|Type of tour:||Self-guided|
|Distance:||30 Miles/day average|
|Dates:||May 4, Jun 29, Aug 24*, 2014 (*fully booked)|
|Start city:||Bergerac, France|
|End city:||Bergerac, France|
Enjoy leisure cycling in the beautiful and unspoilt Lot and Dordogne regions in sunny southwest France on this tour. The Lot is one of the largest and least populated regions and offers terrain ranging from lush river valleys to gently rolling countryside, to shady green forest and rocky limestone outcroppings. You will stay the whole week at the lovely old, stone Mas (farmhouse) nestled in the tranquil, wooded countryside of the Bouriane, between the Lot and Dordogne Rivers. All you have to do is unpack, unwind and enjoy the ride!
After a substantial breakfast each day, you set out on easy-paced cycling along quiet country lanes, exploring the surrounding villages, medieval towns and dramatic vistas of this delightful and varied region. This tour fully embraces the French way of life, featuring excellent food, plentiful wine and convivial company, all to be enjoyed in the extremely comfortable and relaxing surroundings of a lovely house in the country.
Everything will be provided for you to make your French cycling holiday relaxing and memorable: excellent accommodation, fabulous food, great bikes, and full support for enjoyable daily tours.
Learn more about self-guided tours.
Day 1: Welcome
The tour company will meet you at Bergerac Airport or Gourdon rail station and drive you to Mas de Flory, your home for the week. Relax and unwind with a glass of wine or champagne while you settle in and later enjoy a long, lazy meal of 4 courses with plenty of wine and coffee to finish, and meet your fellow guests for the week.
Day 2: Meander the River Dordogne to Souillac (27 miles/43 km)
After a substantial breakfast you'll be fitted with your bike to ensure you feel comfortable and confident before setting off. Today's route follows quiet country roads through a series of pretty villages, past an ancient abbey, following a stream valley until you reach Grolejac, where you can stop for coffee and a delicious pastry.
This is a mostly flat route following the river valley to give you a nice gentle introduction to your cycling holiday week.Your first day takes you into the Dordogne to discover fairytale chateaux, historic riverside towns and dramatic cliff-top views.
As a cyclist, you'll want beautiful scenery - and the Dordogne certainly delivers. Discover picturesque villages perched on the river banks such as the spectacular, riverside settlement of La Roque Gageac, the magnificent Chateau de Beynac towering high on the cliff top and pretty Domme, perched high above the river and beautifully preserved from the 12th century.
Day 3: Vers and Lot river valleys to St Cirq Lapopie (24 miles/39 km)
Today is a beautiful sweeping downhill route until the end of the route, where you will have a climb to the beautiful village of St Cirq Lapopie, which is absolutely worth the effort! You'll start by cycling east across stunning countryside and along lovely wide, shady forest roads before joining the Vers Valley to cycle south towards the River Lot. This road has stunning views as you sweep between the high limestone rocky outcrops that line the valley.
You then join the Lot Valley and cycle to the quaint towns of Vers, St Gery and Bouzies, before crossing the river and climbing up to St Cirq Lapopie. St Cirq is recognized as one of the most beautiful villages in France and is definitely worthy of this accolade. Its maze of steeply sloping, narrow, cobbled streets is lined with interesting old houses, with stone or wood frontages dating from the 13th to 16th centuries.
You will have time to enjoy a well-earned beer at one of the many cafes or simply to explore this lovely village. On the return home you will have the option to visit the Grottes de Pechmerle to see its prehistoric cave paintings.
Day 4: Sarlat (19 miles/32 km)
Today you will again be transported back to the middle ages as you visit Sarlat in the Dordogne, one of the best preserved medieval cities in France. To get there you'll cycle through pretty sleepy villages and quiet countryside as well as on a cycle path that follows the old railway cutting along the Marcillande valley. It makes for a nice easy relaxing cycle route with virtually no traffic.
Have lunch in one of Sarlat's many restaurants and cafes and then explore the maze of narrow lanes and ancient streets around the cathedral and medieval city, with amazing sights to see around every corner.
We'll drive you home at the end of the afternoon for another delicious dinner.
Day 5: Rocamadour (30 miles/49 km)
You're exploring another part of the Lot today. You'll cycle through the stunning regional park, le Causse du Quercy, along valley roads and undulating sweeps with spectacular views en route to amazing Rocamadour.
