Set in the Dordogne and Unesco listed Vezere valleys of the enchanting Perigord Noir around Sarlat in SW France, this gentle, luxury walking holiday has it all.

Enjoy the natural beauty of these two stunning valleys, lined with fairytale ancient castles, chestnut forests and walnut orchards. Amble through a string of villages listed as 'the most beautiful in France' and a bevy of pre-historic sites with world-famous cave drawings. Mingle with the locals in Sarlat, the jewel of the area with its colorful market and savour the specialities of the region: foie gras, confits, truffles, walnuts, chestnuts, sumptuous cheeses & fine wines. To all this we have added 4 hand picked luxury hotels and castles, each offering something very special and unique. Why wouldn't you dawdle in the Dordogne?



Holiday details

Price

Luxury

from £2,635 – £2,895 per person

Based on two people sharing a room. Price range due to seasonal variations

What’s included?

Dinner for the first 4 nights and transfers to/from walks as detailed.  See what’s included as standard

Duration

7 nights

Start & Finish

Starts daily except Tuesdays and Wednedays from March to mid November and is circular from Sarlat. The nearest airports to Sarlat are Bergerac and Bordeaux. Train from Bergerac 1 hour, train from Bordeaux 2.5 hours

Hotels

Luxury

2 night stays in three 4 star hotels and a 4 star chateau

Holiday type

Self-guided

This tour is priced without a guide and you are free to explore on your own.  If you would like a guide for part or all of your trip, we are happy to provide a knowledgeable, local guide

Activity level

Gentle walking (2) More info...

Mileage

3 days of walking 6-14 miles (9 - 22 km) and 3 days of optional walking

Terrain

A few steepish slopes

Options

  • Stay additionl nights in Sarlat at the start or end of the tour
  • Book a boat cruise on Day 3
  • Book a canoe trip on Day 6
  • Book entry to Lascaux IV cave


Itinerary day-by-day


Luxury

  1. 1. Day one

    Arrive Sarlat -la-Canéda and Lacave

    Your tour begins in the 14th Century gem of Sarlat with its cobbled streets and picturesque small squares. We meet you here and transfer you to Lacave for the first 2 nights of your trip. Settle into this authentic castle nestled in 300 acres of gardens and forests with breathtaking views over the Dordogne valley. Your host will brief you on the trip ahead by phone today or tomorrow morning. Then enjoy a Michelin starred dinner in the Louis XIII dining room - classified as a historic monument or on the terrace overlooking the Dordogne river with unforgettable sunsets.

  2. 2. Day two

    Circular walk from Lacave

    Your first walk starts directly from the Château. A path leads down the vertiginous cliffs overlooking the clear waters of the Dordogne to the Pech de Pinsac. You’ll notice the contrasts between wild, stony countryside and the lush, cultivated Dordogne valley with its major heritage sites. Man has always found refuge and protection in the steep cliffs with the Castles of Belcastel and Le Bastit built into the rock itself, overlooking the valley. Return to your hotel and enjoy another gastronomic meal tonight.

    Optional 6 miles (10 km)

  3. 3. Day three

    Lacave to St Vincent de Cosse

    Today you discover some of the most beautiful villages of the Dordogne valley with a transfer after breakfast to the pretty cliff side village of Beynac with its impressive chateau overlooking the Dordogne. Walking from here through wooded hills you reach Le Roque Gageac, listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France. With fascinating architecture find historic mansions, troglodyte dwellings, and ochre-coloured stone houses with lauze roofs and one exotic garden. Take a boat ride down the river here if you wish and stock up on regional delicacies at a nearby duck farm, before reaching Domme, a magnificent bastide town dating from 1283 perched on a vertiginous cliff and changing hands between the French and English during the Hundred Years War. Take a stroll through the village’s cobbled streets, fortified gates, towers and the covered market before we meet you late afternoon and transfer you to your hotel for the next 2 nights on a former agricultural estate. Enjoy a gourmet menu tonight.

    7 or 11 miles (11 or 18 km)

  4. 4. Day four

    Château des Milandes to Cenac

    The two pools at the hotel may just be the ticket today but if you fancy a walk we transfer you into the gorgeous countryside and to the Château and gardens of Milandes, the former home of Josephine Baker, legendary early 20th Century entertainer, artist, resistance fighter and activist. Then follow the left bank of the Dordogne to Castelnaud, yet another of the villages classified as 'most beautiful' with a marvellous medieval castle. Finish your walk in the small village of Cenac, where we meet you and transfer you back to your hotel. Enjoy another gourmet dinner tonight.

    Optional 8 miles (13 km)

  5. 5. Day five

    The Vezere valley to Les Eyzies

    Today takes you through the enchanting Unesco Vezere valley beginning in Limeuil, listed among the most beautiful of villages in France. Cross picturesque landscapes to reach Le Bugue on the Vézère river. Following shaded paths through woods and past farms and hamlets you find St Cirq and the prehistoric Grotte du Sorcier which can be visited. Your walk ends in Eyzies, the capital of prehistory, where you stay the next 2 nights in an eco friendly spa hotel set in a 19th century post house which has played host to many celebrities including Dalida, Prince Charles and Yves Montand.

    8 or 14 miles (13 or 23 km)

  6. 6. Day six

    Circular walk from Les Eyzies

    After breakfast overlooking the Vezere river head out from your hotel into the countryside for a gentle walk and a magnificent discovery of the prehistoric remains around Les Eyzies. You leave the village and walk in the footsteps of the Cro Magnon crossing the Gorge d'Enfer valley. On your way back you can enjoy a picnic lunch on the banks of the Vézère and in the afternoon you have plenty of time to visit the National Museum of Prehistory in the heart of Les Eyzies. Those loving their canoe rides, can take a foray down the Vezere river. A dip in the hotel pool might be nice too.

    Optional 7 miles (12 km)

  7. 7. Day seven

    The Vezere valley to Montignac and Sarlat

    Your last day of hiking starts with a transfer to Le Moustier. From here you walk the path of prehistory that runs along La Roque Saint Christophe a troglodyte site unique in the world before arriving at Saint Léon sur Vézère where the shorter walk begins. This is yet another listed village where you can enjoy a refreshing drink or lunch on a café terrace with stunning views over the river. Amble on to the charming village of Montignac located at the foot of the famous hill of Lascaux, where you can visit Lascaux IV. This chapel of the prehistoric world, is a complete replica housing the oldest paintings of humanity and traces the discovery of the famous ornated cave. We meet you here and transfer you to Sarlat settle where you stay close to the historic centre.

    8 or 12 miles (13 or 20 km)

  8. 8. Day eight

    Depart Sarlat

    Sarlat is the jewel of the Perigord noir area with its many architectural treasures and you may well opt to spend an additional night here at the end of the tour - or at the start. Either way, your walking trip is drawing to a close now and its time to depart with your fond memories, the magical Dordogne.