and much less stress on you too, in terms of monitoring the children. Also, at that time of year, you can spend a lot of time in busy traffic around the Sarlat area just to go out each day, not to mention trying to find a table for dinner each night in August. There are plenty of dining options both at the Auberge, and at nearby Belves and Cadouin. You'll also find many marches nocturnes at that time of year, which are also great fun for an easy dinner. I suppose it depends on whether your aim is for a peaceful rural setting, or a bustling town. That's a decision only you can make.
rosemaryoz is offline  
Mar 12th, 2014, 06:05 AM
  #38  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,754
StCirq & Michael - I am searching on a Saturday and only see multiple changes. I checked a midweek schedule and saw 1 train at 5AM with no changes. I am fine with what we have but thank you for the assistance. Also, I had already booked our car from Bordeaux and the current rates are higher (no drop off fee) so that is a consideration.
trvlgirlmq is offline  
Mar 12th, 2014, 06:47 AM
  #39  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,786
The train schedule for July has probably not been "released" yet - that's why you are not seeing the schedules.

Use a Saturday date in April & you'll see direct trains leaving at 8,9,13:11,15,16:03,19:03
StuDudley is online now  
Mar 12th, 2014, 06:55 AM
  #40  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,786
>>We decided we would rather spend 3 or so hours in the car and then 3 1/2 on one train. Just the trade off we decided to make.<<

Where are you driving that will only take 3 hrs? If you are going from Sarlat la Caneda to Paris, that's 6 hrs driving (budget 7 for pottie stops, eat, gas up, deviations) and costs 80 Euros in tolls & gas.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:46 AM.