Dordogne Self-Guided Activities

From France to Dordogne

Visiting: Dordogne


Tour Operator: Exodus

Physical rating: Leisurely / Moderate

Special diets catered: Please inform Exodus of specific dietary requirements

Age range: 8 to 99

Tour operated in: English


Prices From:

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Tour Overview

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 C12 and which suffered badly during the Hundred Years' War. 

Highlights

  • iconThree activities in one holiday: two days canoeing with a choice of walking or cycling for the remaining days
  • iconFriendly, family-run hotels, all with pools and fine food
  • iconImpressive chateaux, troglodyte cave dwellings, Rocamadour, Grottes de Lacave and Gouffre de Padirac
  • iconDramatic river valleys, pinky-gold cliffs and mediaeval villages

Places You'll See

Countries:
Cities & Attractions:

Itinerary

Map Image
icon Day 1 : ARRIVE IN MARTEL

Meals: dinner

Arrive at your 3-star hotel, a former convent school in 7000m2 of private gardens. *(Staying at Le Relais St Anne)*

icon Day 2 : MARTEL TO MEYRONNE - WALK 10KM/6.5MI (2.5HR) OR CYCLE 15KM/9.5MI

Meals: breakfast, dinner

Today, walkers will enjoy wonderful 360 degree views from the summit of Mont Mercou, along with views over the Dordogne Valley, while cyclists will pass the lovely village of Gluges, on the banks of the Dordogne River. Before you leave Martel, why not explore its medieval streets, in particular the Palais de la Raymondie and the Place de la Halle? *(Staying at Hotel La Terrasse)*

icon Day 3 : AT MEYRONNE

Meals: breakfast, dinner

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)*

icon Day 4 : MEYRONNE TO SOUILLAC CANOE

Meals: breakfast

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)*

icon Day 5 : AT SOUILLAC

Meals: breakfast

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)*

icon Day 6 : SOUILLAC TO SAINT-VINCENT-DE-COSSE CANOE

Meals: breakfast, dinner

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)*

icon Day 7 : AT SAINT-VINCENT-DE-COSSE

Meals: breakfast, dinner

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)*

icon Day 8 : SAINT-VINCENT-DE-COSSE TO SARLAT WALK 19KM/12MI/5HR OR CYCLE 32KM/20MI

Meals: breakfast, dinner

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)*

icon Day 9 : LEAVE SARLAT

Meals: breakfast

LEAVE SARLAT

What's Included

  • icon
    Canadian canoes or sit-on top kayaks 

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    Route notes and maps 

  • icon
    All continental breakfasts and 6 evening meals 

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    Buoyancy aid and helmet 

  • icon
    High quality bikes 

What's Not Included

  • icon
    Single supplements

Food

All continental breakfasts and 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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Dates & Availability

Select departure month

Wednesday Jun 02, 2021

Nights

8

Available

8

Friday Jul 02, 2021

Nights

8

Available

8

Sunday Aug 01, 2021

Nights

8

Available

8

Thursday Sep 02, 2021

Nights

8

Available

8

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2021

8Nights

8Available

Friday, Jul 02, 2021

8Nights

8Available

Sunday, Aug 01, 2021

8Nights

8Available

Thursday, Sep 02, 2021

8Nights

8Available