On this cycling holiday in France, you shall explore the upper Dordogne, Lot and Cele valleys. Think of historic medieval villages, fortified towns, dreamlike scenery and quiet country lanes with little traffic and you have this tour, our Dordogne-Lot Dream cycling holiday. Starting on the Dordogne you will head east upstream to Carannac and Beaulieau Sur Dordogne said by many as the most beautiful village on the Dordogne. Then you cycle south across the limestone plateau to the Lot and Cele valleys where you experience the medieval town to St Cirq Pa Popie. Lastly heading west you shall complete your tour by arriving in Gourdon with its stunning hilltop church.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Hooked on Cycling that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the chosen activity and for emergency evacuation and hospital care.
The town of Souillac grew up around a monastery founded in the early 10th century. Its three domes make the abbey look quite Byzantine, and there are some lovely sculptures to be seen. Amongst the quaint streets that surround the abbey is the Musee de L’Automate, a national collection of mechanical dolls and automata. Souillac’s weekly market is held on a Friday morning should your start day coincide. Your bikes will be delivered to your hotel upon arrival.
Todays ride takes you up-river from Souillac to Carennac. The River Dordogne is at its scenic best between these two towns and the ride gives you the opportunity to explore the wonderful countryside between these two points. The regular ride is approximately 40 km, however, you may also wish to complete a short add-on, and visit the town of Martel. Along the route, you also have the opportunity to visit the caves in the village of Lacave. Your destination, Carennac, is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful villages on the Dordogne.
There are a number of options today out of Carennac. If you didn’t visit the village upon arrival, take some time today to explore Carennac. Alternatively, you may wish to take on the loop ride which includes the beautiful town of Beaulieu Sur Dordogne and the magnificent Castelnau-Bretenoux castle. There is also the opportunity to visit the Gouffre de Padirac if you have time. A spectacular underground river system.
Today’s journey takes you out of the river valley and up onto the Gramat Causse. Along the way, you will pass through a number of pretty villages and you also have the opportunity to visit Rocamadour, France’s second most visited tourist site. The Causse de Gramat is an empty land with few people and few villages. The wide horizons are a change from the lush green river valley. The small market town of La Bastide Murat is your destination.
Today’s ride will take you into the Cele and Lot river valleys. You can if you wish to visit the world-famous Pech Merle cave today. This will give you more time tomorrow to explore the Cele Valley. Do also remember that St Cirq la Popie, perched on a cliff high above the River Lot, is also worth exploring.
The main cycle feature of the day is the charming Célé Valley. This is one of the most beautiful valleys in this region. It is more intimate than either the Dordogne or the Lot Valleys, with a surprising number of historic villages tucked away among the bends and the poplar trees. It is a green line on the Michelin map all the way (used to indicate particularly scenic sections). Cycle out as far as you want, then retrace your route back. We suggest that you go at least as far as Marcilhac, but try to get to Espagnac, it is exceptional.
Your last day’s cycling, the longest day, takes you back to Gourdon. Leave the Lot Valley and the dry limestone cause to return to the green hills of the Bouriane that surround Gourdon. The route follows river valleys almost the entire way, but there seems to be more up than down as you cross over from the Lot watershed into the Dordogne watershed! If you arrive early you could visit Cougnac caves just outside of Gourdon.
Depart after breakfast.
To Souillac where car parking is available
To Toulouse/Paris airports where on arrival transfer by train
To Souillac station.
2024 Prices – For a complete tour price breakdown please click the book now button and select your holiday tour date. Prices will then be listed.
|Tour Code||Prices From (per person)||Book Now|
|DORLOT (7 Nights)||from £1836||Book Now|
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