Dordogne Weather - September v. October

May 15th, 2011, 06:09 AM
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Dordogne Weather - September v. October

Understanding that weather is unpredictable, in general, is there a marked difference between the weather in September and October in the Dordogne region? If we went in September, it would have to be late September. It looks like there is more rain in September than October but the average weather charts show that it is noticeable warmer in September. I am wondering if the weather is like here in New England where at the beginning of September it feels like summer but (usually) by the end it is autumn-like and by late October it is chilly.

In reading some posts, I have the impression that summer is the high season and that some stores and restaurants will be closed by mid-late October. Is that correct? Also, is it still very touristy/crowded in September?
Sally30 is offline  
May 15th, 2011, 06:36 AM
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No one can predict rainfall from day to day, let alone month to month. And, these days, no one can predict our current weather patterns. You get what you get. Late September can bring on chilly, windy nights, even though it can hit 80 during the day. Usually, by the third week of September, all chances of Indian summer are gone. But who knows? No one knows. Anything can happen, which is why its best to dress in layers, pack a sweater, and bring an umbrella at this time of year.

Stores and restaurants closing in mid-October? Never heard of it. The Dordogne is not Lake Como. I was based in Sarlat one February and the weekend market was fabulous. Plenty of shopping and visited some fantastic restaurants throughout the area. In winter, I'm sure some places close down but I can't recall that it mattered.
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
May 15th, 2011, 07:27 AM
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We were in Beynac in mid October several years ago. We were hoping for warm weather but it was foggy and quite cool. We were planning on renting kayaks, but they were mostly not available that late. Beynac, at least, felt like it was closing down. Sarlat was much busier, and we, too, loved the Saturday market. We ended up having a great time, but it was more of sipping wine by a fire than outdoor adventures.

Hope this helps.
uncjat is offline  
May 15th, 2011, 07:34 AM
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Yes, there are family-run shops and restaurants and canoe outfitters and such that typically close from mid-October or the end of October until the Tuesday after Easter. The small villages can be quite dead in winter, but for the most part it's the shops that cater to tourists that shut down.
StCirq is offline  
May 15th, 2011, 04:46 PM
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Late September is still quite pleasant in the Dordogne, although it gets chilly at night. By late October it is definitely chilly. But remember this area is still currently experiencing drought patterns, so rainfall is lower and less predictable than usual. All the major chateaux, restaurants, sights, tend to close at the end of October, so that shouldn't be a problem. The smaller village markets also tend to wind down to just a few producers stalls, so you need to know which ones are the best to visit at that time.
rosemaryoz is offline  
May 15th, 2011, 08:40 PM
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If you go to Weather Underground, you can enter your trip dates and see the exact weather for the last 5 years. This is the entry for Bergerac - there will be variations for different parts of the area, but it will give you an idea.
Read down the screen to 'Trip Planning' and enter your dates.

This year we have had above average temperatures for virtually 2 months. Gardens are a month in advance - our roses are practically over. Vineyards are 2-3 weeks in advance. And if we don't get rain soon...

That said, normally October can be wonderful, but the closer you get to November the more likely it is that you'll have damp cool days.
Carlux is offline  
May 16th, 2011, 03:35 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I think we'll try to stick to late September/early October but I'm not going to worry about accommodations with a pool. Carlux, thanks for the link. So much better than

Next up...finding a town to base in and a place to stay. We will be two adults, a 4.5 yo and a 6 month old so need an apartment type set up. I'm still doing my research and will post separately with specific questions but if any of you experienced Dordogne travelers have some off the cuff advice, I'm all ears. We would love to stay in one place for 12 nights but are willing to stay in two places. Looking mostly to relax, see the caves, castles, pretty towns. With two young kids, nice restaurants are not a priority.
Sally30 is offline  
Jun 4th, 2011, 06:03 AM
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We have decided to stay in Sarlat. It sounds lovely, but incredibly touristy in the summer months. Is it overrun by tourists in the fall as well?
Sally30 is offline  
Jun 8th, 2011, 04:23 AM
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Sarlat is certainly overrun by tourists in July and August, but September and October are fine. Families with children are all back in school, and there are fewer tourists generally, but things are still open, and the weather is usually great.
Carlux is offline  
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