Dordogne village lodging recommendations

Oct 14th, 2007, 08:16 AM
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Dordogne village lodging recommendations

We are exploring a visit to the Dordogne and will be staying for part of the time outside of Toulouse. Our hosts have recommended that we explore the following towns: Najac, Albi, Saint Cirq la Popie, Bruniquel, Saint Antonin de Nobel Val, and Cordes.

1. Would any of these towns/villages be appropriate places to stay for 2-3 nights? If so, any recommendations for lodging? Cost is not an issue, but we like the more authentic and charming places with personality.

2. Are there any recommended hikes close by to these places? We particularly like to hike from 3-6 miles.

3. Have we omitted any other places?

4. For those really in the know, what would be the ideal itinerary, travelling from New York roundtrip, and spending about 2 weeks total in the region (with 3-4 nights at our friend's house near Toulouse). Collioure was mentioned, along with Barcelona, but I fear that might make the trip just a tad too "busy."
Oct 14th, 2007, 09:48 AM
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I'm no expert on the area but fell in love with the Dordogne and Lot on my recent trip in May 2007. There is more than enough to keep you busy for two weeks so my vote would be to concentrate your time on the region.

I would pick a town within a 20 km radius of Sarlat and spend at least a week there as there is so much to see. Prehistoric caves, gardens, Castles, beautiful towns and a market for every day of the week.

Here is a link to my trip report and photos:

If you ask, Stu Dudley will provide a copy of his suggested itinerary for the area. It's an invaluable tool for planning a trip to this region.

CRAZY4TRAVEL is offline  
Oct 14th, 2007, 10:29 AM
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The most "luxurious" place to stay in the Gorges de l'Aveyron region is in Cordes at the Grand Ecuyer - which is also a 1 star Michelin Restaurant. However, I'm not sure I would use Cordes as a base - it's takes some doing to get in/out of town, and I actually prefer staying in the Gorge de l'Aveyron itself.

We've spent 2 weeks in a Gite very close to there, and if I were staying in a hotel I'de probably stay in Feneyrols at the Hostellerie les Jardins des Thermes. It's really a restaurant with rooms - and the price difference between it and the Grand Ecuyer is about 100E. We've never stayed at either hotel, but we've dined at the Jardins des Thermes twice (excellent), and we walked through the lobby & dining room at the Grand Ecuyer once - very impressive. I've never seen the rooms at either hotel, but (I'm making a wild guess here) I suspect the rooms at the Jardins des Thermes will be more spacious than the Grand Ecuyer.

I hope you know that none of the places you mentioned are in the Dordogne, which is a couple of hours away from the Gorges de l'Aveyron. I would take 2 nights/3 days to explore all the places you mentioned. On the way from Toulouse to the Gorges de l'Aveyron visit Albi (not on a Sunday or Monday), then Cordes, then stay in Feneyrols & explore the Gorges (Penne is worth a visit also). Then on the way to your next destination (Dordogne?) visit St Cirq Lapopie and the fabulous caves at Peche Merle (surprised your friends did not mention the caves - don't miss under any circumstances).

I would certainly head to the Dordogne and spend the remainder if you time (1 week) there - maybe 2 days near Ct Cere to explore the eastern Dordogne and then the remainder of your time near Sarlat/Beynac to explore the "central" Dordogne. Leave from either Bordeaux or Toulouse. Spend at least 1 day exploring Toulouse.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Oct 14th, 2007, 10:32 AM
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I agree with spending your time around Sarlat. Sarlat itself is just beautiful, and there are tonnes of things to see and do that are short drives. We loved the bed and breakfast we stayed in last Oct. Wonderful affordable accomodations, and great breakfasts.
jamikins is offline  
Oct 14th, 2007, 10:47 AM
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If you would like my itinerary on the Dordogne, and also my itinerary on the Languedoc region which has a lot more info about the Gorges de l'Aveyron & the other villages you've mentioned, e-mail me at [email protected].

Also on way from Toulouse to Albi, visit one of my favorite Bastide towns - Castelnau de Montmirial.

