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What is your favorite small town in France?

What is your favorite small town in France?

Jun 26th, 2007, 01:04 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 144
Does anyone know how long the Saturday/Wed markets in Sarlat last? We are heading down Saturday from Paris, hope to make it to the market before it closes. I LOVE the fruit in France.
Jenski is offline  
Jun 26th, 2007, 01:31 PM
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hi, jenski,

I too favour the loire, but prefer Saumur.

vibrant town, good location, own chateau, beautiful surroundings, good restaurants, etc. etc.

have fun making your own decision.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Jun 26th, 2007, 03:50 PM
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annhig, I share your enthusiasm for Saumur, but I am not sure if it qualifies as a small town. I consider it a small city.
Padraig is offline  
Jun 26th, 2007, 05:45 PM
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Carrenac, in the Dordogne. We first drove through this town, stopping to look at the exhibit in the chateau de Carrenac which details this history and geology of the Dordogne. The church is a gem, and we picked up a brochure which discusses a number of similar places across Europe designated as belonging to the Federation of Cluniac Sites. http://www.culture-routes.lu/php/fo_...et&id=00000165 It looks like this could be an interesting site for planning visits in the future, so I have included the link here.

We fell in love with this town – on this particular day it seemed to be more “alive” and active than other places we'd visited. So we decided to extend our time in this part of France by another night and made a reservation to stay at Hostellerie Fenelon the next night. http://www.hotel-fenelon.com/

You can walk right down to the river and wander along a beautiful path.

Imagine my surprise upon my return to the US when I was talking to a West Coast friend who, it turns out, has a close friend with a house there. I know where we'll be staying next time we decide to visit the Dordogne!

LadyOLeisure is offline  
Jun 26th, 2007, 05:47 PM
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Aw shoot -- I should have mentioned that we were just there in September 2006.
LadyOLeisure is offline  
Jun 26th, 2007, 05:49 PM
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And yes, I guess I misspelled it, too! Carennac?!!!?
(I hate not being able to edit posts here!)
LadyOLeisure is offline  
Jun 26th, 2007, 05:56 PM
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To me, this is a pointless question. First of all, France is the size of Texas; there are thousands and thousands of small towns. And what would it matter which ones I particularly like if they don't have attributes that appeal to you?

Sarlat, for example, is a beautiful place, but does not in my book qualify as a "small town" at all. So you're going to get all kinds of answers relating to places that may be much bigger or much smaller than anything YOU are interested in.

Here's some I like, Tell me what this could possibly mean to you:


Wouldn't it be more useful to take a direct approach and say what it is you're interested in and let us do the matching up?
StCirq is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 04:35 AM
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Has anyone visited St-Cosme-en-Vairais in the Loirne area? Thoughts, please
mayecat is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 05:09 AM
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Briançon, Alps...
mzani is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 05:11 AM
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StCirq wrote: "Tell me what this could possibly mean to you:..."

It tells me that I have been in one of fourteen places you like!
Padraig is offline  
Jun 30th, 2007, 09:59 PM
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Why not Provence? Our favorite small town is Lourmarin in Provence. Picture-perfect, friendly and easier to negotiate than hillier towns in the area. It looks like the quintessential French village in idealized paintings. Central to everything.
We visited in fall 2005, returned in April 2006, and bought an apartment there in July.
petitreve is offline  
Jul 1st, 2007, 06:00 AM
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For a "foodie" in the Dordogne, I'd recommend a visit to the Moulin de la Tour walnut mill just outside Sarlat for some of the best walnut oil in the region; the goose farm at Ferme de Bouyssou near Carsac; and a cooking class at La Borderie with Daniele Mazet-Delpeuch (www.cooking-truffles.com).
La_Tour_de_Cause is offline  
Jul 1st, 2007, 06:13 AM
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Montauroux and Callian are two hilltop perched villages about one hour from the Nice airport near Lake St. Cassien. Absolutely beautiful with 3-4 great restaurants. Plenty of hiking and bicycling near the lake and in the Teneron mountain range. These villages are sort of hidden from main roads, but visible from one another (Tourettes and Seillans are other lovely smal villages within 10-15 minute drive). Montauroux is Christian Dior's hometown and has plenty to do. Their Tuesday morning 's market in the main square is really outstanding.

Another small village that I loved was Castellanet. Definitely research this small gem. Have fun!!
Viajero2 is offline  
Jul 1st, 2007, 06:19 AM
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RE: previous post.

Make that CASTELLANE not Castellanet. Plenty hiking and bicycling along old Roman ruins (old Roman town of Petra Castellane) tucked in a valley surrounded by mountains. Check:

Viajero2 is offline  
Jul 1st, 2007, 06:41 AM
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Admitting, weighing in rather late on this thread whicvh is nearly a month old now (and July is here!), but...

Here's another vote for Montauroux, though I can't make a recommendation for a (reasonably priced) place to stay - - I stayed in Christian Dior's former estate (with a group of sixteen; it actually sleeps 22, and starts at about $10,000 a week).

Other small towns that look great to me are not places that I have actually stayed overnight...




...are places I have at least spent a little time, and I think they have numerous good lodging choices. I would be delighted to spend a night or two in any of them.

I have spent a night in Etretat (search Villa Bligny here on this forum, for a great place to stay) - - but you asked about places _south_ of Paris.

...which begs the question - - in _July_ - - wouldn't you rather head north, than south?

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2007, 06:06 AM
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Hi Rex-we aren't going north this time because we are heading to San Sebastian for some specific restaurants my husband wants to visit (he's a chef). So, it was my choice to stop en route in the Dordogne. I have been to Etretat and spent a week in a rental house in St. Genvieve en Bray, in Normandy. I absolutely loved it there-and did not love Provence, which I know puts me in the minority on these boards. I like to explore new areas and want to visit some vineyards but the next time we return to France, it will be Normandy. It didn't hurt that we were there in spring and the weather was ideal-long sunny days with apple blossoms everywhere. Thanks for everyone's suggestions. We leave tomorrow. Au revoir!
Jenski is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2007, 09:19 AM
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Sounds like you have a plan. It could still, conceivably, include a stop in Brantome, for lunch, for example (assuming that you are driving). It's just about a half hour before you get to Perigueux (if you'rfe coming directly from the north - - as in, from Limoges, for example).

You could even incorporate a visit to Richelieu, if you so choose.
rex is offline  

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