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 cobbelstoned alleyways. After your explorations there, walk, climbing gradually through lush fields and forest, and golden-stone farmhouses, admiring the vistas. You’ll descend then, 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 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 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 and Research Centre, as well as a string of small boutiques, cafes and restaurants.
After breakfast, we transfer you to the Chateau de Puy Martin, with its crenelated towers and of course its ghost, the White Lady, who wanders its hallways. The walk today, all on tiny paved roads through forest and a string of hamlets, ends with a great descent into Sarlat. We have organised a private walking tour, to enrich your explorations of this UNESCO Heritage town, with its narrow streets, restored Gothic and Renaissance town houses, the Saint Sacerdos Cathedral and its famous open-air market (Saturday mornings). Sarlat is the largest Medieval architectural grouping in Europe; you’ll love wandering at 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!
Groves of green-barked walnut trees are a common site in this part of the Dordogne. We transfer you this morning to an active walnut mill, where your optional visit is agremented by delicious samples (chocolate-covered walnuts, anyone?). From there, a short climb up into the heart of the Hundred Year’s War, into the village, and more impressively, the castle and Medieval War Museum keeping careful watch to its enemies across the river in Beynac. 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 and is one of France’s official “Prettiest Villages”; 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 another of France’s official “Prettiest Villages” (the Dordogne has more than its share…) for your explorations, amongst some truly spectacular scenery and sites. Start after a short transfer 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, (yup, one of the “Prettiest Villages”). Descend after explorations and likely lunch there to a hiking path hugging the Dordogne with limestone cliffs above, before crossing the bridge one final time to climb up back to Domme.
After a final breakfast, we transfer you to Souillac or Sarlat train station for your further travels. Bon voyage!
- 6 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
- Private walking tour of Medieval Sarlat
- Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel
- Transfer to first hotel from Souillac or Brive train station
- Transfer to Souillac or Sarlat train station at the end of the trip
- Taxi transfers to the start of the walk
- 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)