Rocamadour

Old Jan 11th, 2001, 06:38 PM
  #1  
lynn
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Rocamadour

Hello fellow travellers: <BR>Planning our trip to France for July and are contemplating Rocamadour for 2 nights on our way between Languedoc and Loire Valley. We found a really neat looking hotel on internet. However Lonely Planet pretty well trashes the town as being a touristic zombie land. It sounds like another Carcassonne with wall to wall crowds in summer. Unfortunately this is the only time we can travel but are willing to change to another town in the vicinity if this one is going to be a nightmare.Anyone been there who can give us their thoughts? <BR>Thanks in advance. <BR>Lynn
 
Old Jan 11th, 2001, 07:06 PM
  #2  
Georgine
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Lynn, <BR> <BR>Rocamadour is certainly worth a stop for a half-day or so, but you really do have to be prepared for serious crowds and traffic. <BR> <BR>Like Carcassone, there are large parking lots for bus and motorcars. Some are at the base of the town in the valley and others at the top of the town on the ridge. Unlike Carcassone, much of this traffic gets clogged on the "s" curve, two-lane road that winds its way up the hill from the valley floor. <BR> <BR>You might want to consider just one overnight, arriving in mid-afternoon and getting to wind your way through the medevial village and sites when most of the day trippers have gone. That will also give you an evening to enjoy with fewer people, and then head on out of town in late morning when most of the new "day trippers" are settling into the town again, <BR> <BR>Be certain that your hotel has a parking area reserved for hotel guests. <BR> <BR>Rocamadour has even more shops --and much pricier ones than even Carcassone. <BR> <BR>It is a must see-- I just wouldn't do two nights there because of the traffic.
 
Old Jan 11th, 2001, 07:08 PM
  #3  
Joel
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Lynn, we have visited both Rocamadour and Carcassonne so we can make the comparison. We lived about 75 miles from Roc and visited it in about Sep/Oct and another year in May. We never saw a crowd. By that, I mean that the town's main street which is quite narrow for obvious reasons, had a goodly number of people on it, but we never felt it was oppressive or crowded. The town is well worth a visit, else we would not have returned. I hope you're not figuring that the town itself will occupy you for 2 days. I would spend a night there and a night at Sarlat nearby. Sarlat has some beautiful medieval buidings and deserves attention as much as Rocamadour. The one "must" I would absolutely not miss is the Gouffre de Padirac. It's a chasm with a boat ride that is awesome. <BR>As to the comparison with Carcassonne, we thought Carc was not worth it. Too restored, and way, way too touristy.
 
Old Jan 11th, 2001, 07:58 PM
  #4  
Patrick
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Wow, Joel, were you reading my mind? I agree 100% with your statements about Rocamadour and Carcassone. Sarlat is also touristy, but we stayed three nights there, venturing out some in the day and loving it. One night was plenty in Rocamadour, but that one night is far better than just a daytime stop. And although I had dreamed of Carcassone for years and my heart skipped a beat as I saw it on the hill as we approached, I wish we had never gone inside the walls.
 
Old Jan 11th, 2001, 10:12 PM
  #5  
kalena
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Well, here's a third for Rocamadour, but only in the off season. We were there in late April, and it was spectacular, although I do remember that dining options were few. We also liked Sarlat. Fabulous food, interesting medieval city.
 
Old Jan 12th, 2001, 03:56 AM
  #6  
maggi
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We almost stumbled across Rocamadour on a six week driving tour of Europe in 1991. I'll never forget seeing this town, which is perched on the side of a cliff, from our car driving through the valley in the early morning hours. It took my breath away. We watched the sunrise from an outdoor cafe, sipping coffee and eating croissants. We strolled the many pilgrim's steps (which they used to do on their knees) to the top where there are four churches within spitting distance of each other. The view over the rooftops and into the valley is beautiful. We watched as the hotel hoisted groceries up to their restaurant kitchen window in a basket with a pulley. Yes, there were many tourist's shops and many people, but it was a memorable experience for us. I still wear a beautiful leather bracelet I bought there. Sorry I can't recommend accomodations, as we didn't stay overnight.
 
Old Jan 12th, 2001, 06:14 AM
  #7  
carol
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Here's another vote for Sarlat. I used it as a base last September and loved the town. Yes, it's touristy but also very charming and really beautiful. IMO, Rocamadour is a nice stop for an hour or so--it's much much smaller than Carcassonne and an equally popular tourist attraction, so I'd guess that the crowds would be completely unbearable in July.
 
Old Jan 12th, 2001, 07:12 AM
  #8  
Dave
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Rocamamour, the castle, was unforgettable and spectacular to see. Must visit. Walking the streets was ordinary. We also took a balloon ride in the AM, was great. I would also second Gouffre de Padirac.
 
Old Jan 12th, 2001, 07:22 AM
  #9  
elvira
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We were in Rocamadour a year ago September - there was a hotair balloon festival, and the place was PACKED, serious SERIOUS crowds. If it's that same sort of crowds in the summer, you will have barely room to move - and the parking was horrific. The town is really fantastic, and the view can't be beat. Maybe stay someplace else, and visit Rocamadour early in the morning or late in the day, when the tourist buses aren't there?
 
Old Jan 13th, 2001, 02:23 PM
  #10  
lynn
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Thank you to everyone who took the time to answer my question. We have changed our 2 night stay to Sarlat with plans on a late afternoon then dinner in Rocamadour instead. We have since found tons of info on the Sarlat area as well and now have our two days fully planned. (always subject to change???????) <BR>Talk about getting hooked on Fodor's and other travel sites.........it's fun though isn't it. I know it will get me through our interminable winter. <BR>Thanks again all. <BR>Regards. <BR>Lynn
 
Old Jan 13th, 2001, 04:37 PM
  #11  
Michele
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I recommend "Le Rocher des Aigles" in Rocomadour. It's at the top of the hill. It's a raptor sanctuary/breeding facility. They rehabilitate injured birds and also raise baby raptors to release into the wild. They have an excellent free-flying bird show, which was a highlight of our trip. They're open every day in July from 10 a.m to 6 p.m. They have an incredible array of birds, from owls to vultures. I thought it was great. <BR>Michele
 

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