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Questioning itinerary, advice from Dordogne Sarlat experts needed!

Questioning itinerary, advice from Dordogne Sarlat experts needed!

Old Aug 7th, 2014, 03:25 PM
  #1  
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Questioning itinerary, advice from Dordogne Sarlat experts needed!

We have six nights Sarlat, following two in Rocamadour, two Figeac, one Albi, one Carcassonne, two Toulouse.

It looks like we can do a day trip to Rocamadour from Sarlat.

We have a lot of time in the Sarlat area, and I'm wondering if we shouldn't take the Rocamadour nights and put them somewhere else that's a bit sparse.

At the risk of being lashed with a wet noodle, is there enough around the Sarlat area for six nights there. (ouch, that wasn't wet enough)

Anyhow, just second guessing myself.....
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Old Aug 7th, 2014, 04:06 PM
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Click on my name and read my trip report. We stayed in Sarlat for 1 week and could have used more time. Beautiful area.
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Old Aug 7th, 2014, 04:20 PM
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If you just plan on just visiting Rocamadour in that area - it can be done from Sarlat. However, some of my favorite sites in the Dordogne region are close to Rocamadour - and can't possible be included in a single a day-trip to there - Gouffre de Padirac, Autoire, Loubressac, view of Rocamadour from l'Hospitalet, Chateau Montal, St Cere, Collonges la Rouge, Turenne, Meyssac, Carennac, Martel, Grottes Lacave. Plus - you really don't want to be in Rocamadour mid-day. It is best early in the morning before the hoards arrive (9:00) or after the hoards leave.

I think your current itinerary is fine.

We've spent 10 weeks vacationing in the Sarlat region - with overnights to the Rocamadour area.

Stu Dudley
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Old Aug 7th, 2014, 04:28 PM
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This area has an exceptionally interesting history entirely apart from being beautiful. You have gotten good advice above, and the more you know about the history, the better your trip will be,

We visited Rocamadour on a rainy, rather hilly day in October and did arrive well before noon.

I am not Roman Catholic, though I am a believer. I found it very moving, particularly the Black Madonna. Our friends hated it, but then they are all ex-Catholics.
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Old Aug 7th, 2014, 04:32 PM
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A lot of the places Stu mentioned are actually in the Corrèze département, which is adjacent to the Dordogne and only a little more than a one hour drive from Sarlat. I spent two weeks last summer based just north of the village of Turenne that Stu mentioned. The area is just as beautiful as anyplace in the Dordogne and near Sarlat and has just as many beautiful villages and châteaux to visit and yet none of the crowds that you get near Sarlat and in the Dordogne. I wrote a photo report about my two week vacation there last August and if you want you can have a look. Most of the places Stu mentioned are covered in the report plus a lot more: http://tinyurl.com/q6bb5av
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Old Aug 7th, 2014, 06:16 PM
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Based on all the comments, I'm going to stay with the original plan.

So much great information and ideas from all of you! Thanks for taking the time to reply.

Unfortunately, my personality is such that no one in my family would be surprised to learn I was second guessing myself! On with the planning!

Cheers
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Old Aug 7th, 2014, 08:42 PM
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If you don't have a place to stay in Sarlat, we loved La Lanterne...right inside the old city and run by lovely people. We couldn't have been happier with it.
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Old Aug 7th, 2014, 08:48 PM
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Rocamadour does not need more than a couple of hours. I would do a day trip from Sarlat.

From anyone I would be interested in an explanation of this picture and the next one in the series:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca/14814820012
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Old Aug 8th, 2014, 06:35 AM
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Michael, if we stayed one night only, where do you recommend we put the extra day?
Great pics.
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Old Aug 8th, 2014, 07:14 AM
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Stay 2 nights if you want to see most of the stuff FrenchMysticTours and I recommended that you see.

Consider:
- Gouffre de Padirac is a guided tour with an underground boat trip and a walking tour of stalactites & mites. Any "guided" tour will consume more time than you might think
- You want to be in a position to view Rocamadour from l'Hospitalet in the morning. Later than noon & the sun will be in your face & the view won't be any good.
- You also want to be in a position to get to Rocamadour in the early am or late afternoon
- Chateau Montal is a guided tour - again consuming more time.
- Lacave is a tour on some kind of "car" - again consuming more time.
- You'll want to linger while walking around Carennac, Colonges la Rouge, Martal, and Turenne (which also has a castle to visit with a great view). I didn't even include Castelnau Brentoux in my "list" because you won't have time for it with only 2 nights there.

I was almost going to suggest 3 nights in the Rocamadour area instead of two. Of all the regions you will be visiting - IMO the Sarlat area & Rocamadour are the most interesting areas (excluding Toulouse - with is a different kind of thing). I think this is what FMT is telling you also.

Michael answered your first question correctly - you can visit Rocamadour as a day-trip from Sarlat if you just visit Rocamadour and maybe one or two other places. In the mid-2000s we left Sarlat around 7:30 am and got to Rocamadour at 8:30. We were one of the first cars in the parking lot. We visited Rocamadout (but not the castle up to because we had visited it many times before and not the view from l'Hospitalet). When we left Rocamadour around 10:30, the mobs had arrived. We got back in the car and hurred over to Gouffre de Padirac and took the last tour of the morning before they closed for lunch. When we finished the tour, it was around 1PM. We had lunch at Rocamadouor and then headed back to Sarlat and got there 3:00. We only saw two sites - which is about all you can do if you do a day-trip from Sarlat to this area - and get up at 6:30 in the am to shower, dress & head out (without breakfast).

Two-three nights!!!

Stu Dudley
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Old Aug 8th, 2014, 07:37 AM
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where do you recommend we put the extra day?

I'm the wrong one to ask as I have generally traveled at various times from the Périgord vert to visit sights such as Carennac, Martel, Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne, Collonges-la-Rouge, etc. If pushed, I would stay either in Souillac or Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne because they are larger towns.
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Old Aug 8th, 2014, 07:44 AM
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Later than noon & the sun will be in your face & the view won't be any good.

Really? Taken after lunch: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca/14628642477
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Old Aug 8th, 2014, 07:50 AM
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I should have said if the sun is shining it will be in your face. Look up the position in the Michelin Green Guide & the view is west and a bit south.

I have some early afternoon pictures too - and they are really lousy.

Stu Dudley
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Old Aug 8th, 2014, 09:36 AM
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I'm going to stay with two nights, hotel has been booked.

What we don't want to do is rush, rush from place to place.

We put on many more kms in less time in Ireland a couple of years ago, I want to be able to breathe a bit on this trip.
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Old Aug 8th, 2014, 10:38 AM
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May I suggest that you get the tickets for the Gouffre at least the night before, and go earlier in the day? We drove from near Sarlat to Rocamadour, had lunch, then went to the Gouffre de Padirac around 2:00 to see two hour long lines. So we went back "home" and got 10:00am tickets for the following day

It's not only the lines above ground, it's the wait down in the cavern for the boat ride. Earlier is better.

We also stayed near Sarlat for six nights at L'Ombriere, an amazing place near Montfort. We weren't sure it would be too long, but it was a very relaxing time. I'll finish my trip report soon, if you want to read it - we just went in April.

Have a wonderful time!
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