HIDDEN TREASURES OF THE DORDOGNE
Walking in the Dordogne Valley and Surrounding Hills
The Dordogne, as the French say, is a land with ‘un peu de tout’, a little of everything; a gently meandering river, lush pastures, wine, walnuts, geese, the warm southern sun and of course a web of trails and paths making it ideal for a walking holiday. Don’t be surprised to hear English voices, either on vacation or in residence, as the English have long been associated with this fertile green valley where they fought and died in the Hundred Year’s War. They held the South bank of the river Dordogne and built many of the castles and fortified villages.
The eight day walk begins with an overnight at Sarrazac, then the next day you walk on to Turenne, with its hilltop castle and on to Meyssac or Collonges, an exquisite medieval village in warm, red sandstone, enclosing a priory church. The route follows the GR480, across rolling farmland and along woodland paths to Beaulieu sur Dordogne and an area of the Dordogne valley of outstanding natural beauty. Climbing out of the valley, over the ridge, you descend to the River Cere and continue via the massive red castle of Castelnau to the waterfall and ‘gentilhommieres’ of Autoire. From the pretty village of Loubressac, perched on a scarp with splendid views, you can visit the wonderful caves of Padirac before descending to the charming village of Carennac with its sun-warmed roofs clustered above the Dordogne. Continue from Carennac along the picturesque route of the ‘Cirque de Montvalent’ to the delightful village of Creysse, where the 8-day walk ends.
The 10-day walk begins in the village of Meyssac, close to Collonges la Rouge and follows the 8-day tour as far as Creysse, with a rest day and an additional night at Carennac. Our next day takes us first to Martel where the son of Henry II, (called Henry Court-Mantel for the new short cloak he made fashionable) died during the Hundred Years War; the house where he died is still visible today. The walk continues over the plateau to Sarrazac, from where your final day takes you back to Collonges la Rouge or Meyssac..
nights/8 days - At Sarrazac your village 2* hotel started life as a Blacksmith’s Forge. In
Meyssac we stay at a smart 2* hotel in the town centre with a swimming pool. In Collonges
(alternative to Meyssac) we stay in a comfortable chambre d’hote, formerly a beautiful old barn. The pleasant 2*hotel behind the 12th century abbey in
Beaulieu is in a shady street with a terrace overlooking the Dordogne. At
Port de Gagnac you stay in a charming riverside 2* hotel which is a favourite with many clients, and at
Autoire, or alternatively at Loubressac, the accommodation (2*) is in pleasant village inns. The elegant 2* hotel situated in
Carennac has an excellent restaurant with a good local reputation and finally at
Creysse our family run 2* hotel is a charming old house built over a stream in the centre of the village.
nights/10 days - An extra night is spent in Carennac and a second night is spent in
Meyssac/Collonges at the end of the trip. 5 of the hotels have pools.
The trail follows well-established GR waymarked paths and presents no special route-finding difficulties.
Dinner, Bed & Breakfast in country hotels of 2* category
via Air: BA from Heathrow to Toulouse, then return train to Brive. Taxi to and from Brive train station is not
included (allow €50).
via Rail: Eurostar St Pancras to Paris, and return train to Brive. Details on application.
Low cost airlines easyjet, flybe, and jet2 fly to Toulouse.