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4carolina Jan 2nd, 2011 07:24 PM

CDG to Sarlat,Dordogne,train or car??
We are just beginning to plan a trip to Dordogne,and would appreciate suggestions on the easiest way to get to Sarlat.....train toToulouse or Brive and then pick up a car?Drive from CDG?We will be tired!!Appreciate your help.

gj05 Jan 2nd, 2011 08:11 PM

We travelled by train from Bordeaux to Cahors and picked up a hire car there. We drove from Cahors to Sarlat via Rocamadour (with a little help from a GPS!). Rocamadour was a little out of the way but it was a very interesting stop and an amazing sight ie. as we drove down one side of the valley seeing Rocamadour built into the wall of the cliff on the other side of the valley. The French roads were generally very good and the drivers polite. Sarlat was a fascinating place to visit and the local people were very friendly and very helpful. The food is great and I'd definitely recommend you try some of the Cahors wines (predominantly malbec) if you have a chance. We based ourselves in Sarlat for around four days and did day-trips to a number of different places including Perigueux, Domme, Beynac and Les Eyzies. We would love to go back again. It was a very enjoyable trip.

Carlux Jan 2nd, 2011 08:23 PM

First of all, you don't want to take the train to Toulouse - you will be 2 hours south of Sarlat and need to backtrack. IF you are on the train, you should get off at Brive.

There are a number of variables - when you say you will be tired, do you mean that you will have just got off an international flight? In that case, if you are not used to the roads, I wouldn't recommend driving. It's about 5 hours from Paris to Sarlat, but you need to be awake!

Other possibilities are to take the train from Gare d'Austerlitz to Brive la Gaillarde and pick up your rental car there. Then it's about an hour to Sarlat - less, depending on the season. In mid summer it will be busy, in spring or autumn it will be faster.

Or a flight to Bordeaux or Toulouse. We like Toulouse much better, as the drive out of the city is much easier.

Something new is the the airport at Brive, which has flights to and from Orly, during the week. Because it only opened last summer, there were no car rental agencies there, but this seems to have changed now.http://www.aeroport-brive-vallee-dor...airlinair.html

macdogmom Jan 2nd, 2011 09:49 PM

We are also going to Sarlat this May. There seems to a train all the way to Sarlat from Paris that goes from Austerlitz to Souillac to Sarlat. Anyone done this before? I assume you can still rent a car in Sarlat.

farrermog Jan 2nd, 2011 11:02 PM

Think you'll find Souillac - Sarlat is by bus. It appears that both train and bus services are quite limited and therefore the connection might be a concern if the train is delayed. Just by the way, what do people think about Souillac anyway?

Carlux Jan 3rd, 2011 01:18 AM

The train from Paris (Austerlitz) stops at Souillac, where a coach takes you into Sarlat. Normally this is the only reason for the coach, and so it should wait for the train.

There is one car rental agency in Sarlat, Europcar, and you must definitely book ahead, as they have to bring their cars in - it's a small agency.

We like Souillac because we go to the market there, but then we live in the area. There is an abbey church with interesting carvings, and a jazz festival in July. With everything else to see in the area, I don't imagine most tourists would spend much time there.

StCirq Jan 3rd, 2011 07:20 AM

The easiest way, and often the cheapest, is to get a train from CDG TVG station to Libourne and either pick up a car there and drive to Sarlat (2+ hours), or get on the Corail train there to Périgueux and pick up the car there - 45 minutes'drive to Sarlat. You can often snag PREM tickets for about 25 euro to Libourne direct from CDG. The Corail fare is about 13 euro.

Taking the train to Sarlat is, IMO, a PITA. Taking a train to Cahors makes no sense on your first day in France if your destination is Sarlat.

StuDudley Jan 3rd, 2011 07:56 AM

We take the train from CDG to either Bordeaux (if we want to stay overnight there), or to Libourne if not.

>>Just by the way, what do people think about Souillac anyway?

Compared to Sarlat, Perigueux, Figeac, and even Cahors - I think Souillac is a "can miss".

Stu Dudley

Michael Jan 3rd, 2011 08:46 AM

<i>I think Souillac is a "can miss". </i>

Even without children the Musée des automatons is worth a visit, as is the Romanesque church.

twk Jan 3rd, 2011 11:38 AM

I'm headed for Beynac-et-Cazenac in June and opted for connecting CDG to Toulouse by air, as the cost to do so was extremely cheap, and the selection of rental cars at the Toulouse airport appeared to be better than that at the train station in Libourne (or anywhere else). So, if renting a car, that might be something you want to think about (where you will be picking up your rental car). I chose Toulouse over Bordeaux because the drive appears to be easier (airport is on the same side of town as you are heading).

corrib_king Jan 3rd, 2011 12:16 PM

I am planning a two week stay in Sarlat. Can I get to Sarlat from Rodez Airport without hiring a car? Hope to do some cycling on the green routes,some canoeing and walking. Is is possible to do without a car there?

