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Bicycle Tours Since 1972

Experience Plus - Bicycle Tours since 1972
Cycling the Dordogne
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Bicycle Tours in France: Cycling the Dordogne

The Dordogne River valley in Western France is one of the country's longest and most scenic. For 500 km, the Dordogne cuts through layers of limestone plateau and meanders from the woody hills of the Massif Central through the heartland of prehistoric human settlements in Europe. Our bike tour of the Dordogne takes you on some of the nicest cycling routes in Europe, with breathtaking views of medieval castles topping the hills at every bend in the river. This is one of our all-time favorite bicycle tours.

***Extend this bicycle tour 4 more days. Click here to review our Cycling Dordogne Plus! the Vineyards of Bordeaux tour details page.***

Day 1: Arrive Brive-la-Gaillarde, France

Highlights: Renaissance Brive, sidewalk cafés, special introductory dinner

Arrive this afternoon in Brive-la-Gaillarde, just four hours by train from Paris. After we fit bicycles, you're free to explore this charming Renaissance town. This evening, we'll gather for a glass of wine and a welcome dinner together.

Lodging: La Truffe Noire

Day 2: Bicycle to Rocamadour

Highlights: Scenic cycling, visit Collonges-la-Rouge, Pilgrimage village of Rocamadour, goat cheese of Rocamadour

Cycle south this morning to the red sandstone village of Collonges-la-Rouge, a longtime haven for craftsmen and artisans. Enjoy a picnic or a café lunch there. Our final destination is Rocamadour, an age-old pilgrimage destination that takes your breath away as it seems to emerge miraculously from the sheer limestone cliffs of the cause de Gramat. Dinner together this evening, with a taste of Rocamadour's famous creamy, hand-made goat cheese. Distance: 72 km (45 miles).

Lodging: les Esclargies or Beau Site

Day 3: Bicycle loop ride to Padirac and to Carrenac

Highlights: Medieval Carennac, prehistoric caves of Padirac

We bicycle quiet country roads to the picturesque medieval town of Carennac this morning, stopping at the caves of Padirac on the way. Our exploration of Padirac begins with a 75-meter descent and culminates with a boat ride on one of the most spectacular underground rivers in the world. Along the way we'll discover stone tools dating back more than 50,000 years. After our exploration back in time we'll continue the ride to the picturesque medieval town of Carennac which is a perfect spot for lunch. We'll be back in Rocamadour tonight. Distance: 65 km (40 miles).

Lodging: les Esclargies or Beau Site

Day 4: Bicycle to 16th century Sarlat

Highlights: A goose farm, Souillac, a gorgeous ride along the Dordogne, and rails-to-trails path to Sarlat

We leave Rocamadour this morning for a short ride along country roads to encounter some "local flavor" in the form of geese. We will visit a local foie gras producer and you'll have a chance to taste this famous delicacy from the southwest. Then we enter walnut country --la route de la noix-- as we head for a stunning ride along the Dordogne River to S. Julien-de-Lampon. The last ten kilometers of the ride we'll be on a rails-to-trails path that takes us to our home for the next three days, Sarlat. We'll enjoy dinner together tonight. Distance: 57 km (35 miles).

Lodging: Hotel de Selves

Day 5: Rest day in Sarlat

Highlights: Regional market in Sarlat, 9th-century Benedictine abbey, optional bike ride

Today is a free day to enjoy the extraordinary regional market in Sarlat. The town was built around a 9th-century Benedictine abbey and today preserves a collection of 15th-century buildings - many constructed with golden sandstone - which gives it a unique character. If your legs are feeling strong and you want some scenic views we'll offer an optional bike ride this afternoon into the hilly backcountry of Sarlat where you'll also have the option of visiting the beautiful French style Eyrignac gardens and a 16th century water mill that still produces walnut and hazelnut oil. Distance, your choice: 40 km (25 miles).

