DELIGHTS OF HISTORIC DORDOGNE
6 days walking/7 nights
An easy walking holiday discovering a wealth of Picturesque villages in the Dordogne Valley
Wonderful historic villages including La-Roque-Gageac, Sarlat and Beynac
Beautiful chateaux lining the Dordogne Valley
Lots of historic and pre-historic sites
Easy walking with limited ascents and descents leaving plenty of time to explore the sights
Lovely guest houses and great food
Let 's discover the full itinerary!
Day 1: Arrival
Welcome at your guest house in Souillac - a bustling market town found on the train line. Explore the fine Romanesque Abbey and visit the automotive museum.
Day 2: Rouffillac - Carsac
A short transfer to Rouffillac from where your walk begins. Follow the banks of the river through glorious countryside. Take the opportunity to visit Chateau Fenelon. Today’s destination is Carsac, a lovely village in the heart of Perigord Noir.
Overnight: Carsac, Walk: 13.5km, +/- 70m
Day 3: Carsac - Sarlat
An easy walk into Sarlat. Sarlat is the jewel in the crown of the Dordogne. A magnificent medieval town, with the opportunity to admire its beautiful architecture. Enjoy its historic streets.
Overnight: Sarlat, Walk: 10km, +/- 100m
Day 4: Sarlat - Domme
Walk through the enchanting valley towards Domme, a bastide village that offers amazing views of the surrounding region which seem to go on forever. Explore the village’s pretty quaint streets and the caves to be found in Domme.
Overnight: Domme, Walk: 12.5km, +/- 130m
Day 5: Domme - La Roque Gageac
Wander through enchanting countryside to the beautiful village of La Roque Gageac. Along the way take the opportunity to visit Chateau Castelnaud and its museum of medieval warfare. Explore the gardens at Chateau Marqueyssac.
Overnight: La Roque Gageac, Walk: 12.5km, +/- 100m
Day 6: Beynac
A day walk out of La Roque Gageac. Head towards Beynac and visit the magnificent chateau which looms over the valley. Possibility to take in a boat ride down the river, taking in all the chateaux that border this wonderful waterway.
Overnight: La Roque Gageac, Walk: 6.5 - 12km, +/- 80m
Day 7: St Cyprien - Les Eyzies
A transfer takes you to St Cyprien and from here it’s onwards to Les Eyzies, one of Europe’s most famous pre–historic sites, possibly taking in the Font De Gaume.
Overnight: Les Eyzies, Walk: 12km, +/- 60m
Day 8: Departure
Your walking holiday ends after breakfast. If you have time, visit the National Pre-historic Museum before departing.
At a glance
15 April - 15 October
From €1565 per person (based on 2 sharing)
7 nights / 6 days walking
Distance: 6-13km per day
Ascent: 60-130m per day
Small hotels & guest houses
B & B plus 4 evening meals
Similar self-guided walking holidays in south-west France
The Dordogne in central France is dominated by the magnificent Dordogne river and its stunning valley lined with historic delights. Our easy independent walking holiday passes through one picturesque village after another. La Roque Gageac has been built into steep sandstone cliffs that rise high above the river with fascinating architecture and a troglodyte fort built into the cliff face. The beautiful town of Sarlat is famous for its medieval buildings and its lively street market. Sarlat has remained preserved from modern development and is considered to be one of the towns most representative of 14th-century France. Domme is a superb hilltop town, little changed over the centuries and is visible from far along the Dordogne Valley. In addition, the Dordogne has an impressive concentration of chateaux lining the valley such as Fenelon, Beynac, Castlenaud and Marqueyssac. There are also important pre-historic sites with cave drawings to discover on your gentle walking holiday through the heart of Dordogne.
7 nights/8 days: 6 days independent walking moving between guest houses
Everday of week subject to availability from 15 April - 15 October
Walking Profile & Grade
6 days of self-guided walking, moving between guest houses. This walking holiday in the Dordogne is graded easy. Two of the days allow you to increase the amount of walking or to rest. Average days include about 12km walking with only limited ascents and descents. All the walks are on good paths, although some sections can be muddy and rocky. Anyone in good health can enjoy this holiday.
This walking holiday is graded easy. See more information about walking grades.
Accommodation & Meals
A mixture of small B&B's and small independent family-run hotels offering a high qulity of service (2 or 3 star rating). Many are in historic properties, set in medieval village locations.
Where is the Dordogne?
When to Travel
Our self-guided walking tour in the Dordogne is available from mid-April to mid-October. This walking holiday is available in the summer but please book early to ensure we can secure our top choice accommodation. In spring, you are likely to experience some rainy days, but some years can be very dry whilst others can be unsettled. Cold periods are also possible late April and early May but generally the temperatures range from 16 degrees in April and climbing to 20°C in May. By mid June, temperatures generally reach the mid-twenties.
Summers are hot in the Dordogne Valley and the temperature often rises above 30 degrees Celsius. It rarely climbs beyond the mid ‘30s for any substantial length of time. In general, July is slightly hotter than August and the average temperature in summer hovers around the upper ‘20s. The summer is generally dry with several fine days interspersed by the odd shower often in the form of heat-of-the-day storms.
September highs average 25°C. October is still a good month for walking on average with maximum temperatures of 20°C and lower rainfall than those experienced further south and east in the south of France. The wettest month in the Dordogne of the walking season is May, whilst September is the driest month. The region is slightly sunnier than the national French average.
