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Sarlat or Beynac for about a week? Which do you prefer?


Jul 16th, 2014, 05:48 AM
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Sarlat or Beynac for about a week? Which do you prefer?


We'll have six or seven nights for this area.

We can't get into Sarlat until Saturday afternoon, early October. Beynac Friday if we wish, at the Petite Versaille.

Sarlat appeals because there will be more walkable places to eat at night, a good thing if the driver chooses to sample the wines!

Beynac because it looks beautiful, and a nice place to unwind after a busy day. Nice place to canoe to and from, provided the weather's good, and the rental places are still open.

One concern is the driver has a thing about driving on the edge of a cliff...no scary Alps for us unless someone else has the wheel. It's not the grade of the hill, it's hugging the edge, that terrifies the both of us. Maybe blinkers would help

I'm hoping someone can let me know if that's an issue getting to and from Beynac.

We'll be leaving on a Friday am train to Paris from Brive, so we'll have to get there in good time.

Practically, is one easier to get to each day after being out and about,

(It may be decided for me, the Sarlat rental is not responded to my last email...)
markland is offline  
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Jul 16th, 2014, 06:18 AM
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We've spent 10 weeks in that area, and we've never dined at any restaurant in Beynac - because there weren't any that seemed interesting to us. We've dined at two just down the road in Roque Gaggeac, however.

I don't recall any scary drop-offs on the roads around there - - but I don't have any problems with drop-offs.

Stu Dudley
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Jul 16th, 2014, 06:26 AM
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We rented a house in Beynac a couple of years ago. We parked our car in the lot by the river and walked up to the house as the drive up was quite steep and one lane. The lot was easy to get in and out of and we found the location convenient.

We usually had lunch out and dinner in due to lack of good restaurants in Beynac. We loved picking up bread, cheese, wine, sausage/pate and fruit and watching the hot air balloons glide past the house while we ate.
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Jul 16th, 2014, 07:32 AM
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We stayed at Petite Versaille B&B in Beynac for nine nights in 2008. It was marvelous and when we think back on our favorite B&B in Europe, we always remember the hospitality of Francoise and Jean-Claude at Petite Versailles. We found it an excellent place from which to explore the area. At the time, for a small additional fee, Madame Francoise would cook us dinner and a fabulous cook she is! The breakfasts were wonderful and different each morning of our stay. Although their English is limited, they were able to offer excellent suggestions of what to see in the area. Francoise is so sweet. One day we left a large sack of dirty clothes inside the closet. When we came back, they were all washed and ironed and Madame refused to take a fee. Since we've been back, we've sent two other friends there and they raved about it when they came back. Check out the reviews on Tripadvisor. I gave a review in 2008. I'm glad to hear that they are still growing strong.
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Jul 16th, 2014, 07:34 AM
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Thanks, so drop offs not a problem, great to know.

Any opinions on which may be a better location?
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Jul 16th, 2014, 07:41 AM
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From looking at the website, Petite Versailles isn't actually in Beynac, it's just outside of town.

We spent a week at a house next to the chateau in Beynac back in 2011. Beynac was fine for a base, but you do have to drive to eat out (we were at the top of the hill, so even on the two occasions when we ate dinner in town, we drove and parked in the lot along the river). There are a few steep, hill climbing little lanes around the town, but most visitors need never drive those. The main road up from the river side to the chateau is not a perilous drive. Having said that, I didn't drive down that road where Petite Versailles is located, so I can't answer for that stretch of road

I'm not a foodie, and don't know if you are either, so I don't know whether you would consider the range of establishments available in Sarlat to mean that you'd never have to drive to dinner, or if there would be some places outside Sarlat that would merit a trip for dinner, anyway.

We had dinner a couple of times in La Rocque, which is a very short drive from the place outside Beynac. Domme would be a pretty easy drive from there as well, but, with any length of drive, you're going to want a designated drive who at least strictly limits their wine intake.

The other factor, when your rental starts, would be a big one for me. By getting in Friday, you'll have a chance to get sorted and go see the market in Sarlat Saturday morning. If you are trying to check in to accommodations in Sarlat on Saturday afternoon, you might find the market to be more of an inconvenience than a boon.
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Jul 16th, 2014, 09:38 AM
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There's nowhere decent to eat in Beynac. And the only scary drop-offs are way up on the plâteau up above the town, on roads you'd never even find unless you lived in the area or got totally lost, which is hard to do.

I'd stay in Sarlat - much more to do in the evenings. It will still be a madhouse on market days, but it's manageable at that time of year.

There are plenty of markets besides the one in Sarlat, so I wouldn't put a premium on being there on a Saturday. The markets in Le Bugue, St-Cyprien, Le Buisson, and Lalinde are equally good, even better in some ways.
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Jul 16th, 2014, 10:33 AM
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My vote also goes to Sarlat. There are so many excellent restaurants. We stayed 7 nights and did not get to sample all of them for sure. The town is lovely to walk around at night. Sat. afternoon should not be a problem. We found the market was slowing down by afternoon and there is plenty of parking.

We also did like Beynac but I don't think I'd want to stay there for that long a time. I must add that Petite Versailles does look inviting though.
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Jul 17th, 2014, 04:36 PM
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Thanks for weighing in.

My Sarlat guy finally got in touch, so I think we'll book there.

Just a small twinge of regret because the Petite Versailles really does look wonderful!

Looking forward to posting questions regarding our itinerary once I get a little further with the planning.
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Jul 17th, 2014, 04:42 PM
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Do you have my Dordogne itinerary? I've sent it to over 1,500 people on Fodors. If you would like a copy, e-mail me at [email protected] & I'll attach one to the reply e-mail. So so soon - we leave for a short 1 week vacation on Sat, & after we return we're leaving for 5 weeks in France in late Aug.

Stu Dudley
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Jul 17th, 2014, 05:07 PM
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I like to be able to eat and have some wine and walk around afterwards and NOT have to drive, so my vote definitely goes to lovely Sarlat.
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Jul 17th, 2014, 05:52 PM
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kja ,that's what really made the decision for us. Notwithstanding the attractions of a more rural setting, poking around the town, and putting together picnics in an apartment has more appeal.

Stu, I do indeed have your itinerary, in fact, I emailed you this evening for the Cote D'Azur new offering.

I'm hoping for your advice once you get home from your trip next week. I have a GG for the Dordogne region on its way right now, then I'll begin to know what questions to ask!
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