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Dordogne & Haut Quercy

Sentiers de France - 8 days

  • Dordogne & Haut Quercy
  • 8 days / 7 nights
  • Max. group: 10 Persons
  • Difficulty: Easy
Overview
Route
What's Included
Accommodation
Starting Point
Packing List
FAQ
Trip Dossier
Safety
Sentiers de France
How to Book

Overview

> Enjoy the traditional French cuisine
> Visit the fascinating city of Rocamadour
> Enjoy luggage transfers during the whole trek

Quercy is a large limestone plateau cut out by the valleys of the Dordogne, Lot and Aveyron rivers and by many other streams that delimit the Causses – arid stretches of land covered with sparse meadows and grazing flocks of sheep. To the north, Haut Quercy – formed by the Causses de Martel and the Causses de Gramat – leans against the Massif Central. The majority of this hike crosses 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 marvelous underworld. Though your days will be spent investigating the wilderness of the region, your evenings won’t let you forget that this is one of the main centers of gourmet cuisine and gentle living.

Important: All our walking holidays are available from March to the middle of November.

If you prefer to spend your nights in 3-4 star hotels, this trek is also available in a "Comfort" package. The price of the Comfort Package per person on double occupancy is EUR 1445,- and EUR 1825,- in a single room. If you are a solo trekker, the price of this Comfort Package trek is of EUR 1940,-.

Route

What's the plan?

Day 1 - Arrival at SOUILLAC
Souillac is 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 Romanesque art. Stroll in the old historic city near the abbey - Dinner, lodging and breakfast in a 3-star hotel.

Day 2 - SOUILLAC - CALES (19 km)
Don’t miss to visit Souillac and its old districts before beginning the walk. You will go to the Dordogne River and continue along it before penetrating into a wood and joining the village of Pinsac, some kilometers farther. There you will cross the Dordogne and will admire the castle of Treyne which builds at the edge of cliffs and dominates the river. It is a luxury hotel today. You will walk through wood along the river and will reach the small but picturesque village of Le Bastit which possesses a strange castle. After touring it you will continue the way through stunted oaks woods, cultivated fields, some with tobacco and large areas covered with grass where sheep flocks graze. Dinner, lodging and breakfast in a 2-star hotel.

Day 3 - CALES - ROCAMADOUR (18 km)
Transfer by taxi to the Pont de l’Ouysse where the Belcastel chateau rises in the distance. You will visit the Caves of 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 source of the Ouysse. You will continue the hike through the Alzou Valley and will arrive in Rocamadour in late afternoon - Dinner, lodging and breakfast in a 2-star hotel.

Day 4 - ROCAMADOUR –SAINT SOZY (20 km)
This morning will begin with a quiet visit of Rocamadour city. This is the second-most- visited place in France after le Mont Saint Michel. Once a revered site among the Christian community, Rocamadour remains a holy place for many pilgrims, notably those on the path to Santiago de Compostella. Clinging to the cliffs of the Alzou canyon, the medieval village has many interesting facets: vestiges of a former castle and a hospital for pilgrims, Basilica of 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. You will cross the river to reach the pleasant village of Saint Sozy one kilometre later. Dinner, lodging and breakfast in a 3-star hotel. 

Day 5 – SAINT SOZY - CARENNAC (23 km)
You will walk back to Dordogne River, ascent to the church of Meyronne and continue through countryside to another loop of the river. Then you will ascend on the causses (a dry limestone plateau) and continue through woods towards the lovely village of Montvalent, the hamlet of Veyssou. and the edge of the cliffs of the Cirque de Montvalent. From this point you will look out over the beautiful panorama of the Dordogne Valley. You will pass through the forests 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.

Day 6 - CARENNAC - LOUBRESSAC (19 km)
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-Romanesque half-Flamboyant-Gothic, shelters a remarkable 16th century entombment. You will leave the village and walk across the Gramat Causse to the Padirac Gouffre. Here you will be treated to 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 2-star hotel.

