Dordogne Activities

9 days
from
$2,585 USD
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Trip code: 
M08DO
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided
Activity:
Mixed-Activity
Min age:
8

Combine three of our exciting holidays to experience the ultimate activity holiday in the Dordogne. 

Explore one of the most fascinating corners of the Dordogne on this varied and flexible, walking, cycling and canoeing holiday. The Perigord Noir, arguably one of the most attractive parts of the Dordogne, is named as such for its rich dark oak and chestnut forests which fill the very heart of this region. The area offers spectacular scenery with ancient chateaux perched high above the rugged cliffs overlooking the entire valley. You'll find mediaeval villages full of character and a plethora of historical sites including the Benedictine Abbaye Sainte-Marie in Souillac, founded during the C12 and which suffered badly during the Hundred Years' War. 

Highlights

  • Three activities in one holiday: two days canoeing with a choice of walking or cycling for the remaining days
  • Impressive chateaux, troglodyte cave dwellings, Rocamadour, Grottes de Lacave and Gouffre de Padirac
  • Dramatic river valleys, pinky-gold cliffs and mediaeval villages
  • Friendly, family-run hotels, all with pools and fine food

Key information

  • 8 Nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Departs Every 2 days from 2 Jun '18 to 24 Sep '18
  • Route notes and maps provided 
  • High quality bikes provided
  • Route notes and maps provided 
  • Luggage transfers between hotels 
  • Buoyancy aid and helmet provided
  • Canadian canoes or sit-on top kayaks included

What's included

  • All continental breakfasts and evening meals 
  • All accommodation
  • Route notes and maps 
  • High quality bikes 
  • Route notes and maps 
  • Luggage transfers between hotels 
  • Buoyancy aid and helmet 
  • Canadian canoes or sit-on top kayaks 

What's not included

  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Travel insurance
  • Single supplements
Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

4

Days of Family
Terrain:

The walking and cycling is a mixture of shady wood and farmland, along quiet country roads and cycle tracks, dotted with little Périgord villages. The Dordogne is an ideal canoeing river, not only fast flowing, mostly quite shallow and with a gravelly bottom so it's more difficult to run aground, even in high summer.

Day by day breakdown
Day 215.0km/10.0miles
Day 417.0km/11.0miles
Day 620.0km/13.0miles
Day 832.0km/20.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Martel
to
Sarlat
  • Day 1

    Arrive in Martel

    Arrive at your 3-star hotel, a former convent school in 7000m2 of private gardens. (Staying at Le Relais St Anne)

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Martel to Meyronne

    Today, walkers will enjoy wonderful 360°ree; views from the summit of Mont Mercou, along with views over the Dordogne Valley, while cyclists will pass the lovely village of Gluges, on the banks of the Dordogne River. Before you leave Martel, why not explore its mediaeval streets, in particular the Palais de la Raymondie and the Place de la Halle? (Staying at Hotel La Terrasse)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    At Meyronne

    You have lots of choices today. Either relax by the hotel pool or walk south of the river to Rochers Ste Marie and the Grottes de Lacave. If you prefer to cycle (or use our walking route notes) head to the town of Rocamadour, home to the shrine of the Black Madonna and one of France's most venerated religious sites. Alternatively, travel by taxi to the Gouffre de Padirac, an enormous chasm where you descend into an underground cave system which you then explore by boat along the subterranean stream. (Staying at Hotel La Terrasse)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    Meyronne to Souillac Canoe

    We meet you after breakfast for your briefing and canoeing lesson before you set off on this easy paddle, taking you below pinky-gold cliffs with buzzards and kites soaring overhead and the imposing chateaux of Belcastel and de la Treyne (to name but two), perched up high above the river. (Staying at La Vieille Auberge)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    At Souillac

    Wander round this bustling town, people watch or visit the Musee de l'Automate which holds the largest collection of mechanical toys and dolls in France. You might also like to walk to La Durantie for some of the most stunning views along the Dordogne Valley or cycle to the Chateau de Fenelon, a Cathar stronghold during the C12 and C13. There is also the option to cycle to the impressive Jardins de Cadiot made up of ten gardens within two hectares of land - the choice is yours! (Staying at La Vieille Auberge)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    Souillac to Saint-Vincent-de-Cosse Canoe

