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Trails and Hilltop Villages of the Dordogne Valley 6

Trails and Hilltop Villages of the Dordogne Valley

Tour details

Rating
Average rating:   0,  0 reviews
Country
France
Activity type
Self Guided Walking
Duration
8 days & 7 nights
Difficulty
Easy to Moderate, Moderate
Accomodation
Comfortable
Availability
April - October

Itinerary

Day 1: Souillac
Day 2: Cales
Day 3: Rocamadour
Day 4: Saint Sozy
Day 5: Carennac
Day 6: Loubressac
Day 7: Beaulieu
Day 8: Departure

Overview for Trails and Hilltop Villages of the Dordogne Valley

Explore the best of rural France on this self guided walking holiday in the Dordogne Valley and Haut Quercy, an area of wonderful food and wines, offering walks through some of the most beautiful villages in France. The itinerary crosses the Dordogne river valley, from Souillac to Saint-Cere, at times straying to the Causse de Gramat, to discover magnificent sites such as the valley of Ouysse, the hillside town of Rocamadour, Castelnau, and the Cirque d’Autoire.

Itinerary for Trails and Hilltop Villages of the Dordogne Valley

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Day 1: Arrive Souillac

Souillac is a small town built around a Benedictine abbey on the banks of the Dordogne river. Spend the day visiting the Musée des Automates, and the remarkable abbey with three cupolas on pendentives, finely carved capitals and a statue of the prophet Isaiah, a masterpiece of Romanesque art. Stroll in the old historic city near the abbey.

  • Overnight in a 3-star hotel, dinner and breakfast included

Day 2: Souillac to Calles

You will go to the Dordogne River and continue along it before penetrating into a forest and reaching the village of Pinsac. There you will cross the Dordogne and will admire the castle of Treyne which builds at the edge of cliffs and dominates the river. It is a luxury hotel today. You will walk through wood along the river and will reach the small but picturesque village of Le Bastit which possesses a bizarre castle.

  • Walking for the day: 19 km, 5 hours
  • Overnight in a 2-star hotel, dinner and breakfast included

Day 3: Calles/Pont de l’Ouysse to Rocamadour

Short transfer by taxi to the Pont de l’Ouysse where the Belcastel chateau rises in the distance. You will visit the Caves of Lacave (1.5h optional tour) and make your way up the Ouysse valley. The subterranean waters of the Gouffre de Cabouy rise above ground here as the source of the Ouysse. You will continue the hike through the Alzou Valley and will arrive in Rocamadour in the late afternoon.

  • Walking for the day: 18 km, 4-5 hours
  • Overnight in a 2-star hotel, dinner and breakfast included

Day 4: Rocamadour to Saint Souzy

This morning will begin with a stroll around Rocamadour. You will leave the town through l’Hospitalet, a village built on the cliffs’ edge, and pass through Le Causse and the picturesque villages of Mayrinhac-le-Francal and Bougayrou to arrive in Meyronne, an old cliffside village that looks out over the river, yet sits in the shadow of an old fortified castle.

  • Walking for the day: 20 km, 5 hours
  • Overnight in a 3-star hotel, dinner and breakfast included

Day 5: Saint Souzy to Carennac

You will walk back to Dordogne River, ascend to the church of Meyronne and continue through beautiful countryside to another loop of the river. From this point, you will look out over the impressive panorama of the Dordogne Valley. You will pass through the forests towards the small villages of Veysse, Floirac and Mezels before arriving in the charming village of Carennac. Carennac is one of the most attractive villages along the river with its typical Quercy architecture. Here you have the option to hire kayaks and paddle along the river past the spectacular cliffs at Gluges (arrangements to be made and paid for locally).

  • Walking for the day: 23 km, 6-7 hours
  • Overnight in a 2-star hotel, dinner and breakfast included

Day 6: Carennac to Loubressac

You will leave the village of Carennac and walk across the Gramat Causse to the Padirac Gouffre cave system. Here you can optionally take a boat tour that begins 103 meters below ground and takes you along 500 meters of river. Next will come an optional guided walking tour through the vast cavernous galleries, including the Grand Dome that reaches 94 meters in height. Then follow the sandy tracks to the fortified village of Loubressac which is dramatically situated on a rocky outcrop with sweeping views over the Bave Valley and towers of St Cere.

  • Walking for the day: 19 km, 5 hours
  • Overnight in a 2-star hotel, dinner and breakfast included

Day 7: Lobressac to Chateau de Castelnau/Beaulieu sur Dordogne

In the morning, you will have tome to stroll around the charming village of Loubressac, with its narrow, flowered streets, ancient houses and its castle. After leaving Loubressac, you will walk to a beautiful site: the Cirque d’Autoire. From the top of the cliffs, a spectacular view of the Bave Valley spreads before you. You will descend towards the Chateau de Castelnau, one of the most beautiful fortified castles in France. A taxi will now bring you to your destination for the day, Beaulieu sur Dordogne, a lovely medieval town situated on a wide bend in the river.

  • Walking for the day: 16 km, 4 hours
  • Overnight in a 2-star hotel, dinner and breakfast included

Day 8: Departure or Extra Night

Taxi transfer to the Bretenoux/Biars train station after breakfast.

