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Need help with logistics for visit to Dordogne area, please.

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Apr 30th, 2016, 11:27 AM
  #1
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Need help with logistics for visit to Dordogne area, please.

I have signed on for a garden tour of the Dordogne area. We'll arrive in Bordeaux, spend two nights there , then six nights in Sarlat. The last night is near St Emilion. Most of our time will be spent taking day trips to various Gardens. We will visit the caves at Lascaux II and have one totally free day in Sarlat. After reading many trip reports there seem to be so many charming villages in the area. I am considering adding two or three days to the trip. I would rent a car and spend a couple of days near Domme and maybe two near Rocamadour. My question is should I get the tour group to leave me near St Emillion or at the Bordeaux airport? Where is the best place to rent a car? And avoid backtracking?
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Apr 30th, 2016, 11:39 AM
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I'm afraid I don't understand this plan entirely. Is the garden tour taking you from Bordeaux to Sarlat and then St-Emilion? And then you want to head back into the Dordogne for some touring on your own?

If you will have spent 6 nights in Sarlat and are going to end up in St-Emilion, there's no avoiding the backtracking. And you won't find a car rental in St-Emilion as far as I know. No need to go to the Bordeaux airport, though. Pick up a car in Libourne (a lot easier to navigate out of than Bordeaux), or the train station in Bordeaux (will still be a pain to get out of the city).
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Apr 30th, 2016, 01:00 PM
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I would take one of the several trains from St Emilion back to Sarlat and rent a car there. The trip is 2 hrs with departures at 8:40, 10:40, & 14:39. The rental office is a somewhat short walk from the Sarlat train station. Closed Sat & Sun.

Stu Dudley
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Apr 30th, 2016, 01:04 PM
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The rental car outfit in Sarlat (EuropCar, I believe) will have about 3 cars at most. If by any chance you need an automatic, won't happen.
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Apr 30th, 2016, 01:35 PM
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Obviously, reserve a car in advance. I use www.kemwel.com . That way, if there are only 3 cars - one will have your name on it. If problems - call Kemwel & they will "make sure" that a car is delivered to you. If you are traveling on a Saturday, get off the same train in Bergerac and pick up a car there.

Stu Dudley
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May 4th, 2016, 03:47 AM
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Thanks so much for your reply. I have been waiting for for a response from the garden tour company regarding which villages we will be visiting. And as I had guessed only a couple, So, yes, I will be backtracking. There are several villages around Sarlat and several around Rocamadour that I would love to visit. I'm considering getting to the Rocamadour area by (car? Train?) spending a night or two there, then driving back towards Sarlat and staying a night or two. Or I could do that in reverse.
I haven't gotten my airfare yet so I'm trying to decide which airport to use to fly back to the states. Suggestions?
With just three or four days to spend, I would rather stay in no more than two hotels. I'm looking at Logis. Could I get back to the Bordeaux airport for a noon flight from there? I am also considering Chateaux de la Treyne or L' Esplande.
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May 4th, 2016, 04:01 AM
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Without knowing which villages near Rocamadour you wish to visit, it's impossible to say whether or not you'd need a car, but the answer is probably yes. The area around Sarlat has a lot more to offer, especially in terms of gardens if that's your focus, but aside from a couple of hours in Rocamadour itself, there is Martel, Collonges-la-Rouge, and the Gouffre de Padirac, to name a few popular sights.

I would never attempt to get back to Bordeaux from the Dordogne for a noon flight. Well, I did it once - a hair-raising day that began at 3 am. The airport is an hour on the opposite side of Bordeaux, for one thing. I'm never more than a taxi or short bus ride from my departure airport on the day I leave. Also, the last 3 train rides I've scheduled were affected by strikes (on the lines between Bordeaux and the Dordogne) - it's just too risky a plan. You could fly home from Bordeaux or Toulouse, or even take one of those 19-euro flights to Paris from Bergerac and fly home from there (but that would be my last choice). It also depends largely on where you're flying back to. Wherever you fly out from, I'd be there the night before unless you have a late afternoon flight - and even then.........
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May 4th, 2016, 06:57 AM
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We tried to pick up my Father in Law at the Bordeaux airport about 14 years, ago - and strikers blocked the autoroute so we could not get to the airport. It was a "gasoline" strike - not any kind of airport or airline strike.

Stu Dudley
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May 4th, 2016, 07:34 AM
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Pawleys, please tell me about your garden tour. Sounds like something we would like.
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May 4th, 2016, 12:54 PM
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Cobbie2, Marian St. Clair, a garden writer in our local newspaper organizes garden trips all over the world. This trip has been arranged by Discover Europe and starts in Bordeaux August 31. The last night September night is in St Emilion.

St Cirq, I think by the end of the tour I will have seen most of the great gardens in the area. I would really like to concentrate on quaint villages and maybe see another cave. I'm just beginning my research but it seemed that there were several small villages near Rocamadour I.e. St Cirq la Popie, Martel, Autiore, St Cere.

Although we will be in the Sarlat area five days I don't think we were are seeing any villages. We have one free day there but I don't think I'll have access to a car that day. After the tour I plan to rent a car for the last three or four days of my trip. From what I've read I would love to see Beynac, Castelnaud, maybe Monpazier, etc.

