Dordogne with 9-year old

Old Oct 23rd, 2004, 04:13 PM
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Dordogne with 9-year old

We're planning to spend 3-5 days in the Dordogne area next June with our 9-year old daughter (after 5 days in Paris). Does anyone have any suggestions/tips on what might be fun and interesting with a child? Any suggestions on staying in one place the entire time or moving around? We prefer smaller towns. Many thanks.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2004, 11:19 PM
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Beynac would be a very enjoyable stay with a nine year old. There are quaint streets, (many pedestrian only-sauf riverains) with views of the river down below. If you don't have her energy level, you can drive around to the chateau instead of walking up. Canoes and kayaks can be rented--take a lunch and stop along the way downriver for a picnic on a sandbar and to sun in swimsuits. They also have boat tours with commentary (in French only I think) up and down the Dordogne in old fashioned flat bottomed boats called gabarres. If you are staying over a Wednesday or Saturday it is great fun to drive the 20 km or so up to Sarlat and take in the fantastic local market--lots of sights and food tasting, but go early to avoid traffic gridlock. Another side trip could be to Domme where there is a great stalagtite/stalagmite grotto among other things. For three days I would stay in one place; for 5 I'd choose two locations for variety. In case she doesn't see your post, if you do a search on fellow Fodorite, Stcirq, you will get a lot of ideas on what is available in the area.
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Old Oct 24th, 2004, 07:14 AM
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Hi liz,

For adventure and education, you could visit the Gouffre de Padirac, http://www.gouffre-de-padirac.com/

The caves at Lascaux,
http://www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/arcnat/lascaux/en/

and a whole bunch of others:
http://www.arachnis.asso.fr/DORDOGNE...S/msngrot0.htm
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Old Oct 24th, 2004, 09:11 AM
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Beynac is certainly beautiful, but June is when the tour buses start arriving, and there's only one very narrow road along the river for them plus all the other traffic. I'd put it on the must-see list, but I wouldn't necessarily stay there.
I'd definitely stay in once place for the entire time (3-5 days is going to be a fairly minimalist visit to the area). There are countless things that would entertain a 9-year-old: a canoe ride down the Dordogne (our favorite outfit is the one in St-Vincent-de-Cosse), the aquarium and the Village du Bournat (you can have her do some research on what a bournat is) in Le Bugue, the castles of Beynac and Castelnaud (the latter has a great museum of medieval warfare where she can learn to sack a castle and maybe see some medieval war equipment in action), the walnut mill in Ste-Nathalie, the town markets (in Sarlat on Wednesdays and Saturdays - they will be packed with street entertainers as well as vendors), the bastide towns of Monpazier, Lalinde, Belvès, etc., and of course the prehistoric caves and sites (Font-de-Gaume, La Roque-St-Christophe, and Rouffignac would be very interesting to a 9-year-old, and maybe the PrehistoParc as well. Oh, and take her to Le Grand Roc just outside Les Eyzies - she can learn to throw a prehistoric spear). In June there are also likely to be festivals and circuses - you can get information on them in the tourist offices and on posters that will be in prominent places in all the towns. If you're staying in a place with no pool, you can visit the lovely lakes (étangs) near Tamniès and Lanwuais, where you can swim in the shadow of a castle. There's NO shortage of things to enthrall a kid in the Dordogne.
There's a restaurant in Limeuil called Le Chai, right on the river, that makes dozens of kinds of homemade ice creams and sorbets - she'd probably enjoy that, too.
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Old Oct 24th, 2004, 10:09 AM
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to klondike, ira and StCirq - thank you so much for the wonderful information, suggestions and links. I appreciate so much your replies - it's a huge help and the detail will get our daughter even more excited!
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Old Oct 24th, 2004, 11:13 AM
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Sorry, that should have been Lanquais, not Lanwuais.

liz10: Get the Cadogan Guide to the Dordogne, Lot, and Bordeaux. It's got great information.
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Old Oct 24th, 2004, 01:22 PM
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ira
 
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Hi Liz,

I assume that you will have a car.

I suggest the Michelin Map no. 337.
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