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Traveling while handicapped in the Dordogne

Washington DC...
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Traveling while handicapped in the Dordogne

My wife and I are planning a week long trip to the Dordogne in September as part of a 2 week trip to France. I am fit and active but must use either a walker or two canes due to a weak leg. My biggest problem is climbing stairs without railings/bannisters. We prefer to travel by rental car and exploring sites and villages, having done that previously in Provence. Since my wife likes to take short hikes, I'm used to waiting for her with a book in hand.....and a glass of wine when possible.

I would appreciate any suggestions on handicapped friendly lodgings, restaurants and sites to visit in/around Sarlat...... and suggestions regarding websites that provide such information.

John P

Le Bugue, France
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1. Re: Traveling while handicapped in the Dordogne

Here is a list of hotels in Sarlat with handicap access: pagesjaunes.fr/annuaire/sarlat-la-caneda-24/…

Many restaurants are also accessible. But do know that walking around on the cobblestone streets of Sarlat and many other places is difficult and tiring. There is now a Sarlat bus that is handicap-friendly but I've never taken it and don't know what the routes are through/around town. Also, pretty much all of the prehistoric sites will be off limits. You can visit the Pôle in Les Eyzies, and I believe the Musée de la Préhistoire has elevators, but the actual caves and abris would be impossible to access.

There's nothing to prevent you from enjoying most of the other sites, though, and people in France are IME exceptionally thoughtful toward anyone with any sort of physical limitation.

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: Traveling while handicapped in the Dordogne

There are still many things you can do which will give you a great sense of the history and architecture, even if some spots would be off-limits for practical reasons, like those cobblestones mentioned earlier. For example, to visit Chateau Beynac, you can drive your car right up the road through the village and past the first carpark, and then follow the road as it sweeps back around to another carpark right at the top. It's then a short walk to the Chateau and beautiful river views. The gardens and some interiors at Chateau de Losse are also quite accessible. You can also take a gabarre cruise from La Roque Gageac to enjoy views of the villages and chateaux along the river (La Roque Gageac is also good for a stroll as it's on fairly flat ground beside the river). Villages like Limeuil, Belves and Domme may be tricky due to steep streets, but others like St Leon sur Vezere or Monpazier, and Cadouin, with its Abbey and cloisters, would be good, as they are on flat ground. You'll find good dining options in each of those villages too.

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3. Re: Traveling while handicapped in the Dordogne

Another activity to add to the excellent suggestions so far, is a canoe down the Dordogne. It's a lovely way to see the countryside and the many castles dotted along the river. If you're fit and active, and your wife walks, chances are you might enjoy this.

A good website for the region is http://www.perigordnoir.com/

La Treille in Vitrac is all one level with a street level entrance (and good food). La Rouffillac near St Julien de Lampon is also easily accessible, and has some good menus for lunch. The restaurant at Le Pech de Malet near the Chateau de Montfort has a lovely terrace overlooking the river -- again, a good lunch time menu -- and easy to get at. None of these recommendations are particularly expensive -- La Treille is probably the most dear.

Hope that helps.

4. Re: Traveling while handicapped in the Dordogne

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