The Dordogne

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Vlad The Impaler, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Funster

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    Hello all trying to plan my holiday to France next year, the Dordogne, and could do with some pointers.Ive never ventured outside the uk in the mh yet but am looking to meet up with Mrs Vlads family some of which will be flying over .
    The first thing to consider will be what time of year to go.I've got 2young kids and a dog, no air con in van,have red hair and fair skin so don't fancy Aug Sept.
    I'm also guessing that it would be rather busy at that time of year.So the plan is to go in the may holidays and take them out of school for a week giving us the last week in may and the first week in June.I have got a Tesco club card so hope to use this to gain points on the tunnel then go strait to chateaux Ponac ( wherever that is) the plan is to stay for 5days then head to the coast for a few nights the head home stopping as and where we like.
    I suppose the point of this post is to find out information on the best routes,toll costs ,times to destination etc.Things to look out for,any sugestions for family friendly sites on way back up,and anything I might need to know or may have overlooked.
    Thanks Vlad
     
  2. JOHNSTEY

    JOHNSTEY Read Only Funster

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    You do right to consider the time of year first and foremost.We have been going to the Dordogne regularly as my sister in law now lives there.Being of 'northern european' complexion i.e.very fair, we have taken to going in April or October.We once tried July/August and it was far to hot for us and we couldn't sleep properly or do much at all during the day!
    Also all the sights are also really busy at this time.So for a pleasant and leisurely visit May would be fine.:thumb:
     
  3. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Funster

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    Out of curiosity what route do you take?
     
  4. mick noe

    mick noe Funster

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    you have chosen one of the nicest parts of France to start your love affair with the country...........as that is what it will become. Two things to start you off buy All the Aires of France book and the A.C.S.I.card/book ENJOY:Smile::Smile:
     
  5. Mollie Dot

    Mollie Dot Read Only Funster

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    Hi Vlad
    Being dog owners we loved Pont de Limeuil campside last year. Right on the banks of the dordogne river we got a riverside pitch with direct access to beach and swimming for the dogs. There was a super adventure type playground there for kids also, as well as good pool and other play area near the reception. In earlly June was just pleasantly warm and the beautiful medieval. Limeuil village only a short cycle/walk away over a bridge. There was canoeing on the river and pony trekking next to campsite as well. The site operated under the ACSI scheme so until end June was 14 euro per night with ACSI card which included EHC
     
  6. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    Well I've located it Vlad, it's more or less opposite Royan, ie on the opposite side of the Gironde Estuary - that is to say if it's this place
    http://www.interchalet.co.uk/detail.cfm?object_code=JDL100
    where the nearest village to the property is called Jau-Dignac et Loirac.

    Funnily enough if you look at the map on that website, we were on the Royan side less than a fortnight ago, we stayed a couple of nights on aires, one at Mortagne sur Gironde - elec hook up, wifi, €7.40 per night and had one night at Meschers and went to an enormous brocante there. Great fun even though it heaved down with rain. It hadn't rained too bad at Mortagne which was just as well since it's all on grass. Bout the same price at Meshers but nowhere near as pretty and no hook-up though there was Wifi. And it was hard standing.

    But that's more Bordeaux really than Dordogne, although the D isn't actually a well-defined map area. You need to drop south east from there for the D proper. Think it may even be classed as Poitou-Charentes?

    Still, you are near enough to Cognac anyway to make your trip enjoyable LOL

    We'd have liked to investigate Rochefort but rain stopped that bit of the masterplan. So that one's still on the list.
     
  7. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Funster

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    Thanks Jenny Ive just found out a link to the place www.giresdelaprade.com
    They don't cater for motor homes as a rule but ill have a word .Its owned by wife's step mums sister.What sort of travelling time from Calais ?
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  8. peyrilles

    peyrilles Read Only Funster

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    Hi
    I live in the French department of the Lot which is adjacent to the Dordogne.My first piece of advice is to avoid August like you would the plague, not only are the European schools on holiday but most of the factories are also closed in August and the whole of the South West of France is one big traffic jam. April the weather can be very wet but May is more settled
    much like a warm English summer, September is also warm and settled.
    Many villages have an aire de camping car which are free and secure, municiple sites are not free but very cheap.
    If you want to make fast passage use the autoroute but you will pay a premium on toll roads for a campingcar. We use mainly "D" roads wich are the depart roads (like A roads in UK) and last of all try and buy your diesel from the supermarkets up to 10% cheeper that the independent garages.
    Hope this helps
    Peyrilles :thumb:
     
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  9. Traveller_HA5_3DOM

    Traveller_HA5_3DOM Read Only Funster

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    Great first post full of good information, welcome to the forum and please stay on and continue to post.
     
