French Dordogna, the enchantinq square of Monpazier
French Dordogna, the enchantinq square of Monpazier

Dordogne, Enchanting French Countryside

Level
2
Distance
75 km
Duration
7 days | 6 nights
period
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
price from
€ 970
  1. France
  2.  | 
  3. Self-Guided
  4.  | 
  5. Tourcode FRSW285

An active and gastronomic journey (is there a better pairing?) along the banks of the captivating and winding Dordogne River, leading to the forests of the Périgord plateau.

Imagine the most iconic French countryside: walk from village to village, visiting places like the historic Montferrand, the Cistercian abbey of Cadouin, and the imposing Biron Castle.

Conclude your journey in Monpazier, a gem of a 'bastide' included in the famous list of 'The Most Beautiful Villages in France.'

And along the way, enjoy comfortable stays and delightful dinners in three charming, small, family-run hotels we've selected for you.

Highlights

  • Enjoy easy walks through the beautiful Perigord countryside,
  • Encounter a many historical villages along the trail: Montferrand, Monpazier, Molieres,
  • Visit the Cistern Abbey of Cadouin and the Castle of Biron

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival in Belvés

Arrival in Belvés

On your arrival you'll be welcomed to a small and charming hotel, right on the banks of the Dordogne. After checking in, you may wish to sit in the hotel's garden and enjoy the sunset over the river . This evening, it will be difficult to choose among all the delicious courses on the excellent menu.

Day 2

Circular walk from Belvès, 17,5 km

Circular walk from Belvès, 17,5 km

Your trip begins with a pleasant circular stroll starting right from the hotel's entrance. As you depart Belvès, the terrain becomes more varied, with the initial stretch passing through a forest. Subsequently, the scenery unfolds, revealing panoramic views of the Dordogne valley that the trail oversees. Following the ridge-top villages of Saint-Germain-de-Belvès and Cladech, the descent towards the valley commences, guiding you through cultivated fields and providing picturesque perspectives of the surroundings. Upon returning to the hotel, take a moment to unwind or savor a refreshing drink on one of Belvès' terraces. Consider indulging in a glass of the locally-produced Monbazillac wine as a pre-dinner aperitif. In the evening, relish another delectable dinner at one of the village's restaurants.

Day 3

From Belvés to Cadouin, 15 km

From Belvés to Cadouin, 15 km

Today you will follow the path from Belvès to the medieval village of Cadouin, centered around an imposing 12th-century Cistercian Abbey. This walk transcends mere travel; it unfolds as a passage through both time and nature, seamlessly blending exploration with tranquility to promise an unforgettable experience. Immerse yourself in the enchantment of the Dordogne, taking each step with purpose. The route guides you through forests, revealing glimpses of age-old stone bridges and charming hamlets, each with its unique tale to share.

The journey becomes a sensory feast, with the fragrance of wildflowers permeating the air and the soothing sounds of nature accompanying your every step. In the autumn, you'll witness a vibrant palette of unexpected yellow, red, and golden hues, with a bounty of wild fruits to delight in—blackberries, raspberries, hazelnuts, and chestnuts. As the day concludes, you'll find yourself at your next lodging: La Salvetat de Cadouin, a former 12th-century presbytery nestled on 14 hectares of meadow and woodland in the Forêt de la Bessède.

Day 4

Circular walk from Cadouin, 13 km

Circular walk from Cadouin, 13 km
Today has been left free to do as much or as little as you like. You may choose to spend your time relaxing on the terrace or visit the nearby imposing 12th-Century Cistercian Abbey. Alternatively, you can enjoy a 13 kilometre walk through the nearby woodland. Tonight you will choose a place for dinner from among the fine local restaurants in the village..

Day 5

From Montferrand-du-Périgord to Monpazier, 15 km

From Montferrand-du-Périgord to Monpazier, 15 km
This morning you start off with a transfer to the picturesque honey-coloured village of Montferrand-du-Périgord. Today’s route is a beautiful and varied trek along narrow trails through undulating wheat fields, woodlands full of roe deer and wild boar and past monumental farmhouses. Your day ends at the small 13th-Century ‘bastide’ of Monpazier. Built by Edward I, it was also home to Richard II for a time and is regarded as one of the most beautiful villages in France. Your accommodation for the next two nights is in a spectacular 19th-Century chateau on the edge of the village. Once again, the dinners served at this hotel are unlikely to disappoint.

Day 6

Circular walk from Monpazier, 13 - 18 km

Circular walk from Monpazier, 13 - 18 km
Your last day of walking might be the most beautiful route of the program: a splendid walking tour to Château Biron and an optional visit to this imposing Medieval castle. We can stop for lunch at the “auberge”. Along the way, you'll enjoy a true painter’s palette of quintessential Perigord landscapes. Weather permitting, an "aurevior, Périgord" farewell dinner will be served in the hotel garden.

