Cycling the Dordogne Plus! the Vineyards of Bordeaux

Cycling the Dordogne Plus! the Vineyards of Bordeaux

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.***

Tour Dates & Prices

Private Room Fee
Sep 11-21, 2018
Guaranteed to Go!
Oct 2-12, 2018
Sold Out! Wait List Available 
Jun 4-14, 2019
 Book by November 15 and save $200!
Sep 3-13, 2019
 Book by November 15 and save $200!
Oct 1-11, 2019
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 / 11 Days
  • Avg. Distance / 55 km (34 miles) per riding day
  • Difficulty / 301
  • Countries / France
  • Price / From USD$4950
More Photos
  • Tour Summary
  • Daily Itinerary
  • Map
  • Reviews
  • Similar Tours
Tour Summary

Daily Ride Summary


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 36 mi / 57 km
8 48 mi / 76 km
9 50 mi / 80 km
10 23 mi / 36 km
11 No cycling today.
  • Highlights
    Lascaux II, 3 nights in Sarlat, Rocamadour, Côtes de Bergerac & St. Émilion, wine areas of Monbazillac, Gouffres of Padirac, medieval castles, beautiful landscapes
  • Includes
    Use of a quality 27-30 speed bicycle; 11 days, 10 nights accommodation; 6 dinners with wine, two wine tastings and 10 breakfasts; Lascaux 4; wine tasting

    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
  • Begin/End
    Cahors / St. Émilion
  • Arrive / Depart
    Paris: Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) or Orly Airport (ORY) / Bordeaux-Méringnac Airport (BOD), Paris (CDG)
  • Total Distance
    508 km (312 miles)
  • Avg. Distance
    55 km (34 miles) per riding day
  • Difficulty
    Quiet roads over varied terrain; short, steep climbs from the river valley to limestone plateaus.
  • 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: Bicycle to Les Eyzies

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

Today we bike to Les Eyzies, which rests at the confluence of the Vèzére 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.

  • Distance: 36 mi / 57 km
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

DAY 8: Bicycle to Saint Nexans

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

Today our route follows the Vèzére 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.

DAY 9: Bicycle to St. Émilion

Highlights: Quaint villages, Michel de Montaigne, Bordeaux vineyards

We will bike to St. Émilion today, home to some of France's oldest vineyards. On our way we'll pass through many small villages typical to the area that are linked by a patchwork of quiet country roads. Before reaching St Émilion we'll pedal by Chateau de Michel de Montaigne, one of the most influential writers of the French Renaissance. You'll have the option of visiting his former residence and La Tour de Montaigne where he wrote his celebrated philosophical Essais. This afternoon there's time to explore the labyrinth streets of St. Émilion.

DAY 10: St. Émilion Loop

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

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 before our wine tasting where you'll learn about wine making and more specifically about the St Émilion wines. We'll celebrate our final dinner together this evening.

DAY 11: Tour ends in St. Émilion, France

Highlights: Bon Voyage!

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

  • Meals: Breakfast




  • Just a quick note to tell you that the tour leaders did an outstanding job during our recent trip to the Dordogne. It seemed that they were there every moment to take care of us, the bikes, and any other whims and restaurant experiences that we needed. The Dordogne trip was every bit as exciting as that which we took to Provence in 2003. However the canoe ride and the cave paintings added a new level of excitement that was different from previous trips. The canoe rides, the castle, and the restaurants were all outstanding and we look forward to our next trip with ExperiencePlus!

    Richard C.
    Austin, TX
  • Best vacation of my life.

    Timothy C., Portland, OR
  • This was the first Experience Plus tour I have taken. It was highly recommended by parents and friends. I believe the trip ranks up there with some of the best trips I have taken in my life. Really very, very enjoyable all around - great leaders, great route, exciting things along the way, good people on the tour, good food and GREAT weather, which I think was really important. I relaxed for the first time like I hadn't in six years, and could completely leave work behind. I would highly recommend this tour. Thank you!

    Sarah V., Arlington, VA
  • We loved traveling on rural, non-traffic roads and having the arrow markings on the pavement.

    Char W. & Paul R., Santa Cruz, CA
  • 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
  • I thoroughly enjoyed the trip. It was a great adventure and one I will remember for a long time.

    Don E., Edmonton, Canada - September 2017
  • The Dordogne region by bicycle is incredible.

    Ann R.
    Minneapolis, MN
  • The trip was a fabulous experience from the moment we got on our bikes!Font de Gaume caves, learning about making walnut oil, the canoe trip down the Dordogne - total fun! The memories of this trip will get me through this next year, it was wonderful!

    Robin J., Petoskey, MI
  • ExperiencePlus! is by far the best tour company I have traveled with ... Besides the bicycling, my favorite was visiting the cave at Font de Gaume.

    Elsie K.
    Decorah, IA
  • Visiting the caves at Font de Gaumes was a spiritual experience and one I didn't think I would experience in my life.

    Linda M., Livermore, CA
  • The tour leaders were models for what every tour should strive for.

    Tom S.
    Salt Lake City, UT
  • Great job. Great tour leaders. Fun trip and good folks on the trip!

    Annie I., Olympia, WA
  • Thanks for organizing a wonderful trip along the Dordogne. The daily rides were well planned, routed through interesting villages and at select times it was a thrill to be off the beaten path. It was as if I lived around the corner from where I was riding, and was taking the best bicycling route to get there (i.e., no cars and good riding surfaces).

