Dordogne River Valley Cycling Holiday
|Location:||Corrèze and Lot, France.|
|Holiday type:||Self-Guided Cycling Holiday, Inn to Inn|
|Activity level:||Some long rides and steep climbs|
|Duration:||8 days (7 nights)|
|Hotels:||2 to 3 * Accommodation|
|Meals:||Breakfasts and 6 evening meals included|
|Prices from:||£725 plus £75 bike hire or £125 electric bike
see our bikes.
|Also Available:||10 day route, Additional Days, Michelin Recommended Restaurant|
This cycle route meanders through the upper Dordogne Valley, visiting six of the “most beautiful villages” in France. Les Plus Beaux Villages de France is an association that started in 1982 and lists very beautiful villages by certain strict criteria; this now includes 157 villages spread over 21 regions and 69 départements.
Day 1: Arrival in Argentat.
Argentat is an historic port on the upper reaches of the Dordogne River.
Day 2: Argentat to Beaulieu Sur Dordogne - 25.5 km / 16 miles
A gentle day of cycling on the left bank of the Dordogne, passing through charming small farming hamlets and walnut groves. You will finish the day at Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne, a once important spiritual site, whose cathedral is home to a beautifully carved 12th Century Romanesque Arch.
Day 3: Beaulieu Sur Dordogne to Meyssac - 29 km / 18 miles
A slightly more hilly day today. You will pass through Curemonte, one of the “Plus Beaux Villages de France”, a remarkably well preserved hilltop village with far reaching views over the surrounding countryside. The journey ends at the red stone market village of Meyssac.
Day 4: Meyssac to Carennac - 50 km / 31 miles
After Collonges La Rouge, a “Plus Beaux Villages de France”, you leave the red stone behind and approach a limestone landscape. Lunch is ideally timed for the stunning hilltop village of Turenne, another of the “Plus Beaux Villages de France”. From Turenne you will descend to rejoin the Dordogne at the spectacular cliffs of Gluges from where you follow the river to Carennac yet another of the “Plus Beaux Villages de France”.
Day 5: Carennac to St Céré - 33 km / 20.5 miles
This is a Castles and Caves day: You can visit the historic 11th Century Château de Castelnaud and a diversion will take you to the impressive Padirac caves. You will pass through Loubressac and can take a short detour to Autoire, both “Plus Beaux Villages de France”. The day ends at St Céré, a larger market town. There is a Michelin recommended restaurant and hotel in St Céré which we can upgrade you to, for an additional fee, if you wish.
Day 6: St Céré to Camps - 42 km / 26 miles
The day involves more hill climbing but your efforts will be rewarded with sparsely populated, rural landscapes and breathtaking views. Do not miss the Roche du Peintre just off the main square in Camps, which offers breathtaking views of the Cère river gorge.
Day 7: Camps to Argentat - 52 km / 32 miles
An interesting (and easier) day today that takes you to the ancient and very dramatic Tours de Merle which is a collection of ruined Châteaux alongside the river Maronne. In complete contrast you will then pass the ultra-modern, equally impressive Chastang Barrage; a hydroelectric dam on the river Dordogne. This evening you will stay in Argentat again but only on a Bed and Breakfast basis, giving you the opportunity to eat out along the ancient quayside.