Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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One of many pretty villages in the Perigord Noir
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Highlights

  • A relaxed itinerary walking through the Dordogne and Vezère River valleys.
  • Spend a day exploring the charming medieval town of Sarlat-la-Canada.
  • Rich and fertile rolling hills of apple and walnut orchards in the Périgord Noir.
  • Towering cliffs of La Roque Gageac, a ‘Les Plus Beaux Villages de France’.
  • Sipping on a kir royal cocktail overlooking the river valley in Domme.

This relaxed itinerary takes you through the Dordogne and Vézère river valleys amidst the idyllic French landscapes of the Périgord Noir.

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: Domme Loop Walk

Embark on a circular walk directly from your hotel, initially making your way along a path with spectacular views over the Dordogne river valley, before entering a pretty park and down the small quaint lanes of Domme.


Continue on into the surrounding countryside, through woods, farmyards and past numerous fields of vineyards and  orchards full of apple and walnut trees.


Walk: 9 km


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


Day 5: 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 6: 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 7: 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 8: 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 9: Transfer to Sarlat

This morning a transfer (25mins) brings you back to the beautiful medieval town of Sarlat-le-Caneda. Said to have been inhabited since Gallo-Roman times, Sarlat is a fantastic town to explore with so many architectural treasures and a plethora of museums. If you are lucky enough to time your visit on a Saturday or Wednesday you can wander through the wonderful local market.


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


Day 10: Onward Travel

From Sarlat 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 you can also eat at your accommodation (apart from Sarlat) or 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 hotel offers spacious, comfortable rooms, lovely 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.


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.


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 and from Sarlat

There are a number of different options available when getting to and from Sarlat. You can fly into and out of 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 or from Sarlat. Please find information about the bus schedules here.


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


Included

  • 9 Nights accommodation in 2 and 3* hotels and B&B’s
  • 9 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 and from Sarlat
  • Lunches
  • 7 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.

Exactly what I hoped for:beautiful scenery and fabulous food

5

This area is heart-renderingly beautiful in the spring, with its green, green rolling hills, wild orchids and strawberries, cuckoos and roosters, and sweet villages. I ate each night in the best restaurant I could find and the food (especially in the two restaurants included in the package) was always a delectable work of art served impeccably. The hotels, each with its own character and benefits, were wonderful. All went smoothly with baggage/personal transportation and the wonderful hikes, with only a couple small kinks. Macs did its best to help me with the rail strike, though it wasn't their problem. I truly recommend both Macs and this exquisite hiking trip in the Dordogne.

Mary

Spokane, Washington, USA

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A real taste of Dordogne

5

This is a great way of seeing the area, and the walking is quite reasonable each day. On the loop walk days, you can take it a bit easier and don't even have to do them!

Nick the Kiwi

Auckland

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Dordogne: Relaxed Sarlat & the Périgord Noir

5.0 2

100.0

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Macs Adventure - Head Office: Skypark 5, 45 Finnieston Street, Glasgow, G3 8JU, UK

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