Dordogne - A Tender Savour Of France

Dordogne - A Tender Savour Of France

France » Self-guided (independent) hiking tours

  • One of the classic easy to moderate hikes in France
  • Old castles, medieval villages, romanesque churches
  • Morning food markets full of regional food delicacies
  • jan
  • feb
  • mar
  • apr
  • may
  • jun
  • jul
  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • nov
  • dec

From 855 €

Duration (days): 8

Difficulty grade:  

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Known to the French as “Périgord”, the Dordogne “département”, is named after the most important of the region’s seven rivers. The area is a celebration of colour and diversity of landscape. It is also called the “Land of the 1001 sites”. To walk here is to travel through time and probably that’s why this is one of the most popular areas in France for self-guided hiking tours.

Many castles from the Middle Ages and Renaissance periods, testimony to the Hundred Years’ War and Wars of Religion that raged here; medieval villages full of character (among the "Plus beaux villages de France"); romanesque churches adorned with sculpted tympanums. The Périgord is also envied the world over for the splendours of its traditional gastronomy.

High-quality products used in the preparation of its local cuisine include foie gras, other duck- and goose-based ingredients, the famous black truffles of the Périgord, chestnuts, walnuts, and Périgord strawberries, not forgetting the wines of Bergerac, produced from top grape varieties on land that neighbours the "grands crus classés" of Bordeaux.

Day 1: Sarlat
The most famous town in the region and one of the most renowned and visited in France. Sarlat is a beautiful, well restored town a few kilometres north of the River Dordogne. The old town, dating from both medieval and renaissance times is a pleasure to visit, especially during the spring and autumn, or early in the morning.
Day 2: Sarlat to Domme
Option 1: 21,5km/5h20
Option 2: 15,1km/3h45
After leaving the historic centre of Sarlat, now moreover classified as a Town of Art and History to begin your first stage, you really enter in the “Land of the 1001 sites”. Grandiose landscapes and plethora of magical sights will be your everyday life from now, not to mention historic heritage of the region.
Day 3: Domme to Beynac
Option 1: 12,4km/3h00
Option 2: 17,6km/4h20
Domme, sometimes called the “Akropolis des Périgord”, is located 250 metres above sea level on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Dordogne river. With its trapezoid city plan, Domme is a bastide (a fortified medieval town) and is today a member of the association Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (“The Most Beautiful Villages of France”).
After seeing Porte des Tours, Porte de la Combe and Porte del Bos you can leave Domme to Meyrals. In this stage you will walk along Dordogne River and could discover unspoilt nature just before to arrive in Castelnaud and its impressive Middle-Age castle. Some kilometres later, you will enter in La Roque-Gageac, authentic village perched above the Dordogne River.
Day 4: Beynac to Lamy/Boyer
11,7km/4h10
Beynac is one of the most beautiful villages in France and is found on the banks of the River Dordogne, to the south-west of Sarlat.  Opposite the Chateau de Beynac across the river is its traditional enemy the Chateau de Castelnaud.
If you haven’t visited Beynac fortress (castle) yesterday, then you can do it in the morning. After walk through big forests and be immersed yourself in nature and the prehistoric past, you arrive in Meyrals.
Day 5: Lamy/Boyer to Les Eyzies
8,6km/2h50
Very small village in the Périgord Noir, Meyrals hosts the Festival des épouvantails (Scarecrows), an event which has been held every summer from 1999.
Along your way, you could discover steep cliffs with several cave houses. In the heart of these cliffs a lot of prehistoric vestiges are hidden and have to be still discovered… Perhaps you will find some treasures of the past!
Day 6: Les Eyzies to Marquay
14,2km/3h30
More correctly called Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil, this village of 861 inhabitants is in the heart of the Vezere Valley and surrounded by many, many caves and prehistoric drawings and remnants. Indeed, the cave-lined Vézère valley has been classified as a heritage site by UNESCO.
After visiting caves, cliff settlements and Prehistoric Museum, you can go back on your way to the next stage, Marquay. You will cross a hamlet, Sireuil, and a few meters after you will see a XIIth century old castle, Château de Commarque.Cross another hamlet, La Gafferie, and you arrive in Marquay.
Day 7: Marquay to Sarlat
15,4km/3h50
Small village (again!) very charming, where you can admire its XIIth century church in the centre of the village.
A place not to be missed in Marquay is L’Abri du Cap Blanc, a giant 13 meters frieze of prehistoric sculptures, which is today the only in the world to be shown to the public. On the way to Sarlat, other places like Les Cabanes de Breuils, Middle-Adged agricultural dependencies or the authentic and small hamlet of Campagnac are worth seeing.
Day 8: Sarlat - departure day

Accommodation and luggage transportation: 2-3* hotels with en-suite facilities; breakfast and dinner included except for dinner in Sarlat, which is not included; luggage transfers included on days 2,3,4,5,6,7;

Price: 855 Euro/person in twin/dbl room

Single room supplement: 180 Euro

Group size: min. 2 persons

The price includes: Roadbook (itinerary description in English and detailed walking maps); accommodation and meals as mentioned, luggage transfers;

The price does not include: other meals and transfers, personal expenses;

Tips: Best travel period: mid-April-mid-October; Best airport to arrive: Bergerac, Paris Orly and Paris Charles De Gaulle or Bordeaux-Mérignac. Private transfers (from Bergerac and Brive airports), pre- and post-tour overnights also possible (please ask for price).