Magnificent feudal castles, charming stone villages, and wondrous dawn-of-art cave paintings make France's picturesque Dordogne Valley a must-see. The area around the confluence of the Vézère and Dordogne Rivers, the heart of the Dordogne Valley, offers a remarkably rich collection of well-known sights and serves as France's epicenter for the study of prehistoric art. Walk along this famous river's banks, while visiting ancient cave paintings. Savor France's most famous regional cuisines - foie gras and the mythic black truffle - enhanced by some of the freshest fruits and vegetables we've ever tasted!
Visit feudal castles rich in history in France's ancient Dordogne River Valley
Explore prehistoric caves and see cave art that dates back 18,000 years!
Stay in charming four-star hotels and enjoy the decadence of the region's gourmet cuisine
Meet your MT Sobek guide at the Bordeaux Merignac Airport (BOD) and transfer to the charming village of Trémolat. We'll check into our deluxe accommodations and then stretch our legs with an easy, warm-up stroll along the Dordogne River. Meet the rest of the group in the manor's lobby for a trip orientation, before enjoying our first taste of the region's bounty at a delicious welcome dinner.
After breakfast, depart the hotel for our walk to Limeuil, traversing farmers' fields and tiny villages along the banks of the sleepy Dordogne. Stop for lunch in Limeuil, and rest your legs at the confluence of the Dordogne and Vézère Rivers. After lunch, visit the prehistoric Grotte de Roufignac, where a small train takes you into the cave to see its 12,000- to 18,000-year-old engravings and paintings. Later, transfer to our hotel in Les Eyzies, home for the next three nights, and relish an unforgettable dinner in the hotel's restaurant.
After breakfast, leave the hotel's doorway and walk past the ancient dig site where the first Cro-Magnon skeletons were found. Follow a small path uphill and drop into the Vézère Valley to visit the village of Tursac, the home of foie gras. Stop for a picnic lunch along the banks of the Vézère River and under the magnificent Roque St. Christophe cliffs. Return to the hotel in the early afternoon and explore the village of Les Eyzies. Dinner is on your own in any of the great restaurants in town.
After breakfast, walk into Les Eyzies for a day to enjoy more prehistoric art. Enjoy a guided tour of Font de Gaume and see its 14,000-year-old polychromatic art. Transfer to the village of St. Cyprien to visit the town's fortified abbey. Lunch with the group at a local restaurant before walking back to Les Eyzies, through tiny hamlets, through apple orchards, and to local artists' studios. Learn from a prehistorian for a cocktail lecture before dinner tonight at the hotel, and raise you glass to an amazing day!
Say au revoir to Les Eyzies and transfer to Chateau des Milandes, the former home of 1920's American jazz singer Josephine Baker. After visiting the chateau, walk upstream along the Dordogne River, with views of two well-known chateaux from the Hundred Years' War: the French Chateau of Beynac and the English Chateau of Castelnaud. Picnic along the way before reaching the fortified hilltop village of Domme. Take in magnificent views of the region before transferring to Sarlat, home for the next two nights. Enjoy dinner in the hotel's dining room.
There's nothing like exploring Sarlat on market day, with the hustle and bustle of people along its cobbled streets and alleys. After breakfast, browse the market for a look at the local wares. Late morning, transfer to the river for a canoe adventure down the Dordogne River. At lunch, stop along the river banks for a delicious picnic with fresh produce from the market, a swim and some rest. Later, shuttle back to the vans, then transferring back to Sarlat. Our farewell dinner tonight will be at a restaurant.
After breakfast at the hotel in Sarlat, join your guides for a transfer back to the Bordeaux Merignac Airport. For those wanting to continue on by train from Sarlat, we will arrange for a transfer to the train station, about five minutes away from the hotel.
This weeklong adventure perfectly blends active hiking with cultural immersion in the beautiful Dordogne Valley.
MT Sobek has been operating hiking in adventures in France for over 40 years and works with the best local guides in the business.
After exhilarating days exploring the Dordogne you can enjoy restful nights in the region's top four-star hotels.
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Moderate hiking between 5 to 8 miles, a 3-hour canoe trip on the Dordogne River, and cultural touring of prehistoric cave sites.
Charming four-star hotels, including Trémolat's Vieux Logis, where you can experience life as a country aristocrat and enjoy its prestigious Michelin-starred restaurant.
Temperatures stay around 70-80°F during the spring, summer and fall months, with high humidity. Expect quick changes in weather and possibility of rain.
Your MT Sobek guide(s) will meet you at the Bordeaux-Merignac Airport (BOD) and transfer you to our hotel in Trémolat.
Yes, on this trip running shoes / cross training shoes are acceptable.
Yes, on this trip, all of the hotels have swimming pools. Bring your bathing suit!
Yes, we stay in two hotels for multiple nights and therefore it is easy to skip a day and enjoy the small villages and the beautiful hotels.
Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!
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