On the road in Dordogne Valley... -
Whether you choose to hop on a bus, flag down a cab, jump behind the wheel or rely on your tennis shoes to do the dirty work... We'll have you buzzing around the Dordogne Valley in absolutely no time at all!
Most of South-West France is very much car-oriented as roads are largely in good shape and offer a multitude of respites along the way. The Dordogne Valley’s exquisite rural landscapes and generally quiet roads make driving enjoyable, offering vehiclists the chance to get off the beaten track and stumble across a number of interesting sites they otherwise may not have seen by train or bus. Unlike the visitors who opt to drive down, those flying in with a valid driving licence are advised to hire a car as it's the only way to realistically cover longer distances and get around quickly. Numerous rental companies at the airports offer competitive rates depending on the season and companies such as Europcar and Avis provide pick-up services direct from the major airports. If you do decide to hire a car, don't forget to click on the sat nav option unless you have internet access on your mobile phone abroad as the Dordogne Valley is one of largest regions in France and some attractions are harder to find than others.
There is a good regional SNCF train service that runs through the Dordogne Valley, stopping off at many of the main towns and offering some bus links to others. If you want to explore the region and visit some of the smaller villages, then you may find the use of public transport and trains limiting and time-consuming. Timetables are free, so arm yourself, because it’s not only the large town destinations which are of interest, it’s all the places in between. Nevertheless, the region's sometimes sporadic rail services can be counterbalanced by their fast, clean and punctual trains. The TER’s are what you'd call 'stopping trains' and are usually cheaper than the high-speed TGVs. If you are relying on public transport, remember to check online for 'période bleue' (off-peak) fares as well as the existing lines and stations beforehand.
The winding roads of the Dordogne Valley do not lend themselves to an easy and accessible bus service, however there are of course multiple companies operating in the region. Timetables can be difficult to find at times, so your best bet will be to head to the nearest tourist office for all the necessary information.
Fortunately for tourists, taxis in France are not as expensive as many other European countries because their prices are regulated by the government. If you don't have the possibility of renting a car, then there shouldn't be a shortage of taxis (or Ubers) to chauffer you around provided you call them up in advance to organize your outing. You'll find a list of providers here:
Hundreds of kilometres of cycling routes ribbon along quiet country roads in this deeply rural region. Riverside cycling tracks are naturally flat and scenic although climbs up to hilltop bastides can somewhat be gruelling. On the flip side, there is an almost limitless selection of gorgeous villages in which to stop for rest and refreshments.