    Its gentle paddling again today down to Grolejac through the heart of peaceful and prosperous Perigord countryside, leaving plenty of time for swimming, picnicking or just lazing by the river. We pick you up and take you to the tranquil Chateau de Monrecour where you stay for the next two nights. (Staying at Chateau de Monrecour)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 7

    At Saint-Vincent-de-Cosse

    Stroll to Beynac and climb the steep footpath lined with C15-C17 stone houses up to the spectacular C13 hilltop chateau; the reward for your effort is the breathtaking view of the serpentine sweep of the river. Or you could visit the beautiful Jardins de Marqueyssac and the impressive Chateau de Castelnaud (approximately 6km/4mi away). (Staying at Chateau de Monrecour)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 8

    Saint-Vincent-de-Cosse to Sarlat

    Today you can choose to go on foot or pedal through pretty villages and shaded woods before arriving at mediaeval Sarlat with its Renaissance facades and richly ornamented buildings now protected by law. Wander through the narrow streets, discovering ancient courtyards as you peep through ornate archways, then its on to the tranquility of your hotel, in time for a last dip in the pool before dinner. (Staying at Hotel Meysset)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 9

    Leave Sarlat

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

France

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

France

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All continental breakfasts and evening meals included.

The Dordogne has a rich cuisine based on produits du terroir (locally grown produce). Typical first courses include tourain, an onion and garlic soup cooked in a broth with duck or goose fat, and ladled over slices of country bread and cheese. Pâté, often duck or goose, is equally popular, as is foie gras - ideally washed down with a glass of Sauternes or Monbazillac. Main course specialities also include duck and goose, often served in light cream sauces and, in the autumn, fresh cèpes. Duck or goose fat is also used for the accompanying pommes de terre sarladaises - slices of potato sautéed in goose fat, with garlic, parsley and wild mushrooms - delicious! Traditional desserts include tarte aux noix (walnut tart), gâteau aux noix, and flognarde, a type of flan with fruit and liqueur. A local cheese worth tasting is Bleu des Causses, similar to Roquefort, as well as Rocamadour goat’s cheese.

Some of the finest wines of France come from the south-west. Bordeaux is the largest wine region in the world, producing over 500 million litres a year. There are over 40 different appellations, including some of the most prestigious in France - Sauternes, Saint Emilion and Pauillac. Monbazillac is a renowned sweet dessert wine, while many of the lesser known regional wines are much cheaper but well worth trying. Bergerac reds and whites are also highly recommended; there is a delicious rosé too. Pécharment red is another one to try. See the section on Wine Service in our ‘All you need to know Guide’.

Weather

Summers in the Dordogne are warm-hot with temperatures reaching 25-35 degrees Celcius. There may be occasional storms and showers, these are usually short but you should be prepared. Colder spells can also arrive and last a day or two. Temperatures in the early morning can still be quite mild, so it is a good idea to have an additional layer.

In spring and autumn the weather in the Dordogne is similar but milder, with temperatures around 22-28 degrees Celcius and with a greater chance of rain - especially in late spring.

Is this trip for you?

On foot, bike and by canoe, venture through the Perigord experiencing what this picturesque region has to offer. You have total flexibility with the choice of either walking or cycling routes when you're not canoeing. The canoeing is safe and undemanding, and we will give you a lesson in handling your canoe before you set off. Your journey starts in Martel, a picturesque town also known as 'la ville aux sept tours' or the town of seven towers, moving on to Meyronne, on the banks of the Dordogne. From here you pick up your paddle, canoeing downstream to Souillac and on to Beynac with its hilltop castle, captured by Richard the Lionheart in 1179, finally arriving in mediaeval Sarlat. 

NB: All customers must be able to swim at least 50m fully clothed. We provide 2/3 person canoes (minimum age 8 years). Single-person kayaks are also available if specified when you book. Only suitable for children over 12 unless experienced. Should the river, at any point, be deemed too high to safely canoe, we will provide Headwater bikes at no extra charge for all days affected.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels

You will stay in characterful 3-star hotels throughout, all with private swimming pools. These range from a stunningly converted C11 chateau to a panoramic country house, set in its own private parkland. You'll enjoy delicious evening meals in this area renowned for its gastronomic traditions. 

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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Dates & Prices

Call us on 1 844 227 9087