Dordogne France: Perigueux and Beynac

Old Mar 30th, 2012, 05:06 PM
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Dordogne France: Perigueux and Beynac

I will be spending the month of September in France. Starting with a few days in Paris, followed by 12 days in the Luberon, then 10 days in the Dordogne. All this concludes back in Paris for up to 5 days. My question is the following. In order to make this fit from a scheduling point of view, I had to book 3 days in Perigueux prior to my 7 day stay in Beynac. While Periqueux is not all that far from Beynac, I am looking for advice on what to explore to the north and west and to the northeast of this area. On a previous trip, we stayed Limeuil and traveled helter skelter around the area. We did get as far west as St Emilion and I am thinking I would like to explore a little farther west, maybe Bordeaux and some sites in that area. I would like to keep the driving down to a two hours radius. Any ideas?
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Old Mar 30th, 2012, 10:25 PM
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We stayed in Brantome for a couple of weeks a few years ago, north of Perigueux, and it's a beautiful village to visit. There's also St Jean de Cole (a 'plus beau village') and Chateau de Puyguilhem and Chateau Bourdeilles. You can also go to Grotte de Villars, an interesting stalagmite cave. About 45 minutes northeast of Perigueux is Chateau de Hautefort, and a good market every Thursday in lovely nearby Excideuil. There's also Jardins de l'Imaginaire at Terrasson, about an hour east of Perigueux - they are stunning. Just south of Terrasson is Montignac and the Lascaux II cave.
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Old Mar 31st, 2012, 02:11 AM
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Hi A,

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Old Mar 31st, 2012, 07:26 AM
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Why three days in Périgueux? It's got an interesting city center, a fabulous cathedral, and a great market, but is otherwise a dump.

I assume you'll have a car. Visit Brantôme and Bourdeilles to the north, as well as Hautefort. Then get to Beynac as quickly as possibly and visit the good stuff.

I wouldn't go west unless you go all the way to the coast and visit Arcachon, Cap Ferret, and the Dune du Pylat. The area around Bordeaux is a stunning let-down after you've been in the Périgord Noir.
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Old Mar 31st, 2012, 07:46 AM
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Perigueux to Arcachon is a little more than a 2 hr drive. There is plenty of stuff to do around the Perigueux area in 3 days. This is from my Dordogne itinerary. If you would like the entire itinerary for the Dordogne and also my itinerary for provence, e-mail me at [email protected] & I'll attached a copy to the reply e-mail.

The “Vielle Vieux” in Perigueux** is fantastic – although the outskirts are horrible & it’s a little difficult to drive into the center of the city. The Tourist Office will give you an excellent walking itinerary (in English) to follow through town. Follow the entire walking route – don’t skip any sections. We were really impressed with Perigueux. The Rue Limogeanne , which becomes the Rue Saliners is one of the nicest shopping streets we’ve seen in a town this size. All the storefronts are extremely pretty, and several lured my wife inside. There is an excellent florist & housewares shop on the corner of Rue St Silain and Place de l’Hotel de Ville. Directly across the Place, there is a Genevive Lethu store. Most shops are closed on Monday morning.

If you visit Brantome and plan to also visit Bourdeillas, there is a very scenic drive to get there. Head southwest from Brantome along the Drone river, on the north side of the river on the D78. The D78 and the signs directing you to Bourdeilles will have you crossing the Dronne prior to getting to Bourdeilles – do not cross the river yet. Instead, continue on the north side of the river on the smaller D106E2. You will eventually pass Bourdeilles and reach a bridge over the river. You can not drive a car on this bridge, however. Park the car & walk over the bridge, past some interesting houses, and then on to the Chateau & village. After visiting the Chateau (we were underwhelmed by the interior) continue west on the small road (thru Creyssac) along the Drone. When it hits the D2, turn right (away from the river) and then immediately left on C1 (not marked on my Michelin map) and continue along the Drone. There are some very interesting troglodyte caves along this section. Continue on the north side of the river, turning south at Montagrier to cross the river at Tocane.

We also enjoyed Chateaux Bories, Puyguilhem, & Jumilhac, and especially Hautefort. Nontron is worth a visit if you afe in the area.

Stu Dudley
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Old Mar 31st, 2012, 07:57 AM
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Old Mar 31st, 2012, 08:40 AM
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Another vote here for Brantome. We stayed at
Le Moulin de L'Abbaye with walks along the
Dronne River, a jewel of a setting.
Another time we stayed at Le Moulin du Roc,
a beautiful place in Champagnac de Belair.
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Old Mar 31st, 2012, 10:08 AM
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Thank you all for your replies. Wow, I did not expect such a quick response. For StCirq, I chose Perigueux simply because I was looking for something more to the north of where I was staying to facilitate exploring that area without spending a lot of time driving on two lane, windy roads....and I got a pretty good rate for the stay. I remember three years ago with my new bride, we married in Provence, that it seemed to take forever to go from point A to point B. I was impatient and my bride had to remind me to relax, take in the scenery and enjoy the trip. She was right and that is why we are returning to this part of France. With that in mind, thank you StuDudley for your comments on the town. I am sure we will find it enjoyable. This is our 5th trip to France in 6 years and I have yet to have a bad experience. The people, the food and wine and the beauty of the country continue to draw me back. To everyone else not mentioned, I have added your ideas to my OneNote file for this trip. I already have extensive notes on sites and cafes, bistros and restaurants. I am counting down the weeks!
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