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Sarlat, France

Perth, Australia
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44 posts
13 reviews
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Sarlat, France

Happy new year all. Getting in early researching for a visit to Sarlat next DECEMBER! I know, I know...it's new year and I have nothing better to do than sit in air conditioning with the iPad!

Anyway, have read some great info but what would you recommend for me? Will be coming from Oz, probably into Switzerland first then will fly or train from there, from around Bern or Zurich. Question is, which airport if I fly and would it really be worth it for the getting to and from, or will I be just as well with the train? From what I can see, train will be about 10 hrs via Basel but with flight, getting to and from airports etc, might not be much in it.

Will hire a car but probably once I am in Sarlat.

Thanks, comments appreciated.

Pam

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
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14 reviews
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1. Re: Sarlat, France

I am sorry, but I don't follow your plans. If you want to get to Sarlat-la-Caneda, you would do best to fly to Bordeaux rather than Switzerland.

There is not much car rental in Sarlat, and really you would need a car to get there.

Perth, Australia
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44 posts
13 reviews
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2. Re: Sarlat, France

I'm going to be in Switzerland first. Then heading down to Sarlat. And back to SwitZerland for Christmas.

I will definitely get a car but not sure if I should try for Brive, maybe even Bergerac. Bordeaux the best in terms of flights etc, but two hours or more on the road, in a car on my own in winter, on the wrong side of the road doesn't greatly appeal, would prefer to start off closer, hence thinking of Brive. Harder to get to initially of course.

I never do things the easy way!

Albufeira, Portugal
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for Algarve, Faro
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3. Re: Sarlat, France

Brive airport has flights from Northern Europe, Paris and the UK.only, not Switzerland. Ditto Bergerac in winter.

I guess, theoretically, you could take a train or plane from Geneva to Paris thence to Brive or Bergerac. But would take ages and cost a fortune.

It is possible to get from Geneva to Brive by train, but it is a long journey of around 9 hours and involving three changes of train en route via Lyon and points west.

Tampa, Florida
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36,954 posts
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4. Re: Sarlat, France

And Brive might put you marginally closer -- but mostly on winding two-lane roads...far more challenging than the autoroute that runs from Bergerac and Bordeaux.

But I agree...fly to Bordeaux.

Perth, Australia
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44 posts
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5. Re: Sarlat, France

Thanks all, guess I will look more at the Bordeaux option then. Will be a challenge on the 'wrong side' of unfamiliar roads in winter but hey, that's what travelling is all about!

I think whichever way I do it, it is going to be a long trip as I will be in Switzerland for my starting point. At least I have plenty of time to plan!

Tampa, Florida
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36,954 posts
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6. Re: Sarlat, France

Then don't go this trip....it sounds like you really aren't all that keen on the logistics (which is entirely valid, particularly if the weather gets very cold/snowy/icy)

There's plenty to do and see in Lyon, Provence, and the Cote d'Azur -- all of which are considerably easier to access from Switzerland.

Denver, Colorado
3 posts
1 review
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7. Re: Sarlat, France

I agree. Sarlet is great, but not for such an involved winter trip, and once you do arrive, the weather might limit your ability to drive much of the surrounding countryside. I'd look at Nice.

Tampa, Florida
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36,954 posts
11 reviews
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8. Re: Sarlat, France

The days are also very, very short -- and most of the attractions are on very-reduced winter hours, if they haven't closed for the off-season. Sarlat is a fabulous destination...but far more fabulous in warmer weather.

Perth, Australia
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44 posts
13 reviews
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9. Re: Sarlat, France

Yep, understand all that, but I will be there in December. Sarlat is already organised so other suggestions not an option. I have booked a flight into Toulouse so will drive from there. It might be good weather and if not, c'est la vie!

I'm used to winter in Europe and I am used to limited travel options and things being closed, so not too big a deal, but I figured the locals still have to operate so I should be able to do something in the area. And eat! Something I am looking forward to. Previous stays in that part of the country in Nov/Dec not too bad.

Thanks for all suggestions.

Le Bugue, France
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10. Re: Sarlat, France

It's going to be bleak. I say that with a certain fondness for the sort of bleak that it is, but just be prepared for icy roads, blinding rains, closures all over...People still live there and carry on, though, so it won't be a travesty, just maybe more of a travel experience than a "holiday." That's not a bad thing. I have burned through an enormous number of huge logs in my fireplace on really cold winter evenings, and burned through a lot of bottles of wine, too. It wasn't bad...just needed lots of blankets ( I don't have central heating). In many ways far more interesting than day-tripping to Sarlat for the market in mid-July or renting a kayak on the Dordogne.