With no doubt, the Dordogne area is one of the largest and most picturesque “départements” in France, while it is also one of the most prolific in terms of its numerous historic buildings and famous for its 1001 Castles! Unspoiled nature, grandiose landscapes, and a plethora of magical sites teeming with history. If that was not enough, there are more than 40 castles open to the public and hundreds of different wineries producing some of the most renown wines of the world.
Pre-Tour recommendation— Arrival in Bordeaux day before to be available for Day 1 Pick-up at hotel
Baggage Pick Up-please leave your bags clearly labelled with your names in the hotel lobby by 8.30am and our guide will collect the luggage. Hotel recommendations to be provided to all Registered Tour Guests
Day One — Bordeaux – Cadillac (47km)
Meet at InterContinental Bordeaux - Le Grand Hotel. Farewell to beautiful Bordeaux as we ride out of the city using it's wonderful and extensive network of cycle paths into the heart of ‘Entre-deux Mers’ vineyards (the area between-the-two-seas; Dordogne & Garonne Rivers) to Créon, a typical fortified village. A short way down the road at 11:30am we stop to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the beautiful ruins of the 12th century Sauve-Majeure Abbey. From here we continue through the vineyards, to Cadillac, sitting on the Garonne River. In the afternoon at 4pm we will visit our first of many, many château's - Cadillac Castle. Dating from the 16th C, with fireplaces the size of a New York apartment and one of the largest tapestry collections it's an impressive estate. Captured and looted during the French revolution it later became a penitentiary for women and an "education" centre for women. Today it's a public monument.
Check in at Château de la Tour
Functional, modern and clean. Large sunny pool area and garden that opens out into a park overlooked by the ducal palace. 7:30 PM Group Dinner Welcome dinner at our lovely hotel.
Day Two — Cadillac Loop - Excursion through the Sauterne’s Vineyards (58km / 36m)
We set off today riding between forest and vineyards, with plenty of opportunity for tastings along the way. From the deep cellars to the small routes between vineyards, we’ll be riding on soil renown throughout the entire world. A short way into the ride, Château d'Yquem appears - a veritable icon of the Sauterne wines that come from here - a honey-flavored sweet white wine, highly appreciated by wine lovers! And, then, if that wasn’t enough marvelous-ness, enroute you’ll have an opportunity to visit Château Malromé. The estate dates back to the 16th C and is most notable for having been the home to Toulouse-Lautrec's Mother and where he died. Today, Malromé is a lively space, which celebrates Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s artwork. Living in the golden years of the Belle Epoque, Lautrec was a participant and chronicler of Parisian brothels and nightlife. He left behind a prolific body of artworks which we will have the opportunity to sample along with the wines! Tonight we stay at Château de la Tour.
Day Three — Cadillac to Saint-Émilion (62km / 39mi)
Check out of Château de la Tour. Today we ride through the heart of ‘Entre-deux Mers’ vineyards, from the Garonne to the Dordogne river. We’ll stop at the 13thC medieval Chateau of Rauzan. The seigneury of Rauzan appeared in the 11th century with a knight by the name of Bernard of Rauzan. Built by John Lackland, King of England 1199-1216, the castle was constructed on a rock occupied since ancient times. Witness of the Hundred Year War, the castle was captured twice by the French. We’ll continue to explore the Bordeaux vineyards before finally reaching the famous medieval village of Saint-Émilion, a World Heritage site founded by a monk in the 8th century, with fascinating Romanesque churches and ruins stretching up and down the steep narrow streets and even underneath them! Its historic monuments include an underground church, two cloisters, catacombs, ancient towers and gates. Also, it is the world's #1 vineyard!
If Saint-Emilion wines are world famous it’s thanks to the hard promotion work of the Jurade, a wine brotherhood that was created in 1199 by John, King of England who delegated his economic, political and legal powers to the village and the noblemen of the region and let them rule. The authority of the Jurade was contested only in 1789 during the French Revolution, and then in 1948 a few winemakers resurrected the brotherhood. It is now in charge of promoting Saint-Emilion wine around the world and of organizing every year the Spring Feast and the “Ban des Vendanges” (administrative authorization to start the grape harvest). A unique site where world-famous wineries, beautiful architecture and great monuments are a perfect match. We will stay at Hôtel Au Logis des Remparts for the next 2 nights.
Day Four — Saint Emilion Loop ride (32km / 20mi) Château Siaurac
Today we can enjoy a leisurely morning before rolling out on our bikes for our private tour at Chateau Siurac one of St-Émilion's Grand Cru wineries Château Siaurac the largest and most emblematic of all the estates in the Lalande-de-Pomerol appellation and it's not surprising considering wine has been grown since the eighth century! Our tour is booked for 10:30am followed by a picnic lunch in the gardens of the estate. After our visit and lunch its a gentle ride back to town. Group Dinner: Logis de la Cadène - We discover local gastronomy with a creative spin by Alexandre Baumard at this Michelin star gem.
