We’ll transfer you from the Brive-la-Gaillarde or Souillac train station to your first hotel in Montignac. Montignac is a lovely small town alongside the Vezere River. The river splits the town in two and on each side of its banks have sprung fountains, washing places, houses and half-timbered buildings. On looking up, you will see the castle, former haunt of the Counts of Perigord, perched on its rocky spur and overlooking the town nestling below. Our Trip Manager will go over your trip package with you, and then leave you to explore before your first dinner, included this evening.
Transfer to the small village of St Amand de Coly, with its lovely fortified Romanesque Abbey (surprisingly majestic for such a small community!), and tiny cobblestoned alleyways. After your explorations there, walk, climbing gradually through lush fields and forest, and golden-stone farmhouses, admiring the vistas. You’ll descend then, heading to the banks of the meandering Vezere River, and the small village of Aubas. Picnic there if you wish, overlooking the lazy flow of the river, or lunch at a great local restaurant, tucked behind the St Cyr and St Juliette Church. A final climb away from the river takes you through more forest with the full panoply of shades of green and dappled light, before descending back to Montignac, passing by the Lascaux IV site, for explorations there. We have purposely made this walk not too long to allow for enough time for this extraordinary prehistory centre.
This morning your transfer still follows the Vezere River, as it winds southwards through rich countryside that has welcomed man for milennia. Your route offers a plethora of reminders of this heritage, starting at the troglodyte site of La Roque St Christophe, you then follow the meanders of the Vezere, with majestic limestone spurs thrusting out over your head. After crossing the bridge into the village of Le Moustier, strike out through the forest and fields. You have the option for a small detour, continuing along the river, and bringing you to the site of La Madeleine – a prehistoric excavation of such importance that it donated its name to an entire prehistoric era – the Magdalenian – but also with an incredible troglodyte village you can visit. A climb away from the river before being rewarded at the end of the day with your descent into Les Eyzies. This little town sits on the confluence of Vezere and the Beune Rivers, and is home to the National Prehistory Museum, as well as a string of small boutiques, cafes and restaurants.
We transfer you down into a shaded clearing, where the Chateau de Commarque is nestled against the Dordogne River. The valley, along with a cliff on one side, protected the castle, and the area’s earliest inhabitants, from attack. After explorations continue on tiny forest roads to the Cabanes de Breuil. These traditional stone huts are remarkable and the site has one of the best collections of them. After a visit, a pretty walk through rolling coutryside, through rich forest and valleys takes you past the Chateau de Puy Martin, with its crenelated towers and of course its ghost, the White Lady, who wanders its hallways. The route ends in Sarlat. We invite you to discover this medieval town, with its narrow streets, restored Gothic and Renaissance town houses, the Saint Sacerdos Cathedral and its famous open-air market (Saturday mornings). This UNESCO Heritage site, the largest Medieval architectural grouping in Europe, is best explored by night, when the stone buildings with their “lauze” rooftops, and the cobblestoned streets and charming squares are lit up to eerie beauty – you’ll think you have been transported back in time!
Transfer this morning to the village of Milandes, in front of the castle of Josephine Baker with its grand gardens and falconry. Your walk today throws you back into the heart of the Hundred Year’s War, along the winding banks of the Dordogne River, and the discovery of its chateau: Milandes, Fayrac, Castelnaud (with its medieval war museum),… The groves of walnuts around you are also one fo the region’s highlights. The route takes you by an active walnut mill, where your optional visit is agremented by delicious samples (chocolate-covered walnuts, anyone?). Hug the banks of the Dordogne for a stretch, enjoying the views, before arriving in the fortified village (bastide) of Domme. A particularly beautiful example of the Bastide villages of Medieval France, Domme was built in the 13th century by Philip the Bold; there are still examples of medieval graffiti by the Templar knights, and a spectacular panorama to the valley below from the terrace of your hotel.
Today offers two of France’s official “Prettiest Villages” for your explorations today, amongst some truly spectacular scenery and sites. Start after a short transfer to the first, Beynac-et-Cazenac, and climb up to its impressive chateau overlooking the Dordogne, and the enemy castle of Castelnaud across the way. Your path – with lovely views – passes another walnut mill as it descends to cross the river delta. Another short climb, bringing you to the the romantic and picturesque Marqueyssac Gardens. This astonishing spot offers over 6km of pathways lined with over 150 000 hand-pruned boxwoods, rockeries and stone cabins. Situated on a rocky spur, the panoramic viewpoint offers one of the most impressive views of the valley and it’s many châteaux. Continue to La Roque Gageac, a beautiful village built flat against the cliff, (another of the “Prettiest Villages of France”). Descend to a hiking path hugging the Dordogne, before crossing the bridge one final time to climb up back to Domme.
We transfer you this morning to the small town of Lacave, where you will start your beautiful final walk of the trip. You walk in the heart of the Causses de Quercy national park, with wild and contrasting scenery from the tamer lushness of the previous days. The solid limestone block of the causses (dry stony plateaux) is gashed by the majestic, green valleys of the Lot, Dordogne, Célé, and Vers rivers, as well as the impressive canyons of the Ouysse and the Alzou. You walk along the lush greenery of the Ouysse to start, before climbing away from the valley (your only real climb of the slightly longer walk today) and up to the limestone causses. Make your approach – after a fun detour to a goat cheese farm – to the vertiginous site of Rocamadour. As well as the old stone houses and towers which seem to tumble one upon the other, you’ll enjoy exploring the many historic and religious monuments of this extraordinary pilgrim destination, perched on the side of the cliff. (note the Deluxe itinerary does this walk backwards, ending at Chateau de la Treyne near Lacave)
After a final breakfast, we transfer you to Souillac train station for your further travels. Bon voyage!
- 7 nights’ accommodation of the comfort level of your choice * CLASSIC, CLASSIC + or DELUXE
- Hotel taxes
- All breakfasts and 3 dinners (drinks not included with the dinners)
- Orientation with our Trip Manager at the start of the trip
- Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel
- Transfer to first hotel from Souillac or Brive train station
- Transfer to Souillac train station at the end of the trip
- Taxi transfers for the walks
- Detailed maps and step-by-step route notes
- Uploadable GPS files to use on a free APP in your smartphone **
- Regional information and advice
- Phone call support 7 days a week
* Price based on double room occupancy – please contact us for details on single room supplements
** Can be used without international internet plan (offline)
1350 € / pers.
Hotel le Lascaux – Montignac
Hotel le Moulin de le Beune – Les Eyzies
Hotel la Couleuvrine – Sarlat
Hotel l’Esplanade – Domme
Hotel du Chateau – Rocamadour
Classic + Tour
1690 € / pers.
Hotel la Roseraie – Montignac
Hotel le Centenaire – Les Eyzies
Grand Hotel Pavillon Selves – Sarlat
Hotel l’Esplanade – Domme
Hotel les Esclargies – Rocamadour
2490 € / pers.
Hotel Bouilhac – Montignac
Hotel les Glycines – Les Eyzies
Hotel Plaza Madeleine – Sarlat
Hotel l’Esplanade – Domme
Chateau de la Treyne – Lacave