Challenging
Difficulty level
Hiking/Walking
Activity (Hike)

France: Dordogne Valley Walking Tour

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.

 

ROUTE EXPECTATIONS:

Click here to learn about our difficulty rating system.

The Dordogne Valley Walking Tour is 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.


Daily Distance:

  • 1: Rendezvous & walk up to ~15km into les Eyzies.
  • 2: Walk ~28km into Sarlat.
  • 3: Walk ~30km into Souillac.
  • 4: Walk ~25km into Rocamadour.
  • 5: Optional walks & explorations.
  • 6: ½ hour transfer to Gourdon then walk ~22km into Domme.
  • 7: 1 hour transfer to Les Eyzies then walk 28km into Tremolat.
  • 8: Farewells.

(Click image to enlarge)

 
Not sure about difficulties, and support level? Check out our What to Expect page!
 

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.

Meal inclusions: Listed for guided trips only, please see dates & pricing section for accurate inclusions per support level.


Please contact us to arrange alternate meeting and departure plans, if necessary.


1

DAY 1:

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.

Meal Inclusions: Dinner.

HotelCroMagnon, or Hotel Les Glycines, Les Eyzies.
2

DAY 2:

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!

Meal Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

La Verperie Hotel, Sarlat-la-Canéda.
3

DAY 3:

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.

Meal Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

La Pavillon Saint-Martin, Souillac.
4

DAY 4:

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.

Meal Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Grand Hotel Beau Site, Rocamadour.
5

DAY 5:

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.

Meal Inclusions: Breakfast.

Same lodging.
6

DAY 6:

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.

Meal Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Hotel Esplanade, Domme.
7

DAY 7:

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.

Meal Inclusions: Breakfast, Dinner.

Le Vieux Logis Hotel, Tremolat.
8

DAY 8:

Farewells.

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.

Meal Inclusions: Breakfast.

All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.


SELECT A DATE BELOW TO RESERVE, OR START A NEW DATE

2024 / 2025 DATES:

Please contact us for your preferred dates

Interested in custom or private departures?


PRICING

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.

Small groups or private tours, fully supported with drivers/guides and vehicles, all lodging and most meals included. Choose from existing dates or request new departures. Read more on our “What to Expect” page.


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.

Semi-supported, independent tours including welcome briefing, lodging, luggage transfers and necessary vehicle transfers. Choose from existing dates or request new departures. Read more on our “What to Expect” page.


Single Occupancy: 990


All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.



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, this usually comes at a surcharge depending on the details, please get in touch for more information. 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.

PLEASE NOTE: Trip Cancellation Insurance is highly recommended. If this is not provided by your credit card or elsewhere, please let us know and we can provide recommendations.

BEST TIMES

The best time to enjoy this tour is mid-May to mid-September.

  • Spring daytimes warm up to 10 to 20 °C (50 to 70 °F) by mid June.
  • Summer, mid June to mid September, is normally 20 to 25 °C (70 to 80 °F).
  • Autumn, mid September to mid October, daytimes 10 to 20 °C range (50 to 70 °F). Nights can be chilly, but rarely down to freezing.

GET TO THE START

By Air:
Fly into Bordeaux-Merignac Airport (BOD). There is a 30-minute direct shuttle that will take you to the Bordeaux train station in the city centre.
Fly to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG). The TGV is France’s intercity high-speed rail service; connecting Paris with many cities throughout France, including Bordeaux
By Train:
Charles de Gaulle Airport has a TGV terminal and many guests will board the train immediately upon arrival in France and travel directly to Bordeaux; the train takes about 2 ½ hours.


BEFORE AND AFTER

If you have one day:
Bordeaux - The hub of the famed wine-growing region, Bordeaux is France’s sixth largest city and is the world’s largest urban World Heritage Site; with half the city (18 sq. km) being listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can spend the day exploring the tree-shaded boulevards laced with hôtels particuliers (mansions) built for 18th-century wine merchants, visiting some of the many art museums of all periods and genres, and savouring the taste of southern France paired with exceptional wine lists.

We recommend the following accommodations in Bordeaux for before or after your tour; please let us know if we can assist with reservations:
The Regent Grand Hotel Bordeaux
Hotel Saint James

If you have several days:
Visiting France
France is a large and extremely varied country that is, thankfully, easily explored by a reliable rail network. Extend your trip on any one of our other tours in France, or go independently; the resources below might help!

Lonely Planet’s “things-to-do” in France
Timeout’s list of ‘hip’ French experiences
City guides for some of the best metropolitan areas in the country
NY Times’ 36 Hours in Paris


MORE READING

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.