    Thomas V., Arlington, VA
  • Cycling through stunning French countryside scenery, inviting limestone architecture, castles and medieval fortresses on hilltops in the distance, delightful picturesque towns with blooming window boxes, aromas of honeysuckle, area of the 116 year war with England, while following fun chalk arrows and faces on the roadside, enjoying delectable duck, duck, duck and imbibing fantastic wine, wine wine. A delight for all the senses. We are super happy we found ExperiencePlus! We are already planning our next cycling adventure for 2017.

    Joan M., Redwood City, CA
  • The biking was great, the food/wind FABULOUS, but perhaps the most unforgettable experience was visiting the caves with the prehistoric paintings. What a treat.... something I'll remember on the long haul of life.

    Kathy S., San Ramon, CA
  • ExperiencePlus! is by far the best tour company I have traveled with ... Besides the bicycling, my favorite was visiting the cave at Font de Gaume.

    Elsie K.
    Decorah, IA
  • One of the reasons we like ExperiencePlus! so much is that these things have been so carefully considered and finely tuned. The hotels are a perfect balance...great cultural flavor, and nice without being over-the-top/cookie cutter and culturally neutral. Everything we hear from those who have traveled with other companies convinces us we were lucky enough to find the best match for our expectations with our first bike tour. We are now looking forward to planning our fourth with ExperiencePlus!. Thank you for everything.

    John M., Colorado Springs, CO
  • Breathtaking! Wonderful food. I have already encouraged a couple of friends to go. We really had a great time! Thank you, ExperiencePlus!!

    Lori S., Edinburg, TX
  • Great guides, wonderful experiences. What was your favorite experience on this trip? Can''t decide between the giant cave of Padirac and the canoe trip. Lascaux 4 was also awesome.

    Joe V., Boulder, CO - September 2017
  • You guys are great!

    Kay E., Seattle, WA
  • 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
  • This was my first Experience Plus tour and I loved every minute of it!! Although I was leery at the cost (quite a bit above my usual holiday budget), I feel I got more than my money''s worth. AWESOME! Well paced, challenging cycle route, relaxing, interesting.

    Stacey H., Edmonton, ALB - September 2017
  • A great bike tour through the scenic back roads in the Dordogne region - one of the most beautiful regions of France.

    Richard T., New Britain, CT
  • Great scenery, fabulous food and good hard riding. The entire tour was exceptional. I think you do a fantastic job. We always recommend you to any friends interested in a tour. We will definitely do a tour next year. Thank you for a well run organization.

    Dede M., Sonora, CA
  • Fantastic. Amazing riding on scenic back roads with very few cars.

    Brian B and Sue A., Santa Rosa, CA
  • Amazing. Beautiful routes, scenery,food, and people throughout trip. Canoe trip along Dordogne with castles overlooking was a great bonus. Chartreuse de Bignac was one of the nicest places I have ever stayed at. Tour leaders were all great.

    Norm H., Hammonton, NJ
  • Wonderful trip, the best tour leaders..another triumph!

    Hathaway B.
    Cushing, ME
  • Fabulous scenery, small well-preserved villages, nice quiet roads, fresh air! Keep up the great experiences!

    David S., Voorhees, NJ
  • My trip was awesome! The highlight was the cycling portion (we stayed afterwards in Bordeaux and Paris) where we cycled to medieval towns I would not have visited on my own, canoed down the Dordogne river and visited a medieval French castle. We visited a foie gras family farm and spent the day in a large market town. Cycling on good roads with few cars seeing beautiful French country houses, vineyards, agriculture and sheep.

    Jodie H., Honolulu, HI
  • Great cycling in a beautiful and historic part of France.

    Matthew A., Auckland, NA - June 2017
  • [ My favorite experience was ] Touring the Font de Gaume, meals with our group, the French villages, cafe au lait/glace stops, Sarlat market ... [ My least favorite experience was ] having it end ... My mom and I took this tour and specifically chose the woman tour option since neither of us are very adventuresome on our own. We knew that being with a group of women we would never have to dine alone at lunch or when we were on our own for dinner. It was a fabulous experience and I would definitely consider a woman-only tour again. Our guides made the logistics seem effortless, especially when we all wanted to have lunch together.

    Jean V.
    Tomah, WI
  • We very much enjoyed this tour. We are still in awe over the beauty of Dordogne. We are also glad that we did the Bordeaux extension. That was a great finale to a wonderful tour.

    Mary Ann D., Pleasanton, CA
  • This is the best vacation I''ve ever had. There were many varied activities in addition to the fantastic bike routes such as: the country bread baker, the canoe trip and picnic on the Dordogne, the towns we visited, the chateaus we visited, the prehistoric sites we visited, wine tastings, the best food I''ve had in my life, etc. that all taken together created a 10 day favorite experience for me. It was a perfect blend of activities.

    Ken P., Fort Collins, CO
  • Scenery and routes were fabulous - small country lanes most of the time plus a couple of bike paths with lovely villages all along the way. The food and wines were equally fabulous - maybe the best we've had in 20 bike trips in Europe. I liked the canoe trip on the Dordogne and the trip to the cave paintings. So I've cheated and said way too many favorites

    Virginia M., Bloomington, IN
  • I've traveled with 2 other companies. Both are good, but don't have the great overall package of ExPlus. The chalked arrows are wonderful - I use the map only as a great way to think about the area or relive a fantastic experience. I love the information on the day sheets. The cave paintings were one of the things that attracted me to this trip. The experience was beyond even my already high expectations - and definite ExperiencePlus!Another great tour! I'm already looking for my next one.

    John C., Reno, NV
  • The cycling routes were great, and that is from someone who before this trip thought he lived in cycling paradise. Loved the canoe trip and the other cultural experiences. I will travel with you again.

    Tim L., Sebastopol, CA - September 2017
  • 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
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