How to Get to Sarlat | Getting to Sarlat the Dordogne


How to Get to Sarlat | Getting to Sarlat the Dordogne

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One of the most frequently asked questions in any travel forum is indeed, “How To Get to Sarlat”, and many ‘experts’ will answer that it is difficult via public transport. It is not at all difficult so don’t be put off.

I have outlined the two options that I consider to be the best ones.

How to Get to Sarlat By Train

Sarlat Train Station

Please note:

  • The station is 350 metres from the Europcar office.
  • The centre of the old town is 1.5 km along footpaths.
  • All times quoted below are approximate and may vary depending on scheduling.

How to Get to Sarlat From Paris By Train

How to Get to Sarlat | Western Route (via Bordeaux)

Catch the TGV to either Libourne or Bordeaux and then a TER (local) train to Sarlat.
Note: Libourne and Bordeaux are close by and the journey time is about the same. Most trains stop at Libourne however some go straight to Bordeaux.

Departs: Paris Montaprnasse

Journey Time:

  • Paris to Libourne / Bordeaux: About 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Libourne to Sarlat: About 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Bordeaux to Sarlat: About 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Total Travel Time: About 5 hours 30min – 6 hours
  • Note: Time of travel quoted does not included time waiting for connections at Libourne / Bordeaux to Sarlat, the amount of time you will have to wait varies depending on timetables but can be up to an hour or more.

How to Get to Sarlat | Central Route (Via Souillac)

Depending on the day and time of travel this route takes two forms:

Intercities to Souillac and then a bus (autocar) to Sarlat. (Preferred option)

Bus meets the train in Souillac Station.

Departs: Paris Austerlitz

Journey Time:

  • Paris to Souillac: About 5 hours
  • Souillac to Sarlat Station:  About 40 minutes

Intercities to Limoges then Souillac and then a bus (autocar) to Sarlat.

This involves a change of train at Limoges.

Departs: Paris Austerlitz

Journey Time:

  • Paris – Limoges: About 3 ¼ hours
  • Limoges – Souillac: About 2 ½ hours
  • Souillac to Sarlat Station: About 40 minutes

How to Get to Sarlat | Central Route via Brive-la-Gillarde (i.e. Brive) (Preferred option)

Intercities to Brive. Collect hire car at train station. Europcar office is 120 metres from the station

Departs: Paris Austerlitz

Journey Time: 4 hours 20 mins

Sarlat is 50 kms from Brive

To travel from Sarlat to Paris simply reverse the route information

How to Get to Sarlat From Nice

The tricky part about this route is the connections.

Here is an example of a route recommended by SNCF with close connections. But it is an incredibly long journey and I am sure there is a better way!

Nice – Toulouse (night train): 11 hours Toulouse – Souillac 2 hours Souillac – Sarlat 40 mins.

Or you could elect to spend a night (or some time) in Marseille and do the following:

  • Nice – Marseille: About 2 ½ hours
  • Marseille – Toulouse: About 4 ½ hours
  • Toulouse – Souillac: About 2hrs
  • Or collect your hire car in Toulouse and drive it’s about 190 kms to Sarlat (Best Option)

How to Get to Sarlat From Lyon

The SNCF site will take you back through Paris. Lyon to Sarlat via Paris takes about 9 hours.

An alternative is to look at each leg separately that is Lyon to Clermont Ferrand and then Clermont Ferrand to Brive where you could collect a hire car. If you chose this way of planning you would need to factor in connection times and wait between trains. Timing for each leg is below:

  • Lyon – Clermont Ferrand: About 2 ½ to 3 hours
  • Clermont Ferrand – (change USSEL GARE) Brive: About 3 ½ to 4 hours

How to Get to Sarlat From Barcelona

Catch the Spanish train to the border and then change to the train to Pepignan.

  • Pepignan to Toulouse: About 2 ½ hours
  • Pepignan to Souillac: About 5 hours
  • Pepignan to Sarlat: About 7 hours

How to Buy your Ticket

SNCF is the French rail provider. You will come across a number of English site that have ticket options however in my experience these sites do not offer all routes and all times (for example many do not mention the way to Sarlat via Soulliac) This applies even to the English version of the SNCF website http://www.sncf.com/en/passengers which actually defaults you to a travel website in your own country.

I would suggest you turn on the ‘translate’ function on your computer and search your trains through the French website http://www.voyages-sncf.com/. It really is quite a good site and quite simple to use.

You can book your ticket on line and simply print it for use.

How to Get to Sarlat By Car

Many people do not think about picking up their hire car in or near Paris but it is an option that is worth considering. When we return home from our travels we usually spent the night at an airport hotel and then collect a hire car from Paris CDG airport. It is freeway almost all of the way and is very easy driving.

If you are spending a few days in Paris it makes more sense to collect your hire car at one of the offices on the southern side of the city.

Road links:

  • Motorway A 20 : Paris / Souillac (Sarlat 25 km)
  • Motorway A 20 : Toulouse / Cahors, then Gourdon, Sarlat
  • Motorway A 10 : Paris / Poitiers, then Angoulême, Périgueux, Sarlat
  • Bordeaux / Sarlat via Bergerac (local roads)
  • Motorway A 89: Bordeaux-Lyon

Note: Things change… the information on this page is designed as a guide only. As things change we strongly recommend you do your own research before travelling.