Jan 31st, 2007, 08:15 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2006
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Thanks to the expert advice of Stu and others, I'm feeling more confident of our upcoming trip to France that will include a week in the Dordogne area. I am gathering ideas for a relaxed afternoon following a long canoe paddle out of Beynac, where we are staying. Are there opinions on the gardens at Eyrignac? They look spectacular- yet spoiled by easy access to Butchart Gardens outside Victoria, should we devote several precious hours there and then a dinner in Sarlat, or, focus on Sarlat (this would be post- Saturday market afternoon)or another recommendation instead? Thank you!
sglass is offline  
Jan 31st, 2007, 08:21 PM
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How much time do you have? We went there and enjoyed them for a few hours - at least the girls did - hubby, sons and nephew just laid around on the grass and took a nap. Michelin gave them 4 stars if I remember correctly - I would have given maybe three, but they were on the way, so were a pleasant stop. Although, we were there in April, maybe in the height of summer they are more glorious.
Momliz is offline  
Jan 31st, 2007, 08:42 PM
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They're OK, nothing really special IMO. At least compared to other stuff to see and do in the area.
StCirq is offline  
Jan 31st, 2007, 09:57 PM
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Thank you! We will be focusing on caves the day on either side, fairly tightly scheduled, which is why I thought to do something as a break in between. I know we will love the canoe rental, for half of it. We'll already be doing a lot of "perched village" viewing the following week en route to the next destinations. I like to try to find something unusual and not typically touristy. I haven't read too much either here or my own researching that indicates Sarlat itself is a place to wander around for several hours- not big shoppers or eaters....
sglass is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2007, 07:25 AM
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' I haven't read too much either here or my own researching that indicates Sarlat itself is a place to wander around for several hours- not big shoppers or eaters....'

Well, having lived 15 minutes from Sarlat for the last 12 years, I find it hard to believe that there isn't much to see for a few hours. I still wander around the smaller lanes and am overwhelmed by the architecture, the history, the charm. Sarlat is the only place in France to be given 3 stars by the Michelin green guide solely for the town itself, rather than for some major cathedral or chateau. You could happily spend many hours wandering around. Especially at night it's quite magical.

Eyrignac has some appeal if you like formal gardens - some people love them, some don't. Until recently you HAD to go around with a guide, which meant we didn't recommend them to everyone, but they seem to have relaxed that recently.

One more point - you wont likely be doing a canoe ride out of Beynac, as they generally end there. You'll have to drive upriver, rent the canoe there, canoe down, and then take the minibus back to pick up your car.
Carlux is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2007, 01:59 PM
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Thank you for the additional advice! I am looking forward to at least several hours to appreciate Sarlat. We could also have more time there- that's what I was trying to find out. We are staying right in Beynac, and I assumed that we could canoe from there, instead of driving, if we did a round trip. Maybe this is not possible? I was looking for some ideas from experts on several other options, not too far away from Beynac, for the afternoon and evening of the canoe morning, and not cave-related, since the days on either side will be filled with caves and schedules and driving. Thanks again!
sglass is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2007, 02:16 PM
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To clarify on the Beynac canoe rental issue - there is a canoe rental outfit right there at the dock. But Carlux is right. You don't jump in the canoe right there. But neither do you need to drive anywhere. They will load you on a bus and take you to the beginning point you have chosen upstream, and then you paddle back to Beynac. So...no need for you to drive anywhere.

I also never tire of Sarlat. You could spend several days there. I highly recommend one of the hour-long walking tours that the Tourist Office offers to get you oriented.

StCirq is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2007, 02:40 PM
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The gardens are somewhat hyped, and except for the rose garden (new two years ago), are mainly of trimmed hedges; not at all like the Butchart Gardens and less impressive in my opinion. You can only go through on a guided tour, and I hate the way they pat the owner on the back for having restored the gardens (or created them) when they charge a pretty penny to see them and probably get a state subsidy if they are considered "historical".
Michael is offline  

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