Often when we receive enquiries for our guiding services, we are given a long list of places that people would like to visit in 2 or 3 days. We take one look and know it is ’mission impossible’!
Here’s an example.
“We have 3 days and would like you to arrange a guided tour for us. The places we would like to visit are:
- Chateau L’Herm,
- Grotte de Rouffignac,
- Lascaux II,
- Middle-Age and Renaissance sites,
- Domme, Beynac and La Roque-Gageac,
- Castelnaud la Chapelle
- Les Eyzies (NationalMuseum of Prehistory)
- Marqueyssac Gardens,
- Font de Gaume
Oh yes, and for good measure, one of the group has mobility problems and needs to use a wheelchair some of the time!
It’s great to be given an indication of the type of places you’d like to visit when thinking about a Tour – but please, let the professionals have a hand in the planning. They know the distances, the logistics of the area, opening times, accessibility, etc etc – they can come up with an enjoyable and workable Tour for you.
France is a big country – ok, not as big as the States or Australia, for example, but it’s still pretty large – and looking at distances on a map can be deceptive. “Oh look it’s not far from Montignac to Rocamador, it’s only about a inch on the map”, we’ve heard said. But what does that inch represent? Actually, it’s only about 38 miles, but factor in bendy twisty roads and in reality it takes about 1.5 hours to get there. It’s not an ideal base for a Tour in the VezereValley!
If you do want to know the distances between places, how can you find out? A good starting place is ViaMichelin – you just type in the 2 places you want to know the distance and timing between and hit search. It’s best to input the postal code, otherwise, you can be mislead – there are often towns with identical names in different regions. An alternative site is Mappy – both are good useful sites.
After one of our Tours, our visitors often comment, “I just couldn’t have arranged this for myself, I couldn’t have worked out how to schedule the visits, timings, locations, known how to reserve tickets (even if I needed to) – and we wouldn’t have got anything like as much out of our holiday without our guide.
So, please, let your guide, guide you – you’ll get the most out of your time – and your money!
Steve and Judie Burman live in the beautiful Vezere Valley in the Dordogne region of South-West France. Together they run Caves and Castles, specialising in prehistoric Cave Art and medieval Castles Tours. You can join a small group (up to 6) 4 night/5 day Tour based 2 nights each in the medieval towns of Sarlat and Montignac-sur-Vezere or book a custom Tour for a day or more.
Professional archaeologist, Steve loves to share his passion for the ‘Cradle of Humanity.’ World famous sites such as Lascaux, the ‘Sistine Chapel of Prehistory’ and Font de Gaume are close by. Coupled with gastronomic meals and superb wines, your Caves & Castles Tour is really special.
Slow Travel Tours is an affiliation of small-group tour operators who offer personalized trips in Italy, France and other European countries.