Cycling in the Dordogne
|Holiday type:||Self-Guided Cycling Holiday, Inn to Inn|
|Duration:||8 days (7 nights)|
|Hotels:||2 to 3 * Accommodation|
|Meals:||Breakfasts and 5 evening meals included|
|Prices from:||£775 plus £75 bike hire or £125 electric bike
see our bikes.
|Also Available:||10 day route, 14 day route|
The Dordogne justifiably has a reputation as one of Europe's most beautiful valleys. It's also one of the most spectacular and fascinating parts of France. Often declared 'the capital of prehistory' it has many of the best examples of cave art and early settlement found anywhere in the world. You can also explore great Châteaux, fortified towns and lovely villages.
Day 1: Souillac
Arrive at the bustling old town of Souillac, strategically placed since pre-Roman times astride the river Dordogne, and easily reached by rail or autoroute from Paris via Brive. Time to explore the old quarter and magnificent 11th century Romanesque church.
Day 2: Souillac to Sarlat – 35 or 37 km
The longer route goes beside the Dordogne river mainly along a cyclable piste visiting Chateau Fenelon and the pretty village of Carsac. The shorter route is hillier and slightly more challenging. Two routes of 33 or 37 km.
Day 3: Rest Day Sarlat. Two routes of 33 or 38km.
Take an extra day here to explore and shop, and cycle out to visit the bastide town of Domme and the spectacular village of La Roque Gageac that is tucked beneath the cliffs alongside the Dordogne river. Tonight is B&B giving you the option to choose any of the other good restaurants in Sarlat.
Day 4: Sarlat to Les Eyzies– 48 km / 30 miles
Cycle across rolling country to visit the Château of Beynac before arriving at Castelnaud, dominated by its own 12C Château. The nearby Château les Milandes can also be visited before you arrive in the delightful old town of St. Cyprien. From here you leave the Dordogne river to arrive in the Vézère valley and the cliffs of Les Eyzies, renowned world-wide as the centre of prehistory.
Day 5: Rest Day Les Eyzies
Rest day in Les Eyzies. Optional 29km route to troglodyte caves, Chateau de Commarque, roman chapel, knights tower, nobles houses recently discovered after 350 years covered by vegetation, all carved into the cliff. Then onto the tomb of Cro-Magnon man and prehistoric art 15000 years old, the only original site in the region still open to the public. Tonight you have a choice of local restaurants for dinner.
Day 6: Les Eyzies to Montignac – 24 or 30 km
The shorter option enables a stop at he prehistoric caves at Castel Merle. The longer ride passes along the Vézère valley beneath the towering cliffs of la Roque St. Christophe, a remarkable troglodytic site inhabited from prehistoric times until the 18th Century! Continue via the Romanesque church of St. Leon sur Vézère to Montignac.
Day 7: Montignac to Souillac 3* Vieille Auberge 48 or 55km
Here it is possible to visit to the cave paintings at Lascaux. A slightly longer ride but fairly even with long downhills. Return to Souillac past the golden limestone village of St. Geniès, and the 13th century convent of Salignac. The lovely 18th century Italianate gardens of Eyrignac can be visited. Return bikes on arrival.