Sarlat-le-Caneda is about 550km/340 miles south of Paris. Estimate between 5 and 6 hours driving time. It's motorway/freeway almost all the way but there are tolls to pay.
Sarlat is about 200km/112 miles west of Bordeaux, approximately 2 hours driving on a good day.
The nearest airport is at Brive-la-Gaillard, some 52km/32 miles distant. At present (August 2010) this airport has flights only from Paris (Orly) with Airlinair and from London (City) with Cityjet.
Schedules and more airport information can be obtained at http://www.aeroport-brive-vallee-dord....
You will almost certainly need a car or pick-up upon arrival. The only public transport between Brive and Sarlat involves taking a local train to Souillac then a bus. This trip averages 1hr 20 minutes but there are only four journeys (at most) each day.
Bergerac airport is about 74km/47 miles to the west. This airport has flights from Paris, Rotterdam, Charleroi and many UK airports, mostly seasonal. More information on airlines and schedules can be found here on the airport's official website : http://www.bergerac.aeroport.fr/
For those not wishing to hire a car, there is an irregular and infrequent train service between Bergerac and Sarlat. The journey takes about 1hr 20 minutes along the scenic Dordogne valley. See below for more information.
There are no buses between Bergerac and Sarlat.
Bordeaux (200km/112 miles) is a large international and regional airport served by many airlines. For further information check the airport official website http://www.bordeaux.aeroport.fr/
Bordeaux airport has a direct bus (called Jetbus) every 45 minutes direct to the railway station. Journey is 35 - 45 minutes depending on traffic, cost €7. There is also a regular city bus every 10/15 minutes weekdays, every 15/20 minutes Saturdays and every 20/30 minutes Sundays and Holidays. This connects with the tram network at Lycees Merignac and will get you to the station in about an hour for just €1,40.
Sarlat-le-Caneda is at the end of a branch line. The trains are slow, irregular and infrequent but the route is mainly quite scenic along the Dordogne valley. The station at Sarlat is a ten minute walk from the town centre; there are taxis.
From the Paris direction, take the TGV to Libourne. The line to Sarlat branches off here. Overall journey times from Paris (Montparnasse Station) are between five and six hours.
From other parts of France, it is best to head for Bordeaux (from where most of the trains to Sarlat start their journeys) or Libourne.
There is a secondary line between Agen and Perigueux, with connections for Sarlat at Le Buisson. However trains are very few and far between.
Research your journeys and make reservations (essential for TGV and certain other long distance trains to Bordeaux and Libourne) at www.voyages-sncf.com
Local timetables (only in French) Bordeaux - Libourne - Bergerac - Sarlat, also Agen - Le Buisson - Perigueux can be downloaded and printed from the regional railway website:
For purely local journeys along the Sarlat line, there are no seat reservations and no advance purchase discounts. These are local TER trains.
There are no long-distance bus (coach) services in France. Sarlat has few local buses. There is a service to Souillac three times a day on weekdays, twice on Saturdays and Sundays with an extra bus late on Fridays to connect with the evening train from Paris. There is also one bus a day during the week (two on Wednesdays!) to Perigueux. No buses operate on Sundays and Holidays except for one to Souillac for the train back to Paris. The local bus timetables can be downloaded from http://www.cg24.fr/FCKeditor/upload/f...
The buses to from Souillac are Ligne 6 ; to and from Perigueux Ligne 7A.