Hotels for Trails and Hilltop Villages of the Dordogne Valley

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On this walking holiday, you will be staying in traditional 2 and 3-star hotels and country inns. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Sample hotels: Le Petit Relais, Le Turenne

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfasts and dinners are included. When no restaurant location is available on route lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops or you can pre-order a packed lunch at your hotel. Dinner is available either from the restaurant in your accommodation or restaurants in the village near your hotel.

Travel for Trails and Hilltop Villages of the Dordogne Valley

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Up-to-date FCO travel advice on France is available here. Detailed travel information, tips and hints will be provided in your holiday information pack.

Fly

You can fly into Paris Charles de GaulleOrly or Beauvais airports.

Souillac is on the Paris-Toulouse line and is about 5 hours from Paris Austerlitz station. To return, transfer by taxi to the Biars station to join Brive La Gaillarde on the Paris-Toulouse line.

Train

Take the Eurostar from London St-Pancras International to Paris (Gard du Nord). Change and travel to Paris Gare Austerlitz, from here take a TGV train direction Toulouse. Souillac is on the Paris-Toulouse line and is about 5 hours from Paris Austerlitz station. Total journey time is about 8.5 hours. To return, transfer by taxi to the Biars station to join Brive La Gaillarde on the Paris-Toulouse line.

Drive

From Folkestone, take the Eurotunnel shuttle to Calais. From Calais, drive to Souillacvia the RN20 Paris-Toulouse road and the A20 motorway (10 hours total journey time). Booking info can be found at www.eurotunnel.com. There is unguarded free car parking in Souillac. Transfer by taxi between St Cere and Souillac to take back your car.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance WorldNomads

We strongly recommend protecting the cost of your trip and other non-refundable travel expenses with travel insurance. Our Signature Travel Insurance allows you to insure all of your expenses. While a Signature Travel Insurance policy can be purchased at any time, purchasing a policy within 20 days of making your initial trip deposit gives you the widest range of policy options, including a Cancel for Any Reason coverage. For complete peace of mind, we also recommend enrolling with Global Rescue, the worldwide leader in field rescue, evacuation and security extraction services.

Read more and get a quote online

Trip Info for Trails and Hilltop Villages of the Dordogne Valley

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Difficulty Grade: Moderate / Easy to Moderate

This holiday is appropriate for moderately experienced walkers and requires a good level of fitness. Daily walks are a mixture of country paths and forest trails. A couple of days are long and some of the trails have some short steep climbs (read more about difficulty grades).

Route Navigation

The trails are generally easy to follow. Some of the routes on this walk are not way-marked but we will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.

When to Go

This trip is available from early April until the end of October. The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date within the season.

SOUILLAC WEATHER

What to Bring

We recommend that you travel as light as possible – airlines might charge you an extra fee, and during ground transfers, the place might be limited. Ideally, you should bring one piece of luggage weighing no more than 20 kg (to be checked in) and a daily pack (15 – 20 l rucksack) for your everyday essentials (snacks, drinking water, camera, etc.). Below is a non-exclusive list of what you should bring to this trip. More detailed info will be included in your holiday information pack. If you need further advice, please contact a reputable outdoor retailer or us.

  • Good hiking boots
  • Hiking socks
  • Several t-shirts (preferably breathable/fast drying)
  • Packable waterproof and windproof jacket with hood
  • Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece
  • Trainers and/or sandals – to relax and wear inside the accommodation
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve
  • Hat/Baseball cap
  • Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies)

Included for Trails and Hilltop Villages of the Dordogne Valley

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  • Pre-departure info pack and detailed road notes and maps (electronic copy emailed in advance and a hard copy provided at the first hotel)
  • 7 nights accommodation in private en-suite rooms in simple but comfortable 2 and 3-star hotels
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 7 dinners
  • Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel when changing hotels
  • People transfers to/from the trail as detailed in the itinerary
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local representative

Supplements

  • Where individual members of a group require a single room, a single room supplement is applicable.
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers. As costs are not shared, a supplement is payable on the standard trip cost

Other Trip-Related Costs

  • Entrance fees for attractions and museums
  • Optional kayak rental, boat tours and guided tours of the caves

Excluded

  • Flights and airport transfers
  • Lunches
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses such as snacks, drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Any items not specifically mentioned as ‘included’ in the programme

Extensions and Optional Extras

  • Extra nights along the way and at the end of the tour can be booked on request

Gallery for Trails and Hilltop Villages of the Dordogne Valley

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Reviews for Trails and Hilltop Villages of the Dordogne Valley

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Trails and Hilltop Villages of the Dordogne Valley
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by Chester on King Ludwig Way

Delightful moderate walk building up slowly to an interesting climax over the days. Varied and friendly hotels. Kirchberger in Wildsteig deseerves... Read full review

We are a retired couple of 73 and 70 years old. We enjoyed the trip very much. The trip was well organised; all went smooth, the accommodation... Read full review

This holiday not only had erupting volcanoes, fabulous hospitality and a plethora of dramatic landscapes to walk in, it also featured gorgeous... Read full review

We just completed the Catalan Coast and Mountain week-long self-guided walking tour. February was perfect in the off-season! [The] itinerary... Read full review

We enjoyed our trip, the meals were prepared by our cook at lunchtime were very good  and they always found a nice place forLunch. Our guide... Read full review

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