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Hiking and cycling

in the Dordogne Valley

The natural beauty and rich architectural heritage of the Dordogne Valley are major attractions for travelers looking to relax, unwind and get closer to nature. The region is renowned for its hundreds of footpaths accessible to everyone, from short family strolls to more challenging hikes.

Into the autumnal wilderness

While outdoor activities are to be enjoyed all year round, walking and cycling take on a special charm as autumn’s vibrant palette transforms the landscape into a captivating masterpiece.

Hiking along its meandering trails becomes an enchanting journey through forests adorned in hues of amber and gold, while the crisp air invigorates your senses. As you venture deeper into the picturesque landscape, you find yourself encountering charming villages and majestic medieval castles, which seem to emerge from the very fabric of nature itself.

Transitioning into winter, the Dordogne Valley retains its allure, albeit with a quieter ambiance.

Cycling through this picturesque region becomes an intimate experience, with serene roads winding past frost-kissed vineyards and quaint hamlets. The occasional wisp of mist adds an ethereal touch, enhancing the valley’s mystique.

Whether in autumn’s vibrant embrace or winter’s gentle grasp, the Dordogne Valley provides an escape into a world of natural splendor for hikers and cyclists alike.

Great hikes

With a strong commitment to environmental consciousness, the Dordogne Valley showcases sustainable practices that protect its pristine landscapes.

Its well-maintained trails invite hikers and cyclists to explore without leaving a heavy footprint, embracing eco-friendly tourism. With a choice of hundreds of marked trails, from short easy walks to 8 km treks and beyond, there is the perfect randonnée for you! Remember to check the weather, dress accordingly and take plenty of water with you.

For more experienced hikers, here are some amazing tracks to reconnect with your inner self:

On the Way to Compostela

The variants of the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela pass through the Dordogne Valley, and these multi-day hikes are an unrivaled way of reconnecting with what’s essential.

One route, the Vézelay Way, goes from Périgueux to Bergerac. Other paths pass through the UNESCO World Heritage site of Rocamadour. LaVia Arverna, LaVoie de Rocamadour and LaVoie du Puy en Velay all converge on this historic town.

These ancient Christian pilgrimage paths have been trodden for centuries by travelers seeking time to reflect or seeking spiritual healing. The lengths (some are 10 – 12 days) and difficulty vary but all lead through stunning natural landscapes, crossing deep gorges, rolling hills and all enjoy the rich tapestry of passing through medieval towns such as Collonges-la-Rouge.

https://www.vallee-dordogne.com/la-vallee-de-la-dordogne/decouvrir/chemins-de-saint-jacques-de-compostelle

Chemin d’Amadour

From the Atlantic Ocean to the Causses of Quercy Natural Regional Park, the ancient pilgrimage route is now fully completed and signposted. The 500 km walking path is based on the legend of Saint Amadour, who lived as a hermit in Rocamadour.

The route is spread over 21 stages, ranging from 11 to 32 km a day with the possibility of completing some of it by train.

www.chemin-amadour.fr

From villages to dams

A spectacular 200 km walk follows the route of five hydroelectric dams along the Dordogne river with an overall climb of 8,000 meters.

Passing through Bort-les-Orgues and Argentat-sur-Dordogne, this trek is designed for experienced hikers and mountain bikers. With breathtaking views over the gorges of the Dordogne River and the possibility of booking accommodation along the way.

www.ladordognedevillagesenbarrages.com

On your bike

Pedal along scenic routes that wind through picturesque villages, past centuries-old châteaux alongside the Dordogne River. Feel the cool breeze as you cycle through lush vineyards and rolling hills, taking in the breathtaking views that change with every turn.

On two wheels, you have all the time in the world to enjoy the charm of local life, pausing to sample artisanal cheeses, freshly baked bread, exquisite wines and fresh walnuts along the paths in the autumn season.

The Dordogne Valley offers a diverse range of trails to suit every level of expertise, from family-friendly short rides to exhilarating mountain biking.

Throughout the valley, you will find many places to hire bicycles, including electric and mountain bikes.

Beside the River

Ride beside the Dordogne River on the V91 greenway, 38 km of shady pathway lined with pretty villages. Perfectly suited to families, this route takes you from the Tuilières dam to Bergerac.

https://www.pays-bergerac-tourisme.com/fr/a-voir-a-faire/veloroute-voie-verte-v91

No hills

From the town of Cazoulès (near Souillac-sur-Dordogne) to Sarlat, this Voie Verte cycling route follows the path of an 18th century train track that used to link the two towns.

This shady and almost entirely flat tarmacked bicycle path leads through fields and pretty villages toward the historic town of Sarlat. Away from the road, the greenway is safe and family-friendly.

Flow Vélo

A chic and bucolic 350 km cycle route, Flow Vélo links Le Lardin-Saint-Lazare in the Dordogne to the Ocean via the Périgord Limousin Regional Natural Park. Along the way you can enjoy a plethora of discoveries including delicious local specialties and historic villages in a beautifully-preserved environment. A new extension of the route towards Sarlat is opening very soon.

https://www.laflowvelo.com/carte/le-lardin-saint-lazare-excideuil

Even longer! La Vagabonde

A cycling path of over 500 km for more experienced cyclists starting in Montluçon through the Millevaches plateau, the Dordogne Valley and the Causses du Quercy Natural Regional Park.

www.tourisme-creuse.com/toute-la-creuse/la-vagabonde

Greenway of the Vallée de l’Isle

Historic sites, mills and restaurants throughout this lovely 100 km scenic route from Périgueux towards Bordeaux. The path alternates between stretches of greenway (for bikes and on foot only) and low-traffic roads (shared right-of-way).

https://tourisme-isleperigord.com/velo-route-voie-verte-de-la-vallee-de-lisle/

An eco-friendly way to enjoy the city of Brive

Brive now has 90 electric bicycles available for you to use at 19 different rental stations to make the most of the city and the green route that stretches 18 km between the Corrèze and Vézère rivers.

https://www.brive-tourisme.com/fr/acces-deplacements/visiter-sans-voiture/velos-en-libre-service-a-brive-la-gaillarde

Adrenaline rush

In the Dordogne Valley, VTT (Vélo Tout Terrain) or mountain biking is a much-loved pastime.

With 1200 km of tracks in the Corrèze alone, this thrilling sport has found a perfect playground here. A network of dedicated and well-marked VTT tracks awaits, catering to riders of all levels, from casual adventurers to extreme enthusiasts.

https://www.tourismecorreze.com/fr/tourisme/vtt_-_velo.html

An eco-friendly way to see the valley

Electric rides

Easy, effortless, silent and environmentally friendly, electric scooters allow everyone, even the less sporty, to discover the Dordogne Valley’s most beautiful landscapes in a totally fun and safe way….

Eco Rando: https://www.trotxtrem.com/

Also available around Rocamadour: https://www.trotxtrem.com/

Up and away

The most magical way to admire the Dordogne Valley has to be from the sky. Either early morning or late afternoon, the exotic charm of a hot air balloon flight gives you an unforgettable experience. Floating high above the river, the hills covered in forests, cliffs and the magnificent patchwork of castles and villages drift in and out of view below.

https://www.perigord-dordogne-montgolfieres.com/

 https://www.montgolfiere-du-perigord.com/

https://www.montgolfiere.fr/

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