Carved dramatically into the limestone cliffs, this ancient village clings precariously to the hillside, presenting a visually magical site. It has been a destination for religious pilgrims for the last thousand years and is now the site for a monastery as well as a point on the pilgrimage to St Jaques de Compostella in northern Spain.
You'll have plenty of time to explore before we drive you back to Mas de Flory where you can relax before another great meal.
Day 6: Lot Valley, vistas, and villages (29 miles/46 km)
Today you'll cycle along quiet, leafy backroads, again following a mostly flat route to the small town of Catus, where you can browse the quaint small town and perhaps buy some fresh provisions for a lazy picnic lunch by the lovely Lac Vert.
In the afternoon you'll continue southwards and make your way towards the Lot River Valley and the pretty town of Luzech. You'll get there via the amazing views from the Col de Crayssac and the spectacular downhill, switchback sweep of the route de Cevenne - a thrilling ride!
You can then meander through the AOC Cahors vineyards (along the Cahors Wine Trail and Lot Valley Cycle Route) and the chateaux of Caix, Parnac, Caillac and into pretty Douelle. Here we'll meet at a riverside bar before driving to a chateau for some wine tasting and then returning to Mas de Flory for your final fabulous dinner.
Day 7: ‘Au revoir’
After a leisurely breakfast, you will be driven to Gourdon rail station or Bergerac airport to meet your homeward connection.
On this tour, you will stay in a beautiful converted 18th century barn, which stands at the edge of a pretty courtyard. It has comfortable accommodation for up to 10 people. You will stay in one of the 5 light and airy bedrooms which are all decorated in an individual, fresh, country style and have very smart en-suite bathrooms. There are 4 rooms on the first floor: 3 double (Iris, Jasmin and Jonquille) and one with two single beds (Coquelicot). The 5th bedroom, on the ground floor, (Rose) has a glazed door opening onto the garden terrace.
All bedrooms feature:
An airy, spacious living room with a mezzanine lounge, comfortable sofas and, further downstairs, there is a cozy sitting area and large communal dining table.
Bikes available on this tour, and included in the tour cost (reserved in advance at the time of booking):
Bikes come equipped with:
Detachable handlebar bag with map holder
Helmet rental is not available on this tour. For safety and hygiene purposes, we recommend that you bring your own helmet.
Each day's route covers between 20-35 miles (35-60 kilometers), which translates into around 5 hours of leisurely cycling each day. The majority of the riding is along quiet, virtually traffic-free roads and mostly gently undulating terrain with a few challenging climbs scattered among the days.
There will be easier and harder options included on each route, enabling you to select according to your level of cycling ability. Although none of the routes are difficult, they all contain occasional, moderate climbs so you do need to be reasonably fit and healthy to be able to complete them comfortably. Approximately 95% of the tour is on quiet roads and 5% on roads shared with traffic. This tour is ideal for cyclists in average physical condition.
You will also be given extremely detailed maps and notes, as well as an introductory talk each day, so that you can easily follow and enjoy the routes. Support throughout the tour is through a backup bus that will check to make sure everything is all right and sort out any problems. And of course you can always jump on board if you want a break!
Tour Start and End
Nearest airport: Bergerac Dordogne Perigord Airport in Bergerac, France
Nearest train station: Gourdon train station in Gourdon, France
Transfers to and from Bergerac airport and Gourdon train station are included in the price of the tour.
From Paris there is a direct line from Paris-Austerlitz to Gourdon that takes approximately 4.5 hours. You can also take a domestic flight from Paris to Toulouse, where there is an easy rail transfer to Gourdon.
Tips on getting to and from your tour
Lot and Dordogne tour video
Weatherspark.com offers information on average weather conditions at most destinations throughout the globe. Type a destination in the search box, and select "Averages," and you'll find a range of information such as average high and low temperatures, precipitation, cloudy days, humidity and wind speed/direction.
Of course, if your tour is coming up in the next week, you can also select "Forecast" to get the most current information on upcoming conditions.
With more than 40,000 monuments and 6,000 museums, France's history and tradition continue to thrive in Western Europe's largest country. Along with its history, France is at the forefront of modern development, a leader among European nations. A country of contrasts, France provides opportunities for all interests. Fashion, art and elegance prosper in the dynamic cities of Paris, Lyon, and Nice. Outside the cities, a variety of landscapes stretch over the remaining 80% of the country.
