Start: Rocamadour Finish: Sarlat
Physical rating: Leisurely / Moderate
Special diets catered: Please inform Exodus of specific dietary requirements
Tour code: M08DO
8 to 99
Tour operated in:
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Explore one of the most fascinating corners of the Dordogne on this varied
and flexible, walking, cycling and canoeing holiday. The Perigord Noir,
arguably one of the most attractive parts of the Dordogne, is named as such
for its rich dark oak and chestnut forests which fill the very heart of this
region. The area offers spectacular scenery with ancient chateaux perched
high above the rugged cliffs overlooking the entire valley. You'll find
mediaeval villages full of character and a plethora of historical sites
including the Benedictine Abbaye Sainte-Marie in Souillac, founded during the
12th century and which suffered badly during the Hundred Years' War.
Arrive at your 3 star hotel, just a stone's throw from Rocamadour's ancient town walls. You stay at the Hotel Les Esclargies (breakfast included)
Meals: breakfast, dinner
Before you leave UNESCO Rocamadour, why not explore its pretty medieval alleyways, in particular its famous sanctuary and revered shrine to the Black Madonna? Walkers and cyclists then make their way to Meyronne via the Grottes de Lacave. (Staying at Hotel La Terrasse)
You have lots of choices today. Either relax by the hotel pool or walk south of the river to Rochers Ste Marie and the Grottes de Lacave. If you prefer to cycle (or use our walking route notes) head to the town of Rocamadour, home to the shrine of the Black Madonna and one of France's most venerated religious sites. Alternatively, travel by taxi to the Gouffre de Padirac, an enormous chasm where you descend into an underground cave system which you then explore by boat along the subterranean stream. (Staying at Hotel La Terrasse)
We meet you after breakfast for your briefing and canoeing lesson before you set off on this easy paddle, taking you below pinky-gold cliffs with buzzards and kites soaring overhead and the imposing chateaux of Belcastel and de la Treyne (to name but two), perched up high above the river. (Staying at La Vieille Auberge)
Wander round this bustling town, people watch or visit the Musee de l'Automate which holds the largest collection of mechanical toys and dolls in France. You might also like to walk to La Durantie for some of the most stunning views along the Dordogne Valley or cycle to the Chateau de Fenelon, a Cathar stronghold during the 12th and 13th century. There is also the option to cycle to the impressive Jardins de Cadiot made up of ten gardens within two hectares of land - the choice is yours! (Staying at La Vieille Auberge)
Its gentle paddling again today down to Grolejac through the heart of peaceful and prosperous Perigord countryside, leaving plenty of time for swimming, picnicking or just lazing by the river. We pick you up and take you to the tranquil Chateau de Monrecour where you stay for the next two nights. (Staying at Chateau de Monrecour)
Stroll to Beynac and climb the steep footpath lined with 15th to 17th century stone houses up to the spectacular 13th century hilltop chateau; the reward for your effort is the breathtaking view of the serpentine sweep of the river. Or you could visit the beautiful Jardins de Marqueyssac and the impressive Chateau de Castelnaud (approximately 6km/4mi away). (Staying at Chateau de Monrecour)
Today you can choose to go on foot or pedal through pretty villages and shaded woods before arriving at medieval Sarlat with its Renaissance facades and richly ornamented buildings now protected by law. Wander through the narrow streets, discovering ancient courtyards as you peep through ornate archways, then its on to the tranquility of your hotel, in time for a last dip in the pool before dinner. (Staying at Hotel Meysset)
8 breakfasts, 0 lunches, 6 dinners.
All continental breakfasts and 5 evening meals included.The Dordogne has a
rich cuisine based on produits du terroir (locally grown produce). Typical
first courses include tourain, an onion and garlic soup cooked in a broth
with duck or goose fat, and ladled over slices of country bread and cheese.
Pâté, often duck or goose, is equally popular, as is foie gras - ideally
washed down with a glass of Sauternes or Monbazillac. Main course
specialities also include duck and goose, often served in light cream sauces
and, in the autumn, fresh cèpes. Duck or goose fat is also used for the
accompanying pommes de terre sarladaises - slices of potato sautéed in goose
fat, with garlic, parsley and wild mushrooms - delicious! Traditional
desserts include tarte aux noix (walnut tart), gâteau aux noix, and
flognarde, a type of flan with fruit and liqueur. A local cheese worth
tasting is Bleu des Causses, similar to Roquefort, as well as Rocamadour
goat’s cheese.Some of the finest wines of France come from the south-west.
Bordeaux is the largest wine region in the world, producing over 500 million
litres a year. There are over 40 different appellations, including some of
the most prestigious in France - Sauternes, Saint Emilion and Pauillac.
Monbazillac is a renowned sweet dessert wine, while many of the lesser known
regional wines are much cheaper but well worth trying. Bergerac reds and
whites are also highly recommended; there is a delicious rosé too.
Pécharment red is another one to try. See the section on Wine Service in our
‘All you need to know Guide’.
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