Enjoy the stunning variety of landscapes, from green undulating hills of woodland to the river itself. The lowdown on hiking and walking, including over 100 walking tracks and hiking trails available for free download.

The best way to discover the Dordogne Valley

It goes without saying that walking in nature is one of the best ways to get at one with it. A UNESCO biosphere reserve, the Dordogne Valley is recognised for its outstanding natural beauty, pristine rivers and immensely rich cultural heritage which has been so well conserved. With such a gluttonous choice of natural beauty on offer it’s no wonder that walking and hiking is such a massively popular activity here.  

Boots made for walking anywhere…

The landscape of the Dordogne Valley is known for its valleys of dramatic cliffs, the Dordogne River that meanders through it and of course the medieval villages and castles that are scattered throughout. It’s also a landscape of deep oak and chestnut forests, caves, wild streams and arid plateaus.

In discovering it, the choice is yours - the Dordogne Valley website has over 100 marked walking trails that you can download and use for free! These walking and hiking trails of all grades cater to hikers and walkers of all levels.

Long or Short, Hard or Easy

They divide into two types, PR (Petite Randonnée indicated yellow) which are short circular walks or day walks and GR (Grande Randonnée, indicated Red & White) which are extensive hikes over multiple days. In both categories there are three levels - easy, medium and difficult. When choosing your walk pay special attention to the dénivelé – which shows how many metres you will be climbing- an important indicator if you wish to do or avoid a lot of steep climbs!

Make sure that if you are constructing your own hiking holiday you think about booking accommodation well in advance.

Whatever your fancy, all of these clearly marked walks will give you the chance to discover a slice of scenic beauty and marvel at the rich history located within it as you get well and truly one with nature. You can download them here

Walking in the Footsteps of European History…

The most famous walk of them all is the Way of Santiago de Compostela also known as the Way of St James. Following in the centuries old footsteps of the Christian pilgrims who have walked these ancient paths since the Middle Ages, three paths lead through the UNESCO World Heritage site of Rocamadour and the celebrated chapel of Notre-Dame.

In France, the starting point for The Way of St James begins in Le Puy en Velay. There are various trails that interlink and go through the Dordogne Valley before reaching the ultimate destination of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain.

God save the Kings

Former European Kings and Queens once walked these paths in search of penitence, arriving at the steps of the sanctuary of Rocamadour, only to then climb each of the 216 steps on their knees while praying for forgiveness. If you look closely at these steps today, you will still see the fossils of scallop shells, a symbol of the Compostela walk embedded in the stones as the sea was once covering the whole region.