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Suggestions Needed for Paris/Bordeaux/Dordogne Trip

Suggestions Needed for Paris/Bordeaux/Dordogne Trip

Apr 3rd, 2007, 06:32 PM
  #1  
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Suggestions Needed for Paris/Bordeaux/Dordogne Trip

I'm traveling with my cousin & aunt in late May from the states to France. We have a skeleton idea of what we want to do & have a couple of concerns. Suggestions would be wonderful - this is my first post & I am really impressed at how knowledgeable & helpful everyone here is!

We fly into Paris & then will be taking a train to Bordeaux, renting a car there and driving most likely to Sarlat to stay in the Dordogne region. Our only solid reservation is at the caves at Font-De-Gaume because we had to make reservations so far in advance. My aunt is 84, so we'd like to stay in one place, but she's pretty spry and game for seeing a lot of stuff. I thought since Sarlat was probably as far west as we wanted to go we could take day trips from there and as we drove from Bordeaux we could note what else we wanted to see. We will probably only stay in Paris a day at the beginning of the trip... any suggestions on hotels there that would not take forever to get to from CDG & be close to the trains? Sarlat hotels or B&B suggestions are welcome & any suggestions or favorites as well. THANK YOU!
dianeee is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 07:46 PM
  #2  
 
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dianeee, we rented La Bouquerie, a beautifully restored medieval house in Sarlat for two weeks last June and loved it. We arranged it through Carlux, one of our Fodor regulars. You could check whether there are any openings for your dates: http://www.yourfriendsinfrance.org/

Another suggestion is a B&B near Castlenaud-La Chapelle run by another Fodor Dordogne expert, La Tour de Cause: http://www.latourdecause.com/



moolyn is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 07:47 PM
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The RER from Charles de Gaul comes into Gare de Lyon, and your TGV to Bordeux leaves from Gare de Montparnasse. My suggestion is to come into Paris on the RER, transfer on the Metro to the Gare de Montparnasse ... and book a hotel in that immediate vicinity.
travelhorizons is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 08:06 PM
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You will have to leave on the TGV from the Gare Montparnasse to get to Bordeaux or Libourne, so a hotel in the 6th arrondissement near the Gare Montparnasse would be bset.

But why not just go from the airport to Bordeaux? The TGV runs from CDG to Bordeaux, and then you can just drive to Sarlat from there, or take the pkey train to Périgueux and drive 45 minutes.
StCirq is online now  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 10:10 PM
  #5  
 
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I don't think you want to take your 84 year old aunt on the RER from CDG to the 6th. There is a fair bit of walking (with luggage) and you'll have just arrived on an overnight flight. A better option would be to take the Air France Cars (not cars at all, but like large tour buses) from CDG to Invalides (a metro stop) and stay in a hotel somewhere nearby or slightly to the east; that way you could get to Montparnasse easily either on Metro Line 12 or 13.
Kate_W is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 10:33 PM
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My husband & I took a taxi from CDG airport to our Paris hotel in the 5th arrondisement. It was easy, direct and well worth the cost!

We love Sarlat & the Dorgogne region! We've stayed at the Hotel Madeleine twice now.
2010 is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 01:55 AM
  #7  
 
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I have made this trip and have the following comments:

1. Don't go direct from CDG to Bordeaux. You will be exhausted after the flight. Take a taxi or shuttle van to a hotel near the Gare Montparnasse.

2. Your idea of train/car rental is a good one. There are car rentals right in the Bordeaux station. Be aware that some of them close for lunch at 1.

3. It is a fairly easy if not beautiful trip to Sarlat, and Sarlat is a wonderful base for touring.

4. We made the trip on a Sunday. We arrived in Bordeaux noonish and spent an hour or so getting the cars and getting organized. By the time we got beyond the industrial sprawl, we had trouble finding lunch and toilets on the direct route. This area is pretty rural and a lot closes down after lunch until late afternoon, at least on Sunday.

5. If you rent a house or apartment in town, you may have to leave your car in the municipal parking lot. The center of town is a pedestrian zone, but you will be able to drop off and pick up your aunt.

6. Font-de-Gaume is wonderful, but it is up a bit of a steep hill, and the cave itself requires some bending and twisting. It isn't claustrophobic, but there are some physical challenges. You may or may not find an English-speaking guide available for your tour, whatever you have been told in advance.

7. This is a fabulous area, beautiful to tour even if you never got out of the car, only better when you can. Be sure to attend at least two street markets. They are very different.

8. The diet in this area is not light. Perigord is the center of the fois gras industry (endless corn fields like Iowa), and menus are heavy with duck and duck fat. It is absolutely delicious food, but it may challenge your digestion!
Ackislander is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 02:14 AM
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Take a taxi from CDG to hotel..why do anything else after a long trip with luggage!! Stay near your train station.

You better get your reservations..it is probably too late for many places.

Have a good trip...enjoy.........
gracejoan3 is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 02:23 AM
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I just noticed that there will be three of you and, also, that I gave you the wrong information about where the Air France Cars stop. There is an Air France Car that goes to Montparnasse (not Invalides, as I had mistakenly said earlier); Montparnasse is also the train station for your trip to Bordeaux. If you take the Air France Car, the cost would be 3 times 14 euros (for a one-way ticket) or 3 times 22 euros for a return ticket (i.e. 11 euros for half a return ticket). A taxi to Montparnasse area, depending on traffic, might be 40-50 euros (i.e. versus 33 euros if you took the Air France Car). That's not an unreasonable premium to pay for direct door-to-door service in a taxi, in the circumstances.
Kate_W is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 06:39 AM
  #10  
ira
 
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Hi D,

>We will probably only stay in Paris a day at the beginning of the trip...

Why not save yourself some time, hassle and money and fly to Bordeaux? It's about the same price as landing at CDG and PREMS fares to Bordeaux.

We stayed our first night at www.chateau-de-roques.com/
about 1:30 hr from Bordeaux airport.

You might find my trip report helpful:
http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...2&tid=34676645

Photos at http://tinyurl.com/sjch4
http://www.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=...&x=0&y=-pla2au

From whence are you returning?


ira is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 07:37 AM
  #11  
 
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Ira writes: "Why not save yourself some time, hassle and money and fly to Bordeaux? It's about the same price as landing at CDG and PREMS fares to Bordeaux."

Actually, it is cheaper since you don't have the hotel cost. The direct cost of the flight from Boston, for example, to BOD is anywhere from the same to only $100 more than to CDG.

I still wouldn't do it because it is an interesting train ride through a part of France that a lot of Americans never see.
Ackislander is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 09:27 AM
  #12  
ira
 
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Hi Ack,

>...is an interesting train ride through a part of France that a lot of Americans never see. <

If they are returning to the States from CDG, they can take the train from Libourne to Gare Montparnasse and spend their last day in Paris, instead of their first.

ira is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 09:18 PM
  #13  
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My goodness! Thanks so much for all the input! I am sitting down this weekend with my cousin and booking as much as we can. I am so appreciative!
dianeee is offline  
Apr 5th, 2007, 04:48 AM
  #14  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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You are welcome, D.
ira is offline  
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