Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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The towering stronghold of Beynac
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Highlights

  • Following peaceful trails through the idyllic landscapes of the Dordogne
  • Towering cliffs of La Roque Gageac, a ‘Les Plus Beaux Villages de France’
  • Rich and fertile rolling hills of apple and walnut orchards in the Périgord Noir
  • Explore the utterly charming medieval town of Sarlat-la-Canada
  • Sipping on a kir royal cocktail at sunset overlooking tranquil river scenes

Walk through the Dordogne and Vézère river valleys amidst the heavenly landscapes of the Périgord Noir and to the dramatic towering strongholds of Beynac, Castelnaud and Domme.

Tranquil trails and riverside paths link ancient villages and vistas are framed by magnificent limestone cliffs, rolling hills and thick orchards of apple and walnut.

The early morning mist hangs over the river like a blanket, then dissipates as you enjoy your morning croissant and coffee. Each morning set out on alluring and peaceful paths through this iconic countryside.

Day 1: Arrive in Sarlat-la-Caneda.

Sarlat-la-Caneda is a marvellous medieval town and capital of the Périgord Noir. After settling into your centrally located accommodation begin exploring the warren of old lanes and charming courtyards with their fine 15th and 16th century pale-ochre buildings.


Overnight:  Les Cordeliers B&B, Sarlat-la-Caneda


This delightful B&B is housed in an 18th century townhouse. The spacious rooms are simply decorated, with modern bathrooms and the copious breakfast is fortifying for the day’s walk ahead.


Day 2: Transfer to St Vincent le Paluel. Walk to Sarlat

After a short transfer (10 mins) to the village of St Vincent le Paluel, begin today’s walk by heading into the peaceful countryside. At times you pass through farmland and little communities with stone houses and also take wooded trails with glimpses of a chateau, small rivers and streams.


When you arrive back in Sarlat and you are lucky enough to be here on a Saturday, you can saunter through the fabulous local market.


Walk:  13 km


Overnight: Les Cordeliers B&B, Sarlat-la-Caneda


Day 3: Transfer to Carsac. Walk to Domme

After a delicious breakfast in your delightful accommodation, a transfer (20 mins) brings you to Carsac and the beginning of today’s tranquil walk. Begin by heading out of Carsac on a bike trail and cross over the Dordogne River into the charming countryside, past farms and apple orchards.


This region is  famous for its walnut production (in medieval times walnuts were so valuable they were often used as a form of currency!) and evidence of this present all around you with a multitude of walnut orchards.


Arrive in the pretty fortified small town of Domme with its amazing position overlooking a wide sweep of the Dordogne Valley.


Walk: 13 km


Dinner & Overnight: L’Esplanade Hotel Restaurant***, Domme


The views from this hotel overlooking the Dordogne River are second to none. The restaurant has the best reputation in Domme, the rooms have traditional décor and your hosts will welcome you warmly.


Day 4: Walk to La Roque Gageac via Beynac

Today’s wonderful day of walking takes you out of Domme and next to the Dordogne River along a quiet track. See the fortifications of Castelnaud in the distance, before crossing the river and strolling into the incredible towering stronghold of Beynac, once besieged by Richard the Lionheart. A break here is highly recommended and you can follow the narrow (and steep!) lanes up to the chateau and perhaps enjoy lunch in a café terrace with stunning views over the river.


Continue through the serene countryside to dramatic La Roque Gageac and its overhanging cliffs and ochre-coloured stone houses sheltering underneath.


Walk: 18 or 10 km


Dinner & Overnight: La Belle Etoile Hotel***, La Roque Gageac


Located directly next to the river and right in the centre of town, this lovely hotel offers spacious, comfortable rooms, friendly staff, a terrace on which to sip a cocktail at sunset and dinners to die for!


Day 5: Loop walk via Vitrac

Leave La Roque Gageac via its quaint cobbled lanes and head into the adjacent rolling hills and woodlands between here and Vitrac. Pause en route at an auberge for a delightful lunch of local produce (and a delicious glass of Bergerac) before arriving in tiny Vitrac with its pretty church, which you may explore before heading north through peaceful farms and woodland.


Pass stone bories (drystone huts),  small country hamlets and experience incredible views, as you walk back into La Roque Gageac.


Walk:  14 km


Overnight: La Belle Etoile Hotel***, La Roque Gageac


Day 6: Transfer to St Cyprien. Walk to Les-Eyzies-de-Tayac

A transfer (25mins) brings you to St Cyprien and the beginning of your walk north to Les Eyzies, with its towering cliffs and home to the Museé National de la Préhistoire.