Day 7 - LOUBRESSAC – BRETENOUX (16 km)
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, a spectacular view of the Bave Valley spreads before you. 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 having toured the chateau you will continue on to the charming village of Bretenoux, which was built up around the Place des Consuls. A taxi will now escort you to your destination for the day, Beaulieu sur Dordogne, a lovely medieval town situated on a wide bend in the river built around the 12th century abbey-church of St Pierre which belonged to an 12th-13th Benedictine abbey- Dinner, lodging and breakfast in a 2-star hotel at Beaulieu sur Dordogne.

Day 8 - BEAULIEU SUR DORDOGNE
Taxi transfer to the Bretenoux/Biars train station after breakfast. 

What's Included

Included:

√ Luggage transfer
During the trek, we will make sure that your luggage gets from one hotel to the next before you get there. You will leave your bags at the hotel lobby at the beginning of the day and you will find them at your next hotel upon arrival.

√ Sentiers de France's Dossier
Before the trek, you will be given a Dossier prepared by Sentiers de France. This dossier includes a set of maps (1/25 000 scale) with the route marked on and detailed route notes describing the trail. It also includes a daily itinerary together with information about facilities and places of interest along the trail.

√ Meals
7 breakfasts and 7 dinners are included during this trek. These will be provided at the hotels. The other meals during the trek are not included. Sentiers de France will give you a list of nearby good restaurants for you to go out and enjoy the traditional Frech cuisine!

√ Accommodation
You will spend your nights in 2-3 star hotels along the way. Accommodation is normally in double or twin-bedded rooms, with en-suite facilities. A "comfort Package" is also available if you prefer to spend your nights in 3-4 star hotels.

√ Transfer
Some sections of the trek will be done by taxi as mentioned in the itinerary. These transfers are included in the price of the trek. Additional transfers not mentioned in the itinerary are excluded.

√ Emergency assistance
Sentiers de France will be available for you in case of an emergency. You can always contact them by phone or email and they will be there to solve any inconvenience that you may face during your trek.

Excluded:

× Flights
The total amount excludes flights to and from France. You will also have to make your way to the starting point of the trek on your own.

× Accommodation before and after the trek
Before and after the trek you have to take care of your own accommodation.

× Personal expenses
All personal expenses such as drinks at the bar, washing and other similar expenses are for your own account.

× Travel Insurance Including Repatriation
Your international travel insurance is your own responsibility. It is important that your travel insurance also covers trekking trips. Discuss your itinerary with the insurance company before you travel to France.

× Entrance fees
The entrance fees to museums, castles, or any other point of interest along the way are not included in the price of this trek.

× Drinks
The price of the trek includes the meals along the way. The drinks, however, are not included. 

Accommodation

Accommodation

You will spend your nights in 2-3 star hotels along the way. Accommodation is normally in double or twin-bedded rooms, with en-suite facilities. Sentiers de France will take care of all the arrangements. On the Dossier, you will find all the information regarding your accommodation. Also, your luggage will be taken from one hotel to the next, you only have to worry about enjoying your trek!

You will be staying in the following hotels. Should any of the hotels be fully booked, you will be accommodated in another hotel of the same category.

Day 1 – Souillac
Day 2 – Cales
Day 3 – Rocamadour
Day 4 – Saint Sozy
Day 5 – Carrenac
Day 6 – Loubressac
Day 7 – Beaulieu

If you prefer to spend your nights in 3-4 star hotels, this trek is also available in a "Comfort" package. The price of the Comfort Package per person on double occupancy is EUR 1445,- and EUR 1825,- in a single room. If you are a solo trekker, the price of this Comfort Package trek is of EUR 1940,-.

Starting Point

Getting there and away

By train:
Souillac is on the Paris-Toulouse line and is about 5 hours from Paris Austerlitz station. To return, tranfer by taxi to the Biars station to join Brive La Gaillarde on the Paris-Toulouse line.

By car: Souillac is accessible by the RN20 Paris-Toulouse road and the A20 motorway.

Where to park: unguarded free car parkings in Souillac. Transfer by taxi between St Cere and Souillac to take back your car.

