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Sarlat - Rocamadour - Gouffre de Padirac Day Trip

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Jul 10th, 2012, 11:50 AM
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Sarlat - Rocamadour - Gouffre de Padirac Day Trip

I am planning to do this on a Monday this Fall. Would this work?

From Sarlat - visit Rocamadour fairly early on a Monday morning. Then go to Gouffre de Padirac for a noonish tour. On the drive back to Sarlat, I thought we would go through Autoire (lunch) and Carennac, since they both seem like beautiful, little villages. Does this seem like a sound plan (something I'm not used to having)? Thanks. Oh, and I did reserve our Font-de-Gaume tour, so am very excited about that, too.

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Jul 10th, 2012, 11:58 AM
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Have you checked the itinerary on www.viamichelin.com ? It sounds okay to me if you get an early start -- except for one detail. When I went to Padirac, it closed from noon to 2pm and guess when I arrived? But I was a bit out of season, so this might not be a problem during the summer peak season.
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Jul 10th, 2012, 12:19 PM
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Sure, I've done this many times. Just check on opening times/days to make sure everything's going to be open when you get there. I've had to wait to get into the Gouffre de Padirac around mid-day, too, but can't remember what time of year that was.

And you might want to make it a REALLY long day by adding Martel and Collonges-la-Rouge to the mix.
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Jul 10th, 2012, 12:36 PM
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The route looks like it would be 3 hours of driving if we visited Rocamadour first and about 3 1/2 hours if we visited Gouffre de Padirac first. I didn't even think about it closing at lunch (thanks kerouac). And StCirq, we love REALLY long days,so I will check out those towns, too.

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Jul 10th, 2012, 12:49 PM
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Personally, I think Rocamadour is worth a drive-by for the impressive view of it from the plain below-- but not much more than that (we stopped for lunch, but were so unimpressed with the town filled with all the souvenir vendors, we decided not to make the climb up to the church, etc. We're not exactly the pilgrim type, though.)

We hit Carennac on a market day, and it impressed us so much we made a reservation to spend a night there (extending our time in the region) a couple nights later. I was a little disappointed that later in the week, the place was practically empty...but it was still a VERY lovely town. Walk across the bridge and down to the banks of the river. We were there in the fall. The drives are fantastic. And Collonges-la-Rouge was another winner.
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Jul 10th, 2012, 01:26 PM
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Another vote for a stop at Rocamadour for the view, but not to explore. The other stops are much more interesting.

Remember lunch hour closings in this area, and also that on Monday many restaurants, and some tourist sites also close for the day. (Aggravating, but you DO come here because it's different. Unlike much of the Anglo Saxon world, shops aren't open non-stop. People who work on Saturday take Sunday and Monday as their weekend.)

And villages like Autoire, while lovely, may have only one restaurant, so if you hit it on the wrong day... We sometimes take a picnic to get around this. You will also be close to Beaulieu sur Dordonge, where you can get right down to the river and picnic on the grass. Lots to see.
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Jul 10th, 2012, 01:42 PM
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Another view. The climb to the church/Abbaye in Rocamadour is well worth the extra time and effort. The construction of the whole site and the history is so interesting. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocamadour
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Jul 10th, 2012, 02:15 PM
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iris, I think I will be with you on this one. As long as we're out there, I would like to climb to the Church/Abbaye (1,000 stairs a day!). I feel if we are early enough on a Monday, there won't be extreme crowds.
Right now I think our long day will be:
Sarlat, Rocamadour, Gouffre de Padirac, Autoire, Carennac, Collonges-la-Rouge and back to Sarlat...Nothing but net! I will rest when I die.

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Jul 10th, 2012, 03:15 PM
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We did all that QUITE a few years ago..... and I have lovely memories. One of the loveliest was
arriving at Collonges-la-Rouges at the end of the day. The way the light played off the buildings made everything seem to be in a pink glow. That image comes to my mind every time I hear the name.
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Jul 10th, 2012, 03:32 PM
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"made everything seem to be in a pink glow."

We usually don't get that way until our second bottle of wine. We are all getting very excited for this trip.

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Jul 10th, 2012, 03:47 PM
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You can prebook a time in advance for Gouffre de Padirac online and there appears to be no time of day restriction if you have a reservation. It can be a long wait midday otherwise. The tour takes 1.5 hours and if you have an a substanial wait it would put you into Autoire or Carennac quite late for lunch.
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Jul 10th, 2012, 04:09 PM
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I can't wait for the trip report and another change to travel vicariously with Tom on his adventures.
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Jul 10th, 2012, 04:09 PM
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oops, chance not change.
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Jul 10th, 2012, 04:41 PM
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"We usually don't get that way until our second bottle of wine"

How do you think I came up with the image? -
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Jul 10th, 2012, 05:28 PM
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"The tour takes 1.5 hours"

Looks like we better start even earlier. I'll try for an 11 o'clock tour. Thanks.

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Jul 10th, 2012, 07:08 PM
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Last year in July, on a Saturday, we arrived at Padirac when it opened,walked right in, then went to our hotel in Rocamadour to check out, then drove to Autoire, Loubressac, and Carennac(for lunch).We ate at Le Prieure. It is primarily a creperie, but they also do good big salads and omelettes.It is near the church, west of the chateau.

http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/...2_edited-1.jpg

In the countryside, 3 km east of Carennac, just north of Tauriac,on the other side of the river, is a "something special" highly recommended(to me) restaurant Cote Jardin, 05.36.38.49.51; reservations required.

While in Carennac be sure to see the church.
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Jul 10th, 2012, 07:14 PM
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And the local wine...AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! We fell in love with Bergerac. They don't export much of it (well not here, although we've gotten one of the reps who sells to some of our fav shops here to get us some, it just doesn't quite taste the same).
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Jul 10th, 2012, 07:15 PM
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Perhaps you already know this but try to approach Rocamadour from the south - the view is amazing.
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Jul 10th, 2012, 07:29 PM
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You can do it--have fun! Like iris I found Rocamadour itself interesting. We visited the Abbaye and climbed most of the town. We were there on a morning in late March, not crowded at all, probably due to our timing.

Loved Carennac and the cloister.
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Jul 10th, 2012, 08:21 PM
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Pécharmant, which is virtually nonexistent in the USA (unlike Bergerac, which I've had good luck finding), is even better than Bergerac.

I have enjoyed Rocamadour in the off-season, as the history is definitely interesting. It's a bit of a zoo in summer and fall, but hey, if you're only going once, take the time to go up to the abbey and climb around the town. Just ignore all the stupid shops selling trinkets.

And I'll try not to make the trip even more complicated, but St-Céré is pretty cool, as well as the Jean Lurçat tapestries nearby. But that's beyond even a REALLY long day.
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