Toulouse & Occitanie 8 Days

Old Feb 13th, 2020, 03:51 AM
  #21  
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Stu, have you heard of character analysis by clouds?

Thank you all. Your recommendations are being noted.

Just found out that the second day of trip Chateau de la Caze is fully booked. Also their idea of a grand lit is 140x190 which would be just about right for my lithesome bod,
but Eser refuses to sleep on the floor. So, had to give up best view for a larger bed. This will be the night of splurge with breakfast and dinner at the chateau.

Now, we have planned second evening somewhere near StCirq and third on the route from st Cirq to Ste Enimie.

Will then drive down through Albi to Carcassonne (?) Will stay where the storms will throw us.

Spending final night at Toulouse proper accepted.

Should receive the Michelin green from Amazon UK within two weeks together with a 2020 easy read road atlas, for more detailed planning.

We have absolutely no friends in Istanbul who plan and/or travel like we do. Quite a few have tried to latch onto us but we have managed to always evade them.
They usually arrange for a private tour in a small group or join one of the expensive but supposedly excellent Fest travel tours. Otherwise they visit the same places they have seen.

Some years ago, when we were telling about our trip to a location which was recommended to us by a friend just two years earlier, the same chap, turned to his wife and asked, "Honey have we ever been there?"
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Old Feb 13th, 2020, 04:27 AM
  #22  
 
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OC, I will write more later, but for now just want to say:

I agree about dumping Perpignan. If you want a great Languedoc town on the Med, go to Narbonne. Lots of history and canal charm there.

Here is a wonderful hotel near St-Cirq-Lapopie: https://www.hoteldesgrottes.com If you want something more in between Toulouse and St-Cirq, let me know.

I totally agree about having cassoulet in Castelnaudary at Le Tirou.

In my view, you could wing it with accommodations, but personally I wouldn't. I hate giving up even an hour or two to search for a place to say, especially in a region so full of wonders.

Not sure if you're aware that "my" St-Cirq is not St-Cirq-Lapopie, but farther north in the Périgord Noir
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Old Feb 13th, 2020, 05:15 AM
  #23  
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StCirq, As the boy in the Japanese puppet show said, "But I did not Know!."

The puppeteer sadly responds, "Yes. you did not." (At end of one of my favorite novels, "Quinn's Shanghai Circus" by Edward Whittemore.)

Some more change of plans.

Toulose to your village is about three hours. We can handle that day after our arrival.
Our hotel should be close to your hamlet, preferably towards the East so that we can make it an easy drive to Figeac or Rodez the next day.
We can stay at Figeac or better still continue to Rodez for one more night before reaching St. Enimie to imagine being with our daughter.

Sarlat seems to be a good option but we will wait for your instructions.
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Old Feb 13th, 2020, 05:50 AM
  #24  
 
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OC, Toulouse to Sarlat on the autoroute shouldn't take much more than 2 hours. We have no problem going to Sarlat - the Microcar could probably find its way there on its own! Will PM you with further details and suggestions.

And will come back with more suggestions for Figeac, Rodez, maybe Villeneuf-de-Rouergue and more later today.

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Old Feb 13th, 2020, 07:02 AM
  #25  
 
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Originally Posted by StCirq View Post
Here is a wonderful hotel near St-Cirq-Lapopie: https://www.hoteldesgrottes.com If you want something more in between Toulouse and St-Cirq, let me know.

In my view, you could wing it with accommodations, but personally I wouldn't. I hate giving up even an hour or two to search for a place to say, especially in a region so full of wonders.

Not sure if you're aware that "my" St-Cirq is not St-Cirq-Lapopie, but farther north in the Périgord Noir
OC, great to see you on the France forum!

I highly recommend reserving your room in advance at the Hôtel des Grottes, with demie pension. The hotel restaurant is excellent and you’ll enjoy your meals there, the location is also stunning, especially the terrace where you dine.

I’d also ask you to reconsider visiting Pech Merle, seeing the prehistoric art was one of the most awe inspiring moments in my life, right up there with some of my top travel experiences.

St Cirq-la-Popie is a pretty town, rather touristy, though the crowds will probably be less that early in the season. Figeac though most definitely warrants a visit.
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Old Feb 13th, 2020, 07:43 AM
  #26  
 
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We are not big fans of Rodez. We've been there 3 times - once to visit the town, once for dinner, and another time to purchase cepes in their farmer's market.

Stu Dudley
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Old Feb 13th, 2020, 07:55 AM
  #27  
 
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Here are a couple of other hotel options in or right near Sarlat that we have stayed with a car that are well located for you visit with St Cirq.