Lodging: Hotel de Selves

Day 6: Loop ride from Sarlat and Canoe trip

Highlights: Bastide town of Domme, canoe trip, La Roque-Gageac, visit to Beynac Castle

For those who wish, we'll offer an early start and an optional ride to the 13th-century bastide town of Domme; for the rest, we begin the day with a leisurely ride back to the Dordogne River where we'll find our canoes for an easy float trip past La Roque-Gageac to Beynac Castle. This imposing castle, built during the 13th Century, was a French stronghold during the Hundred Years War. You can visit the castle, then we bicycle back to Sarlat. Dinner together. Distance: 37 km (23 miles) - plus about 12 km (7 miles) by canoe.

Lodging: Hotel de Selves

Day 7: Tour ends in Sarlat

Highlights:

You're on your own now, prepared to face Bordeaux and a few more castles and wineries. Have fun!

***Extend this bicycle tour 4 more days. Click here to review our Cycling Dordogne Plus! the Vineyards of Bordeaux tour details page.***

  • Highlights
    beautiful landscapes, Collonges-la-Rouge, Gouffres of Padirac, 3 nights in Sarlat, Rocamadour, medieval castles
  • Includes
    "The Usual" plus... Use of a quality 27-30 speed bicycle; 7 days, 6 nights accommodation, 4 dinners with wine, one wine tasting & 6 breakfasts
  • Countries
    France
  • Begin/End
    Brive-la Gaillarde/Sarlat-la-Canéda
  • Arrive/Depart
    Paris: Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) or Orly Airport (ORY) / Bordeaux-Méringnac Airport (BOD)
  • Total Distance
    271 km (167 miles)
  • Daily Distance
    54 km (33 miles)
  • What to Expect
    Some of the best cycling routes in France through lush landscapes. World-renowned cuisine, superb medieval villages and fascinating historical sites.
  • Rating
    201-301
    Quiet roads over varied terrain; short, steep climbs from the river valley to limestone plateaus. 201 Level riders may wich to shuttle portions of two or three days.
  • Notes
    If this sounds great but you'd like a longer tour, check out our Cycling the Dordogne Plus! the Vineyards of Bordeaux tour, which extends this itinerary by 4 days.
  • Terms
Dates Price Single
Supplement*
Notes Next
Step
Sep 02 - 08, 2014 $3495 $550 Just Two Spaces Remain Book It
Jun 09 - 15, 2015 TBA TBA Book It
Sep 01 - 07, 2015 TBA TBA Book It
*We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the single supplement rate. This fee will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available this fee will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.
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Click on the "pins" for details about each day's highlights.

Map Key

Green pinStart
Yellow pinCity (on route)
Red pinEnd
Other city dotCity (not part of route, provided for reference)
Wonderful vacation. Gotta figure out where to go next year!
Russell B., Arcadua, CA
Our experience was more then fantastic. So fantastic, that we want to talk with you about organizing a custom tour for Sicily Coast next June. We loved our tour leaders. They were amazing
Paige S., Seattle, WA
Staying overnight in Rocamadour was a real treat. The cave tour and the canoe trip were great additions to the bike trip. I loved the variety on this trip. John's training as a sommelier added another dimension to our wonderful dining experiences. He accompanied us to a wine shop to make sure we could obtain the wines we wanted to take home with us. We can always count on ExperiencePlus! to give us a top-notch vacation experience!
Kathy V., Roseburg, OR
We took this tour one time previously, thirteen years ago, I think. It was, and still is, our favorite. The new itinerary is much improved. We liked having two nights in Rocamadour and three in Sarlat; we also liked staying in Rocamadour and not in the modern hotel (with pool and tennis court) up on the upper level. The tour was enjoyable from start to finish.
Damian K., Washington, DC
The tour exceeded my highest expectations. The painted arrows are a blessing for those of us who are map challenged.
Lizz V.
Sunny Vale, CA