Cycling the Dordogne

  • Itinerary Summary

    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.***

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    1. 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.

      Distance: Test Ride. Meals: D

      Lodging: La Truffe Noire.

    2. 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). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Beau Site

    3. 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: 64 km (40 miles). Meals: B

      Lodging: Beau Site

    4. 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.

      Distance: 57 km (35 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Au Grand Hotel de Sarlat

    5. 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 we'll offer an optional bike ride this afternoon into the hilly backcountry of Sarlat where you'll enjoy amazing views over the Dordogne River from Domme, and a chance to visit the medieval castle of Castelnaud.

      Distance: 44 km (27 miles), your choice. Meals: B

      Lodging: Au Grand Hotel de Sarlat

    6. 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.

      Distance: 26 km (16 miles) - plus about 12 km (7 miles) by canoe. Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Au Grand Hotel de Sarlat

    7. Day 7: Tour ends in Sarlat


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

      Meals: B

      ***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

      Use of a quality 27-30 speed bicycle; 7 days, 6 nights accommodation, 4 dinners with wine, one wine tasting & 6 breakfasts plus "The Usual"
    • Countries

    • Begin/End

      Brive-la Gaillarde or Cahors (August 29) / Sarlat-la-Canéda
    • Arrive/Depart

      Paris: Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) or Orly Airport (ORY) / Bordeaux-Méringnac Airport (BOD)
    • Total Distance

      264 km (163 miles)
    • Daily Distance

      Average per riding day 53 km (33 miles)
    • Rating

      201-301 Quiet roads over varied terrain; short, steep climbs from the river valley to limestone plateaus. 201 Level riders may wish to shuttle portions of two or three days.
    • Terms

      Terms & Conditions
  • Dates Price Private Room Charge Notes
    Sep 25-Oct 1, 2017 USD$3750 USD$550 Sold Out! Wait List Available Book it
    May 29-Jun 4, 2018 USD$3750 USD$550 Book by November 15th and save $200 Book it
    Sep 12-18, 2018 USD$3750 USD$550 Book by November 15th and save $200 Book it
    Oct 2-8, 2018 USD$3750 USD$550 Guarantee to Go! Book by November 15th and save $200 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 private room charge. This charge will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available it will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.

  • Stories

    • This was one of the best cycling vacations I have taken in Europe. (I have taken 13) I LOVED France. Our guides were great. Also, I really, really love the EP format with the arrows allowing me to be more free on my own. The people, the scenery, the culture, the history. The food (and wine of course)! I loved it all.

      Helen Z., Las Cruces, NM
    • How would you describe this tour to a friend? As a life changing event. We were on our very first tour and can''t believe how lucky we were both with our guides and our fellow cyclists. I''ve told all my friends and colleagues what a truly magical experience we had. I will say that going forward, I can''t imagine going with any other cycling company as the use of the arrows has permanently sold me.

      Marina G., South Boston, MA
    • This was a trip of a lifetime.

      Debbie H., Cheyenne
    • 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

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