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Dordogne towns/large villages

(14 Posts)
wink1970 Tue 23-Apr-19 16:17:11

Hi All

We normally head to Provence for 2 weeks in late June - just me & DH, late 40s, driving down at leisure from Calais.

However, we would like to try the Dordogne & I don't know the area at all, so recommendations would be welcome for cities/towns/large villages. Our priorities are good choice of restaurants, bar/cafes to while the hours outside, wandering about nosying!. We don't mind getting in the car each day for pootle off for an hour or two to other towns. Not bothered about being near beaches or any 'activity' areas and we don't need to be near an airport. We will rent a villa. The key is a large enough town (or towns nearby) to keep us interested for 2 weeks.

Thanks in advance, and if I can reciprocate by offering Provence ideas I will!

OP’s posts: |
wowsaidtheowl Tue 23-Apr-19 16:30:48

We stayed in Beynac and had a great time - it’s small but easy to get to a lot of the good stuff in the Dordogne- Sarlat, Marqueyssac, milandes and various caves.

TheresWaldo Tue 23-Apr-19 19:25:20

Sarlat is lovely but gets busy. Les Eyzies has plenty going on and is central so you can branch out in different directions each day. I recommend but they do get booked up quickly. This was a previous MN recommendation.

SingingGoldfinch Tue 23-Apr-19 19:36:52

We had a lovely holiday in the dordogne. The nearest town to our rural gite was Terrasson which was pretty enough but we really lived Sarlat and the surrounding area. Our favourite day was kayaking down the river!

BentNeckLady Tue 23-Apr-19 19:39:53

Sarlat is wonderful but the traffic is horrendous.

wink1970 Wed 24-Apr-19 09:31:44

ah brilliant, thanks all.

@TheresWaldo thanks for the recommendation. If not available this year, then I shall keep it in my file!

OP’s posts: |
JustMarriedBecca Fri 26-Apr-19 07:55:30

I'd love some Provence ideas if you wouldn't mind. Holiday for young family but I don't like other people - we don't need playgrounds and adventure parks - a pool would be nice.

DippyAvocado Fri 26-Apr-19 08:01:58

Yes, the nicest area is around Sarlat IMO. You can visit Domme, Beynac, La Roque-Gageac as well as various caves etc. I've been in August and don't remember the traffic being particularly horrendous but we only went into Sarlat itself a couple of times.

wink1970 Fri 26-Apr-19 10:35:36


well I confess I like the more obvious towns, but here are my thoughts:

Aigues Mortes; a beautiful walled town, my favourite of all, with lots of restaurants and cafes and open spaces, and a short bus down to the coast which is equally lovely. We stayed at a villa in the Marina that's no longer renting, but there are lots on HomeAway. 5 min walk into the town, and lots of nature parks and river pootling to be had in the immediate area.

St Remy: another lovely town and good for walking & cycling. It's Van Gough country, so lots to see here & in nearby Arles. We stayed in a 'James Villa' called Chez Ella which was out of the way enough but a 10 min walk into town.

Avignon: stayed a few times right in the town centre in an apartment, so probably not for your family needs, but it's a great town to visit. Likewise Carpentras and Nimes.

Sorgue: stayed in a Gite where we shared the pool with the villa owner, which I personally didn't like. The town itself is small but lovely though, and it's 10 mins drive to about 4 other interesting towns.

OP’s posts: |
Sophiesdog11 Wed 01-May-19 15:23:18

We have stayed a few times with our caravan south of the river near Castelnaud, opposite Beynac, and would second comments made by others – the area around and south of Sarlat offers lots to see.

Beynac, Domme, Sarlat, river activities, La Roque-Gageac, further afield Rocamadour and various caves.

Domme is a great place to potter around and to get a spectacular view of the river, as it is set high above it– and does amazing ice creams!

Les Jardins de Marqueyssac sit high above the river opposite Castelnaud and are beautiful at any time, but they also do candlelit evenings which are spectacular (every Thursday from July but I think with some dates before then). I actually think the evening visit to the Gardens was my favourite part of our trips!

We have been back to the same site a further 3 times since we first went 10 yrs ago and never fail to find activities to occupy us all (we have DC who were 9 and 11 on first visit but would happily still join us there at 19 and 21).

wink1970 Fri 03-May-19 09:33:07

Many thanks, all. I have booked a villa just outside of Sarlat (I'm hoping he's telling the truth that it's a 15 min walk) and am looking forward to exploring the area! It sounds like it's quite an 'active' part of France, so I shall be taking my watershoes and walking shoes!

OP’s posts: |
wink1970 Sat 04-May-19 10:53:03

Hi All

can you advise on the weather in late June/early July? I'm used to the microclimate of Provence and am now panicking that it's going to rain all the time?!

OP’s posts: |
BentNeckLady Sat 04-May-19 18:17:49

We’ve been to the dordogne 4 times and had awful weather every time we’ve been. Everyone else I know has had wall to wall sunshine. We do have shit luck with weather generally but one year it wasn’t even warm. It is a spectacular part of the world though and there’s loads to do. Roccamadour is my favourite along with the amazing caves as Padirac.

KatharinaRosalie Sat 04-May-19 21:12:03

Last year's actual weather:

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