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Angouleme/Limoges to Dordogne to Lyon Itinerary

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Apr 1st, 2014, 11:15 AM
  #1
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Angouleme/Limoges to Dordogne to Lyon Itinerary

Hello all,

Thanks to all the previous posters - wealth of information, and based on what I've read, here's our proposed itinerary for middle of June, need some help to fill in the activities and confirm which train station we should go, and make sure this is doable. We only have one night to spend in the region - wish we had more, but it is what it is - so we are trying to get the most of it before we go to Lyon for an appointment and then fly back to the US. We are a married couple, both under 40. Considered Brive, but we really want to see Brantome, so either Limoges or Angouleme works better, plus car rental options are more as well.

Day 1 Wednesday
Paris to Limoges or Angouleme by train, pick up rental car
Angouleme - better departure time from Paris, plus we get to ride the TGV, but station car rental will be closed when we get there so will need to go to town. Google Maps indicates 8 minutes To Europcar rental office -is it feasible to get a taxi? Or would taking the rental from Limoges be the better option? Distance-wise seems about the same.

Drive to Brantome - picnic lunch. Rent canoe? See the abbey from outside.
I am grateful to StuDudley for his wonderfully detailed Dordogne information, and we will plan to follow his scenic drive between Brantôme and Bourdeilles. Walk and see from outside.

Then try to see Periguex - thoughts?
Drive to Domme, stay/dinner at hotel

Day 2 Thursday - pretty open - just need to reach Lyon by 8pm
Sarlat and market?
Rocambor?
Other ideas?

Thanks,
-K
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Apr 1st, 2014, 12:05 PM
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Your Dordogne plan is not a good one, IMO. Since you arrive in Angouleme at lunch closing, I assume you won't depart until around 2 PM or later. It is a 1 3/4 hr drive to Perigueux - but parking is tough so plan on 2 hrs. That puts you there at 4PM. At best, Perigueux is a 1 hr visit - we usually spend 2-3 hrs there. So you depart at 5PM. It is a 1 3/4 hr drive to Domme, which puts you there around 7PM - just in time to get freshened up & have dinner (where was lunch???). So today you've spent a grand total of 1 hr visiting stuff, and the remainder "getting there".

Next day you can see a little of Domme and then Sarlat. It is a 5 hr drive to Lyon - so you should leave Sarlat no later than 2.

For 2 days you have spent around 6 hrs visiting stuff in the Dordogne region, and around 16 hours sitting in the car or train or renting a car & checking in & out of hotels.

That doesn't seem like a good use of your limited time.

I would recommend that you visit Burgundy - closer to both Paris & Lyon. Take the 1 3/4 hr TGV to Dijon & rent a car there. Visit Dijon, then visit a few castles, then drive to Beaune & stay overnight there. Next day visit a few more castles, and other things around Dijon. Then go to Dijon, return the car, and take the short train ride to Lyon. Driving in & out of Dijon is somewhat easy - but I can't say the same about Lyon.

Stu Dudley
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Apr 1st, 2014, 12:13 PM
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Oh dear me! Please don't do this. It sounds just awful! If you can't devote any time to a place, IMO it should be skipped until such time as you can.
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Apr 1st, 2014, 12:31 PM
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I forgot about Brantome & Bourdeleis - so add another 3 hrs to Wednesday's activities. That puts you into Domme around 10 PM. Shops may have closed by the time you get to Perigueux. Where was dinner??

Go to Dijon/Beaune/Burgundy instead and reduce your wasted travel time.

Stu Dudley
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Apr 1st, 2014, 01:33 PM
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Thanks for the quick responses - not going to Dordogne region is not an option this time, but I hear you about the day's activities, and reducing them - we will definitely do less. As it's my first time in France, even if all I get to do is "get there" I'm enjoying the experience along the way. Will see Brantome on day 1, enjoy the view from the hotel in Domme, visit the Gouffre de Padirac on day 2, and if we can do anything else, we will.
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Apr 1st, 2014, 02:50 PM
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If you are renting from Europcar--generally cheaper than Hertz in spite of the rail station pick-up fee because Hertz wanted to charge a one-way fee higher than the pick-up fee--the Limoges Europcar office is inconvenient because it is closed in the afternoon during the week.

