The Dordonge

Old Oct 26th, 2017, 11:46 AM
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We loved our trip to the Dordogne, based in Sarlat, in October 2015. I think September would be a wonderful time of the year there. We used the Michelin Green Guide and it was invaluable. We used the Michelin Maps for the area and our GPS. Driving was generally easy but the GPS did route us on teeny tiny roads. We wished we'd visited Marqueysac instead of Beynac Castle but that was our only regret. It's a spectacular part of the world. We look forward to returning soon.

Our trip report:

nola77382 is offline  
Old Oct 26th, 2017, 02:47 PM
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You can click on my name to read my trip report to the Dordogne in May 2015. We spent 2 nights in Brantome and 4 nights in Sarlat. Most people don't mention Brantome, but I recommend going there if you have the time. In May it is very green and lush and quiet. The roads are narrow and windy, and luckily there was very little traffic. We enjoyed spending a day driving along the Dronne River and visiting the small towns and villages. I have fond memories of this area, so pretty and peaceful.

I don't recommend visiting the Dordogne in the summer. We didn't have any lines at the caves and castles we visited, but I remember people telling us you typically have to wait in line for 2 hours during the summer, especially at Padirac.

The guidebook I used is Footprint France (Dordogne and Lot).
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Old Oct 26th, 2017, 05:16 PM
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You're right, KarenWoo, it's a zoo here in high season, blessedly calm now in the fall.
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Old Oct 26th, 2017, 07:32 PM
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For garden bloom times this might help:

This is not in the Dordogne but close by. If gardens are a big thing for you, I would suggest doing some research as to which ones you want to visit, because there is some variety in the layout and plantings of the different gardens. Unless we missed it somehow we didn't see many blooms at Jardins des Marqueyssac, for example.
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Old Oct 26th, 2017, 07:54 PM
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"I don't recommend visiting the Dordogne in the summer."

Each to their own.

After so much travel round the world we drove to the Dordogne in late July this summer, it was "bargain basement" trip for us. Had an incredible time.

No issues with traffic.

The area was vibrant, would you really want to go to daytime farmers markets or night time food markets and sit on your own?
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Old Oct 26th, 2017, 08:23 PM
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I think it depends on what one wants to do and experience. IME, the gardens of the area differ dramatically, and I thought them well described in the guidebooks with which I worked. Markets aren’t a high priority for me, although I try to visit some briefly; I dislike crowds, and so worked hard to time my visits to markets in the area carefully, even in May. One of the main things that drew me to the area was prehistoric art; I reserved everything I could in advance and that worked very well for me.

I thought the Dordogne is a beautiful area with a diverse range of options. IMO, any potential visitor would do well to consider what s/he wants to see and experience and then plan accordingly.
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Old Oct 26th, 2017, 09:23 PM
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Here's the free Perigord tourisme office brochure - you can translate it on Google:

I think the old Karen Brown posts will be too old to use effectively.
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Old Oct 27th, 2017, 03:04 AM
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You will never sit on your own, even in mid-February. The better question is, do you want to be in a teeming shoulder-to-shoulder mass of mankind at a market in mid-July?

If you didn't have any traffic issues, you were mighty lucky. The backups in high season are notorious.

Gardens of course are subject to serious seasonal variations, but it's always pretty in the Dordogne.
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