France's hexagonal shape is defined by the English Channel and Atlantic on the western coast with the Pyrenees and Alps sitting on the southwest and southeast borders. The Mediterranean Sea runs along the southern coast with the Rhine River flowing beside the German border. Visitors exploring the cities or countryside can bask in France’s pleasant climate, enjoying the stylish life, local wine and cuisine.
Lot Cycling Holidays is a small, friendly holiday company based in the lovely area of Quercy in southwest France. They are a family business owned by Aileen, John and Richard, who live permanently in France. As they say to their clients, "It’s our home, we love it and we know it well and that helps us to give you a great time". They are very focused on making sure you enjoy your stay.
Their unique point is that customers stay at their very comfortable country home for the whole of the stay, where they can enjoy gourmet-standard food and wine. There is no need to pack a suitcase every day and move on to a new base, as guests arrive and settle in to their light and airy en-suite room for the week and know that they will be returning to enjoy a 4-course menu every evening.
BOOKING CONDITIONS for LOT Cycling Holidays
Cancellation by you
Should you or any member of your party need to cancel your chosen holiday once it has been confirmed, the party leader must immediately advise us via email. Your notice of cancellation will only be effective when it is received in writing by us at our office. If we receive your notice 6 weeks or more before departure, we will retain your deposit. If we receive it less than 6 weeks before departure, the following charges will be payable per person cancelling.The charges set out below are shown as a percentage of the total cost payable by the person(s) cancelling.
41 - 29 days= 30%
28 - 15 days= 50%
14 - days or less= 100%
If any member(s) of your party is/are prevented from travelling, the person(s) concerned may transfer their place to someone else (introduced by you) providing the following requirements are complied with. We must be notified of the transfer(s) in writing (giving full details of the original and substitute party member(s)) not less than two weeks before departure. A transfer will not be possible if there is a waiting list for places in which case the available place must be offered to the next person on that list.
Changes by you
Should you wish to make any changes to your confirmed holiday, you must notify us in writing as soon as possible. Whilst we will try to help, we cannot guarantee we will be able to meet any such requests. Where we can, an amendment fee of up to 30 €uros may be payable.
Changes and cancellation by us
We start planning the holidays we offer many months in advance. Occasionally, we have to make changes to and correct errors in details both before and after bookings have been confirmed and cancel confirmed bookings. Whilst we always try to avoid changes and cancellations, we must reserve the right to do so. Most changes are minor. If we have to make a significant change, or cancel, we will tell you as soon as possible. If there is time to do so before departure, we will offer you the choice of the following options:
(a) accepting the changed arrangements or
(b) purchasing an alternative holiday from us, of a similar standard to that originally booked if available.
Cycling ability and itinerary
To avoid any unnecessary risk to customers, we must reserve the right to modify the holiday of any rider who, in our opinion, proves to be unsuitable for the ride chosen. In this unlikely event any additional costs will be borne by the customer. It is the responsibility of the customer to behave in a suitable manner at all times and to follow the advice and instructions of the guide. If local conditions, such as bad weather, dictate a change in the proposed itinerary, the decision of the guide must be accepted and no refund will be offered in such circumstances.
Bookings are accepted on the understanding that all persons travelling are normally in good health and able to fulfil the physical demands of the chosen holiday. In the interests of safety, you must follow the guidance in our notes, as well as that provided by anybody on our behalf and act sensibly and prudently at all times.
We expect all clients to have consideration for other people. If in our reasonable opinion or in the reasonable opinion of any other person in authority, you or any member of your party behaves in such a way as to cause or be likely to cause danger, upset or distress to any third party or damage to property, we are entitled, without prior notice, to terminate the holiday of the person(s) concerned. In this situation, the person(s) concerned will be required to leave the accommodation or other service. We will have no further responsibility toward such person(s) including any return travel arrangements. No refunds will be made and we will not pay any expenses or costs incurred as a result of the termination.
We consider adequate travel insurance to be essential. You must give details of your policy (insurer and policy number) on or before your final payment date.
Please note, the information shown on this website may have changed by the time you come to book your holiday. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the website, regrettably errors do occasionally occur. You must therefore ensure you check all details of your chosen holiday (including the price) with us at the time of booking.
Complaints and problems
In the unlikely event that you have any reason to complain or experience any problems with your holiday whilst away, you must immediately inform Lot Cycling Holidays. Any verbal notification must be put in writing and given to them as soon as possible. If the complaint or problem is not resolved to your satisfaction straight away, you must contact us with full details by telephone or fax within 48 hours. Until we know about a problem or complaint, we cannot assist.