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5 nights in Dordogne…

Hi !
we (2 adults and 2 11 -15 years old kids) will be in Dordogne from july 26 to 31. We will have an Airbnb just outside Sarlat.
We have put on paper an itinerary that can be change after we have read your ideas :
July 26) leave from Puy du Fou, stop in Oradour sur Glane, get our Airbnb and have a dinner in Sarlat.

July 27) see some châteaux (Domme, Betancourt and Castelnaud) . Still have to decide which ones and if we do à canoë ride

July 28) Rocamadour and Gouffre Padirac

July 29) les Eyzies and maybe Pech Merle if we can get tickets

July 30) Pech Merle and Saint cirq Lapopie

July 31) leave !

We have a pool in our Airbnb that we would like to use too !

Thanks !

Posted by
396 posts


Check out They have tours of the castle and reenactments, plus catapult demonstrations. Your kids should enjoy it, plus there are supposed to be beautiful views of the valley. We will be there in June with kids and grandkids (9 and 12). Being there in July, you will find many more family-oriented activities at many of the sights. Lascaux IV has interactive displays, etc. We will go there, plus Font de Gaume. Per this forum, that is the primo cave to visit as it is the original one that you get to explore.

We hope to go to a marche nocturne (night market) on a Thursday at Sarlat. The night markets are supposed to be like parties, with food and drinks and music. In July and August several villages and towns have them on different evenings, but we could only find one in June, in Sarlat. Check out for details about all the markets and night markets. It is a great resource recommended by another forum member.

We also want to visit Beynac Castle, another highly recommended one. Between castles, kayaking, beautiful villages, markets, prehistoric caves, gardens and relaxing at the pool at our gite, the kids and grandkids should have a great time! They may use the bikes provided for exploring the area. Oh yes, there is a tour of a walnut processing business. I don't know much about it, but it is in Sarlat and sounds like a fun, brief interlude. Don't forget wineries and goose farms to visit.

By the way, Rocomadour, St. Cirque LaPopie and Peche Merle are in the opposite direction from Sarlat as Les Eyzies and Lascaux, so you might want to consult a map and group your places to visit somewhat together to avoid doubling back. Distances are short, but the roads are too small and pretty to rush along them.

I hope you all have as good a time as I expect we will. We leave in less than 48 hours for 4 weeks in France.....Paris, Provence and the Dordogne! Yay!

Posted by
1186 posts

Hello from Wisconsin,
Pech Merle should be moved up in your priority listing. What a nice cave. Even if it didn't have the great paintings, and they are great, the cave itself is remarkable. Plus, you are now on the Cele River. Continue north and east from Cabrerets (Pech Merle) along the Cele River for one great drive. Too narrow for buses, so it is not heavily touristed. The Dordogne is a wide river with wide roads and lots of uses. Of course a plethora of castles. The Cele has a monastery tucked in here and there, but the road is nearly wet it gets so close to he river.

This is a beautiful valley with steep sides.

wayne iNWI

Posted by
2 posts

Definitely a canoe trip - easy and meandering with cliffs and chateaux. The market in Martel- it’s amazing. Be prepared for twisty roads and fast French tailgaters and also very friendly people (when they aren’t driving). Find your favourite boulangerie and go for your daily baguette and croissants!

Posted by
969 posts

From my perspective, you are missing some real highlights:

  • the beautiful villages of Beynac and La Roque Gageac, on the banks of the Dordogne
  • a canoe trip down the Dordogne
  • if you're going to Les Eyzies anyway, don't miss La Roque St-Christophe (medieval village built in strange geographical feature;

If you need to find time to accommodate any of these, I would drop St-Cirq-Lapopie. Its a ways from Sarlat, and not as nice as other places closer. I went knowing it was named as one of les plus belles villages de France, and was sorely disappointed.

Posted by
349 posts

Thanks mq: we are not that much into market, but if we around we will take a look ! Here in Québec we are kind of use to impatient and bad drivers...we will see !

darrenblois: Thnaks for those ideas. We have thought about St-Cirq because it's not far from Pech Merle. Maybe we can skip it.

The canoe is on our list but we have not done that very often (maybe 3-4 in our life) so maybe it could be too hard for us.

We will for sure go to La Rocque St-Christophe !

Posted by
396 posts

bucephale, How did your Dordogne visit go? What did you get to see and do? You can read my trip report (dtd 6-28) on Four weeks in France, continued".