Walking around Brantôme is more efficient than renting a canoe. I would rent the canoe to ride down the river to Bourdeilles, but you do not have the time for that.

It took me years to visit the troglodyte caves of Brantôme, but they are worth a visit the first time there. If arriving in Angoulême or Limoges around noon, you will barely have the time to visit Brantôme and Bourdeilles that day if you still want to get to Domme. If possible change your schedule and stay in Bourdeilles. There is what looks like a nice small hotel located at one end of the old bridge.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev...Aquitaine.html

I also recommend visiting the Renaissance villa on the grounds of the medieval castle in Bourdeilles.

Scrolling through these pictures will give you some idea of what there is to see: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca...7623282383670/
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Apr 1st, 2014, 02:59 PM
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You're likely to hit some nasty traffic getting out of Périgueux around 5-6 pm. It sometimes adds an hour to my drive home.
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Apr 1st, 2014, 03:25 PM
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A few years ago I took the TGV to Angouleme and picked up the rental car at the station, then drove to Bourdeilles. I stayed for two nights at that hotel Michael mentioned, Les Griffons. Loved it! And the restaurant at hotel was delightful. Actually, I think I stayed 3 nights. Bourdeilles is a wonderful little village, and there is plenty to see in that area, including Brantome, some chateaux, etc. I had 2 weeks to spend in the Dordogne, so time to explore some different areas. That part had much less tourists and traffic. I could have skipped Perigueux altogether - I got lost trying to find a parking spot!

If I had only a few days, I would just stay in Bourdeilles, and save the rest of Dordogne for another trip.
But I do understand your wanting to see more, as everything is beautiful in that part of France. I did a trip report on that trip, if it still comes up under my name, if you want to click on to read.
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Apr 1st, 2014, 03:31 PM
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Sue, you had 3 days for just that tiny bit of the Périgord Vert. The OP's plan is to take a train into Angoulème, drive to Brantôme, have a picnic lunch and take a canoe ride, then visit Bourdeilles and on to Périgueux, then drive to Domme. He says he wants our opinions to "make sure this is do-able." It isn't even remotely do-able without a helicopter, but now he says it's not an option NOT to do it.

Another poster who really didn't want our input at all.
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Apr 1st, 2014, 07:05 PM
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Hey StCirq - I was thankful for the inputs here, and we've changed our plans based on what I received - see my revised post. To clarify - I said it was not a option to go somewhere else - i.e. to skip Dordogne.

Thanks Sue4/Michael - will check out that hotel.

Cheers,
-K
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Apr 2nd, 2014, 09:26 AM
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Haven't seen your revised post, but can I say that I don't understand why you are so set on Brantome, which is nice, but not the most beautiful part of the Dordogne. And I would definitely skip Perigueux, again OK, but not one of the highlights.

For someone intent on coming with very little time to spend, I'd concentrate on the Perigord Noir, around Sarlat, and along the river - Beynac, La Roque Gageac, Domme, etc. For this area the train to Brive, and pick up a car there makes much more sense.

I've lived here for 20 years, and find the area to the east of Perigueux much more interesting, especially for the first time visitor.
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Apr 2nd, 2014, 10:38 AM
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>> Brantome, which is nice, but not the most beautiful part of the Dordogne.<<

I agree - Brantome is better from the outside than it is from the inside. There are perhaps hundreds & hundreds of castles in France that we found to be more interesting than Bourdeillas. Many of them in Burgundy.

Agree with Carlux on what to visit. Train to Brive & rent a car. Visit Collonges la Rouge on the say to Sarlat/Domme. Spend your very limited time in Sarlat, Dome, Beynac, Roque Gageac. Take a short Gabare trip on the Dordogne River from Beynac or Roque Gageac. Skip Padirac - it will consume too much time.

Then "buckle up" for the 5 to 5 1/2 hr drive to Lyon. There is heavy commute traffic around Lyon during the commute hours - which are probably later than in the US. Driving into Lyon isn't a pleasure.

Stu Dudley
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Apr 2nd, 2014, 10:40 AM
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I agree also. With one day only in the area, Brantôme would be about #50 on my list of places to visit.
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