Dordogne Confusion

Old Nov 2nd, 2005, 11:19 AM
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Dordogne Confusion

We are very confused about the best Dordogne locale for five days in April. Yes I have read all the posts. Have you found it more advantageous to locate in a busy center like Sarlat so you can walk to restaurants, etc? Or do you opt to stay in a smaller, less busy spot and drop into the larger, more touristy places. Is parking the deciding factor? How did you choose? Or is 3 days here, 2 days there the answer?
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Old Nov 2nd, 2005, 11:40 AM
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robjame:

Even in April parking can be bad in Sarlat, so I'd pick a nice town not too far from Sarlat that has plenty of commerce so you can walk places in the evenings but not have a parking hassle. Le Bugue is a great choice, as are St-Cyprien, Domme, Beynac, and la Roque-Gageac. That's the "first line" - you could also pick a town farther away from the main sites, but I'd begin with those.

There's absolutely no need to stay in 2 or 3 different places if your goal is to visit the main sites of the Périgord Noir. Now, if you're going to wander over to Figeac and Cahors and St-Cirq-Lapopie or down to Fumel and Villeneuve-sur-Lot, or to St-Emilion and Bordeaux, such excursions would merit picking a different base for a few days. But if it's the Dordogne that's your concentration, one base of operations is sufficient.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2005, 11:51 AM
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Hi r,

Excellent advice from StCirq.

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Old Nov 2nd, 2005, 12:32 PM
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Roque Gageac seems to have done a better job than most small towns in providing parking facilities. There are two excellent restaurants in Roque Gageac, and a third one that's in the Michelin guide, but I've not dined there. There are three other excellent restaurants, and a fourth good one within 10 mins or less, if you drive. Sarlat is 15-20 mins away and I've never had difficulty parking in the 10 times or so I've visited Sarlat in September or June. Driving through Sarlat from north to south is more difficult.

I would recommend staying in Roque Gageac.

Stu Dudley
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Old Nov 2nd, 2005, 02:06 PM
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Thank you for your replies. We will book L'Esplanade in Domme and a meal at Belle Etoile based on your recommendations. We relied on your advice for our first trip to France last year and we could not have been more pleased. Witness to that is the fact that we are booking our flights and hotels for the second installment.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2005, 02:25 PM
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Isn't parking in Sarlat difficult just during the day? It seemed to free up considerably after 2:00 PM
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Old Nov 2nd, 2005, 04:01 PM
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Robjame,
My family and I spent a week in Domme in late June 2001. We rented a great villa with a pool from a nice British couple. I haven't thought about that trip too much in the past few years, perhaps because it was one of the last trips we took together as a family (my husband and I split about a year later). However, I just had to tell you that Domme is quite a magical place. Your post prompted me to do a Google search on L'Esplanade, just to see if it was the same wonderful place where I remembered having a delectable meal. Sure enough, it was one and the same. Domme is an amazing little town with stunning views. The market in the square is great. It's easy to drive from one town to another, over winding roads. We canoed down the Dordogne, visited a cave, toured castles, ate and shopped in Sarlat, and bought groceries at the local supermarket, etc. It was a memorable trip and I wish you all the best.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2005, 04:27 PM
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We were there in May a couple years ago (03) and stayed in Beynac. Drove everywhere with ease (altho parking in Sarlat was a pain). We would LOVE to go back again and spend more time. Had a stunningly memorable meal at La Belle Etoile in la Roque-Gageac.
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