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3-night Dordogne/caves visit: Sarlat, Beynac or Roque Gageac

Sarasota, Florida
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3-night Dordogne/caves visit: Sarlat, Beynac or Roque Gageac

We'll be in Dordogne for 3 nights in October, with cave tours as our main focus. (Lascaux II and Font De Gaume). We are considering Sarlat, Beynac et Cazenac or La Roque Gageac as our base - which do you recommend? Are any of these 3 towns notably further from the caves than the other ones? We will have a car, but my spouse has limited mobility, so being able to to park somewhat near our hotel is a must, as is having restaurants close by. (We will also need a town with a choice of hotels as we require a ground floor room or a place with a lift.) I'd also like to have some shopping within walking distance! Beynac seems like an interesting choice, but I'm worried that there will be a lot of hilly climbing within the town. There seems to be a lot to do in Sarlat, although I've heard it takes time to drive in and out of town and it can get hectic. What are your thoughts on La Roque? Yes, we have a tall order to fill - Thanks for any advice and impressions of these towns, their accommodations, distance from caves, etc.

Chicago, Illinois
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1. Re: 3-night Dordogne/caves visit: Sarlat, Beynac or Roque Gageac

La Roque is a wide place in the road -- it is in a pretty area and there are restaurants right there but it is hardly a town. It is well located. The buildings are nestled up by a cliff and there is a road and then the Dordogne. If you get a hotel there, you would want to be very clear about the mobility issues. The town itself is flat so long as you don't want to climb up to the cliffs above the town (there are old dwellings there as I recall) but I would not be sure that hotels would have elevators -- the buildings are low rise and tucked up against the hill.

Tampa, Florida
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2. Re: 3-night Dordogne/caves visit: Sarlat, Beynac or Roque Gageac

ONLY the main street in La Roque Gageac is anything remotely close to flat -- and I would seriously doubt that the old buildings would have lifts.

Antarctica
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for Limerick, Killarney
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3. Re: 3-night Dordogne/caves visit: Sarlat, Beynac or Roque Gageac

Both La Roque and Beynac have a small area near the river where things are flattish. However within feet of this you are going uphill.

Sarlat is mainly on the flat and is lovely to walk around. Yes, it can get congested but the last time we were in La Roque (a few weeks ago) it was very congested as well.

Palmetto, Florida
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4. Re: 3-night Dordogne/caves visit: Sarlat, Beynac or Roque Gageac

I recommend staying in Sarlat. It's flat, has many services for tourists, and will not be badly crowded in October. You maybe able to park close to hotels, but there are plenty free ones around town as well.

From Sarlat it was easy and within 30-45 minutes drive to the other places of caves, cliffs, rivers. Beynac is very picturesque, and we went to La Roque de St Christophe and enjoyed tour there. Not sure if you have time but Rocamadour is worth a visit.

Pictures:

http://sdrv.ms/QbNiL2

Tampa, Florida
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5. Re: 3-night Dordogne/caves visit: Sarlat, Beynac or Roque Gageac

But Rocamadour will be very, *very* difficult with mobility issues. There's a lift and a funicular, but there's a LOT of walking on cobblestones.

Palmetto, Florida
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6. Re: 3-night Dordogne/caves visit: Sarlat, Beynac or Roque Gageac

True, Sunshine. The whole region is rather hilly though if you want to do any kind of exploring.

Rocamadour isalluring because the whole town seems to barely holding on there at the edge of the precipice. In June there was a touristic train that takes you from parking lot up to the town's entrance. Then OP would have to take a leisurely walk toward the top if wanting to see church or castle. That maybe tough for OP. However, once I got up to the top I discovered a parking lot next to the castle (saw cars and buses there). I don't know how they got up, but I guess OP can drive up and then walk down if that is easier. Then take the elevator back. Well, just a suggestion of destination.

Beynac Castle is way up there too. You don't want to park down near the town and river, instead drive up, there will be parking up top .

Antarctica
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for Limerick, Killarney
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7. Re: 3-night Dordogne/caves visit: Sarlat, Beynac or Roque Gageac

I wouldn't recommend Rocamadour for ANYONE with any form of fitness/mobility issue.

Even if you use the funicular and the lift, you still need to see "between" the stops and this can be difficult with steps and - as Sunshine has mentioned - all of the cobble stones. Even just going into shops and buildings can be difficult because many of them are on more than one level.

We walked all of the Stations of the Cross at various stages of our visit, and we became fully aware of why Rocamadour became a place of pilgrimage (and penance!!). And just to clarify, the Stations of the Cross are on possibly the flattest part of the town, being a switch-back path with very few steps.

Worcester, MA
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for Dordogne
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8. Re: 3-night Dordogne/caves visit: Sarlat, Beynac or Roque Gageac

You might check out Les Eyzies as well as sarlat. Sarlat is bigger and very nice. I have not stayed there but have enjoyed visiting the town Les eyzies has one main street which is fairly flat. There are hotels with parking in town, most along the main street. There are restaurants and shops also. it's quite easy in and out of town and Font du Gaume is right on the outskirts. I would not consider Rocamadour as per above response, but either sarlat or Les eyzies might fit your needs.

hotels in les eyzies"

Du Centenaire (hotel.centenaire2wanadoo.fr )I think thye have a lift

les glycines (les-glycines-aux-eyzies@wanadoo.fr) I believe they have ground floor rooms

Hostellerie du passeur (hostellerie-du passeur@perigord.com)

jhgrady

Chicago, Illinois
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9. Re: 3-night Dordogne/caves visit: Sarlat, Beynac or Roque Gageac

consider also a hotel with restaurant -- there are many in this area and the views are often spectacular and the hotels take pride in fine restaurants

Sarasota, Florida
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10. Re: 3-night Dordogne/caves visit: Sarlat, Beynac or Roque Gageac

Thanks everyone! I think we will look into staying in Les Eyzies - We have a morning reservation for Font du Gaume, and I didn't realize the cave was right on the outskirts, and we also want to go to the Prehistoric Museum, so staying right in town might just fit the bill. The guidebooks say the town is quite touristy, but it has several nice hotel choices and while not as picturesque as Sarlat, it might be a good option as our base for a few days. I'm checking to see if Glycines or Passeur have rooms for limited mobility guests. Anyone ever stay at Le Moulin de la Beune? Does the town have a few shops and non-hotel restaurants that are worth exploring or is it just a place to stay? Thanks again for the helpful advice!