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Dordogne vs Provence- how many days

Our goal: small quaint, medieval villages in Provence and the Dordogne. We will have a car.

How best to split our time between the two. Which location deserves more time. We have 11 nights between the two (not including one transitional night in Carcassonne)

Thinking of basing in near Roussalin in the Luberon and also in Beynac for Dordogne.

Advice?

Posted by
679 posts

We spend 7 nights in Provence last summer while my husband rode his bike. What I liked best was being able to see things in a relaxed style. We were based in Bedoin and Gordes. They were charming as were the surrounding areas that my husband visited by bike and I by car. The markets are fabulous places to just stroll and take in the aromas, colors and people. Pont du Gard and the arena in Nimes are worth visits. We spent one night in Avignon because that is where the bike tour met us. Some people rave about it, and it was fine, but one night was OK with us.

Posted by
618 posts

Both great choices. I would do 7 nights Beynac, 5 in Provence (home base is a topic of much discussion on this board and is not clear cut). I would skip Carcassonne and do the full drive - not a knock on Carcassonne as much as a knock on having 2 long driving days and one one-night stay vs. one long driving day. I did that drive (from Beynac to St Remy) last year (7 nights in Beynac, 7 nights near ST Remy) and it wasn't bad.

I can provide further details about my trip if desired.

-Matt

Posted by
1919 posts

Thanks padams and Matt!

I was wondering about just driving straight through. Probably a good idea!

Posted by
1443 posts

I'm doing the same drive this year - Beynac to Saint-Remy - on a Sunday. I had also toyed with the idea of overnighting in Carcassonne to break up the drive and to see the fortress. However, there is so much else I'd like to see in the Languedoc region I tabled the idea to save it for another trip.

Posted by
10325 posts

If you do stop in Carcassonne you can do a short canal boat trip.

Posted by
1919 posts

Hey FastEddie,

What are the places on your list for the Languedoc region?

Andrea,

I was originally planning to stop for one night in Carcassonne, but now we are running out of time. It will be about a 6:45 min drive! That is pushing it. But, if we do stop then we will cut from Provence from 5 nights down to 4.

We have decided to rent a cottage in the Dordogne for a full week. Seems everything is a one week rental. So, I want to keep the 5 nights for Provence. Unless....it is a great stop, just as good as a stop in Provence?

Posted by
10325 posts

I would stay that night in Provence. I just mentioned the canal boat in case you decided to stay a night in Carcassonne. I know we have discussed the desire to experience one.

Posted by
189 posts

Last June I drove from Nice to a small village near Beynac in one day. Not a bad drive. We've stayed near Beynac last year for two week and on a previous trip for a month. We stayed in Provence a few years ago for two weeks. My wife and I much prefer the Dordogne area to Provence.

Posted by
1919 posts

Hmc,

What did you prefer in the Dordogne over Provence?

And what area of Provence did you stay in?

Thanks for any help.

Posted by
189 posts

Before our first trip to France I ask a person who travels to France frequently, several times a year, for a month or so each time. He suggested Dordogne or Provence but ask what we liked to do. I said we liked small villages and antiques..... His recommendation was Dordogne so we spent a month there in a gite in a small hamlet called Simon. We loved it, finding our favorite pastry shops, street markets etc. Next visit was to Provence in L'Isle sur la Sorgue, a gite on the outskirts of town. We liked Provence but not as much as Dordogne. Of the places we've been to in Europe Provence was our least favorite. Dordogne for us was more peaceful and relaxed, small towns and villages. When we went back to Simon last June our first thought was we need to come back here again.

But everyone has their favorite places you may like Provence the best. Everywhere we've traveled in Europe we liked and would be happy to return. It's kind of like picking the best of the best.