Carlux Jan 4th, 2011 11:49 PM

'Can I get to Sarlat from Rodez Airport without hiring a car?'

If you look at the site for the airport at Rodez, it doesn't go anywhere near Sarlat, or anywhere in the Dordogne.
You can go to Lyon, or Stansted,Orly, Castres or Porto. Nowhere else.

YOU MUST HAVE A CAR HERE. Sorry to shout, but you need to understand that there is virtually no public transportation. So you need to get to Sarlat, and then you need to get around. You can do some cycling, for enjoyment (although it is very hilly, and may not be so enjoyable) but unless that is all you want to do, you will need some way of getting around. And that is a car.

Rosiekins Jan 5th, 2011 06:29 AM

We visited the Dordogne region in May 2010 - Sarlat, cave cities, Castelnaud & Beynac, Cahors - and flew overnight from the USA/North Carolina to CDG and then to Bordeaux. We had pre-rented a car at the airport (got lucky and were able to get an automatic instead of the pre-arranged stick-shift) and drove to Sarlat where we stayed at a B&B our first night. We SHOULD have had my husband AND ME as authorized drivers. He was very tired on the drive from Bordeaux to Sarlat and we had to pull over several times to get something cold to drink and so he could stretch his legs. I had take Pycogenol (spelling?) - pine bark extract - which is supposed to help with jet lag. I was awake but couldn't take over the driving. We stayed at Salignac and Marquay - each for a week - and both villages were convenient for visting the area. We also drove to Perigeux for the Saturday marche. I agree with Carlux - you need a car to get around!

StCirq Jan 5th, 2011 06:37 AM

I answered your question about transportation from Rodez to Sarlat on your other thread, corrib_king. The answer is, yes, there is clumsy public transportation from Rodez to Sarlat, but you NEED A CAR once you get there.

winnick Jan 6th, 2011 01:58 PM

We are heading to Sarlat in June and also decided on connecting CDG to Toulouse by air. I agree with twk that the cost to do so was extremely cheap. We are staying a few days in Toulouse and plan to pickup the car at the train station there. We plan to see the Lot area before heading to Sarlat.

beaux Jan 9th, 2011 08:29 AM

We flew Airlinair from Orly to Brive a few years ago and picked up a car there. It was easy and cheap. Just checked a random day in may and fare was 55 euro one-way

taconictraveler Jan 23rd, 2011 07:38 PM

Another informative thread on the Dordogne. Reading with intent.

4carolina Mar 16th, 2011 07:38 PM

A series of family crises forced us to abandon our plans for travel after I submitted this inquiry,months ago.Now,thankfully,we feel able to pick up the threads,including this one. However,my husband insists on driving.The plan is to pick up a car at GDG and drive to Loches in the Loire,where we will spend two nights at le Logis du Bief,recommended on another thread.We will then drive on to the Dordogne,and Domme .Any suggestions for scenic routes to follow from Loches ??Great places to stop for lunch ??I have fashioned our stay from the many itineraries submitted,and could not have done it without the solid information Fodorites share. You are the best,especially right now, for us.

Michael Mar 17th, 2011 07:36 AM

Here are some sights between the Loire valley and the
Dordogne. I believe that I geo-tagged most of them, so that the an approximation of the roads traveled can be recreated on a map:

kerouac Mar 17th, 2011 11:29 AM

Taking a train or driving a car depends on a myriad of factors -- the season, how much you like driving or how much you like taking a train, things you might want to see along the way, your sense of adventure for discovering unexpected things, whether you have a strict schedule or not, are you a photo bug, do you like to cover a lot of ground fast or have short days with a lot of free time....

Just be aware that if there are only two people, it is probably considerably cheaper to take the train (but you will miss things along the way), and fuel prices may skyrocket even more in the coming months with so many unfortunate events happening around the world.

pavot Mar 24th, 2011 01:50 PM

I'm looking into the possibility of buying tickets on Airlinair: there are two flights from Orly on our day in question, the flight takes about 90 minutes, and the fare is around 70euro.

This seems like a great option for a couple of my family members who will join us: Have I missed something in terms of the airline being unreliable?

pavot Mar 24th, 2011 01:50 PM

I'm looking into the possibility of buying tickets on Airlinair: there are two flights from Orly on our day in question, the flight takes about 90 minutes, and the fare is around 70euro.

This seems like a great option for a couple of my family members who will join us: Have I missed something in terms of the airline being unreliable?

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