Day Five — Saint Émilion to Bergerac (66km / 41mi)
Check out of Hôtel Au Logis des Remparts. Back on our bikes, for a leisurely ride through the famous Saint-Émilion vineyards before reaching the Dordogne river. There you’ll ride through the charming 18th-century village of Sainte-Foy-la-Grande with its half-timbered houses and sunny streets. From here, we’ll follow a splendid route weaving our way around the Dordogne river into the town of Bergerac our home for the next two nights. We will be staying at Hôtel de France—Cozy quiet rooms in the center of Bergerac with a jasmine scented courtyard complete with swimming pool.
Day Six — Bergerac loop ride (35km/22mi)
This easy circuit guides you through traditional Bergerac wine country, taking you past the postcard perfect and massively popular Château de Monbazillac, famous for it's sweet wines. If you prefer things that are more off the tourist path, the next waypoints may be more your flavour: the Chateau Sanxet, where you may or not be able to visit the private 15th century home of an eccentric family, and the excellent estate of Chateu Le Fagé, which will have the pleasure of riding right through the estate so why not stop for a sample? Your return to Bergerac is along a slightly different route allowing you fantastic views across the vineyards. A lovely relaxing route perfect for any wine lover!
Day Seven — Bergerac to Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil (61km/40mi)
Check out of Hôtel de France. Leaving the town of Bergerac we follow the easy meandering Dordogne River up to Limeuil (market on Mon), classified as one of "the most beautiful villages of France”. At the confluence of the Dordogne and the Vézère rivers, this medieval village offers an ideal swimming spot, in an outstanding natural environment. Riding north from Limeuil, you will enjoy beautiful landscapes along the way to Les Eyzies de-Tayac-Sireuil and our hotel. Les Eyzies and the Vezere valley is the world capital of prehistory – billed as the “Vallee de l’homme” this area is home to the greatest concentration of prehistoric sites in Europe. They are by no means the oldest, but it is the sheer wealth and variety that’s so stunning. Check in at Hôtel Restaurant Le Centenaire, and a delicious country group dinner at our lovely hotel!
Day Eight — Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil Loop (40km/25mi)
A wonderfully atmospheric ride today past medieval manor houses carved out of rock faces, troglodyte villages, cave dwellings built into limestone cliffs and fantastic pre historic caves and of course just your every day Châteaus! Tonight we will stay at Hôtel Restaurant Le Centenaire.
Day Nine — Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil – Sarlat-la-Caneda (30km/19mi)
Check out of Hôtel Restaurant Le Centenaire. Today we cycle through possibly the most beautiful area of the Dordogne. We’ll ride through the beautiful ‘Sarladais’ countryside to the famous medieval town of Sarlat-la-Caneda. Towns and villages were built either on the hills for defense or alongside rivers to defend the crossing. Along the way will have the opportunity to visit Le Roque du Gageac, an old river harbour pressed up against a cliff, with a fort carved out of the limestone. Chateau Beynac a hulking medieval perched on a riverside cliff top with a frescoed chapel.
If the above was not enough we will also have the opportunity to enjoy the market in the incredibly charming village of Domme, offering an amazing view over the valley and the river. Riding on to the medieval town of Sarlat, which has fortifications that date from its time as a frontier outpost during the Norman Invasion and the Hundred Years’ War. This city with its cobbled streets, old roofs, and warm stone walls shows an exceptional heritage. Sarlat is also well known by gourmets for its delicious local products (such as ‘foie gras’ and truffles). Enjoy its market where you can smell, taste and discover all these treasures. Check in at Hotel Le Meysset (Hôtel - Restaurant) for the next 2 nights.
Day Ten — Loop Ride from Sarlat
Our last in the Dordogne (sniff, sniff) and it seems fitting to end with a beautiful ride and of course Châteaus! Our first castle is Château de Castelnaud, built on a rocky outcrop, offers a magnificent panorama over the Dordogne valley. Founded in the 12th century, it is a perfect example of medieval fortification. Today it houses an important collection of weapons and armor. Continuing on we have the Château Milandes, a beautiful15th-century castle, once home to entertainer Josephine Baker, with displays tracing her life. A little further on we have a charming private museum with lots to see and friendly owners. An easy ride to enjoy your afternoon in the beautiful Sarlat. Farewell dinner in our lovely hotel.
Day Eleven — Check out at Hotel Le Meysset (Hôtel - Restaurant)
* Details subject to change.
All prices in CAD. Click here for a currency converter.
$6895 CDN 11 Days/10 Nights
Hybrid bicycle rental: $299
Electric bicycle rental: $479
Single Supplement $1,145
For returning customers
To take advantage of these great incentives, please let our staff know when you book!