Dordogne self guided cycling tour, France
Description of Dordogne self guided cycling tour, France
This self guided cycling tour takes you to one of the most beautiful and historic regions in France - the Dordogne. This sprawling region is split in two by the Dordogne River, which during the Hundred Years War (1337-1453) formed the frontier between France and England. The river is lined with castles, numbering over a thousand, whose storied walls and turrets tell the tale of past conquests and defeats.
As well as the famous, crowd-pleasing strongholds of Beynac, Castelnaud, Domme and Montfort, all of which offer incredible views over the lush landscape, you’ll find little known castles and manor houses hidden in the forests, as well as numerous pretty villages including St Leon, which is home to an ancient Roman-style church. The history of this region goes even further back, and you can visit prehistoric sculptures at Abri du Cap Blanc and see ancient rock paintings at the Lascaux Caves.
The cycling is varied, and you’ll pass through woodland, past farmsteads and along riverbanks, with few steep climbs. All of the accommodation has been hand-picked by us and everywhere that you stay will have its own swimming pool. The local cuisine is a real highlights of a visit here, so we’ll arrange several special meals along the way.
Planet and peopleUK Office
We are well aware of the impact tourism has at home and abroad, and we make every effort to balance the environmental impact of travelling with the immense benefits sustainable tourism can bring to destinations and the people who live there.
So we start in the office: we turn off all electrical equipment every night; we use energy-efficient bulbs; we measure print and paper consumption, and re-cycle wherever possible; we print our brochures on paper from sustainable sources, and send them out in bio-degradable packaging.
Leaders & local suppliers
Although France’s Dordogne is one of the more known regions in the country, it is still possible, with a bit of effort, to seek out family-run businesses, seemingly unchanged over the years. One such example is the beautiful Hotel Les Glycines on the fringe of pre-historic capital, Les Eyzies. Although the town gets busy – over 600,000 visitors are expected this summer – our hotel enjoys seclusion and tranquillity with pool, stunning gardens and superb cliff-facing views. Owner Pascal Lombard is also chef de cuisine and is incredibly proud that virtually everything on his menu comes from his fruit and vegetable gardens. Everything here is home made, from the amuses-bouches to the freshest of foiegras!
All our cycling holidays are independent, or self-guided, meaning that no minimum numbers are required to ensure that a trip operates. Mostly, trips depart every two days throughout the season, meaning customers are not restricted to busy weekend travel or costly high season dates. It also allows us to offer total flexibility over travel options and holiday durations.
Cycling has minimal impact on the environment as you provide most of the energy yourself and, when you’re pedalling from village to village, you can enjoy a relationship with locals in a way motorists passing through never can. On a bike, you get off the beaten track and people treat you as a visitor rather than a tourist. Also, by cycling independently, and not having to worry about keeping up with a group, you set the pace so you can soak up the sights, sounds and scents of your surrounds and really get under the skin of the place you’re visiting.
We proactively encourages cycling clients to think about travelling responsibly too: packing light, saving water, buying locally and re-cycling all maps and route notes at the end of their trip. We even re-cycle our old bikes! As part of our on-going maintenance, we often need to replace cycle parts which, although still serviceable, don’t meet our standards for reliability and comfort. So we donate these parts to Colchester-based charity, Re-cycle, who go on to send them to parts of Africa where locals are taught how to ride and look after a bike. This service has proven invaluable over the years for doctors, midwives, etc who sometimes need to quickly get to remote villages.
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From £1012 7 days excluding flights
Idyllic cycling in France with great food, wine and bonhomie