Hi, I'm planning a trip for next month and I'm mulling over whether to rent a car or not. As a rule I tend to hate driving on trips (I find it more stress than it's worth usually) but I'm not sure if destinations in the Dordogne region are well enough served by public transport to avoid renting a car. Also, does anyone know of the best place to stay as a "base"? I was planning on staying in Périgueux, but I don't know if that's the best location to be honest. I'd like to visit Sarlat-La-Canéda, Rocamadour and Montignac especially.
I've not been to the Dordogne since I was quite little, but I remember Montignac as being particularly lovely, it really left an impression on me.
I'm not sure about the best base, but re transport you can do most of this by train - Sarlat and Rocamadour have SNCF stations.
There is a bus from Brive to Montignac, check out timetables for this and a few other services at the CFTA website. There are probably other local buses too, but local bus companies in France often don't make their information very available over the Internet - I had to contact the tourist office in Avignon to find out about local buses for our trip to Provence last year.
salrat is a lovely town, i remember being there when i was about 12 and u shouldnt miss it
Thanks very much for the responses. I'm going to stay in Brive and just use public transport, hopefully it's not too crowded at this time of year.
I would suggest you rent a car in Sarlat; although several cities can be reached by public transport, many others cannot or take a lot more time that way, not to mention the numerous out-of-the-way churches, convents and castles that you won't have access to.
I don't know if this will be of any help, but I thought the bus system in Normandy would be ideal (the map showed lots and lots of bus routes), but it was extremely inconvenient. Some busses only worked certain days, others had different routes depending on what time it was, and connecting between busses that leave every 2 hours was just about impossible. I skipped a trip to the Canadian military cemetery and Mont Saint Michel when the (very unhelpful) woman at the tourist centre rolled her eyes. I didn't drive at the time, but if I did I would have rented a car. I don't know if it would be similar where you're going...
[ Edit: Edited on Apr 8, 2008, at 5:52 AM by tway ]