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Itinerary Help for Trip to Dordogne and Possibly Carcassone

Itinerary Help for Trip to Dordogne and Possibly Carcassone

Jan 25th, 2011, 08:36 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 14
Itinerary Help for Trip to Dordogne and Possibly Carcassone

My wife and I are traveling to France in September.
Part of our itinerary is now set.
I'd love opinions regarding the remainder from those of you with experience both in the Dordogne and in part of the Languedoc.

Here's the first part that is set - September 4th through the 13th we fly to Paris and then go to Dordogne where we will stay at Le Charmé de Carlucet for 7 nights. We had planned to spend the 13th through the 18th in Carcassone and Toulouse and then head to Paris for 4 days before heading home on the 24th. We will rent a car in the Dordogne and planned to return it to Toulouse before flying back to Paris on or about the 20th.

The key questions are: a) whether Carcassone is worth all that driving when there is so much in Dordogne and Lot. b) whether Toulouse will be interesting for more than a day or two, and c) should we at least add a few days to our time at Le Charme, given the varied richness of the Dordogne/Lot areas.

We generally do prefer experience smaller areas deeply rather than trying to cover everything. In Provence a few years ago, we stayed at one place for a week in the Luberon and then visited different towns each day.

We have both been to Paris twice before, once a few years ago and could skip it, but we do love Paris!

No ANSWERS expected. But opinions based on experience very much valued.


markpsf is offline  
Jan 25th, 2011, 08:52 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 45,643
Where is the Charmé de Carlucet?

For me, 5 days in Carcassonne and Toulouse would be about 2 or 3 days too many, especially with all the wonderful things to do in the Dordogne. But you could also spend some of that time wandering around Cahors, Castelnaudary, Albi, Revel, Castelnau-le-Montmiral, St-Férréol, and all those wonderful tiny towns north of Toulouse and south of Albi.
StCirq is offline  
Jan 25th, 2011, 09:56 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
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I assume the poster means Les Charmes de Carlucet, in St Crepin et Carlucet, not far from Salignac.http://www.carlucet.com/ Great area.

I wouldn't spend any time in Carcassonne, but that's because I don't like it at all, and find it too touristy.

We love Toulouse, but I think you probably would do better off to spend more time in the Dordogne, and then go on down to Toulouse for 2 nights.
Carlux is offline  
Jan 25th, 2011, 10:17 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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You might want to explore some of the Lot and the Corrèze, or perhaps visit the coast and return by train to Paris from there. Save Toulouse and Carcassonne for a trip centered on the the areas south of the Dordogne (Languedoc, the Pyrenees, Basque country). Toulouse would then be your point of arrival, either by plane or train.
Michael is offline  
Jan 26th, 2011, 02:12 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
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You will see from my name that I am biased here ... but I would definitely look at moving from the Dordogne (which is wonderful) towards Toulouse via the Aveyron, traditionally France's poorest departement - but rich in history and natural beauty.

It has more of "Les Plus Beaux Villages de France" than any other departement, a particular feature of the area being the bastide towns such as Villefranche de Rouergue, Sauveterre de Rouergue, Belcastel and Najac. Take a look here:


Aveyron is also far less known than Dordogne, especially amongst us Brits, and therefore more real - very much a working agricultural area, with great walking and several Michelin starred restaurants (look up "Le Vieux Pont" in Belcastel).

BTW I couldn't agree more with those who have said forget Carcassonne ... if Disney built a French town, it would look like Carcassonne!
Aveyronnaise is offline  
Jan 26th, 2011, 07:49 AM
Join Date: Jun 2010
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We spent two weeks in the Dordogne last May and were busy every day. We did day trips to St Cirq included with a cave visit, Cahors and another cave visit, Perigeux (don't know that I'd go back there) and spent time exploring villages and towns in and around Sarlat and Salignac. It's a beautiful area to explore and there is plenty to see and do in this region. My husband rates it as favorite (we've been to Provence and Paris) so far and we hope to return to the Dordogne. So much to see ... so little time!
Rosiekins is offline  
Jan 26th, 2011, 08:50 AM
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Superb advice! Thank you.
I am now convinced that we will add the Aveyron area and subtract Carcassone and, perhaps Toulouse.

My only concern is the amount of driving. As a late middle aged couple, our ideal is a half day of driving, some good walking, and then back to our B&B villa for pre dinner rest.

In Provence we explored towns in the Luberon every day but didn't try to come close to covering the most of the region. That worked well.

We greatly prefer fewer and deeper to trying to see everything.

And we want some energy left for a few days in Paris at the end!

markpsf is offline  
Jan 26th, 2011, 09:26 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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We've spent 10 weeks in the Dordogne and really didn't feel that we covered most of the stuff there till about the 5th or 6th week. Things like canoe trips & walks can occupy a lot of time - but well worth it. We've also stayed in the Aveyron for 2 weeks and enjoyed that area also. I like Carcassonne for a 3 hr visit - but that's all. The area immediatly around Carcassonne is not that interesting - compared to other regions a little farther away (Perpignon/Roussillon, Gorges du Tarn, Lot River). Toulouse is my third favorite city in France - but 2 nights is plenty.

Do you have my 20 page itinerary for the Dordogne and my 35 page one for the Languedoc/Roussillon (Aveyron, Quercy, Lot, Gorges du Tarn info). If not, e-mail me at [email protected] & I'll attach one or both to the reply e-mail.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Jan 27th, 2011, 10:16 AM
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So much help here, so we are now getting close to a full itinerary.

We continue to plan a trip that includes Paris and, prominently, the Drodogne region.

We plan to head from the Dordogne to 4-6 days in the Aveyron region.

Decisions remaining:

We found a place near Villefranche-DeRouergue, Les Fontaines, that looks lovely. Further to the East.

Our host in the Dordogne recommended the village of SAINT-CIRQ-LAPOPIE.

So we're wondering if we should find a place closer to that beautiful village.
Any thoughts? Place recommendations?
We like charming b and bs.

Then we need to decide whether to skip Toulouse and just take the train from Cahors to Paris.
The trade-off is more time in the villages and countryside of Aveyron or a day or two in Toulouse, before going to Paris for 3 or 4 days.

Any thoughts greatly appreciated.

markpsf is offline  
Jan 27th, 2011, 11:00 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Villefranche-de-Rouergue is a very interesting town. So is Rodez. I would suggest that you head from the Dordogne over to the Rocamadour area and spend a night at the Domaine de La Rue. Visit Rocamadour, Martel, Collonges-la-Rouge, and the Gouffre de Padirac. The next day, make your way to Figeac (might want to make a brief stop in the pretty village of Gramat) - get out and have lunch here and walk around (lovely town), then to Villefranche-de-Rouergue. Next day, Cordes-sur-Ciel and Albi. Maybe fit Rodez in on the way (though it's a bit OUT of the way).

Then you can either head to Toulouse or back north to Cahors (I'd pick Toulouse).

I'm not a fan of St-Cirq-Lapopie, but many are.
StCirq is offline  
Jan 27th, 2011, 01:10 PM
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Some excellent ideas. Thanks. Will also check out that hotel.
I'm going to stick with Villefranche for a place to stay for a few days.

markpsf is offline  

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