Dordogne Activities

From $2003 per person

****# Based on 11 customer reviews
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  • Three activities in one holiday: two days canoeing with a choice of walking or cycling for the remaining days
  • Impressive chateaux, troglodyte cave dwellings, Rocamadour, Grottes de Lacave and Gouffre de Padirac
  • Dramatic river valleys, pinky-gold cliffs and mediaeval villages
  • Friendly, family-run hotels, all with pools and fine food

What's included?

  • 8 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Departs every 2 days from 2 Jun '16 to 6 Sep '16
  • All continental breakfasts and evening meals included
  • Managed locally by Headwater employed representative
  • Sustainability rating: 82%
  • Headwater wine service
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Buoyancy aid and helmet provided
  • Canadian canoes or sit-on top kayaks included

Excellent for...

Dordogne Activities

Watch our exclusive video to discover more »

Explore one of the most fascinating corners of the Dordogne on this varied and flexible, walking, cycling and canoeing holiday. The Perigord Noir, arguably one of the most attractive parts of the Dordogne, is named as such for its rich dark oak and chestnut forests which fill the very heart of this region. The area offers spectacular scenery with ancient chateaux perched high above the rugged cliffs overlooking the entire valley. You'll find mediaeval villages full of character and a plethora of historical sites including the Benedictine Abbaye Sainte-Marie in Souillac, founded during the C12 and which suffered badly during the Hundred Years' War.

On foot, bike and by canoe, venture through the Perigord experiencing what this picturesque region has to offer. You have total flexibility with the choice of either walking or cycling routes when you're not canoeing. The canoeing is safe and undemanding, and we will give you a lesson in handling your canoe before you set off. Your journey starts in Martel, a picturesque town also known as 'la ville aux sept tours' or the town of seven towers, moving on to Meyronne, on the banks of the Dordogne. From here you pick up your paddle, canoeing downstream to Souillac and on to Beynac with its hilltop castle, captured by Richard the Lionheart in 1179, finally arriving in mediaeval Sarlat.

You will stay in characterful 3 Star hotels throughout, all with private swimming pools. These range from a stunningly converted C11 chateau to a panoramic country house, set in its own private parkland. You'll enjoy delicious evening meals in this area renowned for its gastronomic traditions.

NB: All customers must be able to swim at least 50m fully clothed. We provide 2/3 person canoes (minimum age 8 years). Single-person kayaks are also available if specified when you book. Only suitable for children over 12 unless experienced. Should the river, at any point, be deemed too high to safely canoe, we will provide Headwater bikes at no extra charge for all days affected.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in Martel

Arrive at your 3 star hotel, a former convent school in 7000m2 of private gardens.

Day 2 - Sarlat to Meyronne - walk 10km/6.5mi (3hr) or cycle 15km/9.5mi

Today, walkers will enjoy wonderful 360° views from the summit of Mont Mercou, along with views over the Dordogne Valley, while cyclists will pass the lovely village of Gluges, on the banks of the Dordogne River. Before you leave Martel, why not explore its mediaeval streets, in particular the Palais de la Raymondie and the Place de la Halle?

Day 3 - At Meyronne

You have lots of choices today. Either relax by the hotel pool or walk south of the river to Rochers Ste Marie and the Grottes de Lacave. If you prefer to cycle (or use our walking route notes) head to the town of Rocamadour, home to the shrine of the Black Madonna and one of France's most venerated religious sites. Alternatively, travel by taxi to the Gouffre de Padirac, an enormous chasm where you descend into an underground cave system which you then explore by boat along the subterranean stream.

Day 4 - Meyronne to Souillac canoe 17km/11mi (4-5hr)

We meet you after breakfast for your briefing and canoeing lesson before you set off on this easy paddle, taking you below pinky-gold cliffs with buzzards and kites soaring overhead and the imposing chateaux of Belcastel and de la Treyne (to name but two), perched up high above the river.

