Travel Tips for the Dordogne

Reply

Jan 9th, 2018, 01:54 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 1
Travel Tips for the Dordogne

My husband and I are in the early stages of planning a trip to the Dordogne, France and would like to base ourselves in one town and explore others. Probably will be renting a car but do not have a problem using public transport.

Love visiting French markets, places of history and quaint villages.

Also would like to be in an area which is close to things but quite at night for sleeping. We are also thinking about going in May before the summer rush and would love thoughts on travelling at that time of year.

Any tips or info would be greatly appreciated!
deborahdodge4 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 9th, 2018, 02:22 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 19,923
Rent a car. Public transportation will eat up a lot of time.

Sarlat would be a good base. Get the Michelin guide book that covers the Dordogne.
Michael is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jan 9th, 2018, 04:33 PM
  #3
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 18,159
Another vote for the Michelin Green. Getting it is the single best tip I could offer you!

I was glad to stay in Sarlat.

May is a wonderful time to visit!

If you have any interest in prehistoric art, be sure to book the sites you want to visit well in advance.
kja is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 9th, 2018, 06:58 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 561
We stayed at L'Esplanade in Domme. We stayed in the one room which had a balcony which allowed us to wake up to an outstanding view of the valley below. One morning we woke up above the fog blanketing the entire valley. The next morning we watched multiple hot air balloons ascending from the valley floor. Domme less crowded than Sarlat. I can't imagine trying to explore the area using public transportation!? I think a car is a necessity.

A truly beautiful area. You will enjoy!
Masterphil is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 9th, 2018, 09:16 PM
  #5
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 18,159
I spent a few nights that L'Esplanade, too, and thought it well worth the splurge that it was for me. And Domme has a few worthy restaurants, IME. FWIW, I preferred Sarlat for its particular charm, overall convenience, and variety of restaurants; it depends, I think, on what you most want.
kja is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 9th, 2018, 10:44 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 293
We stayed near Cenac which is down the hill from Domme in 2016. We found it a good base for what we wanted to do. We stay in self catering and do not eat out a lot so we are fine with not having lots of restaurants around.
If you click on my name you will find my report on our trip - On the Road again.
It is a lovely area.
Bon voyage.
rhon is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jan 10th, 2018, 03:04 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 240
We rented a two bedroom apartment in Sarlat, and it was perfect for our needs.

We had one dinner at L'Esplanade: and it was fantastic. The views up from Domme, the long sunset, the friendliness of the staff... I loved every moment of it.
ToujoursVoyager is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 10th, 2018, 04:05 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 43,166
<>

Well, you WILL have a problem using public transportation as it is virtually nonexistent.

<>

That's all there is in the Dordogne, so no problem there.

<>

That would describe everywhere in the Dordogne.

I would second the Michelin Green Guide and Cadogan's Lazy Days Out in the Dordogne and Lot.

May is a lovely time of year. The orchards will be in bloom and the crush of tourists for the most part won't have arrived yet. Sarlat is probably your best bet for accommodations, but Domme or Beynac or St-Cyprien or Le Bugue and others would work, too.
StCirq is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 10th, 2018, 05:07 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 484
What - no one has yet suggested that you contact Stu Dudley for his Dordogne itinerary?! After the Michelin Green ( agree it's a must), that would be a very good idea.
SemiMike is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 10th, 2018, 05:13 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,275
StCirq knows her stuff. She gave me good tips for my 2016 visit there. Domme is beautiful. It would be hard to do better.

I stayed in an excellent b&b called La Tour de Cause, located a few miles from Domme. It's run by two Belgian chefs, so the breakfast and dinners were amazing.

