Dordogne or Provence?

Old Mar 2nd, 2008, 04:58 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 54
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Dordogne or Provence?

Hi everyone,


I am planning a trip to France for May 30-Jun 10 (for my husband and myself). I plan on spending the first 6 nights in Paris which leaves me the 5th-10th (4 nights with last night near airport in Paris) to go elsewhere. I first chose Provence since it is such a popular area, and really, I do realize that I cannot go wrong with that choice.

But… then I started looking at pictures and read some trip reports about the Dordogne area. It seems much more lush than Provence. I come from Arizona, so I have “dry” here. But I do like the Mediterranean atmosphere… But I also like “lush”…

I guess I am trying to get an idea from people who have visited both areas which they liked better and why. Which area they thought had more charm with beautiful countryside and quaint villages?

I realize no one can make this decision but me, but any information will be appreciated. Also, Prems start coming out this Tuesday, so I have to make a quick decision.

Thanks in advance,
dk
dkAz is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2008, 05:46 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,566
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sounds like a win-win proposition to me. One thing about the Dordogne is the presence of prehistoric cave paintings. If the idea of that fascinates you, it might tip the balance.
Nikki is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2008, 05:54 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,242
Received 33 Likes on 2 Posts
I liked Provence - but loved the Dordogne. Rent a canoe for a couple hours float downstream. The towns are incredibly quaint.
Will you have a car? It makes it easier to see the region.
althom1122 is online now  
Old Mar 2nd, 2008, 06:12 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 167
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
we've done both areas and are going back to the Dordogne again this year! We could do Provence again just as well. Both are quaint areas and not all that different really - Dordogne is a bit more lush but Provence is green enough really - both have great villages - Dordogne does have the caves, drawings etc and alot more castles but Provence has plenty of roman stuff etc.. Food varies alot but both very good but I think Provence was a bit more varied and had better wines.

4 days is not alot of time to do justice to either area however with travel etc.. with that in mind I would go to a base in Dordogne like around Sarlat where you could do the caves, castles and without alot of travel to get in as much as possible.

try to use the train out and back to Paris to your base and rent a car there to save driving I would also suggest to save time and nerves!

Dont worry - once you have experienced wonderful France, you will be back!!
dsevig is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2008, 06:12 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 49,077
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes, the Dordogne is lush, and Provence is dry and a bit spare, albeit with a luminous quality that is oh so appealing.

The Dordogne is Brigadoon. In late May/early June you will have rolling hills with apple and peach and pear and walnut orchards in bloom - everything will be soft and warm and lush and muted, except the river gorges, which are always majestic and stark.

Provence by comparison will be airy and dry and beautiful in its own way.

I obviously made my own decision 17 years ago when I chose to buy a house in the Dordogne (Ok, I couldn't afford a comparable house in Provence, but I would have chosen the Dordogne anyway).

And I'm really beginning to hate the word "quaint." What the heck does it even mean? My village in the Dordogne is "quaint," I suppose, but why? Because it's got real-live peasants living in it? Because my neighbors have half-mad roosters who crow in the middle of the night? Because our houses are built out of limestone and they get all purty when the sun glows on them? Because everyone puts out pots of geraniums on steroids even though no one sees them except us? Because it's still kind of "backward" here? Because the language is Languedoc and not French? Because we have prehistoric caves and I can dig in my garden and find prehistoric tools?

What is the American fascination with "quaint," and what does it really mean? I'm suddenly intrigued by this.
StCirq is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2008, 07:03 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 54
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
According to my husband quaint means "old fashioned in a pleasant and attractive way".

I think houses built out of limestone that get all purty when the sun glows on them.... and that everyone puts out pots of geraniums... To me that is quaint. Like the Cotswolds... That is just something I can't find in the states (nothing is really old here).
That's why I looks for it in Europe. I don't have a better word for it....sorry for over using it.

Please keep your opinions coming - I really do appreciate them all.

