Cycling the Dordogne Plus! the Vineyards of Bordeaux

Cycling the Dordogne Plus the Vineyards of Bordeaux
  • Length 11 days
  • From USD$5695
  • Style/Level Classic 3.0
  • Countries France
  • Begin/End Cahors / St. Émilion
See related tours

Western France’s Dordogne River flows nearly 500 kilometers from the volcanic Massif Central region through deep gorges, steep cliffs, fertile farmland and famed vineyards to its mouth in the Bay of Biscay near Bordeaux. Our route traces the river’s descent from Cahors to St. Émilion by way of some of the nicest cycling routes and most hospitable hosts in Europe. Add visits to the Lascaux 4 cave, two nights in St. Émilion, wine tastings and great food, and you have one of our all-time favorite bicycle tours.

***If this sounds great but you don’t have time for the full 11 days, check out our Cycling the Dordogne, which features the first 6 nights of this itinerary.***

Highlights

  • Lascaux Centre International, 3 nights in Sarlat, Rocamadour, Côtes de Bergerac & St. Émilion, wine areas of Monbazillac, Gouffres of Padirac, medieval castles, beautiful landscapes

Includes

  • 11 days, 10 nights accommodation

  • meals as noted in itinerary

  • one wine tasting

  • Chateau de Monbazillac entrance

  • Gouffre de Padirac guided visit

  • Lascaux Centre International guided visit

  • canoe excursion

  • All Classic tour inclusions

Keep in mind

We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.

We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.

  • For this trip, we recommend packing shoes that can get wet/dirty since you’ll be visiting caves and canoeing.


Date Price Private room fee Note
Sep 3-13, 2024 USD$5695 USD$650 2 more to confirm the departure
DateSep 3-13, 2024
PriceUSD$5695
Private room feeUSD$650
Note2 more to confirm the departure

Download Itinerary

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  • Total distance 508 km (312 miles)
  • Average daily distance 55 km (34 miles)
  • Tour style Classic
  • Tour level 3.0

Highlights: Cahors, special introductory dinner

Arrive this afternoon in Cahors, known for its Malbec-based wines, it is a charming medieval town with ruins dating back to Roman times. After we fit and test bicycles, you’re free to explore more of this town. This evening, we’ll gather for a glass of wine and a welcome dinner together.

Meals : Dinner
Lodging : Hotel Terminus

Highlights: Scenic cycling, pilgrimage village of Rocamadour, goat cheese

Enjoy superb views over the cliffs and valleys of the Causses du Quercy Regional Natural Park, a vast limestone plateau, to legendary pilgrimage site Rocamadour. Rocamadour will take your breath away as it clings miraculously to the sheer cliffs of the Causse de Gramat. Dinner together this evening, with a taste of Rocamadour’s famous creamy, hand-made goat cheese.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Beau Site

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.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Beau Site

Highlights: A duck 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 duck. 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. The June 4, 2024 departure will be at the Au Grand Hotel De Sarlat. The September 3, 2024 departure will be at the Plaza Madeleine.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Au Grand Hotel De Sarlat , Hotel Plaza Madeleine

Highlights: Regional market in Sarlat, 9th-century Benedictine abbey, Bastide town of Domme, 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, take an optional climb to the 13th-century bastide town of Domme for a chance to visit the medieval castle of Castelnaud.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Au Grand Hotel De Sarlat

Highlights: Canoe trip, La Roque-Gageac, and visit to Beynac Castle

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.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Au Grand Hotel De Sarlat

Highlights: Guided tour of Lascaux 4, visit to Prehistoric Museum

Today we bike to Les Eyzies, which rests at the confluence of the Vézère and Beune rivers. Our first stop will be at Lascaux 4, where we will enjoy a guided visit of this exemplary replica of the prehistoric Lascaux cave. If you want to expand your knowledge after the visit you can stop by the Prehistoric Museum in town and learn about our ancestors from 100,000 years ago. Alternatively, spend the rest of the afternoon simply relaxing at the hotel pool.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Les Roches

Highlights: Spectacular views of the Vézère and Dordogne rivers, local vineyards, wine tasting at Monbazillac Chateau

Today our route follows the Vézère to its confluence with the Dordogne river. We’ll have some beautiful views of the river as we wind our way up and around one of its largest and most picturesque meanders. We pedal on to the Monbazillac Chateau, where you can visit the castle and enjoy a wine tasting. From there, we’ll bicycle to our quaint manor hotel in Saint Nexans.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : La Chartreuse de Bignac

Highlights: Quaint villages, Michel de Montaigne, Bordeaux vineyards, Roman Villa with mosaics, plus an informative wine tasting

We cycle to St. Émilion today, home to some of France’s oldest and most prestigious wines. On our way, we’ll pass through many typical villages linked by quiet country roads and a patchwork of famous Pécharmant vineyards. Before reaching St Émilion, we’ll pedal to Montcaret where you can visit a Roman Villa with exquisite mosaics decorating its private spa. Continuing on the higher banks of the Dordogne through Montravel vineyards, we’ll cycle by the Chateau de Michel de Montaigne, home to one of the most influential writers of the French Renaissance. You’ll have the option to visit his former residence and La Tour de Montaigne where he wrote his celebrated philosophical Essais. We’ll enjoy a delicious wine tasting where you’ll learn about wine making and more specifically about the world-famous St Émilion wines.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Logis des Remparts

Highlights: St. Émilion, scenic cycling through world renowned vineyards such as Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Bel Air, and Pomerol

You will have lots to see and do today as we are in St Émilion for one more night. We’ll offer a loop ride this morning through the surrounding vineyards and illustrious Bordeaux wine houses. Back in St Émilion this afternoon you’ll have the opportunity to visit the impressive underground church, chapel, and catacombs. We’ll celebrate our final dinner together this evening.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Logis des Remparts

Highlights: Bon Voyage!

You’re on your own now, with Bordeaux and more castles and wineries close at hand. Have fun!

Meals : Breakfast

Visit our Tour Level page to learn more about terrain levels and how we determine day and tour levels.



Pre-trip planning checklist



  • We pretty much agreed that this trip was probably one of the most spectacular we’ve taken, if not the most. The food and wine were superb. The scenery was awesome. How do you find these roads? They were like our own special little bike paths. Wonderful.

    Richard & Joan P.S. Glastonbury, CT
  • Rick’s pre-ride orientation was superior. Covering the basics was important, even for experienced riders. The timing of our stay in La Linde was fabulous; the folk festival was such a treat! Also, going to a wine tasting in St. Emilion was a highlight.

    Gary & Linda C.Los Gatos, CA
  • Your skilled professional staff at home and in France is what sets your company above and apart from other tour operators. Thank you for making this one of the most enjoyable travel experiences we have ever had.

    Tim & Patty K.Denver, CO