Cycle-the-Dordogne offers tours in the heart of the countryside of the wonderful Dordogne and Lot regions in south-west France. The area is dominated by the magnificent Dordogne and Lot rivers and their stunning valleys. It is quite simply an area of outstanding natural beauty.
The tours normally start and end in the market town of Gourdon. The town has been built in tiers around a hill, where once a castle and ramparts stood. From the viewing platform at the top of the hill, there are fabulous views of the surrounding Bouriane.
A short distance away is the beautiful town of Sarlat which was once the capital of Périgord. Sarlat is famous for its medieval architecture and has the highest concentration of medieval, renaissance and 17th-century façades in France. Every Saturday, its lively street market attracts both locals and tourists to the town. Sarlat is not to be missed and is included in our tours wherever possible.
As you start to explore the Dordogne valley, you will pass through one picturesque village after another. La-Roque-Gageac has been built into steep sandstone cliffs which rise high above the river. We recommend spending some time discovering the village's fascinating architecture, along with visiting its exotic gardens and the troglodyte fort built into the cliff face.
Visible from much of the Dordogne valley is the gorgeous hilltop bastide town of Domme. Within its well-preserved stone walls, the town seems unchanged over the centuries and much has been done to retain its authentic atmosphere. From the town, the views of the river valley below are breathtaking.
The Dordogne valley has an impressive concentration of châteaux and your tour will allow you enough the time to explore several along the way. Choose from Montfort, Fénelon, Biron, Bonaguil, Hautefort, Castelnau-Bretenoux, Beynac, Castelnaud, Marqueyssac and Les Milandes. Beynac and Castelnaud were on opposing sides during the Hundred Years War, Marqueyssac has gorgeous gardens and Les Milandes was once the home of Josephine Baker and her "Rainbow Tribe".
Travelling along the Lot valley, you will definitely want time to visit Rocamadour. The town clings to the rock face overlooking the Ouysse gorge - and is the site of an ancient pilgrimage. The splendid "rouge" village of Collonges-la-Rouge is also worth making a detour for, along with Cahors, St-Cirq-Lapopie, Puy-l'Evêque and the magical riverside village of Cressensac.
We are confident that the Dordogne and Lot valleys will enchant you throughout your tour - and we're certain that you'll want to return here again and again!