The outset of today’s walk takes you close to the village of Meyrals and through farmyards, cornfields (in season) and scenic countryside, before following trails through numerous shady woodlands. Pass the Font du Gaume as you stroll into Les Eyzies, located on the Vézère River.


Walk: 14 km


Overnight: Hotel Le Moulin de la Beune**, Les-Eyzies-de-Tayac


This whimsical and traditionally French ivy-covered 2* hotel is set adjacent to the river very close to the centre of town. The small, but charming rooms are all individually decorated.


Day 7: Loop walk via St Cirq

Cross the tranquil Vézère River and take a trail alongside it before passing through a wooded area and the small hamlet of Les Plagnes. Pass the turning for the Grotte du Cirq (also named the Cave of the Witches and worth a short detour for a visit) and continue on into the village of St Cirq.


Walk for a while with views of dramatic cliffs on the other side of the river as Les Eyzies itself comes into view.


Walk: 12 km


Overnight: Hotel Le Moulin de la Beune**, Les-Eyzies-de-Tabac


Day 8: Onward Travel

From Les Eyzies you can take a train to major gateways for your onward journeys.

Accommodation

The accommodations provided on this tour are a mix of well-located 2* and 3* hotels, plus B&B’s. We have a few different hotel and B&B options in each place, so the accommodations listed in the itinerary are just examples. However if we place you elsewhere, these alternate hotels or B&B’s will be of a similar or better quality than those listed. Please note that as there is only one hotel in Domme (which is of a high standard) and the alternate accommodation is in Vitrac. However we will provide a transfer from Domme (10 mins) at the end of your walk (and after time to sightsee here).


Hotel and room upgrades are available. Please contact your Destination & Adventure Specialist for details.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require single rooms we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable.


We also welcome solo walkers on this tour, again a supplement is payable.


Meals

Breakfast is included each morning. Lunch is not included. On some of the walking days it will be essential to take a packed lunch as there are no cafes or restaurants en route (your route notes will give you these details). However it will be very easy to buy a baguette, fruit, drinks, etc from a local bakery, sandwich shop or the local market (depending on the day of the week) before you depart. Two dinners are included, in Domme and La Roque Gageac.  For all the other dinners there are plenty of local restaurants to choose from.



 

 

 




Les Cordeliers B&B - Sarlat-la-Caneda

This delightful B&B is housed in an 18th century townhouse. The spacious rooms are simply decorated, with modern bathrooms and the copious breakfast is fortifying for the day’s walk ahead.


 

 

 


 

 

 




L'Esplanade Hotel Restaurant - Domme

The views from this hotel overlooking the Dordogne River are second to none. The restaurant has the best reputation in Domme, the rooms have traditional décor and your hosts will welcome you warmly.


 

 

 


 

 

 




La Belle Etoile Hotel - La Roque Gageac

Located directly next to the river and right in the centre of town, this lovely hotel offers spacious, comfortable rooms, friendly staff, a terrace on which to sip a cocktail at sunset and dinners to die for!


 

 

 


 

 

 




Hotel Moulin de la Beune - Les-Eyzies-de-Tayac

This whimsical and traditionally French ivy-covered 2* hotel is set adjacent to the river very close to the centre of town. The small, but charming rooms are all individually decorated.


 

 

 

Time of Year

We would encourage you to travel in spring, early summer and autumn when the temperatures are pleasant for walking.


Grade & Terrain

This tour is graded moderate. The trails are a combination of dirt trails, gravel tracks and tarmac country roads. The walking routes are a mix of surfaces, but please note that there will be tarmac walking at times as it is unavoidable. This tour is suitable for walkers with good physical fitness. There are rolling hills in this area and it will also be necessary to walk up some short but steep stretches.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

The route is generally way marked (when on a GR trail) with red and white GR signs or wooden posts with yellow or green markers. However you will also need to be able to closely follow your route notes and be able to navigate using a map, especially in the woods. which tend to be a bit disorientating. We also provide you with GPS tracks for those who like to take a GPS unit and IGN maps to assist you.


Baggage Transfer

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care


General Information

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes.Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example. proper rain gear, sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has detailed advice and a kit list on what to take.This includes good waterproof gear, walking shoes/boots, and lots of other useful bits and bobs.

Getting to Sarlat

There are a number of different options available when getting to Sarlat. You can fly into Brive, Toulouse, Limoges, Bergerac, Bordeaux, or even Paris! Sarlat is close to Souillac, which is on a main train line. From Brive (approx 30 mins), Toulouse (approx 2H), Limoges (approx 1.5H), or Paris (approx approx4.5H) you can take trains to Souillac. From here you can either take a bus or a taxi (approx €40) to Sarlat. Please find information about the bus schedules here.


