Discover the rich and varied culture of the Dordogne, one of the largest and most picturesque areas in France.
a Destinations d > France > Dordogne Gastronomic Cycling
eight nights accommodation, continental breakfast and 8 gastronomic evening meals, high-quality bikes, route notes and maps, Headwater representative and luggage transfers between hotels.
12 - 24 Sep 2015
Experience the breath-taking views of the Dordogne as you travel through Beynac, Castelnaud, Domme and Montfort. Cycle along the banks of this magnificent region and Vezere rivers, through ancient woodlands and past pretty farmsteads and explore the picturesque villages such as St Leon, where you'll find one of the oldest Roman-style churches in the area.
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Enjoy riverside cycling following the banks of the Vezere, Dordogne, Beaune and Borreze rivers.
Indulge in the special gastronomic menus onboard this tour to world-famous wine discoveries.
Explore the stunning Dordogne region from dramatic river valleys to prehistoric sites.
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Souillac is a bustling town, with an impressive Benedictine abbey, good shops and an excellent mechanical toy museum. Our hotel, with swimming pool, is right in the centre if you fancy a wander and pre-dinner aperitif.
The easier of today's choices takes you west along the Dordogne Valley, with the possibility of a lunch stop at the fabulous Chateau de Fenelon. There's a fine collection of armour, arms and objets d'art dating from C15 to C18. The more challenging route takes you across the river via Carlux, and on through lovely wooded countryside to the little village of Ste nathalene. Either way, you'll arrive at our 3-star hotel which is set in three acres of pine woods overlooking the Sarlat Valley.
This was the old regional capital. The Vieux Quartier is an astonishingly beautiful jumble of widely varying architectural styles, and virtually all pre-C17. A self-guided historical audio walk is available from the tourist office, and there's a lively market on a Wednesday and Saturday. You could also cycle to Domme or La Roque-Gageac; we provide you with route notes.
The steep limestone cliffs surrounding the village are honeycombed with shelters and caves where prehistoric man once lived and practised magic. Our circular cycling route takes you through the magnificent Vezere Gorges and back via the abri du Cap Blanc where you'll find the only remaining frieze of prehistoric sculptures in the world open to the public. Or spend the day canoeing or kayaking down the gentle Vezere River.
A fabulous freewheel down to the Vezere river and on to visit La Roque St Christophe, the oldest and largest cave site in western Europe, then the pretty village of St Leon with its charming C12 church and lovely riverside picnic spots. You leave the river valley to head through woodland until you reach the beautiful Moulin de Mitou, your hotel for the next two nights.
It's an easy 5km ride into the pretty, mediaeval town of Montignac, which is well worth exploring. Perhaps wander up to the ruined chateau, before heading off to the nearby Lascaux II caves, ranked as the number one prehistoric site in Europe. Discovered in 1940 by four children looking for their dog, the caves offer an amazing collection of paintings and are well worth a visit. Back at the hotel, the gardens, shaded verandas, swimming pool and sun terrace are perfect for relaxing and soaking up the summer sun.
Starting out, you head first via the tiny farming village of St-amand-de-Coly (impressive abbey) and on through wooded glades to Salignac. From here, we'd recommend a short detour to the Manoir d'Eyrignac whose impressive C18 gardens are rated the best in France. Then lovely flat cycling through open country passing chestnut groves, maize fields and masses of sunflowers, perhaps stopping off at charming St Genies with its C14 chapel. Roll through traditional Perigord villages such as Eyvignes and Eybenes (church and manor worth a stop), before heading down into the Borreze valley. Back in Souillac, time permitting, perhaps visit the Vieille Prune Distillery.
You leave the hotel after breakfast.
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