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Dordogne Experience - Walking & Cycling Holidays In France.

We love to get feedback from our clients. Here is a selection of the comments that have been sent to us:

Plus Beaux Villages Walk

Having just done this amazing walk, in August/September, anybody thinking of doing one of Keith and Val Starr’s walks, DO IT
My sister and I had an amazing time, thanks to the organisation, from the detailed written notes and maps, the baggage transfers and accommodation selection.
We did find that we had to skip the breakfast, to start the days early to miss most of the heat of the afternoon, but this was never a problem, and on our early arrivals to some of the accommodation was not a problem and we were given our rooms......luggage was always in our room ready waiting.
Best holiday ever

Bev L. Australia. Aug/September 2019

Ardeche Adventure

We just returned home after completing your self-guided walk in the Ardeche and wanted to share our thoughts! Having now completed 3 self guided walks with Dordogne Experience (the Dordogne Valley walk), a bespoke itinerary, and the Ardeche adventure we can say that once again that you guys just nailed it!!! There is a reason why we keep coming back and are anxiously awaiting new tours! As always everything was managed seamlessly in terms of arrangements and getting notes and maps to us on time. This was made all the more difficult as we booked literally just a week before we began the trip! Keith and Val did a fantastic job of getting our itinerary squared away and went over and beyond to help ensure that my wife's food allergies and restrictions would be made known to each of the properties in advance. During the trip, Keith was always available to help with any last minute questions and it just all went off without a hitch.

As far as the Ardeche walk goes, this itinerary was definitely well designed. The walks allowed us to spend long days in nature in a much less traveled part of the country. A very beautiful scenery indeed that felt reminiscent of Northern California and Southern Oregon in the States. Just be mindful of Day 2, its a long 14 miles uphill (though you are in for a treat at the end of it!). There is no question that this region would have been hard to find on one's own; if you're looking for something a little more 'off the beaten track,' then you will be happy with this trek. Long days with a well-deserved rest day in the middle was a perfect balance. The accommodations, were terrific, and the highlights for us were most certainly: the dinner in Lalouvesc, which seriously was beyond fantastic; the hotel in St. Bonnet Le Froid; and the hospitality and atmosphere in St. Agreve. Just fabulous really. The fact that we will most assuredly book a 4th trip with Val and Keith says it all. I've done walking tours elsewhere, but no one puts together a better itinerary than Dordogne Experience! Thanks again for another wonderful vacation!

Eric and Krista. September 2019.

Dordogne and Vezere Valley Walk

My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our Vezere Valley 8 day walk with the Dordogne Experience. Everything was perfect, well organized and efficient. Detailed notes were ready at our first hotel. Each evening we would read through our notes so we had an idea of what to expect the next day. In the morning we would enjoy a continental breakfast, leave our luggage in the foyer, follow our routes notes and enjoy the amazing walk. Each hotel had it’s own unique qualities and delicious food. Every day, as if by magic, our luggage would appear at our new hotel! There was nothing to worry about, just relax and enjoy. I would not hesitate to recommend the Dordogne Experience.

Leanne and Royce S. Western Australia. September 2019

Les Plus Beaux Villages Walk

Thanks. We’ve had an excellent few days walking. Pretty hot as you might have imagine, so the swimming each afternoon was particularly welcome. A few points of particular note:

- The itinerary was fantastic. Great and varied walking. Just perfect. Especially delightful to stay in the tower at the Relais du Quercy and to finish in such a beautiful location. It is a pity that we did not have more days.
- The combination of your instructions and maps were impeccable. Easy to follow. Thanks for printing them out and sending them to us. I also downloaded the iPhiGeNie app for my phone which showed our position using GPS (so there was absolutely no doubt where we were).
- Given the heat, on the second and subsequent days, we left early: before the scheduled breakfast times. The Le Relais du Quercy made us sandwiches the night before (after we said that we would not see them in the morning, and unprompted). In the other two hotels, they started breakfast early for us.
- It was wonderful to arrive each day knowing that there was a pool (or the river) for a dip when we finished walking. Excellent hotel selections.

