Dordogne & Lot Bike Tour
Seven nights; six days. French bicycle touring at its finest with flat and hilly options on quiet roads through lush river valleys and beautiful stone villages.
“The caves, the castles, the villages perche added so much to the biking experience.” – Judy R.
Start: Bordeaux train station, 14:00, day one. TGV (high-speed train) from Paris CDG airport takes about 3½ hours. Please contact us to make alternate arrangements, if necessary.
Finish: Montauban train station, 10:00, day eight. TGV (high-speed train) to Paris CDG airport takes about 5 hours.
Rendez-vous and bike familiarization
Meet your guides in Bordeaux at 14:00 for a two hour van transfer to Tremolat. Optional pickups are available in nearby St. Emilion – a charming golden cobble stoned town, famous for macaroons and exceptional wines. At Tremolat you will become familiar with your bike rental equipment before dinner.D (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips. Self-guided trips include breakfasts)
Le Vieux Logis, Tremolat; or
Hotel La Metairie, Mauzac
Tremolat Loop 29, 62, or 83km; flat or hilly options
Begin with a lovely bike ride from Le Bugue to the ancient and lovely town of Limeuil at the confluence of the Dordogne and Vézère Rivers, then on to Les Eyzies de Tayac, home of troglodytes and cliff dwellers, both ancient and modern. You may be able to visit the famous Grotte de Font-de-Gaume with its awe-inspiring prehistoric paintings (it is frequently closed for conservation, and tours book many months in advance). Return to Tremolat or Mauzac by bike for an exquisite lodging experience. You can opt to dine at your hotel or your guides will transfer you to nearby Limeuil for independent dining. BL
Tremolat to Domme or Sarlat 54km
Cycle 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 eye view of the river below, or a magnificent country estate. BL
Hotel de l’Esplanade, Domme; or
Domaine de Rochebois, Sarlat
Domme to Rocamadour 58km
Following the banks of the Dordogne River, you will bike to the fortified vertical town of Rocamadour. 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 arriving at your centrally located hotel where you’ll rest for the next two nights. BL
Grand Hotel Beau Site, Rocamadourr
Rocamadour Loop Ride 63km
Start your day with an early visit to La Gouffre de Padirac, a magnificent cave system partially explored by boat. You will then cycle to Loubressac and Carrenac, two of the most beautiful villages in France. Return via St. Sozy and Meyronne. These are all outstandingly charming villages, surrounded by gorgeous farm estates, filled with beautiful old stone architecture steeped in historic charm, and an absolute joy to tour by bicycle. BD
Rocamadour to Cahors 70.5km
Spend your day bicycling on exceptionally quiet roads. Start the morning by exploring the medieval village of Rocamadour which houses the Christian relic scholars believe is the body of Jesus’ friend Zacchaeus. Leaving Rocamadour by bike you will meander the 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. Finish with a short transfer to your luxurious château where you’ll rest for two nights in opulent comfort. BL
Château de Mercues, Cahors
Cahors Loop Ride 87km
Bike 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. This afternoon you will transfer to your château for a sumptuous final night with dinner. BD
Transfer to Montauban & Farewell
Following your breakfast you will be transferred to the train station in Montauban, about 45 minutes away. From the train station in Montauban there are frequent trains to Paris and other European destinations. B
Note about the route:
30-80km daily. Relaxed riders enjoy level cycling with some van transfers. Advanced riders can stray from the riverbanks for the hilly options, and diversity of exploration. There is an abundance of fabulous cycling here!
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 bicycle tour 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!
Maps & Elevations
Sarlat is a great place to stay, take a tour of the caves and pelolthic dwellings nearby. If visiting before your trip, Sarlat is a short train ride to your first Inn, so you can avoid the transfer from Bordeaux.
Bordeaux train station, 14:00, day one. TGV (high-speed train) from Paris CDG airport takes about 3½ hours. Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.
Montauban train station, 10:00, day eight. TGV (high-speed train) to Paris CDG airport takes about 5 hours.
Full Carbon Racing: US 335 C 395
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
Custom or Private Tours
Want to go but on different dates?
Want to make a change to the itinerary?
We can adapt for you!
Here are some terms:
Bring your friends. We will run most of these trips for you whenever you want, at the advertised price for a group of four or more on a guided trip, or two if it's self-guided! We reserve the right to make changes if the original inns, etc. are already booked.
If you cannot find others, let us advertise the trip for you! Give us a commitment as far in advance as you can. As long as we have the minimum number of guests at the start, the price will be as advertised. The catch is that if it is just two of you and you want a guided trip, you must be willing to pay a 20% premium in the event that others do not join you. The bright side is that, once reserved, you can count on the trip, whether it remains private or becomes a larger group.
Ask for changes to the itinerary.
We are very flexible, and given enough time, can create a new itinerary to match your desires.