2017 Guided Dordogne Tour

Join Dick Powell in September, 2017 for a relaxed tour in the Dordogne

THIS TOUR IS FULL. Join us on a Dordogne Self-Guided tour.

We are very excited to have Outfitter Bicycle Tours’ founder, Dick Powell, running a fully guided Dordogne tour in 2017. Having lived in the region for many years, he knows the area very well. And we know he is a very skilled tour leader!

More information from Dick Powell:
Working with my former tour company, Outfitter Bicycle Tours, I am announcing a 11-Day & 10-night “Founder’s Tour” in my beloved Dordogne region in Southwest France, some of the most wonderful cycling in the world. This leisurely exploration of the Vezere River Valley, with its numerous prehistoric sites, and the Dordogne River Valley, with its amazing old castles and homes hanging from the cliffs, provides wonderful cycle routes and a backdrop for many optional excursions. I am hoping for no more than 16 people total, but have no idea if there will be that many interested. I hope so.

Summary:

We will stay in small family run, historic hotels in Les Eyzies for 3 nights, Vezac for 2 nights, Meyronne near Rocamadour for 3 nights, and Sarlat for 2 nights. You will visit 2 of the best local Markets in the Old Towns of Le Bugue and Sarlat. Also, Les Eyzies is the prehistory capital of Europe where Cro-Magnon Man remains were discovered (right next to our hotel). You will cycle to the beautiful villages of Montignac, La Roque-Gageac, Domme, Beynac, Castelnaud, Souillac, Rocamadour, Carennac, Castelnau and Sarlat and more. This is designed as a leisurely tour for casual and more serious riders, so there will be extended ride options every day. The daily mileage suites me perfect, but hey, I never was a racer, just a tourist going from one food & drink stop to the next.
 
Our hotels serve delicious breakfasts, which, in addition to 8 gourmet dinners, are included in the price.  The stunning Dordogne region is a well-kept secret among the French.  Numerous prehistory sites going back 40,000 years, amazing medieval fortresses, wonderful cycling roads, and beautiful countryside to explore, make it the perfect arena for an unforgettable bicycle vacation in France. Did we mention the food?  Mention the Dordogne to any French person, the first thing they say is “oh, the food, the scenery, magnifique!”.
 
For those that don’t know me, I started Mindfulness Tours as a retirement project after selling Outfitter Bicycle Tours and my bicycle shop, The Bicycle Outfitter of Los Altos. Mindfulness Tours never really got off the ground because my late wife Marilyn became sick and I became a full time caregiver for almost 5 years. In addition to this tour, I am co-leading a Mindfulness Retreat, also in the Dordogne, the 2 weeks before this tour. Teaching mindfulness practice has become the focus of my life, but I will always be a touring cyclist!
 
I can’t tell you how many people said to us, after their Dordogne tour, that “this is the best vacation we have ever taken”. One friend said “it is like Disneyland, but real!”
 
The tour begins and in Les Eyzies, the pre-history capital of France and ends in Sarlat. Access to Les Eyzies and Sarlat is by train from anywhere in France. The 11 day, 10-night tour is $2990 per person, double occupancy, $650 single room supplement.  Bicycle rentals are available or bring your own. I plan on riding with you and our local Guide of so many years, Roger Boiling, will sag the baggage, if he can still get it up.
 
Questions, contact me at DickPowell53@aol.com or 925-238-6366.

See full itinerary below. Or CLICK HERE for more information about all of our Dordogne bike tours.

 

Dates: September 18 to 28, 2017
Length: 11 days, 10 nights
Service: Fully supported, Guided” tour.
Type of riding: Rolling to flat terrain with some short climbs.
Bikes suggested: Road bikes, e-bikes, or hybrids
Average daily riding: 40km (24 miles)
Start city: Les Eyzies
Finish city: Sarlat
Suggested transport: Train from anywhere.

More to come…..

Dick Powell:

 

Roger Boiling:

roger

We generally target 3 and 4-star hotels, which we hand select to maximize comfort while minimizing cost. The star rating is using a French rating system, which has proven to be the standard around the world. Therefore we use the same standards in France and beyond.

Over the years we have developed relationships with many amazing 3 and 4-star properties that distinguish themselves as providing much more than their rating suggests. We have loved getting to know these hotels and sharing them with our guests. For tour groups wishing to upgrade their accommodations, we can provide custom pricing for four and five-star hotels, pending availability. Below are an example of some of our favorite hotels in the region that we target using on our tours, pending availability.

