We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Help with driving route please Dordogne to Provence

Which Midi-Pyrenees hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Melbourne, Australia
posts: 348
reviews: 113
Help with driving route please Dordogne to Provence

We will be driving from St Cirq Lapopie to St Remy de Provence; we have one night to stop somewhere along the way before we need to be at our accommodation in St Remy. I have the Michelen map and there appears to be 3 ways we could go:

1. Take the road from St Cirq to Rodez, Millau, Lodeve, Montpellier, Arles, St Remy

2. Take the road from St Cirq to Rodez, Mende, Ales, Nimes, Avignon, St Remy

3. Take the road from St Cirq to Cahors, Montauban, Toulouse, Carcassone, Narbonne, Montpellier, Arles, St Remy.

Could someone who knows these roads please advise which would be the easiest way to go? We need to avoid too many winding roads particularly with sheer drops (like gorges). I know this means we will miss some spectacular scenery but I have a young child who is very fearful of such roads and I don't want the journey to be miserable for him. Some winding roads are ok, just not too much.

I am also interested in hearing about any pretty villages we should stop at along the way. We have two days to get across so we can take our time exploring.

I would be grateful for any advice on the route as I need to book accommodation for our night's stopover. It's hard to do this without knowing the route we should take.

17 replies to this topic
Ottawa, Canada
posts: 6,981
reviews: 8
11. Re: Help with driving route please Dordogne to Provence

I'm sorry to read that curves, bends and twists will stop your visit to Ste Enimie. The drive there from Millau through the Gorges du Tarn was one of the best days behind the wheel of a car I've ever had. While there are twists and turns, there are few really major cliffs downward once you are in the gorge as the road follows the bottom rather than the tops of the cliffs.

If the height problem is insurmountable for you i guess you should avoid the Millau Viaduct too as it is very very high. ;^(

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 348
reviews: 113
12. Re: Help with driving route please Dordogne to Provence

Hi Parisamsterdam,

I've sought the advice of some of the reviewers of Chateau de la Caze and they have reassured me sufficiently that we are going to give it a go. We will seat our son on the opposite side in the car to the gorge so hopefully he will not be so anxious.

I also took a google street view drive through the area and you are right, even just via the street view it is spectacular.

Washington DC...
Destination Expert
for Dordogne
posts: 8,800
reviews: 4
13. Re: Help with driving route please Dordogne to Provence

Last time I drove the Gorges I cam around a bend to see a Wide Load coming straight at me. THAT was interesting to say the least. Fortunately, the Wide Load was on the gorge side of the road. It took us about 10 minutes to maneuver properly to pass each other, but I'm happy to report we did manage.

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 348
reviews: 113
14. Re: Help with driving route please Dordogne to Provence

Oh StCirq! Scary story but I'm glad you mentioned it; I'll have my husband creeping around those bends ever so slowly. There is apparently a way you can get to Chatea de la Caze so you stay on the inside lane and then heading out you can go the other way so that you are again on the inside lane; I'll be hunting down those two different roads so we don't have to drive on the gorge side of the road.

Ottawa, Canada
posts: 6,981
reviews: 8
15. Re: Help with driving route please Dordogne to Provence

To get down into the gorge at Ste Enimie the road is steep and has switchbacks. But it is a wide and modern road, not a tiny little lane. Here's a photo from near the top as we left the gorge: tripadvisor.ca/…31044844 If it's your son with the fear of heights it should be easy to distract him... our kids traveled many thousands of miles over the years with their noses buried in books in the back seat or playing Nintendo DS. With things today like tablets and smart phones distraction shouldn't be a problem! ;^)

One thing to remember about the drive through the gorge is that you will be going slowly. You'll often have to stop when you meet a van pulling a trailer load of canoes back upstream. In pretty well all cases you'll see what's coming through the rock cut from other way and will have lots of time to stop. I have a couple of videos of the drive online here at TA... have a look: tripadvisor.ca/members-videos/parisamsterdam…

The only 'bad' spot is a blind curve with 2 tunnels... as you will see in the video it's controlled by traffic lights so no worries.

Now that I think of it, crossing the Millau Viaduct shouldn't be too trying... you get a surprisingly lousy view as you cross. It has to do with the airfoil railings on each side. But don't miss on stopping at the observation area on the north side. They have an interesting little museum with the history of the bridge.

I hope this helps allay any fears and is of some use to your planning.

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 348
reviews: 113
16. Re: Help with driving route please Dordogne to Provence

Parisamsterdam the videos are a great help. I'm really pleased we have decided to do it; it looks so beautiful. With the traffic light to the two blind tunnels is there no green light? It looked like you proceeded forward on the flashing amber light; is that right?

The north side of the viaduct will be our approach side. Is there an observation area on the southern side? It would be better if my son gets a look at that once we have reached the other side.

Thank you so much for your help.

Ottawa, Canada
posts: 6,981
reviews: 8
17. Re: Help with driving route please Dordogne to Provence

As far as I know there is only the north of the viaduct observation area. We approached from the south and did not see anything similar.

Glad the videos have helped. As you saw... as I waiting for the green but a couple of cars behind me honked so I figured I'd better get moving! I suspect it eventually goes green but it stays orange for a long time to make sure any traffic coming through has lots of time to get out.

You're very welcome... if there's anything else feel free to ask. ;^)

Reply to: Help with driving route please Dordogne to Provence
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted