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Paris and Dordogne Or Provence--2 weeks in early April

Paris and Dordogne Or Provence--2 weeks in early April

Jul 17th, 2011, 11:59 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 151
Paris and Dordogne Or Provence--2 weeks in early April

Hello, All,
I have the first two weeks of April mapped out for a trip to France.I've been to France several times, and have visited, briefly , Avignon and Sarlat . For this trip I would like to stay in one area for most of the time. I am thinking three days in Paris, and...either the Dordogne or Provence.

Any preferences in terms of weather? I read that the Mistral can blow in early spring. I also read that the Dordogne is quiet and many things are closed until after Easter. Not sure if this is true.... My interests are history, unique towns, food and wine. I do want to stay in a small city or larger town--not interested in anything really small.

Welcome other suggestions, too.
hotticket is offline  
Jul 17th, 2011, 12:12 PM
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We've been to Provence in the spring and summer and to the Dordogne in the fall so I can't compare. On two occasions while we were in Provence in May, we esperienced a Mistral (or at least that's what the locals said it was). For the most part it was high winds but sunny skies so I wouldn't worry about it.

We have found the Dordogne to be pretty quiet when we've been there but some think that is a plus. If you want a larger town, options would include Sarlat or Cahors in the Dordogne or St. Remy or even Avignon (small city) in Provence.
mamcalice is offline  
Jul 17th, 2011, 12:49 PM
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the Dordogne.
Something about it just felt more "cool weather atmosphere."
We were there in early June and it WAS like winter this year!! Grey. cold, cloudy---but it fit with the caves and villages of the area.
CaliNurse is offline  
Jul 17th, 2011, 12:53 PM
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p.s. As mamcalice said, Sarlat is good choice as a base for the area . We stayed in a large flat right IN the "historic center" and at night, with gas lights illuminating the cobblestone alleys and squares...lovely!
CaliNurse is offline  
Jul 17th, 2011, 01:03 PM
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The mistral tends to make me a bit batty, but I'm not sure it's bad in April. I've mostly endured it in the fall. April is usually gorgeous in the Dordogne, but of course one never can really predict. It's true that some businesses are closed until the Tuesday after Easter, but it doesn't really impede sightseeing or visiting the main attractions.

Sarlat is the obvious choice, then perhaps Périgueux (though the latter is a pain to get in and out of). Cahors isn't in the Dordogne, and most people don't find it all that attractive anyway (I like it, but I wouldn't stay there for a holiday).
StCirq is online now  
Jul 17th, 2011, 01:11 PM
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We were in Provence last June and Dordogne this June and had cool, warm and hot days in both areas, so not sure what it will be like in April. We did love Provence but loved the Dordogne region even more.. Much more to see and do. However, if you don't like Duck, stay away from Dordogne. We also stayed in the historical center of Sarlat for 9 nights and did day trips to the many beautiful towns. We loved staying in Sarlat and would highy recommend it.

We stayed in St.Remy in Provence as well as Roussillon. Roussillon is larger of the smalll towns and had enough restaurants to choose from. St Remy is a much larger town which we enjoyed it tremendously as well.

Good luck on your planning.
winnick is offline  
Jul 17th, 2011, 01:27 PM
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We were in Provence in May and found St Remy a perfect place to base ourselves. Parking was a challenge in most of the towns-drove around Arles for an hour to find a parking spot. We did not find this to be a problem in the Dordogne on a visit also in May two years ago. We experienced the mistral winds for a twenty four hour period-following the winds we had rain. It was way too cold to use the pool at our hotel. We enjoyed Provence but I would have to say I prefer the Dordogne.
nini is online now  
Jul 18th, 2011, 08:07 AM
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Thanks all..Now here's another question..
We will rent a car, BUT should we take the train from Paris to Angouleme and pick-up the car there and head to Sarlat OR rent the car in Paris -area and drive to ???? for a night or two.

Any suggestions for a pleasant and interesting stop on the way to Sarlat or do you think we should just GET THERE.

I am leaning towards a stop.

Thanks again.
hotticket is offline  
Jul 18th, 2011, 08:30 AM
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Why Angoulème? You can get much closer by taking the TGV to Libourne or Bordeaux, or the train to Brive or Périgueux.

I wouldn't drive from Paris. It's not an inspiring ride.

Get yourself cheap PREM fares on the TGV to Libourne (or Bordeaux and just get off at Libourne) and pick up your car there. Or take the TGV to Libourne and then the CoRail train to Périgueux and pick up the car there.

The only other suggestion I would have is to take the train (regular train from the Gare d'Austerlitiz) to Limoges, pick up a car there, and see Oradodur-sur-Glane on your way.
StCirq is online now  
Jul 18th, 2011, 09:23 AM
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Ooop, that should have been Oradour...
StCirq is online now  
Jul 18th, 2011, 12:04 PM
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I agree with all the other posts. We did a month in France a few years ago and spent a week in Provence and a week in Bergerac. Two completely different vibes. Provence was a little too hot for my taste, but the history of the region was fantastic and the Mediterranean was as blue as blue can get.

While on our way to Bergerac, the heat broke and so our week was spent relaxing outside, surrounded by vineyards and fields of sunflowers, sipping the local wine (Monbazillac) and eating foie-gras.

Sadly, I can't pick a favorite... which is good! It means you'll have a good time no matter what you chose!
HungryLikeTheWolf is offline  
Jul 18th, 2011, 04:17 PM
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Yes, it certainly is a pleasant problem.

Ok, how about this..Paris train or get car somewhere outside of Paris central and stop a day or two in Bourges then head to Sarlat.

Never been to Bourges and it looks interesting.

hotticket is offline  

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