We’ll transfer you from the Brive-la-Gaillarde or Souillac train station to your first hotel in Montignac. Montignac, a pretty town on the banks of the Vezere River, has been made famous as it is the home of the renowned prehistoric cave painting site of Lascaux. The winding Vezere splits the town in two and on each side of its banks have sprung fountains, washing places, houses and half-timbered buildings. Looking up, admire 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, with the small self-guided walking tour we provide.
You’ll of course want to visit the astounding Prehistory centre and the Lascaux IV reproduction, just on the outskirts of town while here of course. We have made your explorations easy, by booking your visit at the site ahead of time, to guarantee you’ll get one of the spots of the fascinating guided visits (they fill up fast). As well, we provide a easygoing half day ride, taking to – yes – yet another “Prettiest Village”, St Amand de Coly, with its ancient abbey church. The architecture seems disproportioned – the tall abbey buildings dwarf the tiny little village. You’ll love the relaxed nature of the day, and enjoy the little self-guided walking tour of Montignac filled with history as well.
Your ride today takes you southwards, essentially shadowing the meanders of the Vezere River, where truffles and cep mushrooms, walnut orchards, and grapes grow. You’ll pass through St Leon sur Vezere, one of France’s official “Prettiest Villages”, as well as the Roque St Christophe troglodyte site. A small detour brings you as well to the 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.
Beautiful riding, and lots to see today. Pedal southwards out of Les Eyzies, with a morning destination of St Cyprien with its dense medieval heart, grouped around the impressive Abbey-Church. From there turn briefly northwards again, to Commarque Castle, nestled by the banks of the Beune River, and with more troglodyte remnants. From Commarque it is not far to the unique and picturesque site of les Cabanes de Breuil, with its large grouping of traditional stone huts. After a visit, bike on through rich forest and valleys past the Chateau de Puy Martin, with its crenelated towers and of course its ghost, the White Lady, who wanders its hallways. Your ride ends in Sarlat. We invite you to discover this medieval town, with its narrow streets, restored Gothic and Renaissance town houses, and the Saint Sacerdos Cathedral. 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!
The loop ride for the day is one of the most picturesque, passing through a collection of the “prettiest villages of France”. Start at La Roque Gageac, built flat against the cliffside overlooking the Dordogne at one of its most popular bends – you’ll be sure to see colourful canoes and kayaks, and want to take a bit of time to explore the golden-stoned dwellings, more troglodyte traces, and its pretty views. Today you’ll get a strong sense of the Hundred Years’ War which ravaged the area: admire medieval castles facing each other across the river barrier… Take a short detour to Beynac, with its imposing castle built by the Barons of Beynac. Climb up to the war museum at Chateau Castelnaud. You may well decide to lunch in Domme. This village, an excellent example of the Bastide villages (fortified villages) of Medieval France, 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! Return to Sarlat for a second night.
Leaving Sarlat behind, you start today on a fantastic bike path, playing hide-and-seek with the curves of the Dordogne River. You may decide to detour briefly off the path in the village of Carsac, to visit the 3 hectare water-garden there (filled with ponds and rushing streams, lotus, lily pads, and small bridges), or simply to find a refreshing drink in a local café. You leave the bike path at last to take advantage of the bridge at St Julien de Lampon, and then climb away from the riverbank up to see the impressive and beautiful Chateau of Fenelon. As with so many of the region’s castles, the site was attacked, damaged, and rebuilt a multitude of times over the centuries. Continue on through sleepy villages, and truly beautiful views, again shadowing the Dordogne, bringing you into the town of Souillac, with its houses and parks hugging the meander of the river here. Take some time to meander through town and admire the 11th century Saint Mary’s Abbey – Souillac itself dates back to the foundation of a Benedictine Monastery in the year 655 – before pedaling the last few kilometres to your hotel.
Your final ride is a loop ride, taking you through the heart of the Causses de Quercy national park (a UNESCO Global Geopark). The route provides 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. Your ride through these vistas brings you to Rocamadour. In 1166, an incorruptible body was found buried where the Sanctuary of Rocamadour now lays. This discovery propelled the village to become one of the 4 most important pilgrimage sites of medieval Christiandom, attracting Kings and paupers alike. The 216 steps that make up the Great Staircase separate the lower town from the complex of religious structures set halfway up the cliff, including the 8 chapels of the Sanctuary. Explore the ancient streets snaking one above the other in this vertiginous site, before your turning back to your hotel for your final night, passing the Lacave grottos – where you can visit the underground galleries with their incredible stalagtites and stalagmites.
After a final breakfast, say goodbye to Dordogne until next time. 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, 3 dinners (drinks not included with dinners)
- Fully equipped quality touring bike **
- Orientation with our Trip Manager
- Detailed maps and step-by-step route instructions
- Regional information and advice
- Uploadable GPS file of the route to use on a free APP in your smartphone ***
- Reservation and tickets for the visit of Lascaux IV
- Luggage transfers hotel to hotel
- Transfer from Brive-la-Gaillarde or Souillac train station to the first hotel
- Transfer to Souillac train station at the end of the trip
- Phone call support 7 days a week
* Price based on double room occupancy – please contact us for details on single room supplements
** E-bikes and Road bikes are available on request (subject to supplement)
*** Can be used without international internet plan (offline)
The high quality, light touring bike is the default bike included on the tour. It is perfectly suited to riding with lots of stops for explorations.
Upon request, and for a supplement, you can have a road bike or a pedal-assist electric bike – contact us for details.
All our touring bikes come equipped with removable handlebar bag with clear map case, flat tire kit (with extra inner tube), pump, lock, rear rack and back panniers, water bottle holder and new water bottle, bell and kickstand.
Ahead of the tour, we will ask you if you wish to use our helmets, and if you want toe cages on the pedals (both free of charge).
Each of our regions has its own bike fleet, often with a couple of different bike makes depending on sizing – if you want to know the specific bike details for your tour, just contact us, and we’ll be happy to send you the specs!
TOURING BIKE - men's frame (included in trip cost)
TOURING BIKE - women's Frame (included in trip cost)
E-bike - men's frame (supplement charge)
E-bike - women's frame (supplement charge)
Road (racing) bike (supplement charge)