This a little b&b with 3-4 individual little cottages-there is parking right next door-sometimes you have to pay in my recollection, but there is also free parking not far away
Sarlat Côté Jardin 13 rue du Collège - Place Pasteur 24200 Sarlat-la-Canéda +33 6 03 11 52 96

https://www.sarlatcotejardin.com/en-us

Another really nice hotel set in the hills just above Sarlat that we stayed in last year was :

Hôtel Le Mas del Pechs: 10 route des Pechs, 24200 Sarlat-la-Canéda, France : +33 5 53 31 12 11

It has a pool and private parking lot-very quiet and a nice place

https://www.sarlat-hotel.com/en/home/

And this year I have a place booked just outside of Sarlat that is very inexpensive-it is a little b&b property on a farm with our own little 2 bedroom cottage. It also has a pool. I haven't stayed there yet but it gets good reviews. The digs are fairly simple but the price reflects it:

Les 4 Saisons 824 route du Bugue, 24200 Sarlat-la-Canéda, France: +33 6 16 04 22 82

https://www.les4saisonsaquitaine.com/fr-fr

Our favorite restaurant in the area was on the road to La Roque Gageac and is called O plasir des Sens. Nice family run restaurant with a more formal higher level food in part of the restaurant but also a more casual "bistro" side to the restaurant as well. I have eaten at both and both are really nice. Another advantage is that they have plenty of parking.

https://o-plaisirdessens.com/
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Old Feb 13th, 2020, 09:29 AM
  #28  
 
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OC, Leaving Sarlat (or thereabouts) and heading back to Toulouse, you might want to stop in Martel (the town of 7 towers and well worth even a short stop: https://www.vallee-dordogne.com/la-v...illages/martel) and Collonges-la-Rouge (https://www.vallee-dordogne.com/la-v...onges-la-rouge).. You will of course be within hailing distance of Rocamadour and the Gouffre de Padirac (neither of which holds much interest for me, but are obviously huge attractions for many people). Then you could make your way south to St- Céré, a lovely riverside town where a look at Jean Lurçat's tapestries at his château at Saint-Laurent-des-Tours is worth a stop if it's open (he famously copied the Apocalypse tapestries in the Château d'Angers and has a museum there as well). Then down to Figeac...

Figeac: https://ville-figeac.fr https://www.tourisme-lot.com/en/the-...o-the-pyramids http://www.tourism-figeac.com

There are some wonderful restaurants in this town, notably La Dinée du Viguier, but plenty of less posh places as well, and on a nice day a picnic by the river is wonderful. I imagine the museum of writing would be right up your alley.

From Figeac you can scoot down to Villefranche de Rouergue (which I mistakenly called Villeneuf in an earlier post). https://www.tourisme-villefranche-najac.com No need to tarry here, but worth a look around. A boat ride in Najac is pleasant.

Rodez: I'm fond of Rodez, but I wouldn't feel compelled to visit. From Villefranche you can continue south on the D922, choosing to veer west to St-Antonin-Noble if you like (https://www.tourisme-saint-antonin-noble-val.com), and Cordes-sur-Ciel (worth at least a half-hour, preferably more Cordes sur Ciel et Cités Médiévales : Du Pays Cordais au Pays de Vaour) and Castelnau-de-Montmiral (worth a 10-minute stop https://www.tourisme-tarn.com/patrim...u-de-montmiral), and then on to Albi.

Of course I'm not sure which way you're heading out of or back to Toulouse, so these are just random suggestions, but I would try to stay on the D roads and wind around through some of these amazing places. There is just so much to choose from in this area. It will be hard to select where to stop, but you really can't go wrong!
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Old Feb 13th, 2020, 09:30 AM
  #29  
 
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OC, Leaving Sarlat (or thereabouts) and heading back to Toulouse, you might want to stop in Martel (the town of 7 towers and well worth even a short stop: https://www.vallee-dordogne.com/la-v...illages/martel) and Collonges-la-Rouge (https://www.vallee-dordogne.com/la-v...onges-la-rouge).. You will of course be within hailing distance of Rocamadour and the Gouffre de Padirac (neither of which holds much interest for me, but are obviously huge attractions for many people). Then you could make your way south to St- Céré, a lovely riverside town where a look at Jean Lurçat's tapestries at his château at Saint-Laurent-des-Tours is worth a stop if it's open (he famously copied the Apocalypse tapestries in the Château d'Angers and has a museum there as well). Then down to Figeac...

Figeac: https://ville-figeac.fr https://www.tourisme-lot.com/en/the-...o-the-pyramids http://www.tourism-figeac.com

There are some wonderful restaurants in this town, notably La Dinée du Viguier, but plenty of less posh places as well, and on a nice day a picnic by the river is wonderful. I imagine the museum of writing would be right up your alley.

From Figeac you can scoot down to Villefranche de Rouergue (which I mistakenly called Villeneuf in an earlier post). https://www.tourisme-villefranche-najac.com No need to tarry here, but worth a look around. A boat ride in Najac is pleasant.

Rodez: I'm fond of Rodez, but I wouldn't feel compelled to visit. From Villefranche you can continue south on the D922, choosing to veer west to St-Antonin-Noble if you like (https://www.tourisme-saint-antonin-noble-val.com), and Cordes-sur-Ciel (worth at least a half-hour, preferably more Cordes sur Ciel et Cités Médiévales : Du Pays Cordais au Pays de Vaour) and Castelnau-de-Montmiral (worth a 10-minute stop https://www.tourisme-tarn.com/patrim...u-de-montmiral), and then on to Albi.

