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Perigord is one of the largest and most picturesque areas in France. Divided in two by the river Dordogne, along its banks you will find over a 1000 castles steeped in legend and history.
a Destinations d > France > Dordogne Gastronomic Walk
Eight nights, breakfast and dinner daily, luggage transfers between hotels and route notes and maps.
Departs every two days from 11 May - 24 Sep 16
The walks will take you past dramatic limestone cliffs, along tranquil riverside paths and through mediaeval villages. You'll also climb through fields and shaded woodland to hilltop towns offering spectacular panoramic views. The Perigord is renowned for its traditional gastronomy, at the end of each day, you’ll experience a delicious Perigord feast washed down with fine Cahors or Bergerac wines.
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The unspoilt scenery, woodland valleys, tranquil riverside paths, mediaeval villages and traditional Perigourdine markets.
The masses of flora and fauna, deer, red squirrels, buzzards and kites; vibrant orchids, poppies and wild mushrooms.
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Hotel Meysset hotel is a lovely country house, set in three acres of private pine woods, overlooking the Sarlay valley.
Sarlat has the highest concentration of mediaeval, Renaissance and C17 facades of any town in France and its richly ornamented stone buildings are protected by law. You'll feel like a time traveller as you wander the narrow streets peeping through archways into ancient courtyards. When it's time to leave, it's down through shaded woods and pretty villages before reaching Beynac with its narrow terraces and castle perched on top of a dramatic limestone crag. From here it's just a short walk to Chateau de Monrecour, your stunning resting place for the next two nights.
If you didn't have time to enjoy Beynac you may wish to return to take the steep footpath lined with C15-C17 stone houses and enjoy a breathtaking panorama taking in the serpentine sweep of the river and the spectacular C13 hilltop chateau. Visit the beautiful Jardins de Marqueyssac or go swimming, fishing, canoeing or take a trip in a flat-bottomed boat.
From Chateau de Monrecour you start off following the course of the Dordogne River along riverside paths, meandering through fields of maize, then climb up into the lively town of St Cyprien and via well marked paths through shaded woodland to your hotel set in lovely private gardens just outside Les Eyzies.
Les Eyzies - an archaeologist's paradise - lies at the base of steep limestone cliffs crowned with evergreen oaks and junipers. The rock is lined with caves and shelters inhabited by Stone Age man tens of thousands of years ago and the town is world-famous as the 'capital of prehistory'. The Grotte de Font de Gaume contains multi-coloured paintings of animals and a remarkable frieze of bison.
Leave Les Eyzies taking the GR6 path through sleepy hamlets and shady wooded valleys. First stop is the Roc de Cazelle - a troglodyte cave complex excavated in the cliffs and inhabited from prehistoric to mediaeval times (and even, allegedly, as recently as 1966!). Then it's on through woodland to the hilltop village of Tamnies en Perigord for a refreshing dip in the pool.
The pretty flower-filled village of Tamnies en Perigord looks down on the Vallee de la Beune. There is an interesting C12 church housing an amazing multi-coloured wooden crucifix. not far from here is the C16 Chateau de Puy Martin, perched on a hill and renowned for its lush furnishings and tapestries. We provide full walking notes for a local circular walk; alternatively there's a sandy lake beach just 5 minutes walk.
Your walk from Tamnies back to Sarlat takes you through woodland and up through the hills - great views of the surrounding valleys - via Marquay and on through the sleepy village of Campagnac with its evocative chateau. Then you're on the outskirts of Sarlat, ready to savour its mediaeval delights again.
Your journey ends this morning.
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