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Dordogne and Lot

Shortest Day - 46 miles
Longest Day - 54 miles
Total: 8 days total, 6 days cycling. 302 miles total; 50 miles average per day. Varied terrain. Hotels in wonderful medieval centres.

What you can expect

Famous sights and quiet roads around a region that epitomises France, with good food and character hotels. A round-trip from Bergerac encompasses all the best known places for which the region is justifiably well known as well as the best cycling. Perhaps our favourite tour!

More detail

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Cycling tour notes Dordogne and Lot

 

Highlights include:

  • Beautiful unspoilt landscape
  • Fabulous views of countryside and rivers
  • Mediaeval castles, bastide towns and ancient villages
  • Hearty food – cassoulet, foie gras and duck are local specialities
  • Red wines from Bergerac and Cahors
  • Character hotels in historic towns
  • Varied terrain
  • World Heritage Sites such as Rocamadour and St Cirque Lapopie

 

The Dordogne and Lot are regions named after the two rivers which flow through them. We knew them and had visited before, so decided to add them to our list of tours for 2017; during our reconnaissance trips we were amazed at just how good this region is to visit by bicycle. Using our usual formula of quiet roads and interesting overnight stops, we have created a tour of roughly 50 miles a day over varying terrain; there are some hilly sections so some preparation is required but we are confident they are within the grasp of most cyclists. There are also some longer flatter sections. What is common to all parts of the ride are fantastic views, plenty of historic sights, and scores of pretty villages.

Whilst the area is rural in nature, it is not remote and you are never far from a town. There is so much to see that we have no hesitation in adding this to our schedules for 2017. This could well become our own favourite tour!

Whilst wee have graded this tour moderate there are a couple of harder days - it is 'Medium +' overall but well within the ability of the regular cyclist or relatively active person.

Day 1: Arrive Bergerac and transfer to our hotel in the town.

Day 2: Leaving Bergerac in a southerly direction we are soon into open countryside as we ride through fields of sunflowers and corn. Passing through several bastide villages, full of half-timbered houses and narrow streets and unchanged since the Middle Ages, we spend the night in a hilltop village with fine views over the surrounding countryside. (52 miles).

Day 3: From our hilltop town we descend to the Lot Valley and spend most of the day tracking the river to our stop in Cahors. The ancient bridge is famous and we cross it before arriving at our hotel. The evening meal is enjoyed at one of the numerous pavement cafes in this lively town, watching the world go by and enjoying the evening warmth – accompanied by a glass of the local wine of course! (53 miles).

Day 4: From Cahors we take a road that many cyclists dream of. Indeed, we reckon that long after we are pedalling the big bike in the sky, this day will remain with us as one of the finest we ever spent on two wheels. There is a gentle climb out of Cahors through ancient oak forests before descending to the awe-inspiring village of St Cirque Lapopie. You may have seen it on calendars and in brochures, but to visit it is an altogether different experience and one that you will remember for a long time as you turn a corner and see it clinging to the hillside with the river below. There’s another climb afterwards, giving a famous view of the Lot river, before descending again to follow another pretty valley all the way to our stop in Figeac. And what a pretty place Figeac is! A mediaeval town where we stay right in the heart. (54 miles).

Day 5: The first 15 miles are undulating with ups and downs, but the downs seem to come at just the right times. There is then a dreamy 15 mile section where it is either flat or gently downhill, making for fast progress across the high Quercy plateau. This is an unspoilt upland with open vistas and you will see all manner of wildlife on your ride across here. After a coffee stop in a tiny village we set out for Rocamadour, another spectacular village. It is hillier from here to our hotel but you will be fuelled by the elation of what you have seen and the beauty of the countryside. (52 miles).

Day 6: Leaving our hotel in the heart of our town, and situated next to an ancient abbey building, we ride along the river Dordogne with glimpses of heron below and birds of prey above. We are now entering the most famous part of the Dordogne and whilst there are more tourists here we take the back roads to places such as Domme with its famous belvedere overlooking the river, and the castles at Castelnaud and Beynac, and the lovely La Roque Gageac, situated under a cliff beside the river. From here it is a short ride to Sarlat where we stay in the mediaeval heart of the village. You could be forgiven for thinking this was a film set but it is the real thing, a real treasure of a place! We eat our evening meal in an authentic French restaurant where we will probably be the only English speakers and where you will get great food and wine and a warm welcome from the owner. (46 miles).

Day 7: From Sarlat we are sadly heading back to Bergerac, our holiday nearly over but still some fine roads to ride. We climb up through an ancient forest to then descend once more to Les Eyzies, another place of history and fine buildings. Crossing a ridge between rivers we see some fine views of the Dordogne and then it is a fast run-in back to Bergerac and our last night out in this pretty small town. (51 miles).

Day 8: Departure.

Bergerac is well connected with flights from a good number of UK cities including London Stansted, Southampton, Bristol, Manchester and Edinburgh. Flight schedules can be found here.

Single supplement (for those specifically requiring a single room) £395.

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Current dates for this tour:

Starts:
02.09.17
Ends:
09.09.17
Rating:
Moderate
Price:
£1,395

Travel Information

Start: Bergerac
Finish: Bergerac

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