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glsebs Oct 11th, 2006 01:59 PM

Dordogne Logistics.....Need Help
I am trying to figure out the best way to meet our friends for our 4 day stay in Sarlat. We will be flying from London after a few days vacation there, and our friends will be flying from the US into CDG on the same day. Since we are arriving on a Sunday, the best flight seems to be from Stansted to Limoges. It arrives mid-day and we can rent a car at the Limoges airport. The other couple is arriving into CDG in the late morning, but by the time they can get into Paris to catch a train, it would be at least early afternoon, and then the train ride is about 3 hours to Limoges. We figure we can rent the car, take in some of the sights around Limoges, have a leisurely lunch and then pick them up at the Limoges train station in the late afternoon or early evening. Depending on the train schedule and hopefully an on time arrival into CDG, we will probably get into Sarlat before dark.
Does this scenario make sense? I have given this a lot of thought, but I know there are some Dordogne experts on this forum who might be able to help me with this.

Any help would be appreciated.

StuDudley Oct 11th, 2006 02:42 PM

Have you considered both of you flying to either Toulouse or Bordeaux??? The cost of RT to Toulouse or Bordeaux, open jaw into Bordeaux & out of Toulouse (or the other way around), is about the same as RT to Paris.

Last year we flew into Bordeaux & out of Toulouse.

Stu Dudley

annhig Oct 11th, 2006 02:43 PM

Have you researched the train times from paris to limoges? [the german is very useful for this!]
Then put your travel details from limoges to Sarlat into and see how long the drive will be [2 hours at a guess].
you don't say what time of year you are travelling- if in the winter, you might like to arrive in the light, unlesss you know your destination well!

glsebs Oct 12th, 2006 06:09 AM

Thank you for your replies to my message.
Annhig, we are traveling in May.
Stu, we have already booked our international flights. We are going to London first for a few days, and our friends are flying directly to CDG. However, you got me thinking about flying to the Dordogne, us from London and our friends from CDG. Our choices are flying to Limoges with limited non stop flights from CDG or Bordeaux or Toulouse, both with many non stops. We can get to any of these airports from London either on Ryanair to Limoges or British Airways to Toulouse and Bordeaux. Our friends would be flying Air France from CDG.
Which airport, Limoges, Bordeaux or Toulouse, would be the easiest to fly into, rent a car and drive to Sarlat?

moolyn Oct 12th, 2006 06:55 AM

glsebs, I'm not one of the resident Dordogne experts having only visited there once, last June, but my research on this site came up with overwhelming recommendations to fly into and out of Toulouse. The autoroute is close to the airport and then it's an easy two and a half hour drive to Sarlat from there if you go directly. We took a two and a half day scenic route instead.

Stu's suggestion of flying into Bordeaux and out of Toulouse is good too althought I've read here that it's a longer drive to Sarlat from Bordeaux. It's even longer from Limoges.

Airline schedules could be the determining factor to help you decide which is the most feasable option.

The direction to the rental car area was well signed from the baggage claim. We used Europecar/AutoEurope which was recommended here and were very happy with our choice. Prices were much more reasonable. It was obviously the most popular as we had to wait in line while all the other rental car company counters were empty!

There are lots of roundabouts leaving the airport area in Toulouse but if you use the clock method to direct the driver and follow the place names rather than try to read the highway number it's not too difficult. We managed this after a lengthy overnight overseas flight followed by a delayed flight from Frankfurt.

We rented a house in Sarlat for two wonderful weeks. If you click on my name you can read my report and get some ideas of things to see and do while you're there.

Marz Oct 12th, 2006 06:59 AM

We have just returned from staying not far from Sarlat and flew in/out of Limoges.

We concluded that next time we will try Bordeaux airport as it is a bit closer and save some driving time.

The good thing about Limoges airport is that it is so small you get in/out very quickly.

StuDudley Oct 12th, 2006 07:26 AM

We've flown in & out of Toulouse many times, and in to Bordeaux twice.

I think Toulouse would be the easiest - it's freeway almost all the way to the Dordogne until you hit Souillac. The airport is at the north end of town, so you don't have to drive around a big city to get to Sarlat

The Bordeaux airport is on the west side of the city, so you would have to drive around Bordeaux to get to Sarlat. However, since it's a Sunday, traffic should be light. It's almost all small, not-too-scenic roads all the way to Sarlat. The scenery improves about 20 mins past Bergerac

I've never flown in or out of Limoges.