T. N. UK. July 2019

Ardeche Adventure

I recently completed Dordogne Experience’s self-guided walking holiday in the Ardeche region. While the weather was not especially kind for the walk, the experience itself was unforgettable. The countryside is ideal for this type of exploration – memorable scenic beauty from atop the many hills, a wide variety of countryside from pretty cherry orchards to dense fir forests and rolling flower-filled meadows, all combined with ongoing reminders of the culture and history of the region. In parts, the going is a challenge (for a 70 year old) and demands a certain level of fitness with regular ascents and descents. This made the many outlooks all the more satisfying. And the challenge is not merely physical. Constant attention to maps, instructions and compass is required to navigate the sometimes fairly obscure landmarks. Again, to do so successfully is immensely satisfying. Arriving at the end of the day’s walk, physically and mentally weary, to be welcomed to often small and simple, but always comfortable, accommodation was a highlight. Local fare washed down by local wines, all of the best quality, will not quickly be forgotten. Similarly, the opportunity to sit quietly in a bar in a small and remote French village watching the locals go about their business will remain a cherished memory. All of this was put together professionally with a minimum of fuss by Val and Keith Starr of Dordogne Experience. Plans worked out perfectly – the walking was fun, the accommodation ideal and the overall experience memorable, Thank you for the opportunity.

Mark Brownell

10 day Les Plus Beaux Villages Self-Guided Walk

The 10 day Beaux Villages walk far exceeded our expectations and was a wonderful experience from start to finish. The scenery was varied and beautiful. The cherry trees were heavy with fruit but the walnut trees still had a way to go when we walked in May/June.The walk in this lesser known part of the Dordogne was moderately challenging and very quiet. We saw few other walkers but the paths were well trodden, mainly GRs. Sometimes en route there was a café for a cold drink and a good rest, but sometimes not and the notes were very good at keeping us informed about what to expect. The accommodation was of a very high standard indeed and the meals were delicious and served with a just pride in the wonderful local produce on offer. I think one of our best memories is staying at the Hotel Fenelon where the food, the local wine, the cheese and the great service complemented the wonderful view of the river Dordogne from the open window. We were lucky too with the weather and took full advantage of the swimming pools that were available in many of the hotels we stayed in. Great service all round and we really recommend this walk.

Mark, Mary and Tim S, Brighton - June 2017

Plus Beaux Villages de France

I had a fabulous walking tour with the Dordogne Experience. They took care of everything from lodging to detailed directions to tips about where to stop for snacks and the best views. The countryside and the villages were truly picturesque, felt like walking through a fairy tale. The hotels were carefully selected and the cost of the trip included some of the most delicious dinners I have ever had. Keith was always available for questions and replied promptly. Even though I was traveling alone, I felt comfortable knowing that Keith would be capable, approachable, and responsive to any questions or concerns. I would do this tour again and would strongly recommend it to others.

Zoe P, Boston USA - October 2016

Ardeche Adventure

The eight day walk through the Northern Ardeche was a wonderful and amazing experience. The countryside is beautiful and timeless, with stunning views and solitude. The trails are well marked, the hotels are delightful, and while little English is spoken the welcome everywhere we went was warm and genuine. This is a very rural and "undiscovered" part of France, and it is rich in history from the Roman Empire through until World War II. We saw no on else hiking on the trails, but did pass some farmers working in their fields. We are two women in our fifties and felt safe and comfortable throughout the trip. I would highly recommend it, and look forward to taking other walking holidays organized by Val and Keith at Dordogne Experience.

Linda & Jody D. Pittsburgh USA - June 2016

Dordogne & Vezere Valley Walk

What a wonderful series of walks! We have been on walks organised by Dordogne Experience before, last time in the Ardeche. From this last experience we knew that the organisation would be first class and they have really come up trumps with these Dordogne walks. One of the great things about these walks is that you see areas of France that you would never discover by car. The Dordogne is a perfect example of this. We walked across fields, through beautiful valleys and woodland, encountering stunning views of the area. During one of the walks we came across the amazing Chateau de Commarque, hidden beneath woodland and shrubs for centuries, and an absolute must to visit. One day we ended at Beynac which boasts a stunning 11 century Chateau, built on a rocky outcrop with amazing views of the Dordogne River. The walks also took us through villages and hameau's, some of which are listed in the 'Plus Beaux Villages de France', and it is easy to understand why. One such example is the fortified medieval town of Domme. It is certainly worth trying to allow a couple of hours to explore this beautiful town and enjoy the stunning views. As well as the walks themselves, the accommodation was excellent. The breakfasts and dinners were lovely, and the owners of the hotels could not have been more helpful. This is a wonderful holiday for walkers and thoroughly recommended!

Jan & Roger R. Cornwall. UK. June 2016

Plus Beaux Villages of the Dordogne Walk

Dordogne Experience organized a eight day walk for us last summer called the "Plus Beaux Villages" because that's what it was - a trek through beautiful medieval villages and lovely rolling countryside. We guided ourselves,10-14 miles a day,with the help of excellent maps and point-to-point directions provided by the organizers. They booked an auberge for the end of each day - all of them well situated and appointed - with special attention given to the food provided. We ate up all the beneficial effects of walking, but thoroughly enjoyed our meals and rest at the end of each day. Keith and Val were always prompt and responsive to our questions and on one especially hot day (there was a heatwave in France last summer) helped us chart an alternative plan that was cool. They also arranged tickets to see the nearby caves at Lascaux after the walk. In all, a splendid holiday.

