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Chateau recommendations plus Dordogne, Provence and Chamonix.

We, a couple, will be touring France for 3 weeks by Car next May and June. Would like anyone's recommendations for a Chateau stay in the Loire Valley for 2 or 3 nights. We want the real French chateau experience if possible.
Then we are off to the Dordogne, Provence and Chamonix. If any suggestions for there we would appreciate as well. I have the guidebook recommendations but would like favorites from others. Thanks

Posted by
174 posts

In the Dordogne we loved the tiny town of Beynac. We stayed twice in the Hotel Beynac, overlooking the river and with the Chateau looming over us. It has been a few years, so I don't know how it is now, but it was charming and the owners were very welcoming. At that time it was recommended in Karen Brown's book. Sarlat is also a wonderful town with great little streets to explore.

Posted by
3680 posts

When we visited the Dordogne, we stayed at Les Cordeliers in Sarlat (http://www.hotelsarlat.com/). It's a B&B run by Brits and is fabulous. We loved walking after dark through the parts of town that still have gas lights.

The cave art is amazing, of course. It was why we went to the area. But what we also found amazing was this "chateau" built right into a cave, Maison Forte de Reignac (http://www.maison-forte-reignac.com/main.php?l=en). I rarely see anyone mention it, and if you have the time, do visit. The website linked has a great virtual tour, but nothing beats being there.

Posted by
3 posts

Brian, for the "real" chateau experience, check out Chateau de Puymartin http://www.sarlat-tourisme.com/en/ch%C3%A2teau-de-puymartin ...located off the main road just north of Sarlat, it is a convenient and elegant experience. This old chateau is still owned by the same family and during the daytime Madame la Comtesse gives tours. There are two rooms to rent(grand one on main floor--close to parking--and smaller one in turret on second floor, which is a bit of a hike from the parking lot, and a small house in the rear. It is well off the road and one can belive it really is the 12th century now when you see the wonderful antiques and the resident peacock, Leon.

We stayed here two nights in May 2011 and it was absolutely fantastic. Madame's son speaks English, and after sumptuous breakfast, he gave us a private tour of the chateau.

The main website in is French...click on the "gite" button to see the rooms; use the "contact" button to ask about a reservation. I always email in French (with my dictionary handy) and English. Some places require that you send a check as a deposit (which they then return to you when you arrive.)

Reignac is delightful and has a lovely interactive website; it's on the River Vezere, we spent two hours there.

Also, try to squeeze in a trip to Roq St. Christophe, the medieval defensive cave hangout of the prehistoric French.

There are several other smaller caves with real paintings within 50 miles...and less crowded. We drove to Pech Merle (you can reserve tour by email), one of the highlights of our trip.

Have fun!

Chris