Also, can anyone tell me, if the weather is similar in both areas for that time of year?

thanks,
dk
dkAz is offline  
Old Mar 3rd, 2008, 08:06 AM
  #7  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,700
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi D,

Whether you go to Provence or the Dordogne (my choice), I suggest that you do it in the middle of your trip.

3 nights Paris
4 nights away
3 nights Paris.

You won't have to stay out by the airport.



ira is offline  
Old Mar 3rd, 2008, 08:53 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 54
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks Ira for you suggestion. It's a good idea that I wish I would have thought of before. But, I already booked an apartment, that I can't cancel. Oh well.

dkAz is offline  
Old Mar 3rd, 2008, 08:54 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 6,117
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Provence is a different 'dry' than Arizona; not quite so stark and arid. I think there is more color to the vegetation, and of course, depending on where you go, there IS an ocean.

We get 'quaint' light in Alaska too--it's the pink mid-winter alpenglow that turns the birch trees and snow pink.
hopingtotravel is offline  
Old Mar 3rd, 2008, 09:19 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 404
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just a quick question - do you rent your house in the Dordogne, St. Cirq? I know a person can't advertise on this site, but do you have it listed on another site, if you do rent it out? Thx!
rbnwdlr is offline  
Old Mar 3rd, 2008, 09:34 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 21,481
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
And I'm really beginning to hate the word "quaint." What the heck does it even mean? My village in the Dordogne is "quaint," I suppose, but why? Because it's got real-live peasants living in it? Because my neighbors have half-mad roosters who crow in the middle of the night? Because our houses are built out of limestone and they get all purty when the sun glows on them? Because everyone puts out pots of geraniums on steroids even though no one sees them except us? Because it's still kind of "backward" here? Because the language is Languedoc and not French? Because we have prehistoric caves and I can dig in my garden and find prehistoric tools?

"Quaint" is what has become of the villages when they lost their original agricultural base. The peasants (paysans have given way to the few agriculteurs who work the land in the area. The rest are retired, waiting for the grand children to come during their summer vacation. The milk cows have been replaced by cattle, and dung is forbidden on the village streets. I have not heard the local dialect in ages, if ever, although the accent remains. The golden stones are there because tourism is so important. These stones turn to gray when exposed to the air; but it takes time. None of the inhabitants would regret the good old days. They are far better off today than even 30 years ago when everyone worked 18 hours a day during haying season.
Michael is offline  
Old Mar 3rd, 2008, 09:40 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 49,077
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Michael:

Languedoc (language, not dialect) is very much alive and well in my part of the Perigord. The neighbors all speak it, and each year the felibree (sorry, can't do accent marks on this computer) attracts more and more attention. There is a buzz going on in all the local bournats and plenty of talk about the revival of the language.
StCirq is offline  
Old Mar 3rd, 2008, 11:41 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,157
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Provence and the Dordogne are both wonderful.

Provence - The difference in geography has already been described. Also, the food is more mediterranean. If you're interested in ancient Roman history, then there's more of that in Provence.

Dordogne - If you like foie gras, this is where to go. Also very good food, lots of foie gras, close to the Bordeaux wine history. Many castles and castle ruins from the middle ages, as well as the prehistoric paintings (which are amazing). I guess I would say that the Dordogne is more charming, but that's because part of my mental image of "charming" is more lush terrain. I don't often (ever?) use the word quaint, so I won't. But both areas have charming small villages, though probably the Dordogne has more.
Lexma90 is offline  
Old Mar 3rd, 2008, 07:58 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 21,481
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
StCirq,

If anything, the revival is of Occitan, to distinguish it from that other langue d'oc which is Provençal. But the Occitan spoken in the Dordogne might very well be dialectical in that it would not be the same as the Occitan spoken near Auch.
Michael is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
sonodust
Europe
33
Feb 21st, 2012 01:06 PM
nightjar
Europe
12
Jun 2nd, 2008 06:32 AM
lp_nyc
Europe
12
Feb 8th, 2006 08:28 AM
jaconway
Europe
6
Oct 5th, 2005 02:29 PM
keb0503
Europe
7
Sep 17th, 2004 09:27 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:03 PM.