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  10. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    You appear to be describing Charentes-Maritime rather than the Dordogne region as I understand it (rivers, limestone gorges etc). We visited those areas last August, are big fans of Charentes-Maritime anyway, and can recommend both. As you appear to be heading for the Bordeaux-Royan area it's worth noting that south of the Gironde you're very much into the vast pine forests, big dunes and long wild coast with sandy beaches, whereas North of the Gironde the coast and countryside is more varied. Personally I'm happy with either but the pine forest bit doesn't float everyone's boat.

    If you're into cycling I'd recommend the stretch of coast around La Palmyre - Saint Palais sur Mer. Plenty of variety there, and very bike friendly. Further north you've got Ile d'Oleron, again very cycle friendly and very Oystery - lots of wetlands and some interesting towns to see. My wife swears by La Rochelle for shopping and it's good for a day out. You can stop overnight in the Park n Ride there and get a free bus ticket for up to 6 people thrown in with the fee (around 10 Euros). Above La Rochelle you've got Ile de Re which is like an upmarket version of Oleron, also cycle friendly, but very busy in the high season - think Cornwall.

    In the general area is Parc Puy du Fou, France's most popular non-Disney attraction, where history-themed spectaculars are acted out on huge stages. Very different and well worth a look. There's a vast aire at the Parc.
     
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  11. JOHNSTEY

    JOHNSTEY Read Only Funster

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    We have tried many different routes and all have their good and bad points.The most Straightforward is Dover- Calais heading for a nice site by the river at Montreuil first night.
    Then head down to Rouen and across the Seine/E5 to Dreux/Chartres/Orleans/Vierzon.
    We avoid toll roads and stop when ready.This road is ok but does tend to have some lorries on it.
    At Chateauroux we pick up the A20 and it's plain sailing past Limoges/Brive and down to Souillac then basically turn along the Dordogne River to go where you want.My relations are only 12k from both Sarlat and Souilliac so thats us there.
    If you have more time it's worth heading towards Tours after Chartres and coming down via Amboise and Loches.We did this last time and the site at Loches is lovely.
    Whatever you do you generally find the roads better and emptier and driving more enjoyable!:thumb:
     
  12. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Search on Dordogne or Rocamadour it was done to death recently.
     
  13. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    Think your 'gires' are probably 'gites' ?

    If so is it

    http://www.gitesdelaprade.com/About-Us-and-the-Area.html

    in which case it is in Limousin, the Haute-Vienne area of the Limousin.

    Some of the H-V is high indeed, and the whole area gets rain. But can also be utterly baking in high summer and other times. As I said before about other areas, this area is also very green and you don't get any of that sort of green without wet stuff to grow it.
     
  14. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Funster

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    Thanks Jenny that's the place typing error on my part,not that worried about a bit of rain.Hope there should be some half decent weather end of May June .Just looking foreward to the experience ,can't wait to take the girls into a patisserie and see there faces when they see all those cakey things!
     
  15. lorger

    lorger Funster

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    Hi Vlad
    We have been to that area a few times now and always been in school summer holidays as no choice, have to say though we have always got in to our first choice campsite and always found room on aires. we drove down to Sarlat then headed across to Royan and la Rochelle area last summer and loved it. I will have a look at my motorhome book and send you details of campsites and aires we used some of them quiet style sites and others with swimming pool and slides for Sophie and her friend Emma who came with us.
    Sarlat area is Lorraines fave she just loves the area.

    Gerry
     
  16. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    You are but 40k from Oradour sur Glane then. An hour, if that.

    It SHOULD be visited.
     
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  17. Parcverger

    Parcverger Funster - Campsite Owner

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    Not far from Oradour sur Glane - which we agree should be visited - is St Junien. Park in the car park in the centre of the town (there is an entrance for high vehicles on one side), and go down the road that is close to the tourist office. Halfway down on the right is a chocolateria, and your girls' eyes will really pop out at some of the goodies there!
    Then if you want a good stopover you can visit us at Parc Verger, just half-an-hour away, where you can have a dip in the pool, a good meal at the local bar/restaurant, a good night's sleep, and go on your way refreshed.
    Heading southwards you may want to visit Brantome (pics on the gallery of our website) where it is great fun to watch the canoes doing the circuit, or even do the circuit yourselves.:Smile:
    Cheers - you'll have a great time in this lovely area.
    Bob
    www.parcverger.com
     
  18. lorger

    lorger Funster

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    I will second what bob says we visited Oradour sur Glane and then stayed the night at Bobs which I would highly recommend.as its an ideal stop over for a night or few. Only issue we had was it rained but I'm sure that's not Bobs fault the girls still managed an hour in the pool though. Loads of lovely walks also.
     
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