Meeting Your Trip in SOUILLAC - 2016
On this page, you will find information about meeting your trip in Souillac. Topics include...
We suggest that you print these pages out, and bring a copy with you to your trip.
When and Where:
We meet at the Souillac railway station, at 1p on the trip’s start date (if you are shipping baggage to the end of a trip of 2 or more weeks, please be at the station by 12:30p), or later by prior arrangement (to accommodate those coming from Paris via the first morning train, or from another of our trips). Souillac is a mid-sized town in the Dordogne Valley, a 5-hour ride south of Paris on the “historic” (pre-TGV) line from Paris to Toulouse.
Your Trip Coordinator will often be at the right end of the station building, as you face it from the street (there is space there to fiddle with bicycles).
You will depart Souillac by bicycle.
You thus have the issue of changing into your cycle clothes. If you have spent the previous night in Souillac, we suggest that you come up to the station dressed for cycling. If you are arriving from Paris by train on the trip departure morning, here is a hint: the bathroom on the train is usually cleaner than the one in the station :-(
If you are having us move your luggage, please have it ready for shipment when you arrive at the station meeting. It generally departs Souillac by truck, only minutes after you arrive (though you will see it again tonight in Rocamadour if you have one of our luggage transfer services). In other words, the station forecourt at 1p is not the place to start unpacking and repacking!
Included in Your Access Package, if you subscribed to it:
A train ticket to Souillac, a seat reservation on any train which requires it, and a detailed timetable of the train for which you are reserved. Also, a hotel night, in either Souillac, or back in Paris, depending on what you requested from us.
Travel Documents will be supplied by our Paris office (opening hours), unless you are arriving via a different route, in which case they will be sent to you at home, prior to your departure. You will receive either a train ticket, or a railpass with accompanying explanation regarding its use, and a schedule for the train that you have reserved.
Getting to the Trip
The following routings are described. You may follow the link to jump directly to yours, or just scroll down.
Trains from Paris to Souillac depart Austerlitz station. Here are our suggestions for getting to Austerlitz from the airport by public transit:
Airports to Gare d'Austerlitz
Trains from Paris require reservations. Some Souillac services require you to take a first train to Limoges or Brive-la-Gaillarde, and then a second from there to Souillac. Your reservation card and / or schedule will make any connection points clear. If no towns are mentioned other than Paris and Souillac, your train is direct (no connection required).
Before boarding your train, be sure to “validate” (date stamp) your tickets and reservations (not necessary for a railpass), in the little yellow machine at the track gate.
We normally suggest the ±1p train on Friday afternoon, if this tallies with your flight plans. The prior train, circa 10a, gives time for a nice afternoon in Souillac.
Souillac is a pleasant town, and you won't have much time for a visit tomorrow. Furthermore, the next train following the 1p gets in too late for you to reliably find dinner, and so implies a picnic repast on the train (there is a sandwich cart, but it is pretty simple stuff).
The Saturday morning service reaches Souillac at 14h25 (2:25p).
The reservation we will provide you with will specify a car and seat number.
An airport shuttle bus operates from Toulouse airport to the SNCF railway station, called “Matabiau,” every 20 minutes.
From there, trains run to Souillac. Service is roughly every three hours all day long, with hourly service in mid to late afternoon. Journey time is roughly 2 hours.
If you don’t already have a ticket, buy one (about 20€, ask for an “allez-simple pour Souillac, s’il vous plait,” pronounced “al-lay sam-pluh poor Soo'-yak, see voo play”). Be sure to specify which train you are taking, as some require that you reserve a specific seat. Even if you do have a ticket, go to the ticket window to find out if the next departing train requires that you reserve a seat. About half do. Seats will always be available at the last minute, as even sold out trains only fill up north of Souillac.
From Barcelona (or elsewhere in Spain or Portugal)
If you are coming to Souillac from Spain or Portugal, we will have sent details regarding the journey.
A pretty place. There is a beautiful abbey to visit in the center of town, and the Quartiers Anciens (old neighborhoods) have lots of charm. If your hotel is here, exploration is easy. Even if it is up by the station, you are just a 10-minute walk away.
Finding Your Hotel
If your hotel is the Puy d’Alon, is a short walk from the station: exit the station and walk straight and downhill along the station access road. You will find the hotel a long block away at the little traffic circle.
If you are staying in another hotel, you may prefer a taxi, since with luggage the town center is some distance away. the other hotels we use are all grouped in the old town, probably a 10 - 15 minute walk from the station if you don't have luggage (but you do...). Here is a rough guide to the walk:
Exit the station, and walk straight downhill on the station access road. You will come to a roundabout (the Puy d'Alon is here). Turn left at this roundabout. Two roads loosely fit this description: a bigger one that is the leftmost option, signed for real places, and a smaller one, the rightmost option (probably the Avenue Martin Malvy, but we always forget to check), signed only with a little sign for QUARTIERS ANCIENS. This is the one you want.
Follow this road downhill, keeping “straight.” After a few blocks, you will come to an intersection where “straight” is not an obvious concept. Take the leftmost of your two options here.
- The Vielle Auberge is on your left hand at the next corner, a couple of meters ahead.
- The Hotel du Puits is two short blocks straight ahead (the street has now changed its name to Avenue Gambetta), on a pretty place of the same name, the Place du Puits.
- For the Quercy, turn sharp left, onto the rue de Recège. The hotel is ahead, at number 1.
- All other hotels are on the main highway through the far side of town. Follow the Hotel du Puits instructions, and continue past the Place du Puits, still following Avenue Gambetta. 100 m bring you to the main road: most of the town's remaining hotels are to the right here, within two blocks.
About Shipping Your Luggage
If you are having us transfer luggage for you, either through the trip, or just one-way to the end, please have it ready to go when you meet your coodinator on Saturday. Though it probably does not need to be said, “ready to go” does not mean “I just have to get my bike clothes out, and change, and put my other clothes in, and do I really need this, and if not can I put it in my transfer bag, and....” Your luggage generally departs Souillac via truck, only minutes after you arrive (though you will see it again tonight in Rocamadour if you have one of our baggage transfer services, and can revisit all of these issues).