Day 5 - At Souillac

Wander round this bustling town, people watch or visit the Musee de l'Automate which holds the largest collection of mechanical toys and dolls in France. You might also like to walk to La Durantie for some of the most stunning views along the Dordogne Valley or cycle to the Chateau de Fenelon, a Cathar stronghold during the C12 and C13. There is also the option to cycle to the impressive Jardins de Cadiot made up of ten gardens within two hectares of land - the choice is yours!

Day 6 - Souillac to Saint-Vincent-de-Cosse canoe 20km/12.5mi (4-5hr)

Its gentle paddling again today down to Grolejac through the heart of peaceful and prosperous Perigord countryside, leaving plenty of time for swimming, picnicking or just lazing by the river. We pick you up and take you to the tranquil Chateau de Monrecour where you stay for the next two nights.

Day 7 - At Saint-Vincent-de-Cosse

Stroll to Beynac and climb the steep footpath lined with C15-C17 stone houses up to the spectacular C13 hilltop chateau; the reward for your effort is the breathtaking view of the serpentine sweep of the river. Or you could visit the beautiful Jardins de Marqueyssac and the impressive Chateau de Castelnaud (approximately 6km/4mi away).

Day 8 - Saint-Vincent-de-Cosse to Sarlat walk 19km/12mi (5hr) or cycle 32km/20mi

Today you can choose to go on foot or pedal through pretty villages and shaded woods before arriving at mediaeval Sarlat with its Renaissance facades and richly ornamented buildings now protected by law. Wander through the narrow streets, discovering ancient courtyards as you peep through ornate archways, then its on to the tranquillity of the Hotel Meysset in time for a last dip in the pool before dinner.

Day 9 - Leave Sarlat

Where you stay

During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking. You can call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 to discuss accommodation options.

Relais Sainte-Anne, Martel   (3 star)

Restaurant and garden

The charming Relais Sainte-Anne rooms are tastefully decorated with antique furniture. The grounds include a pool and extensive gardens to wander and relax in. Evening meals can be taken on the terrace in good weather.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market

Hotel La Terrasse , Meyronne   ((3 star))

Hotel La Terrasse , Meyronne

The Hotel La Terrasse, ideally situated overlooking the Dordogne, is a converted C11 château, which has survived in spite of the turbulent history of the region. It was converted into a hotel in the 1920s by the Liebus family - who still own the hotel - but it still retains many of its original features - wooden beams, exposed stone walls, stone fire places and stone spiral stairwell. Period furniture completes the impressive, yet comfortable, interior.

Your evening meal is taken in the hotel's restaurant, where the menu reflects the local specialities. If you eat on the hotel's terrace, you'll also get to savour views over the river!

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

La Vieille Auberge, Souillac   (3 star)

Facade of La Vieille Auberge in Souillac

La Vieille Auberge, a coach house from Napoleonic times has been modernised to create a charming auberge in a quiet part of Souillac.

The restaurant serves traditional regional specialities with a modern twist.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television
  • Minibar

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

Château de Monrecour, Saint Vincent de Cosse   (3 star)

Château de Monrecour, Saint Vincent de Cosse

The Château de Monrecour is located in Saint Vincent de Cosse, just a few kilometres from stunning Beynac.

The guest rooms are all traditionally decorated and are equipped with a private bathroom, free WI-Fi access and a TV.

The hotel also has a swimming pool and a large south-facing terrace where you can enjoy a drink after your walk.

Breakfast is served in the château's ballroom, which is decorated with tapestries and features a large stone fireplace. During nice weather, guest can enjoy breakfast on the terrace, which has a view of the 15th-century Chateau des Milandes.

The evening meals are served in the hotel restaurant and are a real treat: be prepared to sample local dishes all prepared with fresh products.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Safe

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

Hotel Meysset, Sarlat   (3 star)

Hotel de Meysset, Sarlat

This 3* traditional Périgord hotel, set in 3 acres of pine woods and gardens, enjoys an elevated position just 3kms above Sarlat. It offers complete tranquillity, wonderful food and fantastic views from its terrace over the surrounding valley.

