Walks Along the Banks of the Dordogne

9 days
from
1 585 €
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Trip code: 
W08DO
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided Adventures
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Min age:
8

This walking holiday explores the limestone cliffs, wooded valleys and beautiful mediaeval villages that are so unique to France's Dordogne region. 

Perigord is one of the largest and most picturesque areas in France. It is divided into two by the River Dordogne which founded the historic frontier between France and England during the Hundred Years War (1337-1453). Along its banks you'll find over a thousand castles steeped in legend and history, and witness to centuries of conquests and conflict. Today the rich and varied culture of this land is still here for you to discover. You will meander along paths that follow the twists and turns of the valley and you will climb through fields and shaded woodland to hilltop towns and fortified strongholds with impressive views.

Highlights

  • Unspoilt scenery, woodland valleys, well-marked tranquil riverside paths
  • Pretty mediaeval villages; traditional Perigourdine markets, fairytale chateaux
  • La Roque Gageac, one of 'Les Plus Beaux Villages de France'
  • Wonderful river wildlife: heron, coypu,kites, kingfishers, buzzards and dragonflies
  • Friendly, family-run hotels, all with pools and good food

Key information

  • 8 Nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • 4 Days walking
  • Departs Every two days from 11 May '18 to 24 Sep '18
  • Continental breakfasts and all evening meals
  • Headwater wine service 
  • Route notes and maps provided 
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

What's included

  • Continental breakfasts and all evening meals
  • Route directions and maps
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

What's not included

  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Travel insurance
  • Single supplements
Call for general departures:
015 407 558
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
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

Terrain:

Peaceful well-marked walks mainly through forests, sunflower fields, rolling hills  and along riverside paths. 

Day by day breakdown
Day 210.0km/7.0miles
Day 419.0km/12.0miles
Day 616.0km/10.0miles
Day 819.0km/12.0miles

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
Saint-Vincent-De-Cosse
  • Day 1

    Arrive in Martel

    Arrive at your hotel in Martel, a picturesque town also known as 'la ville aux sept tours' or the town of seven towers. Your Hotel is a former convent school in 7000m2 of private gardens. (Staying at Le Relais Sainte-Anne)

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Martel to Meyronne

    Before leaving Martel, take time to enjoy its mediaeval streets, in particular the Palais de la Raymondie and the Place de la Halle. Martel is where the son of Henry II, (called Henry Court-Mantel for the new short cloak he made fashionable) died during the Hundred Years War; the house where he died is still visible today. Enjoy wonderful 360°ree; views of the Dordogne Valley from the summit of Mont Mercou, before arriving at your C11 chateau hotel. (Staying at Hotel de 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 Rocher Sainte-Marie and the Grottes de Lacave. If you prefer, 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 that you then explore by boat along the subterranean stream. (Staying at Hotel de la Terrasse)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    Meyronne to Souillac

    Leave Meyronne following the rewarding path along the Roc de Monges with spectacular panoramic views along the river and buzzards and kites soaring overhead. Take the GR6 path through sleepy hamlets and lush farmland, rejoining the river at Chateau de la Treyne before continuing on to the atmospheric small town of Souillac. (Staying at La Vielle Auberge)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    At Souillac

    Wander around this delightful town or visit the Musee de l'Automate, which holds the largest collection of mechanical toys and dolls in France. Alternatively, walk to La Durantie for more stunning views along the Dordogne Valley. (Staying at La Vielle Auberge)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    Souillac to Carsac

    Take a transfer to Roufillac then head along the south bank of the Dordogne River into the heart of the Perigord Nord. You can also take a short detour to visit Chateau de Fenelon en route to Carsac. (Staying at La Villa Romaine)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 7

    At Carsac

    Walk along the disused railway line that is now a 'voie verte' into Sarlat and explore this mediaeval town, the capital of the Perigord Noir. Wander the warren of old lanes and charming courtyards with their Renaissance facades and richly ornamented buildings, now protected by law. (Staying at La Villa Romaine)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 8

    Carsac to Saint-Vincent-De-Cosse

    Today's wonderful day of walking takes you along one of the historically interesting sections of the Dordogne River. Pass stone bories (dry stone huts) and small country hamlets as you walk between Chateau de Montfort, Vitrac port and La Roque-Gageac, with incredible views. With the fortifications of Castelnau just across the river from you, stroll into the incredible towering stronghold of Beynac with its quaint cobbled lanes, once besieged by Richard the Lionheart. Take a short but steep detour up to the Chateau de Beynac - perhaps enjoy a refreshing drink on a cafe terrace, with stunning views over the river) then continue through the serene countryside to your hotel. (Staying at the Domaine de Monrecour Chateau Hotel, Half Board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 9

    Leave Saint-Vincent-De-Cosse

    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

Continental breakfasts and all evening meals.

The Dordogne has a rich cuisine based on 'produits du terroir' (locally grown produce). A typical first course would be 'tourain', an onion and garlic soup cooked in a broth with duck or goose fat, and ladled over slices of country bread and cheese. Paté, often duck or goose, is equally popular, as is foie gras. Main course specialities also include duck and goose, often served in light cream sauces and, in the autumn, fresh cepes. Duck or goose fat is also used for the accompanying pommes de terre sarladaises - slices of potato sauteed in goose fat, with garlic, parsley and wild mushrooms. Traditional desserts include tarte aux noix, and flognarde, a type of flan with fruit and liqueur. A local cheese that is worth tasting is Bleu des Causses, similar to Roquefort, as well as Rocamadour goat's cheese. There are also some fantastic wines that come from the local area and a little further afield in Bordeaux that will accompany your meals perfectly.

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?

Classification: Self-Guided
Activity Level: 3 (Moderate)
Average daily distance: 16.5km/10.5 miles
No. of days walking: 4
Terrain and route: The suggested walking mainly follows Peaceful well-marked walks mainly through forests, sunflower fields and along riverside paths. Rolling hills, so no need for a head for heights.
Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to walk independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodation, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can walk at your own pace, while your bags are transported from one hotel to the next. A representative will be there to meet you and will be on call throughout the trip should you need.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked. 

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The route notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Families
Self-guided walking holidays are a perfect option for families as they offer the freedom for you to take your holiday at your own pace. You can stop as and when you want and need, at the cafes and restaurants that suit your family and the sites that interest you.

Call for general departures:
015 407 558
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
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 *** and **** hotels throughout, including a grand country manor set in its own private parkland, two beautifully preserved chateaux and a traditional family-run auberge. All hotels have private swimming pools.

Call for general departures:
015 407 558
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
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

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Call us on 015 407 558