ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours - vacations and travel

Bicycle Tours In France: Cycling The Dordogne Plus! The Vineyards Of Bordeaux

France, Europe

from $4,395* per person 11 Days June, September
Boutique accommodations Exertion level: 4
Operator: ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours 16 people max
  • Airport near orly, france
  • Active & Adventure trips
The Dordogne River valley in Western France is one of the country's longest and most scenic. For 500 km, the Dordogne cuts through layers of limestone plateau and meanders from the woody hills of the Massif Central to the manicured Bordeaux wine vineyards. Our bike tour of the Dordogne takes you on some of the nicest cycling routes in Europe, with breathtaking views of medieval castles topping the hills at every bend in the river. Add visits to prehistoric cave paintings, wine tastings and great food, and you have one of our all-time favorite bicycle tours.

Locations visited/nearby

France, Europe

0 testimonials about this trip.

3 testimonials about the provider, ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours:

  • Reviewer: located in Asheville, NC USA
    "I felt I had the best benefits of a group tour - logistics, preplanning, support during the day, luggage handling, meeting new people - and the benefits of independent travel, in that I could ride on my own, at my own pace, and see the towns we stayed at as I saw fit, without being stuck with a group if I did not want to. A hard balance to achieve, but achieved it was."
    5
  • Reviewer: located in Portland, OR
    "The tour was excellent! Our tour guides were outstandingly knowledgeable of the region. They were awesome and exceptionally attentive to our needs and details of the trip. They truly made it a memorable 'experience (plus)'!"
    5
  • Reviewer: located in Bristol, TN
    "Your system of chalk arrows is by far the very best method that we have ever seen for marking a cycling route. It would have been totally unnerving to try to read directions and be aware of traffic."
    5

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Brive-la-Gaillarde, France
Highlights: Renaissance Brive, sidewalk cafés, special introductory dinner
Arrive this afternoon in Brive-la-Gaillarde, just four hours by train from Paris. After we fit bicycles, you're free to explore this charming Renaissance town. This evening, we'll gather for a glass of wine and a welcome dinner together.

Lodging: La Truffe Noire
Day 2: Bicycle to Rocamadour
Highlights: Scenic cycling, visit Collonges-la-Rouge, Pilgrimage village of Rocamadour, goat cheese of Rocamadour
Cycle south this morning to the red sandstone village of Collonges-la-Rouge, a longtime haven for craftsmen and artisans. Enjoy a picnic or a café lunch there and bicycle on to Rocamadour, the Medieval village and pilgrimage destination perched on the limestone cliffs of the causse de Gramat. Dinner together this evening, with a taste of Rocamadour's famous white goat cheese. Distance: 72 km (45 miles).

Lodging: Beau Site
Day 3: Bicycle loop ride to Padirac and to Carrenac
Highlights: Medieval Carennac, prehistoric caves of Padirac
We bicycle quiet country roads to the picturesque medieval town of Carennac this morning before heading on to the caves of Padirac. Stone tools dating back more than 50,000 years have been found in these caves. After a visit to the caves, your bike ride continues across the limestone plateau back to Rocamadour. Extra rides allow those who wish to double their mileage. Distance: 65 km (40 miles).

Lodging: Beau Site
Day 4: Bicycle to 16th century Sarlat
Highlights: A goose farm, Souillac, a gorgeous ride along the Dordogne, and rails-to-trails path to Sarlat
We leave Rocamadour this morning for a short ride along country roads to encounter some "local flavor" in the form of geese. We will visit a local foie gras producer and you'll have a chance to taste this famous delicacy from the southwest. Then we enter walnut country --la route de la noix-- as we head for a stunning ride along the Dordogne River to S. Julien-de-Lampon. The last ten kilometers of the ride we'll be on a rails-to-trails path that takes us to our home for the next three days, Sarlat. Distance: 57 km (35 miles).