Packing List

Packing List

We encourage you to travel lightly and don’t have too many bags and clothes. It’s up to you to decide what additional things to bring. Depending on your total trip time in France, you may have bags that you won’t need on the walking tour. We suggest you make arrangements to store bags during the hike if you won’t need them (you can leave them in a locker room in railway stations for example). This short list is for the walking side of the tour and we presume you will bring comfortable casual wear to use during the evenings or on a free day:

– The most essential items of equipment are a good pair of walking boots and a suitable daypack.
– Waterproof jacket and over-trousers (rain gear)
– Thick socks for use inside walking boots
– Comfortable trousers and/or shorts
– Extra sweater
– Sun hat
– Trekking poles or walking sticks

FAQ

FAQ

Best Season
From May to October but be careful this area is very crowded in summer. We recommend you (if you can) to come outside this period. Nevertheless, this area attracts a lot of tourists and you have to reserve earlier to get the best rooms.

Arrival in Europe
We suggest you consider arranging your travel so that you arrive in Europe at least two days before your hike is scheduled to start. By planning to arrive early, you safeguard against potential delays or cancellations of flight and you have extra time to adjust to the new time zone so you’ll feel more relaxed when your hike begins.

Getting to the starting place
We explain in the detailed itinerary and in more detail in the Route Notes how to reach the starting point and the first hotel where you will stay. We shall send you all these details if you take your trip dossier at the reception desk of the first hotel.

Transfer between the airport or the nearest station and the starting and finishing points of the tour are not included in the tour price. We shall be pleased to help you. Feel free to e-mail us if you are facing difficulties.

Lodging and food
One of the best things about these tours! You will discover and enjoy the cuisine of the region you visit. Sentiers de France books and pays for your accommodation, normally in double or twin-bedded rooms, with en-suite facilities.

All breakfasts are included. We also include evening meals as specified in the brochure and dossier only when the restaurant attached to the hotel has a good reputation, otherwise, we invite you to have dinner outside and give you a list of nearby good restaurants. When we include dinners, these are from a menu of 3 or 4 courses (menu du terroir for CL tours and gourmet or degustation menu for LU tours) For each course you can choose between different suggestions. Drinks and coffee are not included.

Lunches or picnic lunches are not included, but many overnight stops are in small towns and villages where picnic material can be bought from local shops before you start your day’s walk; alternatively, a packed lunch can be ordered the evening before from your hotel.

Luggage
Be careful, baggage-handling services are not available in the French hotels. Be prepared to carry you your own bags up narrow staircases, many hotels or inns do not have elevators. We strongly advise you pack adequately but lightly and limit baggage to an amount that you can easily handle.

We arrange the transportation of your luggage from one hotel to the next. We ask you to leave your luggage at the reception desk on setting out each morning.

Sentiers de France passport
You will receive a nontransferable passport delivered by Sentiers de France (it looks like a credit card). It replaces the traditional voucher. You will have to show it at the reception desk of the hotels or to the taxi driver… Take care of it!

Training
It is very important to be in good physical shape when you start the tour. We strongly recommend you to go for a number of walks of the same length of the tour’s stages during the weeks before the departure wearing the boots that you will use during the tour. You will make sure your boots are well broken-in and that they fit properly.

Trip Dossier

Trip dossier

We shall send this dossier to you within 2 weeks before the departure date after receipt of the balance or total payment if you live in Europe. An additional special delivery (UPS, DHL) fee is requested for people living outside Europe who want receive the dossier at home. Otherwise, you will find the dossier at the first hotel and we send you all the details to reach it by e-mail.

This trip dossier includes:
– detailed walk route notes and interesting background information about the area
– detailed local information about places to visit en route, recommendations for places to eat in the evening when dinner is not included
– a comprehensive list of what to take with you
– information and contact details of the different places of accommodation where you will stay, for different taxis that carry your luggage and that can escort you a day if you are tired or injured
– Labels to tie to your luggage in the tour
– Sentiers de France Passport instead of accommodation vouchers.