Is there a reason you wouldn't want to fly out of Bergerac? Sounds like the Bordeaux airport is a hassle. I could possibly stay in Tremolat and concentrate on the villages between there and around Sarlat. I think I read that it's too far for a day trip to Rocamadour from the Sarlat area. Is that right?
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May 4th, 2016, 02:02 PM
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Well, no, it's not too far a day trip to Rocamadour from Sarlat. It's two hours in summer when ths traffic. It's a matter of whether it's worth it to you or not. Rocamadour is called "La Deuxieme Site de France," after le Mont St-Michel, meaning it's the second most visited pilgrimage site in France. Whether that speaks to you or not is not up to me to say.

The villages around Sarlat, including all the ones you've mentioned and many more, are far more interesting than anything around Rocamadour, IMO. In fact, I'm going to go hunting now for one of my favorite books about the area, by Mirable Osler, who says about a village called Gluges not far from Rocamadour, about which she says:" not far from the ominously horrible Rocamadour, clamped to the cliff face, whose bad vibes rise from the chasm like a spiritual defoliant."

I love her description because I do not like this place. My feelings exactly. I hate the place, if it's possible to hate any place in this land of gorgeous landscapes and gentle people.

You seem to be missing the main gardens in the area: Marquessac, Lalinde,

I think you really need to look at a map. Rocamadour is nowhere near Bordeaux airport. Trémolat is a long way from the main sights of the Périgord, but that's by our local standards - 25 kms is a long way.

Your whole trip sounds very confusing to me. Where are you going to base and what do you you want to see and do?

Where are you staying fot this garden tour?

Sure, I'd fly out of Bergrac. I did soa couple of weeks ago to Amsterdam for 19 euros, but to where?
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May 4th, 2016, 03:20 PM
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St Cirq, I have looked at a map and do know that Rocamadour is not near the Bordeaux airport. That is why I asked for an alternate airport. What would be a good location from which to visit the villages of Perigord? Since we will already have stayed in Sarlat I'd like to try another location ,one that at least a couple of good restaurants.

We are visiting marquessac but I don't think Lalinde was listed. I'll check and to that.

I'll be flying back to the Atlanta or Charlotte areas.
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May 4th, 2016, 03:55 PM
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Parleys, thanks for the info on Discover Europe.
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May 5th, 2016, 03:50 AM
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St-Cyprien, Le Bugue, St-Geniès, Tamniès, Montignac, Belvès, Beaumont, Le Buisson, St-Léon-sur-Vézère, Trémolat, Limeuil, Cadouin, Rouffignac....

Your best bet for an airport if you're going to be around Rocamadour is probably Toulouse. There are tiny airports scattered around the Dordogne, but at best they'll get you back to Paris or London or Charleroi or Rotterdam.
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May 5th, 2016, 07:12 AM
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In September we spent five nights in Sarlat, then two nights in Rocamadour to explore those villages to the east and south before we overnighted in Albi and Toulouse. It worked perfectly. On the first day out of Rocamadour we did Autoire, Loubressac, St. Cere. On the second day we did Figeac, St. Cirq Lapopie then meandered down to Albi. Was way too long a day, as the drive from Figeac to St. Cirq Lapopie took forever along the twisting river gorge that is the Lot. Therefore, had no time to get in Pech-Merle. Sould suggest from Rocamadour to take the main highway south to St. Cirq Lapopie, Pech-Merle, then to Albi for the fabulous Lautrec Museum (believe closed Tues). You are then close to Toulouse for night or two, have wonderful cassoulet at Chez Emile and catch your flight out from there. Now, as to Rocamadour. We loved that place. Stayed at the hotel where the innkeeper Genevieve was born, at the base of the grand staircase that goes up to the mid chapels level of the city. Her rooms were rather spartan but spotless and shining as were her antiques and copper cookware in her lovely dining room. It was blissfully quiet in the mornings and after 4 pm. once buses depart. Enjoy its architecture and A.O.C. fromage. Yes, unlike Loubressac where we saw not another living soul, there are people in Rocamadour & Mont St. Michel mid-day because they are places one simply must see at least once. Crowds do not affect what I take away from the place and its history.
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May 5th, 2016, 08:33 PM
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L'Esplanade, with a must have room overlooking the Dordogne River and Valley below, was a lovely, memorable stay. Dinner outdoors on a clear night was very special.
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May 7th, 2016, 10:01 AM
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If we stay in L'Esplanade where would be the most convenient airport to fly out of headed back to the States?
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May 7th, 2016, 10:07 AM
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Toulouse will probably have the largest number & best connections.

Stu Dudley
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May 7th, 2016, 10:24 AM
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Thanks Stu , i'll check it out .
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May 16th, 2016, 03:26 PM
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Trying to finalize travel plans. Now our idea is to complete the garden tour then rent a car in Libourne and drive to Tremolat. We would visit the villages in the area and spend one night at Vieux Logis. The second day we would work our way toward Rocamadour visiting a couple of the villages we missed on the garden tour i.e.
e. La Roque Gageac, Domme, Beynac.. We would spend two nights in that area. The second day there we would visit Rocamadour early in the morning and then tour other small villages in the area such as Autoire, Martel and Loubressac. The fourth and final full day we would work our way to Toulouse maybe seeing St Cirq la Popie and Figeac. Or ??? Our flight leaves midday on the fith day from Toulouse. Should we spend the night before in Toulouse or is there a village on the way that would work. I hear Toulouse is very nice but I would like to avoid the traffic getting into town just for one night. I thought it might be easier to drive in the morning of our flight and leave the rental car at the airport. Our flights are booked, but, the rest of the trip is flexible, I would love your suggestions.
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