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Heading to Dordogne: Fly into Toulouse or Bordeaux?

Heading to Dordogne: Fly into Toulouse or Bordeaux?

Oct 3rd, 2006, 09:21 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 308
Heading to Dordogne: Fly into Toulouse or Bordeaux?

Next week I begin my quest to obtain frequent flyer award tickets for our France trip next year. We intend to spend 6 nights in the Dordogne and then take a train to Paris for 9 nights. If we were to have a choice of flying into either Toulouse or Bordeaux(unlikely), which do you recommend we choose? We will be flying from Southern California and will probably arrive in early evening. Neither of us are good plane sleepers so we may not want to rent a car upon arrival but instead wait until the following morning.

Any thoughts about which destination is preferable to fly into? We intend to spend the bulk of our time in the Sarlat area.

Thanks in advance.
wj1 is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2006, 09:28 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Either is good from a strategic standpoint but i prefer Toulouse a lot more than Bordeaux. Toulouse i think is an underrated town - an unholy number of old historic churches, lively university aspect - neat red-hued buildings if i remember and even a slightly smaller town to drive out of.

Bordeaux has done a lot to gussy itself up in recent years but still underwhelms me. That just my opinion of course.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2006, 09:41 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Just spent two nights and a day in Toulouse and we really enjoyed it. The airport is about a 20 minute taxi ride from the centre where there are lots of nice restaurants around a beautiful square. we stayed at the hotel Albert 1er which was very central and i got a rate of E77/79 booking direct via the internet. for that we got a "quiet" room with a king-size bed, and proper bathroom. breakfast was very good at E10 each. We then picked up the car at the railway station, which was about 10 minutes walk from the hotel.
you would find this a better overnight than bordeaux, IMO.
annhig is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2006, 09:55 AM
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Surely Bordeaux is much closer?

Mind you, Sarlat is closer to Toulouse
sheila is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2006, 10:23 AM
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We chose to fly into Toulouse en route to Sarlat. According to mapquest-type estimates, it was marginally closer. It worked out fine, except do be aware that the drive to Sarlat will be several hours on very slow roads (part of the time), so I like your idea of staying a night in Toulouse first. But, oh, what a wonderful trip!
Oct 3rd, 2006, 12:48 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 903
Following advice from Dordogne experts on this site we flew into Toulouse and spent our first night in Albi this past June. It's about an hour's drive from the airport, our limit for driving after an overnight flight. There are lots of hotels near the airport, however, and central Toulouse, with many good restaurants, is not that far from the airport either.

We rented a house in Sarlat for two weeks and found that it was an excellent base. Check my current report for inspiration.

moolyn is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2006, 12:55 PM
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Thanks everyone.

Rarely are Fodorites so consistent in their responses!

Toulouse is the clear winner and hopefully we can get award tickets with that destination. Thanks again.
wj1 is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2006, 12:58 PM
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I would highly recommend Albi - really neat and much smaller town than Toulouse and on the way where you want to go i think.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Oct 7th, 2006, 01:35 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
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I just returned from a trip with Toulouse as my arrival and car lease/buy back pickup. I headed east..other side of Carcassonne firs, and down to the Pyrenees before heading up to Sarlat area and then down to Pays Basque country and returning from Biarritz.

I would definitely choose Toulouse over Bordeaux. Bordeaux has a lot of traffice problems........

Have a good trip
gracejoan3 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2006, 03:53 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1
If you are looking to stay in Sarlat, check out La Villa des Consuls at www.villaconsuls.com. The owner, David, has self-catering apartments and rooms fitted out in 13th, 17th and 19th century buildings. You can select your actual room on line. It is right in the heart of the Sarlat medieval centre.
wigwam3 is offline  
Nov 7th, 2006, 03:59 PM
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wigwam: have you stayed here? I have it bookmarked for next year, I'd love to hear your experience.
susanna is offline  
Nov 7th, 2006, 04:27 PM
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While I am a big fan of the city of Bordeaux and not so fond of Toulouse myself, these days, since they have extended the autoroute north from Toulouse it probably is an easier drive than from Bordeaux.

As for traffic problems, about the worst congestion on the Autoroute du Sud I've seen over the past five years or so has centered around the Toulouse exits. Getting out of Bordeaux was a piece of cake by comparison.

And it's not hours and hours of driving to Sarlat once you exit the autoroute from Toulouse - more like 45 minutes.

All things being equal, I agree with flying into Toulouse these days. And I am also a big fan of Albi.
StCirq is online now  
Nov 7th, 2006, 07:02 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,087
Last month, we flew into Toulouse/Blagnac and drove immediately to Roque Gageac. After a week, flew out to Paris from Bordeaux.

The drive between Toulouse/Blagnac and Dordogne is much faster and shorter than the one to Bordeaux.

Also, we didn't have any issue using FF miles for this trip - as long as you're FF program has Air France as a partner.
bill_boy is offline  
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