The cooking here is based on the wonderfully rich and gastronomic cuisine for which this region is famous. Expect to be offered house specialities such as magret de canard, foie gras, pommes de terre sarladaises - slices of potato sauteed in goose fat, with garlic, parsley and wild mushrooms: don't come here if you're counting the calories!

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine



Extra nights and stop over hotels

If you'd like to extend your trip with extra nights at the start or end, or if you'd like to arrange a stop off point en-route, then we recommend the following hotels.

Hotel Le Senat , Paris   (4 Star)

Hotel Le Senat , Paris

The 4* Le Senat is simply stunning! There are just 41 rooms, all stylishly furnished and a couple of suites with terraces, if you really fancy splashing out! All have satellite television, mini bar, air-conditioning, safe and hairdryer, plus Internet access.

The hotel has its own small bar - adorned with photographs of eminent artists, being in the heart of the artists' quarter - plus a reading room with complimentary internet access.

Breakfast is taken in the basement, where you'll find a copious buffet of viennoiseries, cereals, fruit salad, ham, cheese, bread, yoghurt, bacon, eggs, sausage, fruit juices, tea or coffee. If you prefer, you can have a continental breakfast served to your room at no extra charge.

Le Senat is perfectly located on a quiet side street just a stone's throw away from the Luxembourg Gardens and metro, and a 5 minute walk from the vibrant Latin quarter, where you'll find a plethora of restaurants to suit all budgets.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine
  • Mastercard accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe

Hôtel Père Léon, Toulouse   (3 star)

Hôtel Père Léon, Toulouse

The Hôtel Père Léon is ideally situated just a short walk from the historic centre of Toulouse, with the main sights just a short walk away. Just 50 metres from the metro there is easy access to the rest of the city. The hotel is in Place Esquirol, a bustling, lively square and in close proximity to many bars and restaurants.

The hotel itself has a modern contemporary feel, which has been recently renovated. The ensuite rooms have soundproof windows and all mod cons. Breakfast is a buffet affair with a good choice of French staples, and a hot section.

The hotel has its own bistro restaurant with seats outside where you can enjoy a drink or dinner.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine
  • Mastercard accepted
  • Diners Club card accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe

Travel options

Transfers included from Souillac train station at 16:47 Mon-Thurs & Sat, 15:25 Fri and 15:29 Sun and back to Souillac train station at 12:45 Mon-Fri, 11:45 Sun and back to Brive at 10:45 Sat.

Please call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or email info@breakaway-adventures.com to arrange connecting flights.

Customer reviews

Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their holiday.

Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Reviewed by Mr Stocks on 03/09/2016

*****
Headwater provide gently active (this interpretation depends on one's level of fitness and expectation!) holidays in comfortable, interesting hotels and places. The restaurants vary, some are better than others, but in general they reach a very satisfactory standard. I think they are a great way to spend time exploring an area but with always the fall back of a pleasant hotel.

Reviewed by Dr Monte on 18/08/2016

*****
We had a wonderful mixed activity holiday cycling and canoeing down the Dordogne knowing we had excellent food and drink to look forward to after a hard days work. Pure bliss !!

Reviewed by Mrs Moss on 10/08/2016

***#.
We have just returned from an excellent 10 days in France, having never been to this area before, we now are keen to return! The walking and cycling was definitely 2 boot, but worth the climbs. And we really enjoyed the relaxed canoeing down The Dordogne. All hotels were excellent with fabulous food. Sarlet is very pretty and well worth the extra night, although it is a long climb up back to the hotel from the town. Excellent holiday.

Reviewed by Mrs Saxby on 02/08/2016

*****
As a family of six, headwater is a great holiday choice for us. We enjoy spending the time together and the activities give us a shared focus and shared sense of achievement. The children age between 16 and eight, and they all enjoyed the holiday. It challenged their palates as well as their legs, as most of the hotels don't offer kids menus, but this worked out fine and they all discovered things they didn't know they might like. Canoeing was harder work than expected, but such a beautiful way to see the river. I really love headwater holidays, this is our third time and it definitely won't be our last. Now that all the children are confidently able to cycle we will try some more ambitious ones next time.

