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Dordogne Itinerary for June

Old Apr 3rd, 2004, 08:56 AM
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Dordogne Itinerary for June

Hi all,
First thank you all for your wonderful information about this area in France. St. Cirq. you tidbits have been invaluable. I have been reading all the threads to plan a ten day itinerary for my husband and me. Any ideas or suggestions would be welcomed.

We will arrive from Boston Monday morning and are thinking of taking the train from the Gare d'Austerlitz. Do we take a taxi from the airport to the train station? About how much is the taxi?
After the 5 hour train ride we want to rent a car. Is Eurocar the best? I think that someone mentioned it was near the train station. How do we book the car from the States? Also can we rent it in Periguex and then return it in Paris?
We thought we would stay three nights near Sarlat to visit the caves and be there for the Wednesday market. I have been hearing mixed reviews about La Ferme Lamy, but it would be nice to stay outside of Sarlat. Another place that sounds interesting was in Coly. It used to be a mill and before that a forge ( My husband's hobby is blacksmithing). Does anyone know about the town Coly? It might be closer to Perigueux at least for one night.
The last three nights would be near Rocamadour to see the sights around there and the Grotte du Pech Merle. Some one mentioned that Domaine de la Rhue is a nice place.
We will either take the train back on Sunday or drive to Paris and stay two or three nights. Any ideas of places in Paris would also be apprciated.
Again thank you all so much for your wonderful posts. My husband wanted to see the prehistoric drawings in the caves, but I did not know that this area was so magical until I read all the posts.
Looking forward to your suggestions and St. Cirq's ongoing travel diary!


Chella is offline  
Old Apr 3rd, 2004, 10:10 AM
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You can take the RER to St. Michel and transfer to the RER that goes to the Gare d'Austerlitz.

Coly is not much, but there is an impressive church in St. Amand de Coly, and at least one hotel in town. It also is the home of the workshop of Alain Lagorsse who does beautiful (and expensive) copper pots. I would stay in St. Amand rather than Coly itself. However, the Michelin Red Guide does give the name of a hotel in Coly: Manoir d'Hautegente (115 to 190 euros at 2002 [email protected]). It is not much closer than Sarlat. A better alternative in terms of driving would be Les Eyzies, which would give you the opportunity to visit its museum and visit Font de Gaume. Font de Gaume can be seen without reservations if you arrive at 8:00 or 8:30 in the morning (half an hour before they open) because they always reserve some space for walk-ins, but not necessarily for the morning tours.
Michael is offline  
Old Apr 3rd, 2004, 12:47 PM
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Hi, Chella:

Are you taking the train from Austerlitz to Perigueux? If so, a taxi if you don't get Gangsta Jacques will cost you around 50 euros and take about an hour if the peripherique is clear.

The only car rental outfit I know that has pickups in Perigueux is AutoEurope(1-800-223-5555). They will hook you up with the EuropCar office in Perigueux - walk out of the station, through the parking lot, turn right, and the EuropCar office is about three storefronts up on your right.

There is no extra charge for dropping the car off anywhere in France.

Don't stay in Coly. Do heed Michael's note abolut St-Amand-de-Coly. There are myriad places to stay around Sarlat: Hotel l'Esplanade in Domme, Le Relais des Cinq Chateaux in Vitrac, La Belle Etoile in La Roque-Gageac, L' Hostellerie de Meysset just outside Sarlat, Laborderie in Tamnies........you have a LOT of good choices.
Domaine de la Rhue is wonderful. That's a great choice.
If I can be of further help, let me know. I'll be on the road in France for the next ten days, but will sign onto Fodors when I can.
StCirq is offline  
Old Apr 3rd, 2004, 02:49 PM
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I can highly recommend the B&B Aux Trois Sources 3 km. outside Sarlat. I was there in June of last year with a group of 8 people. Easy 5 minute drive into town. The couple who run the place could not be more welcoming. (Don't think they speak much if any English, though, if that's a concern.) Their place has several rooms and 3 studios with kitchenettes. I believe all the rooms have refigerators. Except for suffering a bit from the very unusual heat wave (no AC), we thoroughly enjoyed our stay here and were able to drive to all the main sights of the area with no problems.

