A seven day, self-guided adventure holiday, cycling Dordogne’s most stunning landscapes of ancient vineyards and valleys, starting off in one of France’s most handsome and historic cities of Bordeaux. Staying at a mix of mostly small, locally-owned 3/4-star hotels and B&Bs, hedonistic highlights along the way include the UNESCO Saint-Émilion Wine Region, and more vineyard vélo routes through Monbazillac and Bergerac. With plenty of natural highs from the likes of Grotte de Lascaux, the Vézère Valley and the forests of the Dordogne Valley itself.
- Sainte-Foy-la-Grande, Bergerac and Sarlat
- Périgord vineyards
- Château de Monbazillac
- Les Eyzies
- Grotte de Lascaux
Click to view map
Day 1: Arrival in Bordeaux
Depending on arrival time, spend some time strolling along the banks of the Garonne River or exploring the centre of one of France’s most handsome and historic cities.
- Accommodation: Hôtel de Normandie or similar
Day 2: Bordeaux – Saint-Émilion | 52km
Heading out of Bordeaux, you cycle past Place de la Bourse, one of the city’s most famous squares, before crossing Pont de Pierre Bridge. From here, the route follows the Roger Lapébie Voie Verte through the countryside and into the Entre-Deux-Mers Wine Region. Continuing past a number of medieval towns and villages, such as Créon, historic sights along the way include fortified mills, country houses, abbeys and churches, before ending the day in Saint-Émilion.
- Accommodation: Auberge de la Commanderie or similar
- Cycling for the day: 52km, ↑267m, ↓206m
Day 3: Saint-Émilion – Sainte-Foy-la-Grande | 42km
Today’s route begins by heading through the vast vineyards of Saint-Émilion, the first vineyards to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From here, continue towards Castillon-la-Bataille, the site of the Battle of Castillon, the last battle of the Hundred Years’ War, before following the Dordogne towards Sainte-Foy-la-Grande. Founded in 1255 and considered the oldest bastide of the Gironde region, Sainte-Foy-la-Grande is known for its remarkable architecture, particularly the houses made from stone and carved wood, which date back to the 16th century.
If you wish to shorten your trip, it is possible to skip the night in Sainte-Foy-la-Grande, cycling from Saint-Émilion to Bergerac instead (70km, ↑110m, ↓150m).
- Accommodation: Grand Hôtel de Sainte Foy or similar
- Cycling for the day: 42km, ↑66m, ↓119m
Day 4: Sainte-Foy-la-Grande – Bergerac | 37km
Leaving Sainte-Foy-la-Grande behind, follow the quiet roads around Pays Foyen to Château de Monbazillac, which dates back to the 16th century and sits on a hill overlooking the vineyards that make up the châteaux estate. Continue towards Bergerac, celebrated for its cultural offerings and officially recognised as a Ville d’Art et d’Histoire by the French Ministry of Culture. Spend the evening strolling along the quays, exploring the Old Town and seeking out the famous half-timbered houses, built in the the 15th and 16th centuries.
- Accommodation: Hôtel de Bordeaux or similar
- Cycling for the day: 37km, ↑200m or 31km, ↑38m, ↓17m
Day 5: Bergerac – Les Eyzies | 62km
From Bergerac, follow the cycle path along Canal de Lalinde, passing villages typical of the Périgord region before heading towards Vézère Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s home to 147 prehistoric sites dating from the Palaeolithic era, including 25 decorated caves. The day ends in Les Eyzies, known for its prehistoric heritage, with many nearby UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Grotte de Font-de-Gaume and Grotte des Combarelles, as well as being the location where the first Cro-Magnon remains were discovered.
- Accommodation: Hostellerie du Passeur or similar
- Cycling for the day: 62km, ↑271m, ↓252m
Day 6: Les Eyzies – Sarlat | 47km
Continuing on through the Vézère Valley, the route takes you past several prehistoric sites before reaching the world famous UNESCO World Heritage Site of Grotte de Lascaux, a cave containing Palaeolithic artwork. Today, the masterpieces have been recreated and are presented in the International Centre of Cave Art in Montignac-Lascaux to avoid damaging the original works, which remain preserved within the caves. Alternatively, you can bypass the visit to the Grotte de Lascuax, taking a shorter route to Sarlat instead, the final destination of the tour. This medieval town has many architectural sights and boasts the highest density of listed historical buildings per square metre in France.
It is possible to book an extra night in Sarlat to take part in a canoeing trip along the Dordogne (available upon request).
- Accommodation: Hôtel le Compostelle or similar
- Cycling for the day: 47km, ↑497m, ↓426m or 25km, ↑438m, ↓343m
Day 7: Departure day
Departure after breakfast.
