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 To Couze-et-St-Front

Travel TO our house in the Dordogne is easy.
You need a car. And the Michelin 329 Local road map for Corrèze, Dordogne. (1:175 000)
Fly in or take the train. Then hire a car in Bordeaux or Bergerac.

 Get to Couze via Paris - and back (update 12/2011)

From Australia there are heaps of ways to get to Paris, and eventually to Couze.
It really depends on your plans.

Here's one way.  Book a return flight to Bordeaux.
Bordeaux is an international airport. We are leaving Perth in the afternoon to connect with an Airfrance flight in Singapore. A late evening departure gets in to Paris (CDG) about 7am. Then we are continuing on Airfrance to Bordeaux.
International all the way, pick your bags up in Bordeaux (said he hopefully).
Rent a car at Bordeaux airport, drive to Bergerac airport and swap it for your Buggs car (
This is the cheapest way by far and saves train fares from CDG to Gare Monparnasse, Bordeaux and Bergerac. Its cheaper to hire at Bordeaux and drop off in Bergerac than to get a cab in to Gare St Jean and the train to Bergerac.
We plan to reverse the process from Couze to Bergerac. Rental car to Bordeaux, Airfrance from Bordeaux (international check-in) through to CDG, then Singapore to Oz (QANTAS codeshare to Perth). No pesky luggage check-in at CDG, just transit and pick your bags up in Oz (said he hopefully, again).
Downside is a midnight flight ex CDG arriving Perth the next midnight.

 Get there by air (update 12/2011)

Bergerac's main services are to/from the UK. But there are more!
Latest figures (2014) show about 277,000 passengers through Bergerac annually. The terminal has been upgraded, with a capacity for up to 400,000 passengers per year.
For Summer 2019 there are 6 airlines serving Bergerac. The services are seasonal, (

Flights to Bergerac (EGC) from the UK:
FlyBe, Ryanair, Jet2 and British Airways service the UK and offer a number of daily and weekly flights.

FlyBe ( from:
  Edinburgh (EDI) - London/Gatwick (GTW) - Exeter (EXT) - Birmingham (BHX)
  Southampton (SOU) - Manchester (MAN)
Ryanair ( from:
  London/Stansted (STD) - Liverpool (LPL) - Nottingham/East Midlands (EMA)
  Bristol (BRS) - Brussels/Charleroi (CRL)
Jet2 ( from:
  Leeds/Bradford (LBA)
Transavia ( from:
  Brussels/Charleroi (CRL)
Chalair (http:// flying a Beech 1900 from:
  Nice (NCE) and Lyon (LYS)

 Take a train (update 12/2011)

From Paris (Gare Montparnasse) to Bergerac via either Libourne or Bordeaux (Gare St Jean):
TGV timetables A fairly standard Summer timetable for the TGV/TER trains to Bergerac. It may depend on the day, and you may be able to join the TER at Libourne.
  Paris 07:45, Bordeaux 10:33, Bergerac 11:58, Sarlat 13:29
  Paris 10:50, Bordeaux 13:35, Bergerac 14:49, Sarlat 16:03
  Paris 15:15, Bordeaux 18:11, Bergerac 19:31, Sarlat 20:55
  Paris 17:15, Bordeaux 20:32, Bergerac 22:00, Sarlat 23:18
  Paris 18:15, Bordeaux 21:44, Bergerac 23:00

  See the local TER time tables at: TER train timetables
From the Welcome page menu bar choose «Fiches horaires» (Timetable)
Don't worry about the French language. Most browsers now have translators to help you out.
From the Fiche horaire (Timetable) menu Recherche par gare (Search by stations) and Veuillez renseigner une gare desservie par la ligne (Enter a station served by the line) enter Bergerac and click Valider (Validate)

Or use the menu Recherche par ligne (Search by line) and, from the drop box choose
«ligne 26 - Sarlat, Bergerac and Bordeaux»

  Download the current (spring) timetable in PDF valid til 06 July 2019  
Sarlat - Bergerac - Bordeaux PDF timetable
It gives you an idea of times.



