Walking in the Dordogne
35 walking routes in the Dordogne - Sarlat, Bergerac, Lalinde and Souillac
This guidebook describes 35 walking routes in France's beautiful Dordogne region, based around Sarlat and Souillac regions (Perigord Noir) and Bergerac (Perigord Poupre). The walks range from short walks to mountain circuits, and explore the spectacular gorges, chateaux and medieval villages of the region.
SeasonsAny time of the year, but either May and June (also good for flowers), or September and October (for the grape harvest) are best. High summer is very hot and crowded.
CentresBergerac and Lalinde in Perigord Poupre; Sarlat in Perigord Noir; and Souillac in the Lot.
Difficulty35 straightforward half and full-day walks for all abilities, on well-marked paths or roads. Graded easy or medium, with no steep ascents or descents.
Must SeeThe Dordogne river with dramatic horseshoe meanders and quiet stretches for boat trips on traditional gabarres; the cliffs of the Vézère with caves and overhangs where early man made his home; the arid causses and subterranean gauffres in the south; medieval castles and towns, Renaissance-style chateaus, Romanesque churches.
Guidebook to 35 half-day and day walks in France's beautiful Dordogne region, based around Bergerac, Lalinde, Sarlat and Souillac (Lot). The walks, which range from 6 to 18.5km, take in the region’s myriad delights, from spectacular gorges to enchanting chateaux and charming medieval villages. All walks are within the capacity of the average walker, and are on well-marked paths or quiet roads. They are graded easy or medium; there are no long, steep climbs or abrupt descents.
There are step-by-step descriptions and maps for each route. Also included is information on the history, flora and fauna of the region, together with practical pointers such as what to take and when to go, as well as notes on waymarking, accommodation and transport. A route summary table and glossary are also provided.
Lying in south west France, the Dordogne is a land of great scenic variety, from rolling wooded hills and fertile valleys to barren upland plateaus and limestone cliffs riddled with caves. The charm of the Dordogne also lies in the picturesque medieval towns, châteaux, churches and abbeys that stud the landscape, and these are the focus of many of the walks.
The Dordogne river
A short history of the Dordogne
Plants and flowers
How to get there
When to go
Food and drink
What to take
Using this guide
Walk 1 Along the river at Bergerac
Walk 2 The vineyards of Monbazillac
Walk 3 Flaugeac to the Château de Bridoire
Walk 4 Around Monestier
Walk 5 Round the Lac de l’Escourou
Walk 6 Boucle d’Issigeac
Walk 7 The Conne river valley
Walk 8 Boucle de St-Aubin
Walk 9 St-Georges-de-Montclard
Walk 10 St-Félix-de-Villadeix
Walk 11 Couze to the Château de Lanquais
Walk 12 The heights and river at Lalinde
Walk 13 Above Mauzac
Walk 14 The Cingle de Trémolat
Walk 15 Limeuil and the Vézère river
Walk 16 Above the Abbey of Cadouin
Walk 17 Beaumont and the Rocher du Corbeau
Walk 18 Monpazier and the Château de Biron
Walk 19 Around les Eyzies
Walk 20 Along the Vézère river
Walk 21 Boucle de Coulonge at Montignac
Walk 22 Around St-Geniès
Walk 23 St-Crépin and Carlucet
Walk 24 Les Jardins d’Eyrignac
Walk 25 South of the Château des Milandes
Walk 26 Le Chemin de Cazenac from Beynac
Walk 27 Around la Roque-Gageac
Walk 28 The bastide town of Domme
Walk 29 Boucle de Veyrignac
Around Souillac (Lot)
Walk 30 Gourdon and the Bléou valley
Walk 31 Roc des Monges from Saint-Sozy
Walk 32 Martel to Mont Mercou
Walk 33 Rocamadour and the mills of the Alzou Gorge
Walk 34 Alvignac and the Source Salmière
Walk 35 The Gouffre de Padirac and Causses de Quercy
Appendix A Route summary table
Appendix B Useful information
Appendix C Glossary of French words
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Walking in the Dordogne, Walk 33 - Rocamadour.
(modified start, from Grant Cameron)
There is a change to the start of the walk because a new car park has been built. You still turn left onto the D673/A20 and start to walk out of town. The new car park is on your right, just after the end of housing, and now you turn right just before the sign (which has been moved) indicating the end of Rocamadour. This is in fact what would have been the second turn on the right as shown on the sketch map (and in the IGN2136 map) where the roads drew a small triangle. The first road on the right has now been removed by the car park. Turn right off the D673 then take a slight left onto the road signed to Gare SNCF. The rest of the description is excellent.
Without the book we would not have ventured where we did so well worth the purchase.
Bought this book as staying for a few days in Carennac on the Dordogne river and looking for details of possible walks around that area. We also bought the IGN map (#2136) that covers the area and the two worked well together. We did two walks and the detailed descriptions, particularly of the beginning of the walks, were very helpful. A number of the walks describe existing local routes which are very well signed with coloured markers on trees, boulders etc. In particular the GR routes are very well signed so it leads to relaxed walking as you know you are on the right path. Timing of the walks also tied up very well with our pace. Without the book we would not have ventured where we did so well worth the purchase. We will keep hold of it for future trips too.
Grant, by email
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Janette Norton lived in France, near Geneva, for over 30 years with her physicist husband, Alan, raising four children and working in the marketing field. Her love of mountain walking dated from the time she was a guide in her twenties, and the proximity of the Alps and Jura to her home inspired her to continue her passion. After her children grew up, she branched out to explore other areas of France.View Articles and Books by Janette Norton
Alan Norton studied Physics at Edinburgh and Oxford Universities before moving to Geneva to work at CERN on Particle Physics research. Since retirement, he has continued to participate in CERN experiments as a professor at the Italian University of Ferrara. As leisure activities, he has completed many mountain running events at the rear of the field, and helped Janette with walking and map preparation for her guides.View Articles and Books by Alan Norton
Pamela Harris graduated from Reading University and then moved to Switzerland, where she taught English and Classical studies at international schools in the Geneva area. A long-time member of both the Alpine Club and the Swiss Alpine Club, she has walked and climbed extensively in the mountains of Europe and the Himalayas, and organises walking holidays in both areas for these clubs.View Articles and Books by Pamela Harris