Seven nights; seven days. This is French walking at its finest, following the Grande Randonnée walking trail and quiet roads through lush river valleys and beautiful stone villages.
“Weather was good, country was beautiful, food was delicious, tour logistics were good, guides were delightful… very memorable!” – Cathy S.
WHY THIS TRIP?
- UNESCO World Heritage Site, Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sirueil
- You may have a chance to visit Les Grottes de Lacave
- Clifftop town of Rocamadour
Requiring moderate fitness levels, these cover terrain with hills and valleys, and tend to include distances of 50-80km (30-50mi.)/day cycling, or 3-6 hours of walking per day. Most Freewheeling Adventures fall into this category, and are suitable for most ability levels.
This is meant as a contiguous journey where one could choose to forgo any vehicular transportation, (in contrast to a hiking trip with transportation to trailheads of different hikes). Vehicle support exists for luggage transportation and adjusting walks to your preferred distance. The Grand Randonnées use dedicated hiking trails and country roads, and regularly pass through villages.
- DAY 1: Introductions, up to ~15 km
- DAY 2: Up to ~28 km
- DAY 3: Up to ~30 km
- DAY 4: Up to ~25 km
- DAY 5: Variable
- DAY 6: Up to ~22 km
- DAY 7: Up to ~28 km & Farewells
(Click image to enlarge)
Start: Perigueux train station, 13:00, day one. Perigueux is about 1 ½ hours by direct train from Bordeaux, and there are multiple trains daily.
Finish: Bergerac train station, 11:00 day eight. Regular train connections available to Toulouse, Bordeaux or Paris.
Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.
Rendezvous & walk up to 15km into les Eyzies
Meet at the Perigueux train station at 13:00 for a one-hour transfer to Saint-Leon-sur-Vezere where your walk will begin. The first leg of your journey takes you through the Vézère River Valley into one of the oldest towns in the region, Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sirueil. The prehistoric rock dwellings and caves, some 150 archaeological sites scattered throughout the countryside, were collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979. D (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips. Self-guided trips include breakfasts)
Walk 28km into Sarlat
The grottos of Les Combarelles and Font de Gaume are significant archeological sites that are protected by strict conservation measures. Many people come to this region just to visit these prehistoric caves; their popularity combined with regulated access make it difficult to guarantee that you’ll get to visit one or the other, but we will do our best to orchestrate a visit this morning before you embark on your walk to Sarlat-la-Canéda. Visiting the hidden village squares in this well-preserved collection of honey-colored and red tile roofs is like stepping back into medieval times. The market here is famous for goose and goose-based products; expect a gastronomical feast for dinner! BLD
La Verperie Hotel, Sarlat-la-Canéda
Walk 30km into Souillac
Follow the Grandes Randonée to the quiet village of Souillac where you can visit the Abbatiale-Sainte-Marie, a 12th century church and a fine example of the Romans architectural influence in the region. BLD
La Pavillon Saint-Martin, Souillac
Walk 25km into Rocamadour
Crossing the Dordogne River, you will walk to the fortified vertical town of Rocamadour. Stop at the magnificent Montfort Castle panoramically overlooking a bend in the river below. You may have a chance to visit Les Grottes de Lacave, a series of caves that you’ll pass by near mid-day. Those visiting the caves will forego the afternoon walk to Rocamadour, a pleasant village where you’ll rest for the next two nights. BLD
Grand Hotel Beau Site, Rocamadour
Optional walks & explorations
As you enter La Porte du Figuierand follow rue de la Couronnerie into the heart of Rocamadour, you will experience the transformation of an idyllic rural milieu into a lively village of cafés and boutiques. Climb a monumental series of steps (233 steps in all!) to the little square around which cluster eight churches and chapels beneath the cliff. In the afternoon there is the option to visit caves and trails within the Parc naturel des Causses du Query. B
½ hour transfer to Gourdon then walk 22km into Domme
As you walk from one picturesque village to the next, in one of the oldest settled areas of France, you will sense that little has changed here since the 15th century when this region was an important theatre during the Hundred Years War. Domme is situated on a hill giving it expansive views across the Dordogne River and surrounding countryside; consequently, it is recognized as one of the most beautiful villages in France. BLD
Hotel Esplanade, Domme
1 hour transfer to Les Eyzies then walk 28km into Tremolat
On the way to les Eyzies you’ll have the opportunity to wander through Castelnaud la Chapelle, another of France’s most beautiful villages. If the climb to the panoramic view at the Chateau doesn’t take your breath away, then the vista over the Dordogne will. Follow the pathway along the Vezere to where it meets the Dordogne in into Tremolat where you will enjoy the luxury of a well-appointed country inn and its renowned restaurant. BD
Le Vieux Logis Hotel, Tremolat
Following breakfast, you will be transferred about one hour to the train station in Bergerac where your tour concludes and train service to Bordeaux is frequent. B
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
Guided: C 4475 (per person, double occupancy)
Includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 6 dinners, luggage handling, all transfers as described on the itinerary, maps, trail notes and guide.
Self-Guided: C 3885 (per person, double occupancy)
Includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, luggage transfers, driver for necessary transfers as described on the itinerary, maps and trail notes.
Single Occupancy: 990
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
2022 Guided dates:
2023 Guided dates:
Self-Guided available any dates, except for those listed above. New dates are also welcomed for guided or private departures.
Interested in custom or private departures?
Please see above for accurate pricing and inclusions, unless we have proposed a customized trip for you and those details are provided in your custom proposal.
1. Choose an advertised date to join a small group, or see our Join a Group page to see where groups are already forming.
2. Pick your own dates. We will confirm quickly, and are happy to talk with you as you make your choice. If you would like a private guided date, price remains the same as advertised if you have at least six. If you prefer self-guided, we usually only require two participants to initiate a new date at the advertised price, and can sometimes reduce prices for you if you have four or more.
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. Walking 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 Dore and Vézère Rivers, you will cross from Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sirueil to Rocamadour, and then loop back along the other side of the river ending near where you started. The lodging is so comfortable your toes will curl and the culinary temptations will fuel you for each day’s interests and pleasures.