Are 9 Days Too Much for the Dordogne?

Nov 2nd, 2014, 09:22 AM
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If I had a couple of extra days, I would go to the Marais Poitevin. An ancient bay that was canalised by monks in the 14th century. Also known as The Green Venice. Focus on the inland port villages of Arcais. Coulon, or La Garette-Sansais. For a brief trip, you will be thrown into an entirely different world, and you can try your hand at guiding your own barque. If there will be a full moon, they may also have a night excursion planned on the canals.
shelemm is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2014, 10:13 AM
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Bookmarking.... we too are planning next September -- Limoges (because I am Limoges china collector), Bordeaux, then driving to Sarlat, Rocamadour, Toulouse, Carcassone then up to Arles & Avignon, returning to Paris via TGV. Prefer train over short flights within France. 3 weeks total. Will map above villages and see where they lie to determine how long at each destination and how far the day trips will be. So, is there a spot that would be better or worse during "patrimonie" -- we will be over then somewhere. Great thread, gang. Chutney, can you add days? We definitely can, oh boy.
aliced is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2014, 10:24 AM
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Limoges (because I am Limoges china collector),

Don't miss the porcelain museum.

Why Bordeaux? There are fine wines in the Dordogne--Pécharmant for one--and in the Cahors area; you are less likely to find these in the U.S. And most of the wine shops--not the wine, pâté and other regional products shop--will give you a wider selection than you can possibly consume during your stay in the area.
Michael is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2014, 10:33 AM
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Nice as all these photos are, I haven't seen any anywhere that do justice to Sarlat at dusk, when the lanterns are coming on. Just a beautiful place that you must experience.
Mimar is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2014, 10:45 AM
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St. Cirq the poster must have defected.
IMDonehere is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2014, 11:03 AM
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Most of my pictures are geo-tagged and by clicking the location given below the picture a map will come up.
Michael is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2014, 11:09 AM
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To see more info on the pictures as you are viewing them like a slide show, open up a set and on top enter "show" at the end of the URL; like this:

Once the slide show starts, click on the "show info" button to see the picture title. For more information you need to look at the picture individually.
Michael is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2014, 12:07 PM
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Thanks Michael! And everyone else for all your help and advice. I just ordered a couple more guide books. Im going to keep researching and I'm sure I'll still have lots of questions. I'm going to forgo the Bordeaux area and stick to the Dordogne and maybe add a couple days in the Lot area.

I'm locked in to September 23-Oct 2nd because I will first we in Paris for a week with my mother and two sisters. We will be in Paris the 12- 19th. After Paris,"the girls" are thinking about 4 nights in Provence. My husband is planning to fly in on the 23rd. That is when I begin the Dordogne trip. We will end with 4 nights in Paris before flying home to Florida. I always like a few days in Paris before returning home to stock up on food items, etc.
chutney is offline  
Nov 9th, 2014, 01:23 PM
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Michael, thank you, yes I have had a NY Times article about Limoges and the porcelain museum for about 20 years, heard it has recently had a renovation. So, we'll take the train from Limoges to Bordeaux but were thinking 3 nts there before heading to Sarlat and then points south and east. Is Bordeaux not worth 2 nights, last day of which we'll tour St. Emilion, heading east?
aliced is offline  
Nov 9th, 2014, 01:26 PM
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p.s. to Stu D, love your pictures, I too love to take pictures of signs, helps w picture sorting later. We are mapping the villages mentioned in the feed above to further define our 'path' but it sounds like less rather than more time is indicated for Bordeaux!
aliced is offline  
Nov 19th, 2014, 03:56 PM
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Chutney, so how have you weeded out your choices? We have to tweak our trip next September and are currently at 5 nts Sarlat, 1-2 in Rocamadour, 1-2 in Albi, and 2 in Carcassonne before driving over to Provence. Before Sarlat we will have come east from Bordeaux. There are so many villages from which to choose, but we must enjoy the ones we happen upon along the way. Rocamadour is so close to Sarlat, not sure if an overnight is warranted. We chose to stay in Albi and in Carcassonne with the thought that if we 'must' see Toulouse, we can get in by train. We have been canvassing the Michelins, RSteves, but my long-time France favorite is the Birnbaum, unfortunately her guide is 20 years old, but her advice has served us very well in previous trips to France. Interestingly, six of her thirteen mind-blowing museums & monuments in all of France are located in the areas we're planning to visit: Limoges Porcelain Museum, T Lautrec in Albi, Rocamadour, Carcassonne Cite, Caves les Eyzies, Pont du Gard in Provence .
aliced is offline  
Nov 19th, 2014, 04:17 PM
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Yup my old friend St-Cirq is about the most knowledgeable Dordonian person around - she/he/it lives there part time in some house in some dremy village and always gives spot on great info about this area.

Tant pis if she/he/it has defected to other sites!
PalenQ is offline  
Nov 19th, 2014, 05:52 PM
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Ignore Rick Steves - his France guides are quite poor, IMO.

>>but my long-time France favorite is the Birnbaum, unfortunately her guide is 20 years old<<

Stephen Birnbaum is a he, and he died more than 20 years ago, I believe. I still reference his guides.

Get the Cadogan guide. The author lives close to the Dordogne.

Only spend 3 1/2 hrs in Carcassonne. Not 2 nights. Toulouse(along with Dijon) is our second favorite city in France. Stay there instead of Carcassonne. It has quite an active evening "scene".

