7 Day Perigord Tour
This is a 6 Night, 7 Day tour in which we canoe down the Vezere for two days and then the Dordogne river for three days with visits to caves to see 25,000 year-old paintings, troglodyte dwellings along the river, huge castles and beautiful chateaux, as well as paddling through beautiful and dramatic nature and tasting the local cuisine & wines.
If you are a group of between 4 and 14 persons then choose your own dates and we will arrange it.
Our usual Tour size is between 4 and 7 guests with 2 guides.
If you are not a group of 4 then tell us your preferred dates and we will reserve that for you and try to rustle up others to make the tour viable.
4 people are required to run a tour. A tour of less than 4 can be run with a surcharge.
Fully Guided whilst on the river & trail
Full minibus support throughout
Transfer to & from Arrival/Departure point
All accommodation in B&Bs & small Hotels
All breakfasts, lunches and evening meals
Canoe the Valley of Man on the Vezere river
Canoe the Dordogne past Chateaux & Castles
Visit caves at Castel Merle and Lascaux
Vist the Castles at Castelnaud and Beynac
Visit the Chateaux Losse, Milandes & Marqueyssac
All canoes, paddles & life-vests
The price is €2085 per person.
Groups of more than 14 can be accommodated on special request. A private tour for 1 or 2 persons can be arranged with a surchage.
The tour meets & departs from Brive Railway station at about midday or at close regional airports by arrangement. Brive is 4 hours from Paris by train. Local airports are at Limoges, Brive and Bergerac.
The rivers are easy paddling and suitable for families and less experienced paddlers alike. The emphasis on this trip is to enjoy the rich history and natural history of the region from the unique viewpoint of the river.
We shall enjoy lazy days meandering down the river and take our time to enjoy all that we see along the way and taking the time to visit many of them as we go. Our day-to-day schedule is given below.
At some point we will stop for a fabulous picnic lunch and in the evenings we will enjoy dinner in small family run restaurants or in the hotels where we are staying.
You will be accompoanoed on the river by an experienced river guide who will make sure you see all the interesting places along the way. If necessary we can provide top-up/reminder paddling lessons if it's a while since you paddled.
Flowing down the famous Unesco site of the ‘Valley of Man’ the Vezere river runs into the Dordogne. On the way it passes more than 200 sites known to have been used by Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon Man in the distant past. Along this river man has lived for tens of thousands of years.
The famous caves of Lascaux are close to Montignac and many other cave sites are spread down the valley. The valley also has the remains of medieval dwellings along its course: we can see them at Roque St. Christophe and Madeleine. We will also pass several Châteaux dating from the 13th and 14th C as well as the remains of a lock gate system which controlled the flow in the river when it was a major transport link. We will visit many of these places.
The Dordogne is a larger river that flows down to the Gironde before it reaches the Atlantic Ocean just north of Bordeaux. On the way it passes many large castles, remants of the 100 Years War between France and England, before the valley widens out into the famous vineyards of Bergerac and Bordeaux itself.
We will visit the villages, castles and chateaux along the way at Montfort, Roque-Gageac, Castelnaud, Beynac and Milandes.
Day 1. Arrival and first meeting.
You will be met at our arranged meeting point by our guides for your transfer to the Vezere valley. This is usually Brive-la-Gaillarde Station for those guests arriving by train from Paris.
Alternatively arrangements can be made for arrivals at regional airports: Brive, Limoges and Bergerac are possibilities.
We will meet you off the train that arrives at Brive at 1pm or 2pm. The drive to St. Leon-sur-Vezere valley takes about 45 minutes. We will stop here for a picnic lunch, get to know each other and go over the trip together. It is a 10 minute drive from here to our accommodation, or a 45 minute walk instead.
Our first picnic and meeting place is under the willows on the banks of the Vezere.
On our arrival at the Relais de la Cote de Jor we will be met by our host Roland. If time and the weather allows we will be able to use the swimming-pool and relax before dinner.
Day 2. Our first day on the river
Today we will paddle the Vezere river from Montignac to St. Leon. When we pass the village of Sergeac we will stop to visit and look at the village and the old church. We will have our lunch on the river-bank here too. Later we can walk along the river bank and visit the cave at Castel Merle. This is a working excavation where a recent find is reputed to be the oldest known cave painting in Europe. We may also have time to visit the Chateau du Losse.
We will pass several Chateaus built out over the river today and also see the remains of a lock system built in the 18th Century. We remain at the Cote de Jor tonight.
