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

Date
Price
Private Room Fee
Note
Sep 11-17, 2018
USD$3750
USD$550
Guaranteed to Go!
Oct 2-8, 2018
USD$3750
USD$550
Sold Out! Wait List Available 
Jun 4-10, 2019
USD$3750
USD$550
 Book by November 15 and save $200!
Sep 3-9, 2019
USD$3750
USD$550
 Book by November 15 and save $200!
Oct 1-7, 2019
USD$3750
USD$550
Book by November 15 and save $200!

* 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.

Trip At-A-Glance

  • Length / 7 Days
  • Avg. Distance / 53 km (33 miles) per riding day
  • Difficulty / 201 - 301
  • Countries / France
  • Price / From USD$3750
  • Tour Summary
  • Daily Itinerary
  • Map
  • Reviews
  • Similar Tours
Tour Summary

Daily Ride Summary

Distance

1 No cycling today.
2 41 mi / 65 km
3 40 mi / 64 km
4 36 mi / 58 km
5 28 mi / 44 km
6 18 mi / 29 km
7 No cycling today.
  • Highlights
    beautiful landscapes, Gouffres of Padirac, 3 nights in Sarlat, Rocamadour, medieval castles
  • Includes
    7 days, 6 nights accommodation, 4 dinners with wine, one wine tasting & 6 breakfasts

    The Usual (Included with every ExperiencePlus! tour)

    • Superb tour leaders who are fun, bilingual and avid cyclists.
    • Help with flights, trains and pre/post tour hotels.
    • Comfortable lodging in 3-4 star hotels. 
    • All breakfasts and at least half of your dinners.
    • Use of a high quality 27-30 speed bike.
    • Full van support to carry luggage – and tired cyclists, too! 
    • Special events like wine tastings, cultural visits and chocolatiers.
    • All tips and gratuities at tour hotels and group meals.
    • Unique routes, marked with our famous chalk dust arrows.
    • Daily mileage options.
    • Detailed route map and free use of our traveling resource library.

    What's not included:

    • Transportation to and from the bicycling tour including airfare, or train travel
    • Helmets - we ask that you bring your own to ensure the best fit
    • Meals not listed in the itinerary
    • Tour Leader gratuity

    See the complete list of what's included with every ExperiencePlus! Tour.

  • Countries
    France
  • Begin/End
    Cahors / 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)
  • Avg. Distance
    53 km (33 miles) per riding day
  • Difficulty
    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
Daily 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: 41 mi / 65 km
  • 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: 40 mi / 64 km
  • 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.

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.

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.

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!

  • Meals: Breakfast
Map

Map

Reviews

Reviews

  • 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
  • Wonderful vacation. Gotta figure out where to go next year!

    Russell B., Arcadua, CA
  • This was a trip of a lifetime.

    Debbie H., Cheyenne
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
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