Safety

Safety

Our treks in France are absolutely safe. In our dossier you will find a detailed map of the route you have to follow and information and contact details of the different places of accommodation where you will stay, and for different taxis that will carry your luggage, Moreover, a 24-hour helpline is available for you during the whole trek in case of an emergency. We will be there for you every step of the way!

Sentiers de France

Sentiers de France

For more than 20 years, Sentiers de France has helped lovers of walking to explore France’s most beautiful landscapes.

The company was born from the travels enjoyed by Jean-Marc and his wife, Katie. A keen walker, but lacking the time to create his own itineraries, Jean-Marc searched for an agency to provide what he wanted: great walks, restaurant and hotel recommendations, taxi services to transport the bags to avoid being laden down all day and above all maximum freedom and comfort.

He searched in vain. Rather than admit defeat, he decided to create Sentiers de France to explore France, but on his own terms. No guides, or groups, so he could set off when it suited him and above all be completely free during his walk. Hotels, with two or three stars, to offer the best conditions in which to relax after a long day of walking and above all great restaurants in which to recharge energy levels, while savouring the gastronomic riches of each region being explored.

We often forget it, but France, a key tourist destination, offers an incredible variety of landscapes. Each region has its riches, whether gastronomic, œnological, cultural or historical.

All the walks have been created and tested by Jean-Marc, and then later given the seal of approval by our hundreds of walkers who by filling in our customer satisfaction surveys help us to improve and enrich what we offer. Every year, new circuits are born as we discover them and as they are requested. We all want different things, which is why all our routes are à la Carte. Nothing is carved in stone, Jean-Marc wants Sentiers de France to evolve constantly.

We evolve as required. This is how, a little while later, our cycling and scenic car routes were born. There is more than one way to visit France, which is why for many years, we have offered cycling holidays in the Loire Valley. The area’s rich history has left its traces here, with magnificent châteaux created by our kings. And of course, let us not forget Touraine’s many wines, renowned around the world.

So as not to miss anything, we have travelled France’s most beautiful routes through the most beautiful regions. Often, due to a lack of time or information, you can pass by magical places without realising. Our scenic car tours will ensure that you do not miss a thing and you will discover the very best.

Now, Sentiers de France has evolved once more. Eugénie,has joined the Sentiers de France team. Jean-Marc is working on a daily basis to pass on his incredible know-how and his experience of the paths and routes of France.  In this digital era, Sentiers has launched on Facebook and Instagram so that you can always stay up to date with our latest finds. Finally, we have developed our website, to modernise it, so it better reflects our great company and so you can join our great community of walkers, cyclists and drivers as easily as possible.

How to Book

How does it work?
On Bookatrekking.com you can find and compare the adventures of your dreams. Is this trekking adventure your match? In that case, you can proceed to book. For the treks in France, you can book your trek by paying 15% of the total amount. However, 45 days before your trek, you must pay the remaining 85%. If you book within 45 days of your trip, then you must pay the full amount. 

Bookatrekking.com uses only the safest payment methods. Once your booking has been received, your place is reserved, your place is safe and you can look forward to your chosen trekking.

After you have made your booking, you will receive an e-mail confirmation with all the necessary information and the contact details of the trekking company. If you have any questions or if you want to clarify something, you can obtain information directly from the right person. Of course, you can also always ask us your question. Send us an e-mail on support@bookatrekking.com

The trekking company will also receive your details and can therefore always contact you and provide you with extra information.

Important: This trek must be booked at least one month before the departure day of the trek. This has to do with the fact that the trekking company needs that time to make the hotel reservations for you and prepare the trekking notes for your trek.

Cancellation Policy
You wish you didn’t have to, but there is no other way: You find yourself having to cancel your plans. In this case, you lose your deposit, but since you haven’t paid the large sum yet, you at least save that. If you cancel your trip within 45 days before the trek, then the amount is non-refundable. Please do let us know if you cannot make it. A no-show can be a small disaster for your trekking provider, who did its best to block your dates. View our complete cancellation policy here.

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