Dordogne area to Puycelci opinions?

Jan 2nd, 2007, 07:45 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 281
Dordogne area to Puycelci opinions?

I have hopes that the Fodor experts might comment on my itinerary- I saved and carefully read a previous thread about the area but it was getting sort of long and is from a month entire trip this June/July is almost 6 weeks long, but with various scheduling constraints am limited to 5 nights in this area, planned for maximum caves, as follows:
1)From Amboise, picking up rental car first thing Thursday am, drive via a stop in Oradour to Beynac (base for three nights)...wander Beynac that late afternoon and evening, possibly hike to castle if light/energy permits
2)Be at Grotte de Rouffignac by 8:15 am, for the 9:00 tour. Question: in busiest season, IS this early enough, since they don't take reservations?
Tour Abri du Cap Blanc, IF we can get there before it closes at noon, on the way to Grotte de Font de Gaume, for which I want to make a reservation for the last tour at 4:00 pm- I understand we must be parked and in line at least half an hour before that.
(If we don't make Abri du Cap Blanc prior, maybe we can still see it after, since it is open until 6:00? ) ????
3)Saturday Sarlat market for a couple hours in the early morning, using a taxi from Beynac to avoid the parking mess. Or- we want to canoe anyway, that day. Can one do so from Beynac to Sarlat to get to the market that way? Possibly "do" Grottes de Cougnac in the late afternoon. ???
4)Leave Beynac very at Gouffre de Padirac by 8:15. Then drive to Grotte de Peche Merle. We are staying in Puycelci two nights. Question: Rocamadour was on my itinerary for that day, but the more I read other comments the more it just sounds too crowded and touristy. Also, I will have almost three weeks in Provence for other "perched" villages afterwards. Yes?
5)Extra day with car to get to anything we missed, or, drive to see Millau bridge before turning the car in at Albi to start using the train for the next "leg" of the adventure.
Thanks so much in advance for your expert opinions!

sglass is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 02:24 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,159
Hi sg,

>...wander Beynac that late afternoon and evening, possibly hike to castle ...<

Beynac et Cazenac is a very small town.
Don't hike up to the castle. Drive up and pay 1E for parking.

>Saturday Sarlat market ... using a taxi from Beynac...

I suggest that you get up early and drive to Sarlat. You will be able to park within a few blocks of the Market.

>we want to canoe anyway, that day. Can one do so from Beynac to Sarlat ...<

You will be going upstream.

Also, look at a map. Sarlat is not on the river.

Can't help with Rocamadour, as we only looked at it as we went by.

For your extra day, you might want to visit Conques or St Chely du Tarn as you head toward Peche Merle. You can pass by the Millau bridge.

See my trip report for details,

Photos at

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 04:58 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,524
At Font de Gaume the reason you have to get there early is not so much to get in line as to walk up the fairly steep path to the cave entrance. I didn't realize this and ended up spending too much time browsing in the book shop thinking we had plenty of time; then I had to rush up the path much more quickly than I would have liked to get to the entrance in time for the tour.
Nikki is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 11:28 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 13
I have just found this forum and find it very interesting. I moved to the Dordogne just over 2 years ago and now live 3 km outside Rouffignac (where the caves are). If you need any help or advice in your forward planning then look at my blog on
where you will find my email address and loads of pictures. I am not trying to run any sort of money making business here but like to help others see the fantastic part of the world that I have found.
Bobt is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 11:35 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 46,049
Welcome, Bob. I'm sure you'll be a great contributor to the many Dordogne threads that crop up on this forum.

I'm not there permanently yet, but I've had a house in St-Cirq-du-Bugue for 15 years. And another forum frequenter is Carlux, who I assume lives in Carlux.

Perhaps we have a Fodor's get-together in the making!
StCirq is offline  

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