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Somewhere to stay between Sarlat and Toulouse

Somewhere to stay between Sarlat and Toulouse

Sep 19th, 2010, 11:53 AM
  #1  
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Somewhere to stay between Sarlat and Toulouse

We are planning a 2 week trip to southwest France which will start in Bordeaux and end in Toulouse. We are planning to take this trip next May. We are planning to start with 3 days in Bordeaux city, 3 days in St-Emilion, 3 days in Sarlat, and end with 3 days in Toulouse. That leaves 2 days between Sarlat and Toulouse and that’s what my question is about.

My current plan is to drive from Sarlat to Rocamadour, then visit Cahors and finish the day in Figeac where we would overnight. The next day, we would visit Peche Merle caves, and then Cordes, and finish the day in Albi for the overnight. The next day we would continue to Toulouse.

We don’t like “one-nighters”. This plan has us in Figeac for one night and Albi for one night. I thought that maybe there might be a pleasant place to stay for 2 nights in the general area between them that would conveniently allow us to visit all the places we want to see between Sarlat and Toulouse (Rocamadour, Cahors, Figeac, Peche Merle, Cordes and Albi).

Perhaps someone out there can suggest a different route, or a nice place to stay for 2 nights.
sssteve is offline  
Sep 19th, 2010, 12:10 PM
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The two places which spring to mind are St Antonin Noble Val and Cordes sur Ciel
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Sep 19th, 2010, 12:59 PM
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Do you know about the website www.meetways.com? It will give you midway points, either with or without highway routes, for anywhere in the world.

I recently did a similar search, for a similar trip.

See below:

http://www.meetways.com/Halfway-poin...oi--ahw-1.html

http://www.meetways.com/Halfway-poin...oi--ahw-0.html

What about this place?

http://www.masazemar.com/accueil_eng.html
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Sep 19th, 2010, 01:37 PM
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I would say Cordes or ALbi. I am underwhelmed with St-Atonin-Noble-Val.

And I know you didn't ask, but IMO three days in Bordeaux and three in St-Emilion, but only three days in Sarlat seems all wrong. Three days in Bordeaux might be OK if you include going out to Cap Ferret and Arcachon and the Dune du Pyla on one of them, but three days in St-Emilion would be about 2.5 too much for me. There is SO much to do in the Sarlat area by comparison that your trip sounds "unbalanced."
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Sep 19th, 2010, 03:55 PM
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You could take some time to visit Montauban which is about 30 miles north of Toulouse.. Montauban is the birthplace of the painter Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres,(1780-1867). The Musee Ingres also houses works by other famous artists: Van Dyck, Tintoretto, Courbet among others..all in all, a delightful snall town.
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Sep 19th, 2010, 08:20 PM
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StCirq: We are wine lovers. There is a wine weekend in Bordeaux when we plan to visit and we will actually be there for only 2 full days. As for St-Emilion, just more wine and chateaux....

We will leave St-Emilion in the morning and will have almost 3 full days in the Sarlat area. Do you think I should add a day in the Sarlat area?

CaliNurse:

The place you have suggested is in near Cahors. I will look into it.
sssteve is offline  
Sep 19th, 2010, 08:59 PM
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Montauban delightful? I agree about the museum, but other than that one of the least attractive places I've ever been to in the area, IMO. Plus you could spend a lifetime trying to get into the town center as there's a No Left Turn sign about every 20 feet.

sssteve, I think you should add at least TWO days to the Sarlat area. St-Emilion is a blip on the map and a very overpriced touristy wine experience for the most part....that is, unless you are really a connoisseur and part of the local wine scene (which, if you are, certainly...go for it and enjoy, but it means actually knowing the local wine merchants and having extensive experience with their products). If you are not, move on...it's a very small town and extremely "insulated" in that exclusive and overpriced French wine town way. There is hardly anything there to see of merit apart from the monolithic church, which is wonderful. If you're just the average wine connoisseur, you'd probably have more fun exploring Montbazillac and the vineyards in the small off-the-road towns around Ste-Foy-le-Grand. THAT is an authentic French wine experience. St-Emilion is not - it's just a name that has become associated, with Americans, with a fancy wine town. You can do better than that if you are really into wine.
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Sep 20th, 2010, 04:51 AM
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StCirc:

As always your advice is excellent and right on the mark. I know that St-Emilion is mostly circus and mainly for the tourists, but hey, we're tourists too! It's also surrounded by some of the greatest chateau wineries in France and it shouldn't be missed. It's as iconic in Bordeaux as Jackson Hole is in Wyoming, or Barilochi is in Argentina and many other similar places around the world. In short, how could we go to Bordeaux without visiting St-Emilion?