You will need a car to get around. And not too big as Rue de Remparts is designed for 2CV size (only partly kidding).
 From Paris, Bergerac is 540 Km south via Limoges, 5½ hours non stop.
 From Mèrignac airport at Bordeaux it is 105Km to Bergerac on the D963.
 It is quicker via the A89 to Mussidan (103Km) and then the D709 (22Km) to Bergerac.
 The D709 has been upgraded and a new road bypasses Bergerac to meet the D660 at Creysse.
 Couze-et-St-Front is 24Km east of Bergerac on the D660.

 Car hire (update 2/2019)

Car hire is a very individual choice, depending on your length of stay and your travel itinerary. The last few times we were in France we leased a car. Renault ( and others offer a good deal on a brand new car.
The usual car hire companies are at Bordeaux or Bergerac airport/city.

We use a local operator in Bergerac. ( They are now a very big operation (200+ cars) out of Bergerac and Limoges and Biarritz airports. Say hi to Simon. Very easy to deal with.


 Driving tips for Oz visitors

Driving is OK. Just keep the navigator in the gutter.
The BIG hint when driving through unknown towns: ALWAYS head for Centre Ville, thats where the tourist bureau is located, and the directions to your next destination are plain to see.

Bergerac is the main regional centre (population 27 000), but its on the Route Nationale (D936) road system. That means continual villages (50Km limit or less) from the fair city of Bordeaux. And Mèrignac airport is on the other side of Bordeaux from Couze. Either way around, the Rocade to the D936 is the LONG way. At least you drive through Bordeaux vineyards.

Its quicker (at 110/135 Km/hr) to take the A89 via Libourne towards Brive-la-Gaillard. Leaving Bordeaux-Mèrignac airport, take the E05/E70/A630 (Rocard) clockwise toward Paris/Libourne; after crossing the Garonne River turn right to join the A89-E70 and bypass Libourne; just before Mussidan (103 Km) turn on to the D709 to Bergerac (22Km). Its a nice country road.

From Bergerac you then join the D660, Avenue Bergerac-Cahors, towards Lalinde, turning south over the Dordogne at Port de Couze, and voilà.

Speed limits and gotchas.

On the rural roads (other than freeways) the limit has been lowered to 80Km/hr, down from 90Km/hr.
Through towns & villages its 50 Km/hr.
More than 40 over the limit can mean a confiscated car, a big fine and a long walk.
The gotcha is that the limits are "implied" by the community place name, not a specific 50 sign. A Rapell 50Km sign means "Remember 50KM limit." and you are in the zone. There may not be a specific 50Km/hr limit sign posted. Many towns also have a (signposted) 30 Km limit. There are some in Couze.
Traffic control lights are nowhere near as prominent as some of us are accustomed to. They are easy to miss. Pull up so that you can see the small light set at eye level.
Be very careful, you mix it with everything from Farmer Jaques on the tractor (with manure spreader attached) to semi-trailers.

Right of way/priority
When driving in a city, town or village, the right of way at an intersection is automatically given to the vehicle on the right - la priorité à droite - unless otherwise indicated by stop or yield/give way signs. This applies even in the case of a small side road entering a major main road. The vehicle travelling on the main road must give way to the vehicle entering on the right.

Drink Driving, DUI and DWI
A driver is considered to be driving under the influence of alcohol - driving drunk - in France if the blood/alcohol level is equal to or exceeds 0.5 grams per litre (g/l) (thats our 0.05g per 100ml blood).
If the blood/alcohol level is between 0.5 g/l and 0.8 g/l the penalty could include a fine and the loss of six points
If the blood/alcohol level is in excess of 0.8g/l the penalty could include two years in jail, a fine, the confiscation of the vehicle, the suspension of the licence or the loss of six points
If the blood/alcohol exceeds the legal limit, and a presence of banned narcotics (drugs) is detected, the penalty could include three years in prison and a fine
If a driver causes an accident while driving drunk, the fine could be dramatically increased
If a driver causes serious physical harm or commits involuntary manslaughter (a victim dies as a result of the driver's actions), penalties may be a ten-year prison sentence and a fine of up to €150,000