Cycling the Dordogne

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.***

Tour Dates & Prices

Private Room Fee
Jun 6-12, 2023
Departure confirmed to go!
Sep 5-11, 2023
Departure confirmed! Sold out - wait list available.

* 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.

** For information about what your tour status means please see our FAQ page.

Tour Style: Classic Hold A Space Request Private Departure Download Itinerary Tour Map
  • Trip At-A-Glance
  • Tour Summary
  • Daily Itinerary
  • Travel Information
  • Map
  • Reviews
  • Similar Tours
Trip At-A-Glance

Trip At-A-Glance

  • Length / 7 Days
  • Total Distance / 264 km (163 miles)
  • Avg. Distance / 53 km (33 miles) per riding day
  • Tour Level & Tour Style / 3.0 Classic
  • Countries / France
  • Begin/End / Cahors / Sarlat-la-Canéda
  • Price / From USD$3999
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Tour Summary

Tour Summary

  • Highlights
    beautiful landscapes, Gouffres of Padirac, 3 nights in Sarlat, Rocamadour, medieval castles

    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.

    For this trip, we recommend packing shoes that can get wet/dirty since you’ll be visiting caves and canoeing.
  • Includes
    7 days, 6 nights accommodation, meals as noted in itinerary; canoe excursion; and the usual (see below).

    Learn more about what is included and what to expect on your Classic tour at the Classic Tour Style page.
  • Arrive / Depart
    Paris: Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) or Orly Airport (ORY) / Bordeaux-Méringnac Airport (BOD)
  • Overall Tour Level
    3.0 difficulty level 3.0

    Quiet roads over varied terrain.

  • Daily Ride Summary




    Day Level


    Test ride
    65km / 989m
    difficulty level 3.5
    64km / 857m
    difficulty level 3.5
    58km / 797m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 2.5
    44km / 763m
    difficulty level 3.0
    29km / 480m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 1.5
    Today's ride is an optional loop ride
    Last day

Terrain Legend

Gentle Gentle

Rolling hills Rolling hills

Hilly Hilly

Very hilly Very hilly

Mountainous Mountainous

Daily Itinerary
Download Itinerary

DAY 1: Arrive Cahors, France

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.

DAY 2: Bicycle to Rocamadour

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.

  • Distance: 65km (41mi)
  • Gain: 989m (3244ft)
  • Terrain: Hilly
  • Day Level: difficulty level 3.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

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: 64km (40mi)
  • Gain: 857m (2811ft)
  • Terrain: Hilly
  • Day Level: difficulty level 3.5
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

DAY 4: Bicycle to 16th century Sarlat

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.

  • Distance: 58km (36mi)
  • Gain: 797m (2614ft)
  • Terrain: Rolling hills
  • Day Level: difficulty level 2.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 5: Rest day in Sarlat

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 ride to the 13th-century bastide town of Domme; for the rest, w, and a chance to visit the medieval castle of Castelnaud.

DAY 6: Loop ride from Sarlat and Canoe trip

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.

  • Distance: 29km (18mi)
  • Gain: 480m (1574ft)
  • Terrain: Rolling hills
  • Day Level: difficulty level 1.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

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: Breakfast
Travel Information

Travel Information

Day 1: Arrival Information

Arrive Cahors, France

Meeting time 2 p.m. - on Day 1, meet your fellow cyclists and Tour Leaders at the Day 1 Hotel specified on the itinerary.

Note: As you are planning, remember that the hotels listed in our itineraries are our primary hotels and are - in rare cases - subject to change. Before you make arrangements, check with us if your tour departure is guaranteed. If your tour departure is out further than 6 months, please also check with us as there might be slight changes to the itinerary.

The below information will help you plan your arrival. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio. The fare and timing information listed below is approximate.

  • We recommend flying into the Toulouse Airport (TLS).
  • You can also fly into Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport (CDG). It is a 5.5 to 6-hour train ride from Gare d’Austerlitz in Paris to Cahors.

How to get to the Day 1 Hotel:

  1. Tisseo shuttle bus from Toulouse Blagnac Airport to Toulouse Matabiau - Runs every 20 minutes (30 min/EUR 8)
  2. Train from Toulouse Matabiau to Cahors (1-1.5 hours/Fares vary)
  3. Walk 200 meters to hotel.

Look up French train schedules and book tickets, if necessary, at or Questions? See our information on taking trains in Europe here or ask us .

Day 7: Departure Information

Tour ends in Sarlat

The below information will help you plan your departure. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio.

Your tour ends on the final day after breakfast.

The airport closest to the tour end is Bordeaux (BOD).

  • You can also fly out of Paris (CDG), which is a 5.5 to 8-hour train ride away.

How to get to Bordeaux Airport

  1. Taxi from the Ending Hotel to the Sarlat Train Station (15 min/EUR 10)
  2. Train from Sarlat to Bordeaux Saint Jean Train Station. No need to book in advance. (3 hours/fares vary)
  3. Shuttle bus from Bordeaux Saint Jean to Bordeaux Airport. Departs every 30 minutes. (30 min/EUR 8) or taxi (30 min/EUR 30-40)

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.

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

Pre-Trip Planning Checklist

To do right after you booked!

6 to 3 Months Prior to Tour Start Date

  • Refer to your Tour Packet/Itinerary to see step-by-step arrival and departure information for your tour, meeting place and time, if a reservation on a complimentary ExperiencePlus! Shuttle (if applicable) is required, and other important information to help you plan your arrival and departure.
  • Reserve your flights after you know you have a confirmed tour departure. Please check with our office if you do not know if your trip is confirmed.
  • Book your pre and post-tour hotel nights.
  • Begin your chosen training program.
  • Final payment is due 90 days (120 days for Bike &Barge/Boat tours) prior to the tour start. Please refer to your Invoice and the Final Payment Reminder e-mail we send 10 days prior to the due date for detailed instructions.

6 to 2 Weeks Prior to Tour Start Date

  • Start reading one of the books or watching one of the movies from our Reading and Movie Lists:
  • Plan what you are going to pack and start packing! Refer to the Packing Lists on our website at
  • We'll email you your access code to Digital Daysheets, Hotel Itinerary, Participant Roster, names and contact information of your Tour Leaders, emergency phone numbers, and other important departure information about 2 weeks prior to your tour start date. All this will be provided to you via a feature called Experiences via the RideWithGPS App (tracks available but not necessary for navigation on Classic, Expedition and Bike & Boat tours).

Day of Your Flight

Get as much sleep on the plane as you can. Pack your one day of cycling gear in your carry-on. See you soon!

What to Expect on Tour

Classic Tour Style

Learn more about what is included and what to expect on your Classic tour at the Classic page.





  • Was the best trip I ever had!

    Normandie L., Concord, VT - Sept 2019
  • Was the best trip I ever had!

    Normandie L., Concord, VT - Sept 2019
  • What was your favorite experience on this trip? There where so many it is hard to choose. I though it was excellent. The Padirac cave was great.

    Richard R., Honolulu, HI - September 2017
  • Great tour, great staff. Beautiful views of the river valley, historic old towns, amazing castles. Rides of moderate difficulty with some good climbs and fun descents. Mostly very light vehicle traffic, except in Sarlat. The canoe paddle was a bonus. Great local food and wine.

    Paul L., Sebastopol, CA - September 2017
  • The rides, the cultural experiences were great, but the experience of cycling thru the landscape and seeing the "most beautiful villages"was the highlight for me.

    Tom W., Boulder, CO - September 2017
  • 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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