On the other hand, I really take all your advice seriously and will keep St-Emilion to 2 nights and I will check our schedule regarding 4 nights in Sarlat. Regarding Monbazillac, we planned to visit Bergerac and the vicinity on the way from St-Emi to Sarlat, and now I will study the area further, including Ste-Foy-le-Grand.

Do you have a list of towns worth visiting within driving distance of Sarlat?
sssteve is offline  
Sep 20th, 2010, 06:43 AM
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Do you have a list of towns worth visiting within driving distance of Sarlat?


Well, there's Domme, Beynac, La Roque-Gageac, Castelnaud, St-Cyprien, Le Bugue, Les-Eyzies, St-Geniès, Belvès, Cadouin, Monpazier, Beaumont, Montignac, Ste-Nathalène, Groléjac...to name a few off the top of my head.
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Sep 20th, 2010, 06:57 AM
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Thanks again. I'm checking into Monbazillac right now. Do you recommend visiting Chateau de Monbazillac, or a smaller property? The chateau looks very impressive.
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Sep 20th, 2010, 06:59 AM
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...and very commercial.
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Sep 20th, 2010, 07:10 AM
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I was more impressed with the Château de Montaigne, but if wine is your main interest, you might prefer the Château de Monbazillac. We've also stayed at several small wine châteaux/B&Bs in the area, and that was more interesting than visiting the big castles, to us.
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Sep 20th, 2010, 07:25 AM
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We will be 4 people. 3 of us prefer reds, but my wife prefers white. I see that Chateau de Monbazillac is famous for its dessert wine. This would appeal to my wife. Do you know if this desert wine is a special of the chateau, or is it common to the whole area?
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Sep 20th, 2010, 07:25 AM
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I agree that you don't need 3 days in St Emilion. It's not always easy to get into the chateaux in Bordeaux and St Emilion, and if you've already spent 2-3 days in Bordeaux, you don't need another 3 in St Emilion. (we are also wine aficionados, and end up in wineries in every country we visit, but still, there's only so much you can see)

However, there's lots more to do in the Sarlat/Perigord Noir area. Chateaux, markets, churches, caves, etc. You can easily get to Rocamadour from Sarlat.

I too am underwhelmed by St Antonin de Noble Val. Nice to drive through and have a short walk, and it does have a good market on either Saturday or Sunday, I forget which.

Nor a fan of Montauban, which has a reasonably attractive town centre, but not much else. We actually did NOT like the museum, which has hardly any works by Ingres - mostly he sold them when he was working.

I would probably go directly to Albi, stopping at Figeac or at Pech Merle. Not sure why you want to go to Cahors. Again, an attractive town, but since you have such a short time here, not on the list of must-sees.
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Sep 20th, 2010, 07:35 AM
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Monbazillac is a sweet white wine, whether you have it at the château or anywhere else, and you'll find it all over the area. In a good year, it can be as good as a Sauterne. It's what locals drink with foie gras (I personally prefer a rich red with foie gras, but it's a matter of personal taste, of course).
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Sep 20th, 2010, 09:59 AM
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StCirq: After all the red wine in Bordeaux and St-Emilion, a nice butrytic dessert wine will be a welcome change. I"m sure that it can be found all over, but taking a tour of the chateau and cellars makes the tasting far more interesting. Remember, we don't live in France...

Carlux: We don't like to hurry on our trips so I wanted to stay overnight in both Figeac as well as Albi. Staying in Figeac would allow us to get to Pech-Merle for the early tour (9:30?). We wanted to visit Cahors to taste the famous Cahors "black wine". I am sure we can taste it elsewhere, but there's nothing like testing and tasting local products where they are produced.
As for visiting Chateaux, I am doing thorough research and will make reservations in advance.

Thanks for all the advice.
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Sep 20th, 2010, 12:47 PM
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Well of course you can taste Cahors not far from where it is produced, all over the region. George Vigouroux,who is responsible for the renaissance of the 'Black Wine of Cahors' has major stores in various places, including Souillac - The Atrium. (We include a bottle of his wine for our renters when they arrive) His wine and those of other Cahors producers are available everywhere - including farmers' markets and supermarkets.

In fact, if you are in Sarlat, there is a wine shop called Cave de Benoit, which specializes in wines from the Southwest. He is very knowledgeable.
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Sep 20th, 2010, 01:16 PM
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<>

So true. But they're not produced in town. And traffic in Cahors can be horrific.
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Sep 20th, 2010, 03:34 PM
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Don't overlook Rocamadour and Carranac as day trips from Sarlat. Also, Sarlat itself is quite charming, although not a "petite village."
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Sep 21st, 2010, 03:34 AM
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We definitely plan on visiting Rocamadour, but if we stay in Sarlat for 4 nights, we will wind up visiting Rocamadour on a Sunday. Is this a bad idea, or does it not matter which day?
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