We've spent 10 weeks vacation in/near the Dordogne, and I developed a 20+ page itinerary that describes our favorite villages, markets, sites, restaurants, etc. I've sent it to over 1,500 people on Fodors. If you would like a copy, e-mail me at [email protected] & I'll attach one to the reply e-mail.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Nov 20th, 2014, 06:24 AM
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We may look for the Cadogan guide. My France Birnbaum was written by Alexandra, her husband predeceased her. It just seems like the N-112 Albi-Carcassonne route put us in a good spot from which to head over to Provence. Originally were going to stay in Toulouse 2 nts and visit Carcassonne mid-day only. But then where to stay after Sarlat and prob. a night in Rocamadour, without missing Figues, Albi, Cordes. Suppose we can just stay in Albi night or two, then Toulouse, and see Carcassonne mid-day. Seemed easier to see Toulouse from Albi than vice-versa, no? But Toulouse does interest me, when I was a young gal, read voraciously a series of historical novels "Angelique," a 14th century heroine from Toulouse. I'd reread them now but print is too small -- kept all 9 books, however, and we are starting winter here!
aliced is offline  
Nov 20th, 2014, 07:04 AM
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"Hanging out" in Carcassonne might get boring after about 4 hrs. Toulouse never gets boring, IMO. Lots of diverse stuff in Toulouse. "Same" stuff in Carcassonne.

The drive to St Remy from Toulouse is 3 3/4 hrs & from Carcassonne 1 hr less. Perhaps consider visiting Carcassonne on the way from Toulouse to Provence.

Parking can be difficult in Toulouse. The place where we stay (Mermoz) has parking. Albi has easy parking. If you decide to visit Albi from Toulouse, you won't have any parking problems if you stay at a hotel in Toulouse with parking. Vice-versa, you might have difficulties parking in Toulouse.

I think I would stay in Rocamadour for 2 nights and do a day-trip to Figeac (if that's what you "miss-spelled" in Figues). After 2 nights in Rocamadour, head south & visit St Cirq Lapopie, Pech Merle, Cordes & Albi. Stay in Albi for the night. Then off to Toulouse for 2 nights. Visit Carcassonne on the way to Provence.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Nov 20th, 2014, 08:40 AM
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This is probably what I would do;

Day 1 after Sarlat
- Leave Sarlat in the morning & drive to La Treyne and look around the castel/hotel fo 30 mins. Then follow the Dordogne river to Creysse and head north on the D23 to Martel for a 1 hr visit.
- Leave Martel, and at Gluges cross the Dordogne and follow it to Carennac for a 1 hr visit. Then visit Loubressac and Autoire for short visits. Then head over to the Gouffre de Padirac - hopefully arriving in the late afternoon when the crowds thin.
- Drive to Rocamadour, check into the hotel for 2 nights and visit Rocamadour after 5:30pm when it should be less crowded

Day 2
- Visit Rocamadour if you didn't visit it yesterday. Get there by 8:30 to miss the hoards. By 9:30 head to Hospitalet for a view of Rocamadour.
- Head south on the D32 to the Lot River & visit Pech Merle Cave (make an apt a month in advance), and then St Cirq Lapopie. You can flip-flop these 2 sites depending on when you take the Pech Merle tour.
- Head east on the D41 and follow the beautiful Cele river (stopping at several small villages - see my long itinerary for details) to Figeac and spend the remainder of the day there.
- Take the N140 back to Rocamadour, and if you haven't already seen eit in the evening - do so.

Day 3
- Get on the A20 at exit #56 & head south towards Toulouse. Get off at exit #59 and take the D926 east and then the D5 to/through St Antonin Nobal Val (visit?), and then the D115/D600 to Cordes for a 1 1/2 hr visit.
- On to Albi for the remainder of the day. If you don't mind one-nighters - stay in Albi for the night. Otherwise drive to Toulouse.

Day 4
Visit Toulouse for the day.

Day 5
Visit Carcassonne in the am. Then off to Provence.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Nov 20th, 2014, 10:20 AM
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I've spent a fair amount of time in the Dordogne, but it's been quite a long time ago.

If I can jump onto this thread, let me ask this. Next late August into September, we'll be in Nice and Provence, but then would like to go somewhere else for three to four nights before we have to be in Barcelona. We can have a car or not. I'm thinking without a lot of jumping around, perhaps Sarlat is the best place to spend three or four days. Agree or not? A better alternative? This is mainly to give my husband a chance to get a feel for the area since he has never traveled south France at all.
We're more into staying IN a town to walk to restaurants, etc., then staying out in the country somewhere and drive in the evenings.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Nov 20th, 2014, 10:50 AM
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This is mainly to give my husband a chance to get a feel for the area since he has never traveled south France at all.

area = Dordogne specifically or the south of France? There is a lot of territory between the Provence and the Dordogne. The Languedoc might be a good alternative with less traveling to get to Barcelona.
Michael is offline  
Nov 20th, 2014, 01:01 PM
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Sarlat/Dordogne would be perfect. This region & Provence are our two favorite areas in France. E-mail me at [email protected] & I'll sent you my recently revised itineraries of Cote d'Azur/Provence, and the Dordogne.


Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Nov 20th, 2014, 01:10 PM
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I grew up in a very small town and that is what attracted me to big cities. Therefore, I still get extremely bored in rural areas after only a short time. "A weekend in the country" is about all I can tolerate to this day and that is only out of respect to friends who might invite me.

On the other hand, if you have a car and can go anywhere, the countryside can be wonderful and fascinating day after day because it isn't always the same.
kerouac is online now  

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