If you are flying into Bordeaux or Bergerac you can take trains directly into Sarlat itself as it does have a small train station. From Bordeaux the journey takes approx 3-4H, depending on if it is direct and from Bergerac the journey takes approx 1.5H. Please check the SNCF website for more details on schedules and prices.


Getting from Les Eyzies-de-Tayac

Les-Eyzies-de-Tayac is also on a train line. It is therefore possible to fly from Limoges or Bergerac (via Le Buisson) as they are both accessible from Les Eyzies.  Bordeaux is also accessible via Bergerac or Perigueux. Paris is also accessible via Limoges.


If you wish to return to Sarlat, the best way to get there is by taxi.


If you wish to drive it’s best to park your car in Les Eyzies as there is free parking in the town centre and then you can retrieve your car easily at the end.


Macs Adventure can provide private transfers to and from all the train stations and airports. We can also provide taxi transfers from Souillac to Sarlat and Les Eyzies to Sarlat/Souillac and Les Eyzies to Le Buisson. Please ask your Destination & Adventure Specialist for details.


Included

  • 7 Nights accommodation in 2 and 3* hotels and B&B’s
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 2 Dinners
  • Luggage transfers
  • Transfers to walks where mentioned
  • Detailed information pack, route notes and IGN maps
  • 24/7 telephone support from our UK office

Excluded

  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Travel to Sarlat
  • Travel from Les-Eyzies-de-Tayac
  • Lunches
  • 5 Dinners
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage
  • Personal equipment

Extras

  • Single room supplement(s) if applicable
  • Solo walker supplement if applicable
  • Private transfers
  • Additional nights before, during and after the walk

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as the Dordogne is extremely popular during May/June/August/September. You will find up to date availability on our website.

How fit do I need to be?

This tour is graded moderate. The trails are a combination of dirt trails, gravel tracks and tarmac country roads. The walking routes are a mix of surfaces, but please note that there will be tarmac walking at times as it is unavoidable. This tour is suitable for walkers with good physical fitness. There are rolling hills in this area and it will also be necessary to walk up some short but steep stretches.

How do the baggage transfers work?

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.

What equipment do I need?

Your detailed information pack will be sent to you after you book. This has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.

When is the best time of year?

The best months for walking are in the summer months between June and September when the weather is fair. Spring and autumn are also very good times for walking as the air is a little cooler for walking and the wild flowers are in bloom.

What happens if I can’t walk a stage?

You can use public transport or a local taxi to continue to your next overnight stop.

Great holiday! Great Walking ! Great places of interest!

5

Ian and Jayne in La Lantern B&B in Sarlat deserve special mention for their hospitality and unique accommodation. Stayed in Sarlat, Domme, La Roque Gageac, Le Eyz and all venues were superb, charming and friendly.

S & D

Dublin

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Dordogne Walk - Experience of a lifetime!

5

It was a wonderful week of walking in a really beautiful part of France.

Marg

Sydney

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Fantastic Trip - in spite of the heat!

5

The trip was well-organized, the accommodations were in unique locations, provided meals were filling and delicious. My daughter and I traveled together and both of us found the trip challenging enough and we were left with enough time to explore on our own as well.

Jeanine B

Long Island, NY

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WONDERFUL SCENERY AND PRE/HISTORIC VIBE

5

GREAT FOR BEAUTIFUL VILLAGES ,GREAT PREHISTORIC CAVES WITH THE FIRST HUMAN PAINTINGS, EXCELLENT FOOD ,EASY HIKONG WITH LOTS OF BEAUTIFUL SCENERY PERFECT HOLIDAY !!!

JELENA

NEW YORK

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Super well-organized walking trip, all we expected and more

5

This trip was just what the doctor ordered: Precise organization, fantastic accommodations, friendly hosts, and our superior driver, Erwin. We never tired of getting to a hotel, introducing ourselves, and being shown promptly to a room without the need for passports or credit cards, as if we were honored guests. The 3-star dinner in Domme on the patio, carefully timed so we finished dessert as the sun set over the valley (hot-air balloons in the distance, cliff swallows swooping low around us) was extraordinary. The food was gorgeous, and my son (a DC foodie) was blown away, and had me tell the friendly, funny server that the meal had been "a spiritual experience." We really felt elevated to a different dimension during that meal, and it wasn't just the pastis and wine! I (F, 68) have bad knees, and my son (28) recently had a fall so his knee was bothering him, too, but we both did fine on the walks, although they took a lot longer than suggested with many breaks. On the other hand, we got some great photos of things we might have missed if we were walking more quickly. We walked every other day and relaxed or explored in our rental car the alternate days. The upgrade to the map system with live GPS arrived via email on our second or third day, and it was a game changer. Instead of trying to follow the arrows in the pamphlet, we could just watch our cellphones to see the trail and where we were in relation to it. That way if we went off track (it happened the first day when we encountered missing trail markers and a few other differences), we could easily reorient ourselves. Two things: The villages are very touristy, so the hikes into the countryside were especially welcome. Also, folks should be aware that foie gras is a big draw for the region and is on every menu. I'll definitely be looking at other trips with Macs. It was fantastic!