Day 3. Down to Les Eyzies
We will continue our paddle from St, Leon down to Les Eyzies. We will stop for our picnic lunch at Tursac. Today we will pass under the cliffs of Roque St. Christophe which was a troglodyte city built into the cliffs and inhabited until the Middle Ages.
Further downstream we will pass the Chapel Madeleine built into the cliff below a Roman Fortress.
Today we move onto the Hostellerie du Passeur in Les Eyzies and have the choice of several restaurants in the town to choose where to have dinner.
Day 4. On the Dordogne river
n the morning we will drive to Souilliac and then later we will paddle the Dordogne river from Cazoules to Montfort.
We will have our lunch on the river-bank somewhere near St. Julien. The size of this river will allow us to explore various routes around several islands before we arrive under the massive Castle at Monfort.
Tonight we will be staying in the the Hotel Plaissance at Vitrac.
Day 5. Castles & Chateaux
We will continue our paddle from Montfort down to Beynac.
Today we will pass under the village of Domme before arriving at the cliff-hugging village of Roque-Gageac where we usually stop for drinks and a walk around.
Further downstream we come under the watchful gaze of Castelnaud before arriving at another cliff-top castle at Beynac.
We will take time to visit these places as we pass. Lunch will probably be taken on the river-bank at Castelnaud, either before or after we visit the castle.
Tonight we stay at the Hotel de Chateau in Beynac.
Day 6. 3rd Day on the Dordogne
IToday we will continue our paddle down the Dordogne from Beynac down to Siorac.
Before leaving Beynac we will visit the castle and the village and then paddle down to the Chateau de Milandes for a visit there too. It's a short walk from the river.
After our picnic lunch we will continue to meander downstream and have some fun exploiring a number of islands.
We remain in the Hotel de Chateau for tonight
Day 7. A visit to Lascaux
After a leisurely breakfast we will return to Brive in time to catch the 1pm train to Paris.
But before that we will visit the world famous painted caves at Lascaux, which are unmissable.
Finally we will say our farewells and reflect on our epic tour of the region.
Relais de la Côte de Jor
For the first two nights we are at the Relais de la Côte de Jor just outside the village of St. Leon-sur-Vezere. Sitting high above the valley of the Vezere with beautiful views from from the garden and balconies the small hotel is a short 10 minute drive from the village or an easy 30 minute walk down a trail.
The hotel has a pool in which we can relax after a busy day on the river.
For those that wish to walk before breakfast we have a couple of ideas. Firstly along to the Côte de Jor itself which is a viewing point looking down on a bend in the Vezere river with the village of St. Leon and it’s chateau and church in the distance. A second possibility is to take the trails through the chestnut woods and down to a couple of small fishing ponds before returning past a private Chateau with ornamental gardens.
The Relais does not do evening meals so we shall drive into the village and visit the Restaurant de la Poste on one night and choose from a selection of other nearby restaurants for our second night.
Hostellerie du Passeur
On the third night we are at the Hostellerie du Passeur in the small town of Les Eyzies. This charming and comfortable hotel is at the heart of the village off a small square opposite the National Pre-History Museum.
When in Les Eyzies we can choose our own restaurant for the evening. The hotel itself is available as are a number of restaurants in the town: they come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
If you are in the mood for an early morning walk then we have a circular ramble that takes us across the river and up through some forests to the causse past some remote farms.
Hotel Plaissance or the La Trielle
On the 4th night we are at the Hotel Plaissance or La Trielle, in the villages of Vitrac on the banks of the Dordogne river. Both of these are close to the river
The Plaissance has a garden with a swimming-pool just a short walk up the hill and a terrace for drinks & socialising.
We can take an early morning walk to visit the Chateau Montfort which can look spectacular in the early morning light when the mist is rising on the river. Our walk will take us through tiny hamlets and past numerous walnut orchards and we'll be able to view the Dordogne river from various spectacular vantage points.
Hôtel du Château or the Domain de Monrecour
For the final two nights we are at the Hôtel du Château in Beynac. The hotel sits at the heart of this small village directly underneath the Chateau Beynac which looms above us. It is directly on the river and no more than a two minute walk from where we take-out the canoes in the afternoon and put-in the next morning. An alternative is to stay at the Domaine de Monrecour which is a small chateau near Beynac in the village of St. Vincent de Cosse.
The early morning walk takes us up to the castle via a secret path with smugglers caves and out into the countryside beyond, past some farms and through a mysterious wood before looping back home.
The hotel’s restaurant has tables on a terrace beside the river, and also a small swimming pool.