Day 7

Au revoir Monpazier!

Au revoir Monpazier!
After a typical French breakfast your trip comes to an end.

Details

Is this for me?


Choose this journey if you enjoy the idea of walking in the French countryside - among abbeys, castles, mills, and gardens, and ending the day with a superb French dinner or a glass of Monbazillac. It's not a demanding trip and is suitable even for those embarking on their first walking journey. A good command of English or French is required.

Included


What is included

  • 6 Nights in double room in **/*** hotels , B&B and agriturismi with breakfast
  • 4 dinners
  • luggage transportation from hotel to hotel
  • transfer on day 4
  • Digital detailed route notes and maps in English
  • Access to the trip in GUIBO, the digital guidebook and navigation
  • App24-hour telephone assistance
  • Medical and luggage travel insurance
  • 24h phone assistance

What is not included 

  • Transfers to the starting location and from the arriving location of the tour
  • lunches and dinners, if not otherwise stated
  • visits and entrance fees - tips
  • personal expense
  • possible sojourn taxes
  • everything that is not mentioned in the "What is included" section.

Optional Services

These services can be added to the ones included in the base price of the tour:

  • Single room supplement
  • cancellation insurance
  • Transfers to reach the starting location or to leave the arriving location of the tour, which will be quoted on request.

Accommodation


Hotel Clement V *** (Belvès)

Lasting from the XIth and XIIh centuries, this former village grocery shop has been transformed into a 3 stars hotel. The rooms on the back benefit from an extraordinary view on the surrounding countryside. All the bedrooms offer individual air conditioning.

www.clement5.com

Cadouin: Cdh La Salvetat de Cadouin

La Salvetat de Cadouin is a former 12th century presbytery built on 14 hectares of meadow and woods in the Forest of Bessède, which was once an inn, has now become a guest house. You will have a 12 X 6m outdoor swimming pool and quality products from small producers in the region.

www.lasalvetat.com

Monpazier: Hotel Edward I****

Comfortable 19th century petit-chateau hotel. Set in the heart of the Dordogne, Hotel - Restaurant Edward 1er is a beautiful hotel with a stunning view over the surrounding rolling countrys

www.hoteledward1er.com

What to bring


Clothing and other items
You will need your regular walking/cycling gear, including some sort of reflective garment. For the evenings, smart outdoor style trousers (or shorts) are invaluable, as are quick-dry t-shirts. These can be washed easily and will dry overnight and still look good for sightseeing or having a drink in town.

Take as little as possible to avoid potentially lugging a heavy suitcase up three flights of stairs at the end of the day. Please be aware that laundromats (“Laverie”) are not common in rural areas, so plan to do handwashing of small items.

Lightweight walking shoes/ trainers
For wearing around towns & villages. They can also be a back-up pair.

Socks & underwear
Take only good quality socks with quick-dry and insulating qualities. Road test them before you go on the trip. Take a suitable quantity of underwear as washing facilities are limited.

Warm jacket, hat, gloves
Bring a fleece, Polartec or warm layers for the evenings especially in spring or autumn; be sure it is totally suitable for your needs.
A fleece jacket which blocks the wind (Wind-stopper) is the most preferable. In the summer months a lightweight jacket is suitable for evenings.
If you are cycling/walking in mountainous or coastal areas, even in the height of summer, the weather can change very quickly and unexpectedly and you should be prepared for fog, mist, rain, snow or hail at any time. Always take an extra layer with you, as well as a warm hat and gloves.

Waterproof jacket & trousers
If you are caught in heavy rain, with good waterproof clothing you should remain dry. Remember that most garments will lose their properties over time. Few will remain waterproof for more than five years and many deteriorate in three years or less. We recommend a rain jacket with a good hood and collar and waterproof or thermal walking/cycling trousers or tights.

Dress code
In general, you should wear suitable clothing when entering a church (in many places, it is considered unacceptable to go inside wearing shorts or a tank-top). We suggest that women carry a shawl to cover up bear shoulders or low-cut tops. It also comes in handy when your shoulders get sunburned!

It is considered inappropriate for men to go without a shirt / T-shirt (other than at the beach).

Trekking poles (adjustable)
Highly recommended. A pair works best, depending on what you are comfortable with. If you suffer from back or knee pain this should be considered essential. Remember to practise walking with your pole(s) on different types of terrain in the months preceding your trip.

Walking boots
The importance of good footwear cannot be stressed enough. Your boots should be sturdy and of good enough quality to handle all types of terrain. Lightweight boots, (cordura/leather boots) which have Gore-Tex or sympatex water-proofing are most suitable for this trip. They should provide good ankle protection and be well broken in. Waxing leather boots regularly prolongs their life.

Walking tops & trousers
We recommend walking trousers and shorts and quick-dry wicking t-shirts. These can be washed easily and will dry overnight and still look good for sightseeing or having a drink in town. Wicking T-shirts are fast drying, keep moisture away from your skin and are available at outdoor stores. You should also bring one pair of loose-fitting trousers to wear in cities and for evenings out, etc. Shorts or zip-off trousers are useful in warmer weather.

