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Hiking in the Dordogne:itinerary, advice and organization

Hiking in the Dordogne:itinerary, advice and organization

The Dordogne is a very beautiful river , but also a very nice department part of New Aquitaine in the South-West of France . The place is rich for its historical, cultural and gastronomic heritage. There are countless wonderful sites to be visited. The Dordogne also has very beautiful villages, remarkable castles, medieval buildings and extraordinary gardens. This very special place in our country is known throughout the world for its natural beauty, its quality of life and the remarkable welcome of its inhabitants. The country is called "Land of Man for its prehistoric treasures . Here is some information and itineraries that will allow you to discover it as it should and keep wonderful holiday memories.

Some peculiarities of the Dordogne

The Dordogne department is an integral part of Périgord . It is distinguished by four colors which are:

  • White for the color of its land
  • Black for the famous truffle
  • Purple for its vineyard
  • Green for its immense forests of age-old oaks

The roofs of old houses are often Lauze . The architecture of these dwellings is particular, because a large number of buildings were built by the English during the Hundred Years War. Some are carved in the local stone , others support magnificent half-timbering and still others are troglodytes . Many villages are built on hills and dominated by castles including defensive walls against the enemy of the time. You can also discover prehistoric sites remarkable as Lascaux II or the Single by Trémolat corresponding to an almost perfect loop of the river. Beautiful caves also harbor concentrations of stalactites and stalagmites. Between two walks, you can stop in a small restaurant and taste the cuisine of "Jacou le Croquant near the "Rivière Espérance .

Hiking in Eyzies-de-Tayac

If you are renting a house in the Eyzies-de-Tayac area , there is a beautiful hike, easy to do over a period of more than two hours. The distance is nine kilometers with an elevation gain of 206 meters. This is a loop walk starting from this picturesque village known as world capital of prehistory and troglodyte village . You will thus discover the valley of the river Vézère from rue de Taillac starting next to the first Cro-Magnon burial discovery. You will cross over the Vézère bridge and take the marked path. From here you can admire numerous natural concretions, caves, impressive cliffs and small lakes. If you want to make the pleasure last for a day, bring your picnic and end your visit with the old castle of Les Eyzies which is the National Museum of Prehistory .


The medieval town of Sarlat-la-Canéda deserves in itself, a good day of visit so much it is full of architectural treasures at every street corner. Its historic center is full of narrow streets leading to mansions with slate roofs, the most famous of which is that of La Boétie (16th century) where there are often wonderful exhibits. Discover again the private mansion of Savignac or that of du Barry . Sarlat is classified as a city of art and history . It well deserves this name, because it brings together the highest concentration of listed historical monuments in the world. Discover the town hall on Place de la Liberté built in the 13th century. Also worth seeing is the Château de Loubejac, the Tour du Bourreau, the Maison du Présidial, the old ramparts and the washhouses and various fountains . Don't miss the Saint-Sacerdos Cathedral from the 12th century, the Jardin des Enfeus , the two convents of the city and many other monuments, all as fantastic as each other.

The Montfort castle hike

This hike to the Château de Montfort is a fifteen kilometer loop starting from the castle. You can do it in about four hours. The difficulty remains medium, as there is a drop of 449 meters. The trail is very well marked and you won't risk getting lost. The signs are yellow and the first climb is quite steep. You will arrive at the magnificent town of Vitrac at the superb fortress dominating a natural plateau. You will then discover the château de Marobert, the cliffs of Caudon and the Roche Percée which is a natural work made by time and erosion. Once the circuit is finished, you can also visit the medieval center of the village de Montfort which is also magnificent.

From La Roque-Gageac to Domme and Beynac

Among the most beautiful villages in France, you will discover a large number of them in the Dordogne. If you want to spend a day in several of them, you can take your car and discover those of La Roque-Gageac, Domme and Beynac .These ocher villages with medieval centers will all offer you magnificent panoramas, viewpoints over the river and sets of beautifully preserved medieval houses and alleys. On site, you can take a gabarre tour (boat reproduced according to old models carrying goods on the river and pulled by oxen on the towpaths) to admire the many remarkable viewpoints and Renaissance castles. In Domme, there is a starred restaurant where you can taste tasty dishes based on local gastronomy.

The gastronomy of the Dordogne, an unmissable stop

We are not going to draw up here a list of restaurants offering local dishes to customers, because they are too numerous and famous. On the other hand, we suggest that you devote one or two days to tasting these typical dishes of the place. Thus, you will find:

  • Duck or goose foie gras
  • Snails from Périgord
  • Duck breasts, aiguillettes, grattons, frittons, rillettes, stuffed necks, pâtés and duck sausages
  • Coq au vin
  • Stuffed chicken
  • Ceps in omelets, assorted as well as truffles in many dishes
  • Sarladaise potatoes with duck
  • Walnut pies
  • Duck or goose confit
  • Many cheeses including cabécou
  • Desserts made with Périgord strawberries, walnuts, blackberries or chestnuts

Of course, to wash it all down, you can taste the wines of Domme, Bergerac, as well as Monbazillac (a remarkable sweet white wine to accompany foie gras or desserts).

An incredible easy hike from Guizengeard

To complete the Guizengeard hike , we advise you to bring a good picnic. The hike only lasts about an hour for a little over three kilometers and a drop of 112 meters. The place is fabulous. You will discover a magnificent place within a large forest composed of a blue lake with clear water . It is an old white clay quarry that filled with rainwater. You cannot swim there, but you will have a unique time thanks to this magical spectacle of fantastic colors revealed by the sunlight in summer.

Hiking in the heart of the Dordogne valley

Hiking in the heart of the Dordogne Valley between Saint-Julien and Castelnaud is an easy circuit of about two hours. It is a little over seven kilometers for a drop of 264 meters. You leave from the Maisonneuve campsite and can take the walk as a family, as it is very shaded in summer. You will walk through bucolic paths and find caves on your way. Towards the end of your hike, discover the cliffs of Céou before ending with the discovery of the Castelnaud castle dating from the 13th century. Do not forget to bring your camera, because this castle dominates the Dordogne and you will be able to take magnificent photos of this still magical place.

Seven-day hike in Périgord Noir

If you are a fan of hiking and walking, you can discover the Dordogne differently and do in seven days, for example, the tour of the Périgord noir on foot . If you leave from Sarlat-la-Canéda , you will reach Domme, La roque Gageac, Beynac, then Meyrals, Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère, you can visit Montignac and Lascaux, get to Saint-Amand de Coly, Saint-Geniès and return to Sarlat. Be careful, some days the routes are more difficult than others. Thus, between Beynac and Meyrals, the drop is more than 550 meters for a distance of 15 to 23 km depending on what you decide to do. You can find small hotels to accommodate you or campsites and bed and breakfast according to your wishes. Between Tamniès and Saint Léon sur Vézère , you will discover the fabulous world of the troglodytes of La Roque Saint Christophe .

There are still dozens of hikes to do in Dordogne so rich is this department in remarkable places to discover. These walks and visits are given for information only. You are free to choose your routes and discover a thousand and one wonders in the Land of Man !