If the driver is still recovering from jet lag, I would choose Toulouse over Bordeaux. Otherwise, I would let the airline departure schedule dictate which airport I flew into. Last year, Bordeaux had a more compatible schedule with our arrival into CDG.

Stu Dudley

StephenG Oct 12th, 2006 07:37 AM

Does any airline fly from north america to Toulouse or must you go through a european hub?

Michael Oct 12th, 2006 07:41 AM

Limoges has a ceramics museum that is defintely worth a visit. It is somewhat of a pain to drive in Limoges, expecially since it has two old centers in two separate locations. But there is an underground parking near the <i>rue des bouchers</i>, which is the secular old town where you can find some nice restaurants for lunch. The museum is a short walk from there. To get to Sarlat, just take the autoroute going south, and the first exist toward St. Yrieix if youw ant a more scenic route. N704 goes straight down to Sarlat, passing by Hautefort.

laverendrye Oct 12th, 2006 07:44 AM

Air Transat flies non-stop from Montreal to Toulouse.

Ackislander Oct 12th, 2006 10:59 AM

One minor point. You do not say whether you are staying in a hotel or renting a house or apartment in Sarlat, but there is no on-street parking in some sections of the old town. You must park in a well marked and safe central parking lot, but it should be factored in if you are arriving after dark.

StephenG Oct 12th, 2006 11:10 AM

laverendrye-- thanks for the tip, I guess my canadian roots were showing when I used the term north america. Born in Montreal but living here in san diego for 45 years.
But maybe a week in montreal and a week in Perigord in the future may be something to consider, haven't been back since 1981.

StCirq Oct 12th, 2006 11:44 AM

I think Bordeaux is the best option if you can get there inexpensively from London, because your friends can then take the TGV right from CDG to Bordeaux without having to go into Paris, cutting off easly an hour or more of their traveling time. You can rent a car at the Bordeaux airport and pick them up at St-Jean station - it's maybe a half-hour drive, if that. Then you have another 2.5 hours or so to Sarlat.

The drive from Limoges is pretty ho-hum. In fact, Limoges is pretty ho-hum, IMO.

StCirq Oct 12th, 2006 11:45 AM

Just thought of another idea: Have you looked into flying into Brive? I'm pretty sure there's an airport there, and I think you can get directly from CDG on the train to Brive.

glsebs Oct 12th, 2006 01:06 PM

Wow, thanks for all of your help. We have done a lot of research into flight and train schedules and in the end that determined our plan.
We are going to meet in Bordeaux as we can take a BA flight out of Gatwick and they can take an Air France flight out of CDG that both get to Bordeaux within five minutes of each other at about 3:45. We will meet them and then go get the rental car. Since we will have been in London for a couple of days, we will not be jet lagged and we will do the driving to Sarlat. Our friends will be exhausted after an international flight. The flights to Toulouse were also pretty close in arrival times, but the Air France flight to Toulouse was $348 versus $38 to Bordeaux and that clinched it.
If our flights are on time and we don't get lost on our drive to Sarlat, we should hopefully arrive before dark. We are staying at the Hotel Clos la Boetie in Sarlat, which has private parking for its guests.
Thanks again for all the help.

glsebs Oct 12th, 2006 04:46 PM

By the way, how long will it take us on a Sunday afternoon to drive to Sarlat from the Bordeaux airport going the fastest route?

gracejoan3 Oct 13th, 2006 02:00 AM

I recently flew from the states to Toulouse for my lease/buy back pickup. Toulouse is a great little airport to fly in/out of for the Dordogne area. I did not go directly to the Dordogne as I had other plans. I can well understand your switch to Bordeaux re the cost differences.

Check for and fo your trip comparisons. Should be under 2 hours mostly auto route. Bordeaux can be a traffic
problem at times.

ira Oct 13th, 2006 03:02 AM

Hi gl,

&gt;how long will it take us on a Sunday afternoon to drive to Sarlat from the Bordeaux airport going the fastest route?&lt;

Check and for routes and times.

It's about 2:56 hr on the autoroute, or about 3:11 hr on the shunpike via Bergerac. We preferred the latter.

Enjoy your visit.


glsebs Oct 13th, 2006 04:51 AM

I am guessing that the second route is the most scenic and only about 15 minutes longer. I remember reading on this forum that the drive from Bordeaux to Sarlat was a difficult and perhaps even dangerous drive. Which of these routes is the safest???

gracejoan3 Oct 13th, 2006 05:47 AM

The Auto route would be safest and most direct..

I just returned from the area...took the route to St. Emilion from Sarlat

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