These river valleys have been populated for millennia, for very obvious reasons; their beauty and fertility are unsurpassed, and the profusion of châteaux suggests the passionate history of this coveted landscape. Cycling from one medieval village to another, you will marvel at how little things seem to have changed with the passage of time. Behind the lazy riverbanks and cliffside villages, chestnut and oak forests hide entrances to caves whose walls have been decorated by stone-age artists. Words fail to convey how moving seeing these 20,000 year-old paintings can be. Despite their age, they still display deep knowledge of the human condition. Starting near the confluence of the Dordogne and Vézère Rivers, you will cross from Rocamadour to the Célé and Lot Rivers, and finish near their confluence in St. Cirq-Lapopie. This trip stands out as being exceptional. The cycling is virtually perfect, on quiet and consistently beautiful routes. The lodging is so comfortable your toes will curl, and the culinary temptations will fuel you for each day’s interests and pleasures. If you dream of pampered cycling in France, this is the trip for you!
Day to Day Itinerary:
Day 1: Pick up in Bordeaux at 14:00 for van transfer to Tremolat. Optional pickup at the train station in nearby St. Emilion – a charming golden cobble-stoned town, famous for macaroons as well as for exceptional wines. Includes: (D). (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips. Self-guided trips include breakfasts) Le Vieux Logis, Tremolat; or Hotel La Metairie, Mauzac.
Day 2: 29, 62, or 83 km/18, 39 or 52 miles; flat or hilly options. Cycle from Le Bugue to the ancient and lovely town of Limeuil at the confluence of the Dordogne and Vézère Rivers, then on through Le Bugue to Les Eyzies de Tayac. Visit the famous Grotte de Font-de-Gaume, with its awe-inspiring prehistoric paintings. Return to Tremolat for an exquisite dining and lodging experience. Includes: (B), (L). Same lodging.
Day 3: 54 km/34 miles. Ride to pretty Vitrac and the clifftop village of Domme, via St. Cyprien and riverside Le Rocque Gageac, with its homes beneath and carved right into cliffs at the water’s edge. A visit to medieval Sarlat is optional. Rest in an exquisite hotel where every room has an eagle’s view of the river below, or a magnificent country estate, where you can choose to dine in superb French style. Includes: (B), (L). Hotel de l’Esplanade, Domme; or Domaine de Rochebois, Sarlat.
Day 4: 58 km/36 miles. Ride to the fortifies vertical town of Rocamadour, following the banks of the Dordogne. You’ll stop at the magnificent Montfort Castle panoramically overlooking a bend in the river below. Stop in Souillac to see the amazing bas-relief carvings in the cathedral and visit Les Grottes de Lacave, before finding the secluded hotel where you’ll rest for the next two nights. Includes: (B), (L), (D). Domaine de La Rhue, Rocamadour.
Day 5: 63 km/39 miles loop ride. Early visit to La Gouffre de Padirac, a magnificent cave system partially explored by boat, then cycle to Loubressac, one of the most beautiful villages in France, and Carrenac. Return via St. Sozy and Meyronne. These are all outstandingly charming villages, surrounded by gorgeous farm estates, and filled with beautiful old stone architecture steeped in historic charm. Includes: (B), (D). Same lodging.
Day 6: 70.5 km/44 miles. Cycling on exceptionally quiet roads. Morning exploration of the medieval village of Rocamadour, which houses the Christian relic scholars believe is the body of Jesus’ friend Zacchaeus. Leaving Rocamadour, meander through quiet rural countryside to the valleys of the Lot and Cele Rivers, where beautiful houses are perched on the sides of cliffs, and farmland abounds. Includes: (B), (L). Château de Mercues, Cahors.
Day 7: 87 km/54 miles. Cycle downstream to visit to Les Grottes de Peche Merle and its 25,000 year old paintings (that’s not a typo!). Continue to the fantastic village perchée of St. Cirq-La Popie and back, enjoying the quiet and pretty roads and towpaths on the banks of the Lot River. Afternoon transfer to your château for a sumptuous final night with dinner. Includes: (B), (D). Same lodging.
Day 8: Morning departure, and transfers to the train station at Montauban, about 45 minutes away.
Supplemental Tour Information:
Self-Guided Dates: You choose! We confirm within 48 hours.
Airfare is not included in the tour price.
- Start: Bordeaux train station. 14:00 day one. TGV (high-speed train) from Paris CDG airport takes 3½ hours
- Finish: Montauban train station, 10:00 day eight. Regular train connections available to Toulouse, Bordeaux or Paris. Train to Paris CDG airport takes 5 hours
- Guided Cost: $3995 (per person, includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, light picnic lunches, 4 dinners, Font de Gaume admission, route notes and maps, luggage handling, support vehicle and full-time guide)
- Self-Guided Cost: $3395 (per person, includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, luggage transfers, maps and route notes, essential transfers, emergency support)
- Single Occupancy: $1275
- Bicycle Rental: Hybrid: $225; Racing: $395
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
About This Supplier
Joined InfoHub: Apr 1997
M06468 helped forge industry standards for active holidays and they remain leaders in the world of outdoor fun. Offering guided or self-guided options their services extend in all directions to include cycling, hiking, sea-kayaking, and multi sport holidays. Trips range in difficulty from easy family fun to tough...
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