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With fields of sunflowers to the left and vineyards to the right, driving through Bergerac is a feast for the eyes, as well as for the stomach. Situated in the southwest of the Dordogne, it is an area rich in wine, food and huge castles.
The vast expanse of farmland and the clear open roads make this part of France perfect for a driving holiday. Take out a hire car in Bergerac and towns like Bordeaux, Toulouse and La Rochelle are all within reach.
Airport Bergerac Dordogne Périgord is a five-minute drive out of town. There is also Bordeaux Airport, which at 70 miles away is about an hour and 20 minutes from Bergerac.
Goldcar Rental, Alamo and Enterprise are among the big brand names offering a rental car in Bergerac. Sixt, Europcar and Avis also have collection facilities at Airport Bergerac Dordogne Périgord.
Bordeaux has become a popular destination for foodie travellers and just 70 miles from Bergerac, it is in easy reach. Pretty old streets are full of family-run restaurants and bistros. Classic French food is popular here, as well as the vin rouge of course. But Bordeaux has more to offer. It has a growing youth population that has helped to liven up the city in recent years. It also has some new modern architecture, including La Cité du Vin (the wine museum), which rises up into the skyline in a shiny silver and gold curve.
The old port city of La Rochelle is just less than three hours from Bergerac by car, a distance of 150 miles. Much of the town is pedestrianised, but there is plenty of car parking. As well as the cafe culture and the restaurants, it is also linked by a toll bridge to Île de Ré.
Heading towards the stylish south of France is another option. Driving the 280 miles from Bergerac to Montpellier offers plenty of added value. The cities of Toulouse and Carcassonne are there to break up the journey, and after you’ve enjoyed the picturesque of city Montpellier, with it neoclassical architecture and fancy trams (they have been designed by fashion designer Christian Lacroix), head on to Nimes, Cannes and Monaco. There’s really no need to stop.
Tollbooths are a regular site on French motorways, so it helps to have plenty of change handy. There are a number of aires, or rest points along the carriageway. Some have fairly limited facilities, but there are generally toilets and picnic benches at the very least.
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