Charlie and Susan B. Mich USA

Plus Beaux Villages of the Dordogne Walk

Thank you so much for giving us a fantastic holiday walk – probably the best we have had in 25 years of trekking and cycling in France. The route was superb, through wonderful c ountryside, and the accommodation/meals couldn’t have been better, or the owners and staff more friendly and helpful. The route instructions were certainly the best we’ve experienced. The fact that we went on this year from the Dordogne to stay in a lovely gite in the Auvergne certainly made this one of the most perfect holidays we’ve ever had in France. Again, thank you .

Ian & Sue T. Somerset September 2015

Plus Beaux Villages of the Dordogne Walk

In August 2015 we did a walking holiday of the Dordogne region and included Rocamadour to finish. Keith and his team were really helpful leading up to our walk and we were very pleased that everything went as planned. The walking tracks were very well mapped out and really interesting and beautiful. The hotels exceeded expectations and all of the meals included were of good quality. We would recommend the Dordogne Experience to anyone that want to see France in a slow and relaxing way.

Steve & Helen B. NSW Australia. August 2015

Plus Beaux Villages of the Dordogne Walk

We had a wonderful time on holiday and thanks for arranging it all at such short notice. It all went very smoothly and people were very helpful.

To give you some feedback about the hotels. The first one near Turenne Gare was great and they were very helpful about letting us leave the car there and the food was good despite us arriving late. The hotel in Carennac was great, very helpful and friendly, great location, food was good and staff lovely. The final hotel in Loubressac was very impressive, staff were all great and the restaurant was the best we ate in throughout the trip. Great location and amazing views.

The walk worked well with a fit dog but in August you need to start very early and looked ahead to see what the temperature will be - we started walking at 0630 on 2 occasions when the temperature was due to reach 37C by 1500, so that we had breakfast on the hoof and got to the place we were staying before lunchtime whilst it was still OK for the dog. It is vital to carry a good amount of water (3 liters) at this time of year for the dog in particular, as the streams were nearly all dry. You can find troughs and water features in the villages to cool your dog off in, but local farmers were also very helpful and willing by letting us put the dog in the water troughs for their animals (they encourage their dogs to do the same, as dogs cannot sweat it is how they cool off). It is a very dog friendly part of France, we were never turned away for having a dog with us, not in restaurants, cafes or shops.

We will recommend you guys and look to use you again for our holiday plans. Thanks again so much!

Ruth H-E London. August 2015

Ardeche Adventure 10 Day Walk

What a fantastic walking holiday. The Ardeche is a beautiful region of France and these walks took us to areas that very few people would have discovered. In fact, in the first four days of walking we met five people! Blissful seclusion! The scenery was stunning, with amazing views from the highest points, and beautiful secluded valleys below. There were occasions when we truly felt that we had been taken back centuries in time, treading on ancient pathways, some of which were still evident, with old cobbled cart tracks winding through the woods. An added bonus was that, at the end of each day, we arrived at a welcoming and comfortable hotel, with excellent food and a bottle of wine to finish a perfect day! We would thoroughly recommend this experience and cannot wait to explore more of the walking holidays of Dordogne Experience. First class organisation!

Rog & Jan Penzance Cornwall. July 2015

Cycling in the Dordogne

We'd thoroughly recommend Keith and Val of Dordogne experience to arrange your next holiday.

Traveling through the beautiful Dordogne region is unforgettable with it's medieval villages, castles and fascinating prehistoric caves art. It's very relaxing knowing that the Hotels selected for us were very comfortable and just got better and better. The highlight being the charming Hotel Couleuvrine which is set into the medieval town walls of Sarlat.

All the Hotels meals were amazing, so much so we had our own competition for the best starter, main or desert, but we couldn't really choose between them. So despite our self guide cycle tour becoming a driving tour due to a medical problem we had very enjoyable time. The staff at La Vielle Auberge in Souillac went out of their way to help us when our plans changed. We can't wait for our next Dordogne Experience.

Wendy and Rod New Zealand July 2015

Plus Beaux Villages de France Walk

The hikes are wonderful. And we so appreciated your service that kept us off main roads. We totally enjoyed the grass paths, the farm roads, the vineyards, the little villages. It was wonderful.

Thanks again for your always prompt and helpful responses. It was those qualities that convinced us to book our trip through your service. You clearly take each client's trip as a personal challenge to maximize.Thank you so much for your responsiveness and willingness to go the extra mile.

M.E St Thomas Virgin Islands July 2015