Take a look at their very helpful (and cute!) website:

http://www.hebergement-sarlat.com/page%2042%20b.htm

Wherever you stay, I wish you a pleasant trip to this gorgeous part of France.
Betty1 is offline  
Old Apr 20th, 2004, 06:22 PM
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Thanks for all the info on hotels. Looks like we will stay nearer to Sarlat. I am just now getting ready to get our tix from Boston to Paris. I got the web site for sncf tried to read the train schedules in French ( I have not spoken French in years!) Can you still get the train tix via email or is there another way to get train tix.

Also, how long would it take us to get to the train station in Paris? We land around 7 AM and the train leaves at 9. Another option is a train leaving from Gare Montparnasse later in the day and I think it is an express train to one town and then to Perigueux. Yet I am not too sure if we can get the tix since my French is not that great!
Any help with this confusion and other suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks, Chella
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Old Apr 20th, 2004, 07:49 PM
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Hi, Chella,

In 2002, I stayed with 5 others at Domaine de Rochebois in the town of Vitrac. It is an easy 10 minute drive to Sarlat. You can check it out at www.slh.com .

Dordogne is magic -- enjoy your trip.

John H
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Old Apr 20th, 2004, 08:33 PM
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Chella -

You will have a wonderful time in the Dordogne; we visited in 2002 and loved it.

I can't help much on the trains to Perigeux, as we flew into Paris, cabbed to Gare Montparnasse, then took the TGV to Bordeaux, because we wanted to spend the night in St. Emilion.

On Font du Gaume, you might want to make reservations ahead of time for the English-speaking tour. We didn't make them ahead of time, but we were travelling in May.

The hotel I know the most about is l'Esplanade in Domme, where we stayed. The hotel was quite nice, with a very good restaurant and fabulous views, but driving down and up from and to Domme each day was not much fun. La Belle Etoile is in a great location right by the river, though we didn't stay there, so I can't tell you anything about the rooms. We ate dinner at Le Relais des Cinq Chateaux, in Vitrac. The food was good (not as good as l'Esplanade, though), and the view from the valley floor to the flood-lit castles at night was superb.

I'll try to get around to posting my trip report, which I've been meaning to do for some time now...

On buying train tickets, I understand it's a complicated process to do so from the SCNF website. Something about them not sending tickets to the U.S.; do a search and maybe you'll find other posts on the subject. We didn't even try, and bought them at a significant markup through RailEurope. We booked a train that we knew we could make, based on our plane's arrival time. Then, when we arrived at the train station ahead of time, were easily able to switch our reservations/tickets for an earlier train.
Lexma90 is offline  
Old Apr 21st, 2004, 05:54 AM
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Chella: Count on an hour in a taxi at that time of day to get to the train station. Also count on about 45 minutes, unless you get lucky, to get your baggage - it can be unmercifully slow. And then you'll need time to either pick up the tickets you've already purchased online or buy tickets. So two hours is pushing it a bit. That said, I managed to do it in one hour (no checked luggage) earlier this month.
The sncf site is not that user-friendly, but you CAN buy tickets online and then pick them up in France. Just plug FRANCE in as the place you'll be picking up the tickets - and be sure when you arrive in France you have the same credit card you used to buy the tickets. Also, look for PREMs fares on the TGV from Paris to Bordeaux (you can save a lot of money), then take the local train to Périgueux. Also look for TGVs to Bordeaux directly from CDG airport, then a connecting train to Périgueux. That option would save you some time, too, even if you arrive in terminal 1 and have to shuttle over to terminal 2.

StCirq is offline  
Old May 6th, 2004, 01:28 PM
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Re La Ferme Lamy, see this thread: http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34452728 My very negative opinion was based on a stay there in fall of 2000. It's quite possible they have discontinuied some of their strange and inhospitable practices, but you might want to elicit more opinions before deciding.
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