walking tour in dordogne

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Good Taste Tours for Discerning Travellers
Walking tours in France

france self-guided walking tour
in dordogne - quercy

Self-guided walking tour in the Dordogne valley. Independent walking holidays
from Souillac to Beaulieu sur Dordogne via Rocamadour, Padirac cave, Carennac,..

Quercy is a large limestone plateau where the Dordogne, Lot and Aveyron rivers flow in deep valleys. The Causses, part of the plateau are arid stretches of land covered with sparse meadows and grazing sheep. To the north, Haut Quercy – formed by the Causses de Martel and the Causses de Gramat – leans against the Massif Central. The major part of this hike takes you through the Dordogne River Valley, from Souillac to Saint-Cere, at times straying to the Causse de Gramat, to discover magnificent sites such as the valley of Ouysse, the hillside town of Rocamadour, Castelnau, and the Cirque d'Autoire. You will be thrilled by the Gouffre de Padirac’s underground river, a strange and marvellous underworld.

Independent walking holidays.

DATES: April to October.
DEPARTURE: any day of the week.
DIFFICULTY: Grade 2 - walks of 4 to 6 hours a day. Some stages could be more 20 km (13/15 miles) and rolling uplands, ascents mainly gradual than steep of up to 500 m. An average level of fitness or some experience with walking is recommended.

Dordogne - Quercy


Arrival at SOUILLAC, a small, prosperous town built around a Benedictine abbey on the banks of the Dordogne River. Spend the day visiting the Musée des Automates, and the remarkable abbey with three cupolas on pendentives, fine carved capitals and a statue of the prophet Isaiah, a masterpiece of Roman art. Stroll in the old historic city near the abbey.
Dinner, lodging and breakfast in a 3-star hotel or in a 2-star hotel (budget traveller)

Day 2 - SOUILLAC - CALES (19 km)

You will have a few hours before the hike to look at Souillac in the softer light of morning. Late morning, a taxi will escort you to the Lanzac viewpoint, which overlooks the entire Dordogne valley. From here you will take a charming little route across the western portion of the Causse de Gramat to reach the hamlet of La Bastit, a small village along the Dordogne with a strange castle overlooking the river. You will continue through a forest of scraggly oaks, through tobacco fields and grassy stretches where sheep graze, to arrive finally in Cales.
Dinner, lodging and breakfast in a 2-star hotel with -pool or in a 2-star hotel (budget traveller)

Day 3 - CALES - ROCAMADOUR (18 km)

Escort by taxi to the Pont de l’Ouysse where the Belcastel chateau rises in the distance. You will visit the Grottes de Lacave (1 hour and a half tour) and make your way up the Ouysse valley (a remarkable site in the Lot department), wild and mysterious and spotted with old watermills, including the 13th century fortified watermill of Cougnaguet where everything works as it used to! The subterranean waters of the Gouffre de Cabouy rise above ground here as the the source of the Ouysse. You will continue the hike through the Alzou Valley and will arrive in Rocamadour for night.
Dinner, lodging and breakfast in a 3-star hotel or in a 2-star hotel (budget traveller)


This morning will begin with a quiet visit of Rocamadour city. This is the second-most-visited place in France after Mont Saint Michel. Once a revered site among the Christian community, Rocamadour remains a holy place for many pilgrims, those on the path to Santiago de Compostella in particular. Clinging to the cliffs of the Alzou canyon, the medieval village has many interesting aspects: remains of a former castle and a hospital for pilgrims, the Basilica Saint Sauveur and the pilgrimage chapel of the Black Virgin, narrow old streets lined with beautiful gates and homes dating back to the Middle- Ages. You will leave the city through l’Hospitalet, a village built on the cliffs’ edge, and pass through Le Causse and the picturesque villages of Mayrinhac-le- Francal and Bougayrou to arrive in Meyronne, an old cliffside village that looks out over the river, yet sits in the shadow of an old fortified castle converted into a comfortable hotel where you will rest for the night.
Dinner, lodging and breakfast in a 3-star castle-hotel with pool or in a 2-star hotel (budget traveller)


Transfer by taxi to Gluges, a lovely village built under the cliffs. You will wander through the streets of the village and leave it to walk down to the banks of the Dordogne River to the belvedere de Copeyre to see the cirque de Montvalent. Then you will cross the river and pass through the Causse towards the hamlet of Veyssou. Then you will continue to the edge of the cliffs of the Cirque de Montvalent. From this point you will hyave a beautiful panorama of the Dordogne Valley. You will walk through forest towards the small villages of Veysse, Floirac and Mezels before arriving in the charming village of Carennac.
Dinner, lodging and breakfast in a 2-star hotel with swimming-pool or in a 2-star hotel (budget traveller)


The village of Carennac has developed from the 11th century onward after a priory was founded by the abbey of Cluny. The village has a number of houses dating back to the Middle-Ages, and a beautiful 12th century Norman church called St Pieter’s. Its cloister, half-Roman, half-Flamboyant- Gothic, shelters a remarkable 16th century entombment. Leaving the village, you will walk across the Gramat Causse to the Padirac Gouffre. There you can board a boat tour that begins 103 meters below ground and takes you along 500 meters of river. Next will come a guided walking tour through the vast cavernous galleries, including the Grand Dome that reaches 94 meters in height! You will exit again into open air and continue your walk to Loubressac, a beautiful village opposite the feudal castle of Castelnau, a very imposing 12th to 15th century fortress and one the finest examples of the military architecture of the Middle-Ages.
Dinner, lodging and breakfast in a 3-star hotel with swimming-pool or in a 2-star hotel (budget traveller)


In the morning, you will visit the charming village of Loubressac, with its narrow, flowered streets, ancient houses and its castle. After leaving Loubressac, you will walk to a beautiful site: the Cirque d’Autoire. From the top of the cliffs, you get a spectacular view of the Bave Valley. You will walk down to the village of Autoire, nestled in the hollow of the valley lined by impressive cliffs. You will descend towards the Chateau de Castelnau, one of the most beautiful fortified castles in France. After a visit of the chateau you will continue on to the charming village of Bretenoux. A taxi will come and pick you up to drive you to Beaulieu sur Dordogne, a lovely medieval town situated on a wide bend of the river.The abbey-church of St Pierre was built during the 12th Century. Dinner, lodging and breakfast in a 3-star hotel with pool at Beaulieu or in a 2-star hotel (budget traveller)

Escort by taxi to the Bretenoux rail station in late morning.

  • 2020 walking tour
    Dordogne - Quercy

    price per person / twin-share

    single supplement

    solo traveller

  • walks for
    discerning travellers

    1175 Euros / person

    330 Euros

    1770 Euros

  • walks for
    budget travellers

    940 Euros / person

    245 Euros

    1330 Euros

Price includes:

7 nights accommodation in selected 2 & 3-star hotels
7 breakfasts - 7 gourmet dinners
Taxi transfers: Souillac-Lanzac viewpoint, Calès–pont de l’Ouysse, Bretenoux- Beaulieu

These rates do not include:

Lunches, drinks, and sundries , Insurance for cancellation

To avoid currency exchange fees,
• Australians can pay in Australian dollars by direct deposit or credit card.
• New Zealanders can pay in New Zealand dollars by direct deposit or credit card.
• US citizens will be charged in US dollars using credit card.

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