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Best attractions in the Dordogne?

High Wycombe
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Best attractions in the Dordogne?

Hello,

We are going to the Dordogne this August for ten nights. We're a family of 5 (with kids ages 17, 15 and 9). We would love to have some advice regarding the best attractions to visit. We're staying just south of Bergerac, and I worry this may be too far out.

We'd love to try canoeing, and really are at a loss for other 'must do's while we're there. Are there any nice beaches? Family friendly days out? Markets?

We're quite an active family- we love swimming and being up and about. We're willing to drive up to an hour and a half to two hours to reach attractions. We've been to the Cairngorms in Scotland and enjoyed climbing up mountains, visiting Loch Ness, etc, so anything like that would be great!

Thanks for any advice you can give.

Tampa, Florida
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1. Re: Best attractions in the Dordogne?

Yes, south of Bergerac is quite far afield for most of the most-popular attractions.

You're very late to be starting your research -- but start here: http://www.perigorddecouverte.com/

I know this is somewhat obtuse, but the best attractions are the ones that you and your family want to see -- the area will be heaving with people, including lots of kids -- it's a very family-friendly area.

Nuneaton, United...
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2. Re: Best attractions in the Dordogne?

We stayed in Vitrac last August,( our third year in the Dordogne ) by far the best canoe point on the river Dordogne. I drove to Bergerac Airport to pick up relations who had flown down,its approx 1hr 15 mins from the airport to Vitrac so bear this in mind when choosing days out, if you want to do the 23km canoeing down the Dordogne river (well recommended),

you need to be in Vitrac before 10.00am (and take a picnic for the many river beaches),they bus you up stream to collect your canoes (about 15km) and then return you back to your starting point at the end of the day.

An evening in Sarlat is a must do,the best car park is in front of the town hall.

I'm afraid some driving is unavoidable .

Perigueux, France
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3. Re: Best attractions in the Dordogne?

The best attractions for one person may not be the best for another. Bergerac is a great place to see and there are loads of historic things to see around there, plus all the vineyards in the area. Canoeing is something that happens further up the Dordogne and Vezere rivers as the Dordogne at Bergerac is quite big and wide. I would not go as far as Vitrac myself as the is very little there apart from canoes. If you want to canoe then go to Limeuil which is much nearer to Bergerac and do a bit of the Vezere, Limeuil is a place where you can spend a day looking around the gardens at the top of the hill, or sitting on the beach. There are also some nice places to eat in the village.

You can also spend time to the south and east of Bergerac where there are many things to see and places to visit.

Le Bugue, France
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4. Re: Best attractions in the Dordogne?

You're certainly not in the heart of the Périgord Noir, the area most people stream toward in August, but that doesn't mean you won't have plenty to do and see. If you want to canoe, though, you're going to have to head east. I wouldn't go to Vitrac, either. There are many options for canoeing on either the Dordogne or the Vézère between you and Vitrac. Plus, the Dordogne around Vitrac will be wall-to-wall canoes and kayaks at that time of year. Limeuil is a good idea, or find your way to somewhere around St-Léon-sur-Vézère, which should be visited in any case.

There is no reason to be at a complete loss as to what to do and see. There are hundreds and hundreds of guidebooks, websites, and maps easily available.

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: Best attractions in the Dordogne?

10 nights? I wish we had 10 nights in the Dordogne. We barely scratched the surface with five, but we knew at the outset of our planning a month long visit to France that "fear of missing out" can't guide plans.

We stayed in Sirorac--Périgord and found it to be a decent base. Saint-Cyprien, a little larger commune to the east, might have been better for walking later in the evening but relatively tiny Siorac worked very well for us. Walking up to the pétanque court / piste / boulodrome (by the train station) after returning from dinner became a regular think for us. We never met anyone else playing. The boulangerie is excellent. Walnut tarts, yum.

But I digress.

Canoeing was one of the highlights to be sure (we have 14 and 17 year old boys). We enjoyed hiking and the river and the caves and many various villages small and big but canoeing was the thing they remember the most, aside from the bakery!

Perigueux, France
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6. Re: Best attractions in the Dordogne?

StCirq speaks sense here. If you do get to visit St-Léon-sur-Vézère, then feel free to let me know and I'll pop down and buy you a coffee :-) it is one of the nicer places to enjoy the Perigord and now has four eating places, all very good.

Le Bugue, France
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7. Re: Best attractions in the Dordogne?

What's your favorite of the four places, Fred? I can only think of three, but it's been awhile since I've been there.

I do like to sit out in the garden of Le Petit Léon in nice weather. We'll be back in September and, should you be around, we'll be happy to pop up and buy YOU a café!

Perigueux, France
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8. Re: Best attractions in the Dordogne?

The newest place has opened in the old part of the village where the estate agent was for a short while. I like to eat at all of them and apart from in Sarlat have never felt that I have eaten a sub standard meal here in all the years, and I do eat out once or twice a week even in winter.

I can be found in the bar/café Marjolaine in Plazac nearly every day. If I am not there then I am out making videos of the Perigord from my motorbike for youtube, my new hobby. Here is a taster http://youtu.be/52SQZ1Xeooo

Le Bugue, France
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9. Re: Best attractions in the Dordogne?

Oh, be still my heart! I've probably driven that road a thousand times, and it's SO pretty when the flowerboxes are all overflowing but before the throngs arrive and jam it up in mid-summer. What a great hobby!

Will have to gt over to St-Léon on a nice September day. My husband's never been. Can you still walk over the footbridge and up into the hills and over to Castel-Merle, by the prehistoric abri with the ancient green door? Someone told me there was a new parking lot over in that neck of thee woods, but as I said, it's been awhile since I was there.

Marjolaine, eh? I know it. Will pop in or give you a heads-up that we're headed for St-Léon.

Waterloo, Belgium
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10. Re: Best attractions in the Dordogne?

Must sees are indeed for you to decide.

I remember visiting castles in Dordogne, these were for me my must see.

Forgot the names of the castles though.

Now, a must see for me would be some good restaurants.... not difficult to find there.