Practical info

How to arrive


From Bergerac airport (EGC)

Taxi from Bergerac airport to the train station in Bergerac (6km).
Then train from Bergerac to Belvès (Travel time aprox. 1hr 40min depending on type of train). Timetables www.ter.sncf.com/aquitaine
Taxi transfer from the train station in Belvès to your first accommodation in Badefols-sur-Dordogne (this service is included in your arrangement).

From Toulouse-Blagnac airport (TLS) 

From Toulouse airport, you get the “Navette Aéroport” (shuttle) to the train station. Service run by Tisséo, with departures every 20min . For more information, go to: www.toulouse.aeroport.fr 
From Toulouse, you get the train to Belvès with connection in Agen. Travel time is 2h30min - 3h30min, depending on the train you take. Check www.ter.sncf.com/midi-pyrenees 
Taxi transfer from the train station in Belvès to your first accommodation in Badefols-sur-Dordogne (this service is included in your arrangement).

From Bourdeaux-Merignac airport (BOD)

From Bordeaux airport, you get the “Navette” (shuttle) to the train station. Departures every hour. For more information, go to: www.navetteaeroport-bordeaux.com/en/ 

Bordeaux airport to the city centre on bus line Lianes 1, direction Quinconces, and get off at Pole d’Echanges.  Then Tram Line C from Quinconces, direction Terres Nueves, to Bordeaux-St Jean train station. Travel time is approx 1 hour.  Check www.infotbc.com (departure “aéroport”, arrival “gare saint-jean”)
From Bordeaux, you get the train to Belvès with connection in Agen or Le Buisson, depending on the line: Monday to Friday, 4 trains a day, the first departure is at 06.05, the last train goes at 16.05 hrs. Travel time is 2.5 - 3hrs, depending on the train you take.  www.ter.sncf.com/aquitaine
Taxi transfer from the train station in Belvès to your first accommodation in Badefols-sur-Dordogne (this service is included in your arrangement).
Departure from Monpazier

From Bergerac airport (EGC)

Taxi transfer from your last accommodation, in Monpazier, to the train station in Belvès (this service is included in your arrangement).
Train from Belvès to Bergerac with connection in Le Buisson. Travel time is about 2hrs, depending on the train you take. www.ter.sncf.com/aquitaine
Then taxi from the train station in Bergerac to Bergerac airport (6km)

From Toulouse-Blagnac airport (TLS) 

Taxi transfer from your last accommodation, in Monpazier, to the train station in Belvès (this service is included in your arrangement).
Train from Belvès to Toulouse-Matabiau, with connection in Agen. Travel time is 2.5 - 3.5 hrs, depending on the train you take. www.ter.sncf.com
Shuttle from Toulouse train station to the airport (“Navette Aéroport”).  Service run by Tisséo. Travel time is 20-45min For more information, go to: www.toulouse.aeroport.fr

From Bourdeaux-Merignac airport (BOD)

Taxi transfer from your last accommodation, in Monpazier, to the train station in Belvès (this service is included in your arrangement).
Train from Belvès to Bordeaux. Departures every hour. www.ter.sncf.com/aquitaine
From the train station in Bordeaux, you get the “Navette” (shuttle) to the airport. Travel time is about 30min. For more information, go to: Airport and Bordeaux train station shuttle timetable (30direct.com)

From the train station, you get a tram and / or bus to the airport. Travel time approx 1hr. www.infotbc.com (departure “gare saint-jean”, arrival  “aéroport de bordeaux”)

Mobile App


Use the SloWays APP for iOS and Android smart phones in combination with the written documentation provided.

The App has the detailed tracks and maps that you can use offline and without roaming. Thanks to the phone’s internal GPS, you can check your exact position on the map, so you always know exactly where you are. It also helps you self-navigate you way while travelling. More information on how to use the App inside the roadbook documents.

The navigation features include:

  • Offline navigation. Mobile data not required after initial download
  • Accurate GPS tracks
  • Autorotation of the maps
  • Daily route summary and elevation chart
  • Panorama of the track and at street level
  • Alarm and vibration that alerts you in case you go off track.
  • Emergency SMS button with position coordinates
  • Possibility to record and take georeferenced photos of problems on route alerting fellow travelers
  • Hotel information
  • Points of interest along the way
  • Historical background

Wanderlust Nominee Best Specialist Tour Operator 2023
Wanderlust
Nominee Best Specialist Tour Operator 2023
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Touroperating
S-Cape Countryside Travels srl
Borgo Allegri 16R
50122 Firenze FI
P. IVA 05227330486

 
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Touroperating S-Cape Countryside Travels srl Borgo Allegri 16R 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
VAT Nr 05227330486
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