Lodging: Hotel Le Renoir
Day 5: Rest day in Sarlat
Highlights: Regional market in Sarlat, 9th-century Benedictine abbey, optional bike ride
Today is a free day to enjoy the extraordinary regional market in Sarlat. The town was built around a 9th-century Benedictine abbey and today preserves a collection of 15th-century buildings - many constructed with golden sandstone - which gives it a unique character. If your legs are feeling strong and you want some scenic views we'll offer an optional bike ride this afternoon into the hilly backcountry of Sarlat. Distance, your choice: 40 km (25 miles).

Lodging: Hotel Le Renoir
Day 6: Loop ride from Sarlat and Canoe trip
Highlights: Bastide town of Domme, canoe trip, La Roque-Gageac, visit to Beynac Castle
For those who wish, we'll offer an early start and an optional ride to the 13th-century bastide town of Domme; for the rest, we begin the day with a leisurely ride back to the Dordogne River where we'll find our canoes for an easy float trip past La Roque-Gageac to Beynac Castle. This imposing castle, built during the 13th Century, was a French stronghold during the Hundred Years War. You can visit the castle, then we bicycle back to Sarlat. Dinner together. Distance: 37 km (23 miles) - plus about 12 km (7 miles) by canoe.

Lodging: Hotel Le Renoir
Day 7: Bicycle to Les Eyzies
Highlights: Guided tour of cave paintings at Font de Gaume, visit to Prehistoric Museum
This morning we bike to Les Eyzies, which rests at the confluence of the Vèzére and Beune rivers. We have reservations this afternoon to visit the cave at Font de Gaume, where you can view some of the last polychromatic prehistoric cave paintings in Europe still open to the public. Only 200 people per day are allowed to visit the cave, so you're in for a real treat. If you want to expand your knowledge after the visit you can stop by the Prehistoric Museum in town and learn about our ancestors from 100,000 years ago. Alternatively, you can spend the rest of the afternoon simply relaxing at the hotel pool. Distance: 44 km (27 miles).

Lodging: Les Roches
Day 8: Bicycle to Bergerac
Highlights: Spectacular views of the Vèzére and Dordogne rivers, local vineyards, wine tasting at Monbazillac Chateau
Today our route follows the Vèzére to its confluence with the Dordogne river. We'll have some beautiful views of the river as we wind our way up and around one of its largest and most picturesque meanders. We pedal on to the Monbazillac Chateau, where you can visit the castle and enjoy a wine tasting. From there, we'll bicycle to medieval Bergerac. Once among the largest wine producers in France, Bergerac began shipping wine down the Dordogne to Britain as early as 1250 A.D. only to later be eclipsed by Bordeaux and its wines. Distance: 72 km (45 miles).

Lodging: Hotel de France
Day 9: Bicycle to St. Émilion
Highlights: Quaint villages, Michel de Montaigne, Bordeaux vineyards
We will bike to St. Émilion today, home to some of France's oldest vineyards. On our way we'll pass through many small villages typical to the area that are linked by a patchwork of quiet country roads. Before reaching St Émilion we'll pedal by Chateau de Michel de Montaigne, one of the most influential writers of the French Renaissance. You'll have the option of visiting his former residence and La Tour de Montaigne where he wrote his celebrated philosophical Essais. This afternoon there's time to explore the labyrinth streets of St. Émilion before dinner. Distance: 73 km (45 miles).

Lodging: Le Logis de Remparts
Day 10: St. Émilion Loop
Highlights: St. Émilion, scenic cycling through world renowned vineyards such as Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Bel Air, and Pomerol, plus an informative wine tasting
You will have lots to see and do today as we are in St Émilion for one more night. We'll offer a loop ride this morning through the surrounding vineyards and illustrious Bordeaux wine houses. Back in St Émilion this afternoon you'll have the opportunity to visit the impressive underground church, chapel, and catacombs before our wine tasting where you'll learn about wine making and more specifically about the St Émilion wines. We'll celebrate our final dinner together this evening. Distance: 45 km (28 miles).

Lodging: Le Logis de Remparts
Day 11: Tour ends in St. Émilion, France
Highlights: Bon Voyage!
You're on your own now, with Bordeaux and more castles and wineries close at hand. Have fun!

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