Navigation, Walking Notes & Maps
This walking holiday partly follows GR (Grande Randonnee) long distance trails which are well way-marked with red and white markings. There are also a number of signposts along the trail. The walking follows clear paths for its entire duration. The remaining sections follow local trails waymarked in yellow. Our walking notes are very detailed (more information here) and include intermediate distances for sections of the trail. They also include information about the sites which can be explored along the route. We supply one walking guide per person on this holiday. As well as the detailed walking notes we supply official walking maps produced by the IGN at a scale of 1:25,000. Your trail is highlighted on the maps.
On this walking holiday, your main luggage is transferred between guest houses so you only have to carry a day rucksack with picnic lunch (supplied by the guest houses and included in the holiday price), water and spare clothes, waterproofs, camera etc. Please limit the weight of your bags to 20kg. We generally use small guest houses in historic buildings and some of the rooms are accessible only by stairs.
Eurostar, the TGV & local TER trains run services from London St Pancras to Souillac, France. Take the Eurostar to Paris where you need to change station. Take the TGV from Paris Austerlitz direction Toulouse. Some trains (Teoz) are direct to Souillac, whilst others need a further change, some via Brive la Gaillarde.
Ryan Air & Flybe have scheduled flights from several UK airports to Bergerac, France. Taxi or hire car for the short transfer. A greater choice of operators fly to Toulouse from where there is a shuttle bus to Toulouse train station.
Note: Please check concerning the availability of a holiday before booking any flights. If you need further information or would like to discuss any aspect of your travel arrangements, please contact us, we’re here to help you.
Self Drive from UK
Channel ferry crossings from Dover are provided by a number of operators including P&O Ferries & DFDS seaways. Crossings are also provided by train with Eurotunnel.
Once in France, the journey from Calais to your first guest house takes about 7 hours (excluding long breaks).
Further Information & Advice
For useful advice about independent walking and preparing for your self guided holiday please take a look at the articles in our top-tips section. Once you have booked on this independent walking or trekking holiday, further information about the walking, the region and what to bring, will be sent to you. We do have a web page dedicated to what clothes and equipment you should bring. Please contact us if you need any further information.
7 nights / 6 days walking
- From €1565 per person based on 2 sharing a room
- Please consult us for single supplements
What's included in the price
- 7 nights accommodation, including all breakfasts, four dinners,
- 2 transfers during the week,
- full walking notes and maps,
- transport of luggage
What's not included in the price
- Travel to Soulliac, France
- lunches, 3 evening meals,
- Any excursions or entrance fees,
- Travel insurance
- A deposit payment of 30% or at least £250 or 250€ per person must be made to confirm your booking. The balance of payments is due 8 weeks before the holiday date. If the holiday date is less that 8 weeks away at the time of booking, then the full price should be paid.
A mixture of B&B’s and small independent family run hotels offering a high quality of service (2 or 3 star). Many are in historic properties, set in wonderful medieval village locations, some have swimming pools. Warm welcome and gastronomic food. A couple of examples are presented below
Extra nights are possible at any of the stopovers. As the walking days are quite short there is already quite a bit of time to visit the historic towns and villages. We can recommend an extra night in Sarlat if you wish to fully explore the town and visit its market. Sarlat boasts one of the best and most authentic markets in the region. Market days are Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Toulouse is France's fourth largest city, located on the banks of the Garonne River. Founded by the Romans it owes its nickname of "Ville Rose" or pink city to the use of brick used in much of its architecture from Antiquity to the present day. It dresses the façades with warming colours, from soft pinks to the most flamboyant oranges. Toulouse counts three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Canal du Midi (designated in 1996 and shared with other cities), and the Basilica of St. Sernin, the largest remaining Romanesque building in Europe, designated in 1998 along with the former hospital Hôtel-Dieu Saint-Jacques because of their significance to the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage trail. We can add on a city break of varying numbers of nights according to your wishes.
Bordeaux is a great destination for a city break and can be easily combined with this walking holiday, as you'll be picked up from the city. Bordeaux sits on the banks of the Garonne River and is known for its Gothic Cathédrale Saint-André, notable art museums such as the Musée des Beaux-Arts and its 18th- to 19th-century mansions, as well as public gardens which line the elegant river quays. We can book a city break for you and provide you with all the information you need for a great stay.
Here is a selection of our tailor-made trips that include the southwest of France. Please use them for inspiration if you are looking to add extra options to your walking holiday or create your unique tour of France.
If you are looking for a trip that combines the best of everything France has to offer, world-renowned wines, unparalleled gastronomy, castles worthy of the greatest hero movies, this trip is for you! The journey begins in Paris, a city where every street corner promises a new architectural marvel, and where every restaurant and bakery promises authentic French cuisine. Take a trip back in time to the Palace of Versailles before immersing yourself in the Loire Valley, where you’ll explore the most majestic castles and taste exceptional wines. Throughout your adventure, discover Bordeaux and its charming coast, a region that revolves around the production of wine. It's a royal experience that perfectly combines all the authentic French gems.
Welcome to France! Are you prepared to embark on this incredible tour through History? Starting in Paris, the city of love, and continuing through Bordeaux, Dordogne, Carcassonne & Marseille, you will explore the rich history of France. From the age of prehistory to contemporary times, you'll delve into the nation's abundant cultural legacy. A journey that will appeal not only to history enthusiasts but also to children intrigued by French culture. This trip promises a stunning perspective on French history while savouring the country's splendour, including its architecture, landscapes, and cuisine!
Cliffs services were great. Luggage transfers were smooth. The promotional materials were accurate and appealing. Loved the variety in places to stay and eat. Enjoy having some meals booked and others free. The area around Domme is so beautiful and walking into La Roque was special.