 

Location Hotel Photo
Les Eyzies Hotel Cro Magnon  
Montignac Hotel La Roseraie  
Sarlat Hotel Restaurant La Couleuvrine
La Roque Gageac Hotel Belle Etoile  
Meyronne Hotel La Terrasse  

Road Bikes: Our rental road bikes are a racing style with drop handlebars.

  • Giant DefyType – Road
  • Sizes – XS, S, M, ML, L,and XL
  • Components – Mixture of Shimano 105 and Ultegra with either triple or compact double cranksets. Many have road-disc brakes.

 

 

Hybrid Bikes: Our rental hybrid bikes are a relaxed style with flat handlebars.

  • Giant EscapeType – Hybrid
  • Sizes – XS, S, M, L, and XL
  • Components – Mixture of Shimano road and mountain components with either triple cranksets.

 

 

eBikes: These semi-powered bikes allow for non riders to share the experience with their friends and family who are stronger cyclists.

  • Type – eBikeGiant Explore
  • Sizes – S, M, L
  • Components – Mixture of Shimano Acera and Deore.

 

 

 

During the registration process you will be asked for specifics to have the correct sized bike waiting for you. We can supply any number styles of pedals – SPD, SPD-r, flat, Speedplay, Look, etc.

WHAT IS INCLUDED:

  • OBT cycling jersey
  • All hotel accommodations
  • Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel
  • Meals as explained in the tour itinerary pages.
  • Detailed route notes, maps, and tourist information
  • Outstanding routing instructions for all rides! This includes GPS course downloads for your GPS unit, traditional cue sheet, and written prose describing each turn and the surrounding area. These methods are then supported by a road map.
  • Your personal guides, helping you with support vehicles. On-road support will always be near. From greeting guests when they arrive, to handling luggage transfers, mechanical issues, etc – our guides assist guests in every way. They also set you up on your rental bikes, and can help with routing, and any other questions.

 

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED:

  • Transportation to the start location and from and Paris
  • Bikes, but we have rental bikes available
  • Travel and Health Insurance
  • Admission to sightseeing venues, unless explicitly mentioned as included

Tour Cost Per Person:

  • Double Occupancy: US$2,990
  • Single Occupancy: US$3,640

Bike Rental Per Person:

  • Road Bike: US$390
  • eBike: US$390
  • Hybrid: US$290

What’s Next? Registering for your tour!

Questions: First, please feel free to ask us any questions about the tour. We are happy to help clarify any details.

Registration: Once you are ready to register please go to https://outfittertours.com/registration/ and complete the registration form. EACH tour participant will need to complete the form. At the end of the registration for you will be asked for a US$800 deposit. You can pay the deposit by bank check, wire, or credit card. Once we have all registrations we will secure all of the details of your tour – hotels, bikes, etc.

Final Payment: 60 days prior to your tour we will invoice you for the balance of the tour.

Tour Packet Delivery: Once the balance is paid and approximately 30 days before your tour we will send you a complete tour packet containing all details of your tour – accommodation information, detailed routing, a suggested packing list, maps, tourist guide, and much much more!

For more information on our Terms & Conditions please CLICK HERE.

Daily Itinerary:

Day 1:  Les Eyzies Arrival
Welcome to the pre-history capital of France, Les Eyzies! We will meet you at the train station and, depending on the time of your arrival, assemble your bicycle or take you to be fitted for your rental.  Hear a short orientation and take an afternoon warm-up loop if you are eager to be in the saddle, or visit historical sites by foot if you want to stretch your legs.  When you are ready, we will take you to your spectacular historic hotel—one built into the side of the cliffs next to where the Cro-Magnon man remains were discovered.  Settle in         for three nights.

Day 2:  Le Bugue Market & Vezere Loop Ride – 32km
Depart early to catch a local street market in Le Bugue, 10km down the Vezere River from your hotel. It is an excellent market and a great way to adjust yourself to the local way of life.  After visiting the market, return to Les Eyzies for the day or take a beautiful loop ride that begins with a pedal down to where the Dordogne and Vezere Rivers meet. Dinner is on your own tonight.

Day 3: Montignac Visit Along the Vezere – 50km
Today you follow the Vezere northeast to Montignac with several great prehistory sites along the way: Site Madeleine, Le Roque St. Christophe, and also the lovely Chateau de Losse. The day’s 50km ride is modest in distance but rich in things to see, with several short but steep climbs.  We recommend the town of St. Leon for a picnic or cafe lunch before continuing to Montignac.  Explore at your leisure before returning to Les Eyzies for dinner at the hotel. Your return route can be extended for more amazing exploration.