Of course I'm not sure which way you're heading out of or back to Toulouse, so these are just random suggestions, but I would try to stay on the D roads and wind around through some of these amazing places. There is just so much to choose from in this area. It will be hard to select where to stop, but you really can't go wrong!
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Old Feb 13th, 2020, 11:36 AM
  #30  
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Thank you all again for your wonderul advice.

StCirq, I guess you missed that we will be driving to St. Enimie and Chateau de la Caze for our fourth night. So, we will have one night in between Sarlat and St. Enimie.

We may drive South from there to Albi and/or Carcassonne. for our fifth and sixth nights, returning to Toulouse for the eighth night.

I will soon make the Sarlat lodging reservation, trying to choose between recommndations in terms of comfort and price.

Mattress and pillow are of topmost importance.after
free WI FI and a surface I can rest my laptop.
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Old Feb 13th, 2020, 12:10 PM
  #31  
 
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Sorry, OC, can't help with accommodations - don't need them - but you've got lots of help here from other people!

Will look at the map again and see if I can help with any details between Sarlat and St-Enimie.
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Old Feb 13th, 2020, 02:31 PM
  #32  
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Long time Geetika, almost seven years since you were in Turkey. Hope life has been treating you well (or vice versa).
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Old Feb 13th, 2020, 03:35 PM
  #33  
 
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Originally Posted by otherchelebi View Post
Mattress and pillow are of topmost importance.after
free WI FI and a surface I can rest my laptop.
Even though you might not need it in late April/early May I would also get a place with A/C if you can-as much for the noise to be able to keep the windows shut if it does happen to be warm.
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Old Feb 13th, 2020, 05:07 PM
  #34  
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For Sarlat, you might look at the Hôtel Montaigne. Nothing fancy, but I had an absolutely lovely stay there, and it still gets good reviews.
And as I mentioned upthread, do be sure to give yourself enough time for stunning Toulouse!
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Old Feb 14th, 2020, 03:36 AM
  #35  
 
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Good point, kja. I'd forgotten that we do sometimes need to stay in Sarlat overnight for business appts. and such - and we always stay at the Hôtel Montaigne.
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Old Feb 14th, 2020, 05:07 AM
  #36  
 
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Originally Posted by otherchelebi View Post
Long time Geetika, almost seven years since you were in Turkey. Hope life has been treating you well (or vice versa).
All well OC, I was rerouted via Istanbul last September, but our last actual visit to Turkey was in the summer of 2015. Would love to go back one of these days...
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Old Feb 14th, 2020, 10:54 AM
  #37  
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Plan almost finished.
One important question left: Should I do two final nights at Toulouse or an extra night at Albi or an extra night at Carcassonne?


Arrival evening, Stay at Toulouse

Day 1, Toulouse to Sarlat or all the way to StCirq. 200 or 230 k
Stay night at Sarlat

Day 2, Sarlat to Rodez. 160 k
Late lunch at Figeac
Stay night at Rodez

Day 3, Rodez to st. Enimie 95 k
Stay night at Chateau de la Caze

Day 4, St Enimie to Albi 170 k
Stay night at Albi

day 5 Albi to Carcassonne 170k
Stay night at carcassonne

Day 6 ?

Day 7 Toulouse

Day 8, Flight back


Decided to skip any place South of carcassonne because the plan ainvolves already too much driving. Do not wish this trip to resemble too much my life "in transit"

Toulouse and Sarlat hotels and the Chateaux de la Caze booked.

By the way, Turkish Airlines seems to offer best rental car deals with an Opel Insignia automatic for about 300 euros from Alamo for eight days.

Investigating inexpensive hotels at Rodez, Albi and Carcassonne.

Thanks again and warm feelings to all, Ipie, stu, kja, stcirq geetika and everyone else.
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Old Feb 14th, 2020, 11:46 AM
  #38  
 
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Figeac is one of my "top 5" medium sized cities in France. Rodez is in the lower 5% of the cities/villages mentioned in guide books . We spent 2 weeks in a gite near Rodez, (on the Lot river near Espalion) and explored that area quite a bit. I would choose to overnight in Figeac, Conques (one of the most popular small villages in France - Michelin 3 star), or Belcastel (see next line) instead of Rodez.

https://www.francetoday.com/accommod...el-restaurant/

Stu Dudley

Last edited by StuDudley; Feb 14th, 2020 at 11:54 AM.
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Old Feb 14th, 2020, 02:30 PM
  #39  
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Stu, thanks for your advice again.

we are stuck with the hotel reservation at St Enimie for the fourth night of our trip, first night being Toulouse. We are also required to get to Sarlat.the second day.

Otherwise we are free to stay anywhere on the route between sarlat and St, Enimie for our third night.

Belcastel was booked for our third night, but we can check it for the fifth because it looks great.

We do not have to stay in Rodez but need to minimze daily driving between hotels so that we can enjoy the environment.
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Old Feb 14th, 2020, 03:04 PM
  #40  
 
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Consider Conques for the third night. Or on the Lot river in Espalion, or Estaing. Lovely area. Read about this region in my Languedoc itinerary - heading "Vallee du Lot".

Stu Dudley
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