If you want to visit the prehistoric sights, I'd recommend finding a local tour company. They pick you up, provide tickets for certain attractions, and give you a great history/science lesson for them. I absorbed much more that way than if I had toured them independently.
Edward2005 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 10th, 2018, 06:31 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 43,166
And if by chance you want to see Font-de-Gaume, you need to reserve your tickets NOW! As in RIGHT NOW! They will be gone in a flash. Also a good idea to get tickets in advance for Lascaux IV if you plan to see it. Not an immediate concern, like F-d-G, but do plan ahead.
StCirq is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 10th, 2018, 02:35 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,549
Do check the French school holidays - you don't want to be there during a public holiday. As someone said to us in May it's too late for skiing and too early for the beach so we go to the Dordogne!
welltraveledbrit is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 10th, 2018, 03:20 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 43,166
Public holidays in May are May 1 and May 8. The school holidays in the Dordogne willbe over by April 29 this year.
StCirq is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 10th, 2018, 04:49 PM
  #14
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 19,923
Originally Posted by StCirq View Post
And if by chance you want to see Font-de-Gaume, you need to reserve your tickets NOW! As in RIGHT NOW! They will be gone in a flash. Also a good idea to get tickets in advance for Lascaux IV if you plan to see it. Not an immediate concern, like F-d-G, but do plan ahead.
Never had any problems getting tickets for Lascaux II on the same day in May or June. Has this changed?
Michael is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jan 11th, 2018, 12:53 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 43,166
Michael, I said Lascaux IV, not Lascaux II. And yes it can be a problem. It was last fall. You can be put on a waiting list and show up and hope to get in, but if you want to be assured of a spot, I'd book at least a couple of weeks ahead of time, maybe more in summer.
StCirq is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 11th, 2018, 01:13 AM
  #16
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 172
We visited the Dordogne/Lot in May, 2017 - lots of inputs from forum regulars and a short trip summary in my prior thread.
https://www.fodors.com/community/eur...ne-lot-1152265
ANUJ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 11th, 2018, 06:36 PM
  #17
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 971
I cannot say enough good things about our stay at L’Ombriere, not too far from Sarlat. The owners, the rooms, the breakfasts - wonderful, comfortable, delicious. And reasonable!

I did did a trip report a while ago if you’re interested.

L'ombrière, b&b, bed and breakfast Sarlat, Dordogne Valley, Black Perigord, France
Iwan2go is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 12th, 2018, 05:13 AM
  #18
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,272
Agree that St. Cirq knows her stuff, and also count me in with other posters as to staying in Sarlat; it is a great mid-point for exploring villages in all directions. We enjoyed day tripping out over the five nights we stayed there, and it was pleasant to return at the end of the day, and walk into the charming old town and have dinner (Presidial and Chez Gaulois particularly memorable). We drove to Sarlat from Bordeaux along the north side of the river having lunch in St. Emilion before arrival in Sarlat. We went in September and were lucky to get tickets to F-de-G by the previous January. Somehow the recreations of Lascaux were not appealing to us, so we saw only F-de-G and Rouffignac. We regarded the Cadogan guide for Dordogne/Lot as our bible for these areas. After Sarlat, we stayed in Rocamadour two nights while exploring villages off to the east and south (Autoir, Figeac to name two) before driving to Albi and Toulouse (and finally to St. Remy-de-Provence).
aliced is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 12th, 2018, 05:46 AM
  #19
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 391
Ah, the Dordogne. One of our favorite places. We were in Sarlat for 5 nights in October 2015 and it was glorious. We loved staying in Sarlat and day tripping. We saw Pech Merle, Lascaux II, Rouffignac, Padirac, Grottes de Cougnac. Other than having more time and choosing a nicer apartment, we wouldn't change a thing! I actually have to talk my husband out of returning to the Dordogne each time we plan a trip to France. But I want to explore a few other areas before heading back. And we'll definitely be back (we'd love to own a place there).
My 'blog" with pictures: Lyon, Dordogne, Loire Valley, Paris: Beautiful France.
My trip report: Trip Report: Lyon, Dordogne, Amboise Paris, October 2015
nola77382 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 12th, 2018, 06:20 AM
  #20
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 6,603
The Dordogne is one of the places we've been considering. I was concerned about need to reserve so far in advance for the FdG, so I looked it up. Here's what I found. Not sure if this is better or worse (definitely worse for late risers).

"UPDATE 1 January 2018: as of January 2018 it is no longer possible to buy tickets in advance for Font de Gaume, Les Combarelles and Abri Cap Blanc. Each cave has its own quota of available tickets, and all of these will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis on the day when the ticket office opens at 9:30 am each day except Sunday (when the caves are closed to the public). The information below will be edited to reflect this new directive from the Ministry of Culture in the next day or two."

https://archaeology-travel.com/trave...font-de-gaume/
Fra_Diavolo is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:25 PM.