Alternative Day 7: Sarlat – Souillac | 56km
Leaving Sarlat behind, follow an old railway line, now a purpose-built cycle path, through the Dordogne Valley towards Cazoulès to stop for refreshments before reaching Souillac. Along the way, cycle through varied forest, cliff and valley landscapes. Extend today’s route by visiting La Roque-Gageac, one of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France.
- Accommodation: Le Pavillon Saint Martin or similar
- Cycling for the day: 56km, ↑185m, ↓240m or 33km, ↑161m, ↓213m
Day 8: Souillac – Rocamadour circular route | 44km
Begin the morning heading towards Lacave before continuing to the medieval, clifftop town of Rocamadour, offering views down to Le Canyon de l’Alzou. Rocamadour is home to several significant historic buildings and monuments, including Basilique Saint-Sauveur, an important pilgrimage site on the Way of Saint James and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Crypte Saint-Amadour. From here, the route returns to Souillac, where you can spend the late afternoon visiting the town’s 12th-century abbey.
- Accommodation: Le Pavillon Saint Martin or similar
- Cycling for the day: 44km, ↑363m, ↓436m
Day 9: Departure from Souillac
Departure after breakfast.
What to expect
Accommodation on this tour includes a mix of mostly small, locally-owned 3/4-star hotels and B&Bs. They have been carefully selected based on a variety of criteria including their location, warm hospitality, fine local food or commitment to responsible tourism. All rooms have en-suite or private bathrooms.
Click to view default hotels
- Hôtel de Normandie
- Auberge de la Commanderie
- Grand Hôtel de Sainte Foy
- Hôtel de Bordeaux
- Hostellerie du Passeur
- Hôtel le Compostelle
Hotels are subject to availability. In the event of a particular hotel being fully booked for your chosen 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.
Breakfast is included on all days. When no restaurant location is available en route, lunches and snacks can either be bought from local shops or packed lunches can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. Dinner is available either at the accommodation or from restaurants in the local area.
Difficulty and terrain
This cycling tour is rated as easy to moderate, with the route following a combination of cycle paths and quiet, country roads with limited traffic. The terrain is mostly flat but includes some inclines with an average daily cycling distance of 48km (read more about difficulty grades).
We strongly advise you to only follow marked trails and never try to shorten the path through unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed route notes and maps and you can call our 24/7 assistance phone number anytime. More detailed information on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.
When to go
This trip is available from the beginning of April until the end of October. The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates, meaning you can start your trip on any date during the season.
The weather in this area is varied. In general, you can expect a mild to warm climate and pleasant temperatures between 14-26C. Summers are hot, dry and sunny. Late spring and early autumn are less hot and you can expect some rainfall.
Click to view travel options
By train or bus
By train: If you are able to travel to France without flying, this holiday is reachable by rail, with railway stations in both Bordeaux and Sarlat. For more details, see the national rail operator SNCF Connect.
From Bordeaux Airport there is a direct tram to the city centre (40mins). For timetables and further information, visit TBM or use the Omio planner above.
From Sarlat, you can take the train to Bergerac train station, where you can then catch the bus to Bergerac Dordogne Périgord Airport (booking in advance required). Alternatively, you can leave from Brive-Souillac Airport, taking the line six bus from Sarlat (1h 10mins).
- 6 nights accommodation
- 6 breakfasts
- Luggage transfers between hotels
- Tourist tax
- Detailed travel information pack including luggage tags and road book containing route notes and maps
- Navigation app providing GPS support and turn-by-turn instructions for each route
- 24/7 phone support by our local office/representative
- Airfare and connecting land transfers
- Lunches, dinner, drinks and snacks
- Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
- Personal expenses
- Entry fees (payable locally)
- Any items not explicitly listed as included
Options, extras and supplements
- If you’re travelling in a group, a supplement applies to group members who would like to have a room of their own
- This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
- Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
- Accommodation upgrades
- Bike rental
- Bike theft insurance
- Canoeing on the Dordogne excursion (3-4hrs)
Touring, gravel and e-bikes are available to rent on this tour. All bikes come with a bike lock, a pannier, a handlebar bag, a repair kit and one smartphone holder per group. Helmets are available free of charge upon request. E-bikes can be charged at the hotels. Some experience with e-bikes is recommended, as the bikes accelerate faster and are heavier than regular bikes. Sample pictures attached below, please note that the exact models may differ depending on availability, but the standard will be the same.
- Arcade Escape
- Breezer Powertrip
- Fuji Jari 1.3