Join us on our leisurely cycle tour through the Dordogne and at a pace that you control. We endeavour to use only the most tranquil of roads on our route as we follow the River Dordogne to visit the enchanting castles and picturesque medieval villages that make this one of the prettiest departments in France. The chateaux and hotels which we use on this cycle tour are chosen for their superb surroundings and refined interiors. Take time to browse the local shops and sample the local produce. Spend the evening with new-found friends and enjoy some of the best cuisine and wine in France.
Concentrating our cycle tour Dordogne on two of the département’s most interesting areas, the trip optimises the abundance of history and stunning geography found close to the river’s banks.
Roman history is significant and intrinsic to the area. At the time of that occupation the Gauls, resisting the desire of Rome to rule, named the region ‘Perigord’, the home to the ‘four tribes’. In Gaul, this translated to ‘petrocore’, which later became Perigord (the French name for the Dordogne) and its inhabitants became the Périgordin.
We view the pre-historic art of the Lascaux caves, visit the historically significant towns of Sarlat and Domme and trace the footsteps of Richard the Lionheart and Knights Templar. The legacy of a more turbulent era is evident in the medieval fortresses and feudal villages that witnessed the bloodshed and violence of the ‘Hundred Years War’ and the ‘Wars of Religion’. The ‘Revolution’ razed to the ground many of the châteaux liberally scattered across the rural landscape of the country but some survived the destruction and tastefully repaired of the ravages of time and restored to former glory they now make either superb homes or excellent auberge.
The Dordogne is peppered with ‘chocolate box’ villages that whilst restored retain their charm. Villages that developed around fortifications cling to hillsides and others that grew from the prosperity of the river lazily nestle alongside the languidly flowing river on the valley floor. Your French cycling tour will allow you to visit many of them.
Wine is an integral element of the local economy where the temperate climate and its rich soil make ideal conditions for producing the grapes. Bergerac Appellation d’Origine Controlée (AOC) wines are the true wines of the Dordogne and the Dordogne cycling tour provides opportunity to sample the world renowned wines of the area, visiting one of the vineyards with the chance of purchasing your favourite directly from the producer. The red, aromatic and generous wines come from a mixture of diverse grapes including the so-called ‘noble grapes’ of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and the more traditional Côt, Fer and Mérille varieties all offering a broad spectrum of choice and provide a taste and flavour palette that would appeal to the most discerning of drinkers.
Agriculture is the other significant component of the area economy and local dishes based on its yields produce a sophisticated regional gastronomy. Your Dordogne cycling vacation allows you to indulge in an array of the foods: walnuts, duck, truffles, strawberries, foie gras and even wild boar amongst much, much more. The region is well-known for its production of goats’ cheese, most notably ‘cabécou’ produced in the town of Rocamadour that has its own AOC label. This distinctively tasting cheese, which features on many menus, is a wonderful starter served hot on a fresh salad drizzled with walnut oil.
My wife and I truly enjoyed our Deluxe Cycle Tour. Gary and his team take care of all the dirty work (accommodation, luggage transfer, snacks, directions, lunch & dinner reservations) so all you have to do is enjoy the ride. We cycled the Dordogne route which offered a fantastic variety of scenery and tourist attractions such as Vineyards, Castles, Landscape Gardens and the Lascaux Caves. I would strongly recommend a Deluxe Cycle Tour to anyone seeking a taste of the French countryside at a leisurely pace.
-Stuart & Natalie – NSW, Australia
This trip was everything we expected and more. The cycling was at a leisurely pace, which is what we needed after all the fantastic food. Deluxe Cycle Tours looked after us throughout the tour and nothing was a problem. All we had to do was wake up and cycle to the next fabulous hotel.
-Roger & Sue – Kilmarnock, UK
We contacted Deluxe Cycle Tours without really knowing what to expect. We were not experienced cyclists,but the countryside looked amazing. What was actually delivered was an experience way beyond what our family could have hoped for. The guiding was extremely professional,and the food and scenery quite extraordinary. A great guide to me about people who care about their business is their attention to detail. The guides at Deluxe Cycle Tours could not have been more thorough or thoughtful. We look forward to joining them again one day hopefully in the not too distant future.
-Guy, Jenny & Hugo – Sydney, Australia
The hotels were all a very special surprise at the end of each day as every one of them was special in some way. We’ll definitely be back for one of the other tours. This vacation is highly recommended for even the most rusty cyclist. Thank you boys.
-Maurice and Valerie – New York, USA