Day 4:  Les Eyzies to Vezac – 40km
Today you leave the Vezere River Valley and enter the Dordogne.  After an optional visit to Font de Gaume (where you will find original cave paintings in color, the only originals open to the public) you have a lovely short climb over the hill to the Dordogne River.  Your destination is a wonderful country hotel at the foot of Chateau Marqueysac and their beautiful gardens. Along the way, you will visit the beautiful village of Beynac and its old fortress chateau from the middle ages, settled high on the cliffs above.  It is a very full day, but only 40km.  Settle in for 2 nights at our hotel overlooking the river.  Dinner is at your hotel tonight and it will be excellent.

Day 5:  Domme, Castelnaud, & Chateau Les Milandes – 27km
If you like a completely flat ride, today is your day.  You will first visit the old fortress chateau of Castelnaud and explore its siege weapons collection.  Next is Chateau Les Milandes, the former home of American entertainer Josephine Baker.   A hilly option is available if you crave a climb (2 steep kilometers will find you on the cliffs of Domme).  You can also canoe on the Dordogne or take a guided tour by boat.  If you did not visit Beynac yesterday, that can also be done today.  Or, you can just hang out in this lovely town – one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France (designated as one of France’s most beautiful villages, as is Domme). Or, you can just hang out around the hotel pool and/or visit the lovely gardens of Marqueysac. Another gourmet dinner at your hotel tonight.

Day 6:  La Roque Gageac to Meyronne – 53km
A great ride today along the Dordogne River will lead you to the Lot region.  It is a 53km rolling ride to Meyronne with several hills, but you have all day to get there—take your time and enjoy the beauty.  The route goes through Souillac, a lovely town on the Dordogne with a historic old abbey.  Then on to Lacave and its grotto and then a bit further along a beautiful road to Meyronne.  Your hotel which dates to the 11th century overlooks the Dordogne River, has a pool and a great restaurant. Dinner tonight is at your hotel.  Settle in for 3 nights.

Day 7:  Rocamadour Exploration – 51km
This is a beautiful sightseeing day with two very different destinations: Gouffre de Padirac and Rocamadour.  The Gouffre is a 100 meter deep hole in the ground which leads to caverns formed by an underground river that is navigable by boat.  Rocamadour is a famous stop along the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela.   A 30km ride with a lot of climbing awaits you if you choose Rocamadour alone.  Add another 24k if you go to the Gouffre as well. You are on your own for dinner tonight in the village of St. Sozy across the river or again at your hotel.

Day 8:  Carennac and Castelnau Loop Ride – 31km
Today is a great day to just hang around the pool, visit the town of St. Sozy across the river, or maybe visit the cave at Lacave just 7km away.  If you would prefer a day on the bike, take a ride along the upper Dordogne River and pay a visit to Carennac and the old fortress at Castelnau.  If you still need more, there is a great Plus Beaux Village, Loubressac, high on a hill overlooking the upper Dordogne. Dinner is again at our hotel.

Day 9:  Meyronne to Sarlat – 51km
We retrace our route back down the Dordogne River, bypassing Souillac and riding some lovely new roads.  We then get on a bike path (Piste Cyclable) for our ride into Sarlat, the regional capital known for its old town and shops and history dating back to the 9th century.  It is an easy rolling 51km with one big hill in the morning. Settle in for your last 2 nights. Another great gourmet dinner at your hotel.

Day 10:  Sarlat Market & Exploration 
You will wake to the sounds of people milling about in the old town street market below.  After breakfast, explore this magnificent market on your own!  Local food, fabrics, clothing and art will be on display.  In the afternoon, spend time visiting some of the town’s many pre-history attractions.  There is an optional afternoon ride if needed. Your farewell dinner is at the hotel.

Day 11:  Sarlat Departure
In Sarlat there is an early train which departs at 7 am or a late afternoon train which departs at 5 pm. From Souillac there are trains departing all day and evening, many choices.  Your choice, get going early or sleep late, have a leisurely breakfast, and enjoy your final morning in Sarlat.  We will collect your bike if you rented one, and help transfer your luggage to the depot in Sarlat or Souillac, before bidding you farewell!

Note: The mileage shown is the basic route to visit the locations described. Every day beautiful extended routes can be added, so strong riders can have as much as they like.