France: The Dordogne Valley & Bordeaux Bike Tour
The Dordogne Valley offers the best in a French cycling vacation: layers of rich history, majestic castles, beautiful vistas, quiet country roads, and world-renowned wine and cuisine.
Our route captures the incredible variety of the Dordogne Valley. Cycle through vineyards that produce the world famous St. Emilion wines, visit several old fortified villages (bastides), experience breathtaking views of Rocamadour sitting precariously on cliff sides, and be awe stricken with the natural wonders of Padirac Chasm. For the historian, a visit to the caves of Lascaux II and Les Eyzies (the capital of prehistory) may be a highlight. For others it will be the gourmet cuisine and superb lodging.
Days are filled with splendid riding and memorable sightseeing. Rest assured there is ample time to relax and absorb all that your surroundings offer. The terrain is quite varied from one end of the valley to the other. On a daily basis you will experience some flat sections and several sections that are rolling to hilly.
You will experience gastronomic specialties each day. Perigord boasts a menu known throughout France: truffles, walnut liqueur, cabecou (regional cheese), roast duck, and garlic soup. To satisfy a true epicurean taste, sample a truffle omelet accompanied by local wine, or enjoy the region's best foie gras on warm toast. Come join us in this magical region.
(Includes all breakfasts, 7 dinners, transfer to Rocamadour/Brive train station)
Take TGV Train de Grand Vitesse to Libourne, where we pick you up. Lodge in medieval St. Emilion at Palais Cardinal. Bicycle fitting, orientation meeting, followed by an exquisite welcome
Ride through rolling vineyards with a morning visit to Chateau St. Georges for a private tour of the vineyards, followed by wine tasting. Visit the open-air market in Castillion and then head back to St. Emilion for afternoon tour of underground monolithic churches. (25-30 miles)
Transfer to Chateau Monbazillac, renowned for a beautifully sweet dessert wine. Pick up fresh bread and cheese for a picnic lunch. End in Monpazier, a 13th century bastide (fortified village). (30 miles)
Explore Monpazier, the best preserved bastide in France or take an optional ride to Chateau Biron. Cycle to Belves, an English fortification with a magnificent valley view. Finish in Les Eyzies de Tayac. (28 or 37 miles)
Cycle to Lascaux II, an incredible reproduction of original Lascaux caves with some of the most detailed prehistoric paintings in the world. Dinner on your own. (18 or 32 miles)
Cycle to Sarlat, capital of Perigord Noir. Lunch in the old city; explore narrow passages that take you from shop to shop. (30 miles)
Along the river, visit Beynac and Les Milandes castles. Lunch in historic bastide of Domme. The scenery, with its river valleys, walnut trees, and colorful flowers, will help you understand why this area was so coveted by both England and France. (25, 35, or 45 miles)
Cycle to Rocamadour and visit its unique churches and towers. Perhaps you'll take the elevator down to the main village, overlooking Alzon Canyon. (40 or 46 miles)
Ride to Padirac Chasm and explore the underground river and cave. Visit the flowered town of Loubressac or medieval Chateau Castelnau. Farewell dinner. (30 or 37 miles)
Morning transfer from Rocamadour to train station in Brive.