Alison

California, USA

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Great Walking Tour

5

The accommodations on this self-guided walking tour were all excellent. I also really liked the GPS maps provided by Mac's Adventures. Some of the written directions were not accurate. This was my ninth self-guided walking tour (five in England, three in the Netherlands) but the first one I've done that didn't follow a specific trail. I liked the way that the different daily routes enabled my friend and me to stay for two nights at a time in one location, rather than packing up every morning. But I missed the process of following one trail over several days and completing the trail or a definite portion of it. I still don't have a good mental map of all the routes we walked.

Carmen

Minnesota

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Beautiful area for a walking trip, excellent organisation.

5

The Dordogne has much to offer for walkers, beautiful area and beautiful villages. We enjoyed all the places we visited- not just pretty but plenty to offer especially if you want to brush up your knowledge about Prehistoric Man! We managed to fit in a few cave and museum visits which were all very good. The trip was organised for us down to the finest details, all the hotels were in amazing locations and the local guys who took us to the starting points were excellent. Craig at Macs sent us lots of information to help us decide which trip to take and answered all the many questions that we had before we set off. Definitely recommended!

ChaimAnne

Israel

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A Wonderful Place to Visit

4

Our meals and accommodations were great. Our taxi drivers were the greatest... accommodating, informative and top notch. The walks were wonderful. We had to backtrack a few times: once because we missed a sign that we needed to turn around to see, once because following a path through the woods meant choosing which of several paths to follow, once because there was a path that wasn't in the instructions. But we made it through and I would do it all over again. The area we visited was very beautiful.

Walkers 27

New York

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Another Great Macsadventure Experience

5

We've just returned from a combined trip to Dordogne & Catalonia. We took our first excursion with MacsAdventure in 2012 and have since taken seven additional trips with this outfitter, so they must be doing something right. Although this review will be listed under Dordogne, please consider this to be a composite review. We have had nothing but good things to say about every facet of this organization. The people in the main office are always a pleasure to work with in helping to organize the tour (a special thanks to Sinead!) - as we occasionally have time restrictions which makes it necessary to delete a day or so from the standard tours offered. The regional staff has always been helpful (thanks Christophe and Maria!) as well as the individual innkeepers in accommodating all of our needs. We can't say enough about how efficient the tours are organized with respect to luggage transport and making sure of prompt pickup service for drop off to train stations and to hikes where transportation is required. Things can happen that are outside ones control (an unanticipated train cancellation which caused us to reschedule for a later pickup time for our orientation meeting in Catalonia) - one phone call to headquarters quickly resolved the situation - thanks again, Sinead!). The accommodations have always been first rate (with only an exception or two out of over 30 places where we have stayed) with some places offering to pack a lunch for you to bring on the trail for your days hike. We have found a mode of travel that suits our needs perfectly and will be using Macsadventure for many years to come.

The Slow Walkers

Philadelphia area, USA

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A greatly enjoyed holiday

4

The Sarlat B & B was excellent in every way, a great start although it was some distance from the railway station with a difficult case pull on small stoned paths, no taxis were seemingly available (the B & B man did say he would have come to fetch us). The lady who moved us and our bags around was very helpful and informative. The hotel in Domme was good, we could just see the view if we strained our necks. Some English translation to the menu would have made it easier to order - too much to ask? A 3rd floor room overlooking the Dordogne in Roque-Gageac and an English translation to the menu made for a very enjoyable meal and it was special. In Les Eyzies the hotel was good but one closer to the station would have been helpful - do most people go out by train? Also helpful would have been a warning about the strikes on the railways, could you have contacted the hotel for them to warn us that we may have a problem with some reassurance about buses being put on to save us from panicking? The directions with the maps were all very good and we had no problems. We were disappointed with last part of the first walk which was down a busy road and no footpath for much of the way, I wondered if the next road along which comes down into centre of Sarlat would have been better. I suspect there is no alternative but we were in woods a great deal of the time and there were lots of ups and downs. This is not necessarily a problem but a seat, of any description, now and again, would have been much appreciated and sadly too often one climbed a hill and then could see nothing! Perhaps the French could be encouraged to provide a log and a view! Overall we enjoyed the holiday greatly and appreciated the way it had been organised - thank you.

None

Telford

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Dordogne: Sarlat & the Périgord Noir

4.8 13

100.0

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