Make sure you don't visit Albi during the lunch hour when all the shops, along with the Toulouse Lautrec museum are closed (Except July & Aug for the museum). Castelnau can also be visited after Albi on the way to Cordes.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Oct 14th, 2007, 10:59 AM
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Hi G,

Although the area you are considering is very nice, it is not the Dordogne.

ira is offline  
Oct 14th, 2007, 01:54 PM
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Thanks, everyone. I am aware that it is not the Dordogne, but I figured I might get a few more helpful hits, and didn't know what the region was actually called!
Oct 14th, 2007, 02:05 PM
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I really like Jami's B&B recommendation. It looks perfect for several nights of our stay in the Dordogne next May. DH will enjoy the jogging path and the pool looks so inviting. The price is great. Jami, which room you did you stay in? Do they have bikes available for guests to use?
nini is offline  
Oct 14th, 2007, 05:31 PM
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I wouldn't base yourself in Cordes - it's a pain getting up and down that hill, and parking's often problematic. I wouldn't base yourself in St-Cirq-Popie, either, as to me it's just a tourist town and once you've walked up and down the hill and seen the shops it's time to move on.And Saint Antonin Noble de Val just left me wondering what the heck the fuss was all about. Bruniquel's just a speck on the map. Najac is interesting for about 24 hours.

I guess of the places you're mentioned, none of which are in the Dordogne, I'd pick Albi, as it's a good-sized city with plenty of attractions.

If you're going to be based near Toulouse I'd add the following to your list of places to check out: Castelnaudary, Revel, Graulhet, St-Ferreol, Castelnau de Montmiral.
StCirq is offline  
Oct 14th, 2007, 05:41 PM
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My husband and I drove from Toulouse to Albi, spent two nights there during which we explored Cordes, the gorge de l'Aveyron, St. Antonin Noble Val, and Bruniquel, then drove to Pech Merle and on to the Dordogne for three nights. You might be interested in my trip report. It's long, but only part of it covers the territory you are visiting.


Nikki is online now  
Oct 14th, 2007, 05:56 PM
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>>From Bruniquel we went on to the village of Montricoux, in search of a restaurant recommended very highly by Stu Dudley, to whom I am extremely grateful. We found the restaurant, Les Gorges de l'Aveyron, tel. 05 63 24 50 50, and made a dinner reservation.

Dinner was wonderful.............

There were two odd things about this restaurant, though. They had a lovely setting beside the river, but when you sat down you could not see the river outside because the windows were too high. We asked the waiter about this and he said they had to do that for security reasons because if people could see the river as they ate, they might fall out the window. Sounds like insurance madness has stricken in France.

The second odd thing was the elevator music, which was a one hour repeating loop of easy listening arrangements of such songs as Somewhere Over the Rainbow and Don't Cry for Me, Argentina. We left as Memory was coming around for the third time and drove back to Albi in the dark.<<

Nikki - the blocked view was one of the first things we noticed also. I think the music was the same both times we dined there - 1 year apart. I think they had "New York, New York" on the tape also.

Stu Dudley

StuDudley is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 09:01 AM
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Sorry for hte late reply nini, we absolutely loved our stay there. We stayed in Zorba, although we peaked in most rooms and spoke with other guests and all were happy with their choices.

As for bikes, I'm not sure as we didnt ask. They do speak english so you could email them and ask. They were very responsive to emails.

Hope this helps!
jamikins is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 09:05 AM
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I spent a few days in this region, near Albi, last May. It is, indeed, absolutely gorgeous but, as others have noted, not the Dordogne. (We did drive from the Dordogne to Monasties (our base outside Albi) in one afternoon..) If you want any specific information about the area once you have decided upon a base, I will try to help. I second the idea of staying in or near Albi. If you are interested in wine, Gailliac could be added to your itinerary. And the village of Puycelsi is among the most beautiful I have seen in France, or anywhere, for that matter...
ekscrunchy is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 09:12 AM
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eskrunchy, where did you stay in Monasties? Would you recommend it?

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