Reviewed by Mr Dransfield on 05/10/2015

*****
Excellent, good location, helpful reps, fantastic hotels, good food, well maintained equipment with all necessary ancillaries. It all makes to an active but stress free holiday.

Reviewed by Mr Dale on 10/09/2015

*****
Fantastic. The whole experience was wonderful. Travel was smooth - the 'local reps (Keith and Claire) were lovely, informed, committed and really, really nice couple. The itinerary was easy to follow and worked very well. Food superb and hotels great. thank you

Reviewed by Mr Crockford on 17/08/2015

*****
A brilliant and well thought out holiday, with super routes and excellent hotels - well worth adding extra days to.

Reviewed by Mr Wilson on 11/08/2015

*****
An excellent family activity holiday with a lovely range of hotels and universally excellent food. Chateau de Monrecour was a particular highlight. Look at the cycling routes carefully and plan the day especially with regard to food stops and water refills.

Reviewed by Mrs Middleton on 10/08/2015

***#.
The holiday offered varied activities which were not too strenuous, although you needed some degree of fitness to enjoy them. The support offered by the local reps was excellent as was the food at the various hotels.

Reviewed by Mr Robertson on 03/08/2015

*****
Excellent Holiday with easy walking and kayaking

Reviewed by Dr McGeorge on 30/07/2015

*****
A wonderfully relaxing holiday featuring the opportunity to mix a range of outdoor activities in a beautiful part of France with the chance to explore its towns, villages, sights and cuisine.

Departure dates & prices

June 2016 departuresTour only 
Jun 2$1950
Jun 4$1950
Jun 6$1950
Jun 8$1950
Jun 10$1950
Jun 12$1950
Jun 14$2003
Jun 16$2003
Jun 18$2003
Jun 20$2003
Jun 22$2003
Jun 24$2003
Jun 26$2003
Jun 28$2003
Jun 30$2003
July 2016 departuresTour only 
Jul 2$2072
Jul 4$2072
Jul 6$2072
Jul 8$2072
Jul 10$2072
Jul 12$2072
Jul 14$2137
Jul 16$2137
Jul 18$2137
Jul 20$2137
Jul 22$2137
Jul 24$2137
Jul 26$2137
Jul 28$2137
Jul 30$2137
August 2016 departuresTour only 
Aug 1$2137
Aug 3$2137
Aug 5$2137
Aug 7$2137
Aug 9$2137
Aug 11$2137
Aug 13$2137
Aug 15$2137
Aug 17$2137
Aug 19$2137
Aug 21$2137
Aug 23$2137
Aug 25$2137
Aug 27$2137
Aug 29$2137
Aug 31$2137
September 2016 departuresTour only 
Sep 2$2072
Sep 4$2072
Sep 6$2072

Holiday details

Holiday type

Independent multi-activity holiday, hotel-to-hotel. Managed locally by Headwater employed rep.

Departures

every 2 days from 2 Jun '16 to 6 Sep '16, for 9 days (8 nights). This holiday departs every 2 days, however non-standard arrivals and altered itineraries may be possible - please call for prices. If extra nights are required during the holiday, it is recommended to have 2 nights at a time. This will ensure Headwater's reps can transfer luggage.

Meals

All continental breakfasts and evening meals included.

Other details

Please see our Planning your holiday and What's included in the price? pages for additional information. Please call us for single room supplements, room upgrade options and child prices.

Starting your tour

Transfers included from Souillac train station at 16:47 Mon-Thurs & Sat, 15:25 Fri and 15:29 Sun and back to Souillac train station at 12:45 Mon-Fri, 11:45 Sun and back to Brive at 10:45 Sat.

Enquire about this holiday

Simply complete the form below and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and additional information.

We'd like to keep you informed of our latest news and special offers. Please tick here if you'd rather not receive our free e-newsletter.
We can call you when it's most convenient for you, or contact you by email if you'd prefer. Morning calls will be between 9:00-13:00, afternoon calls between 13:00-17:00, and evening calls after 17:00.
Let us know any queries you might have about departure dates, similar holidays or tailor-made options.

 

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  • Relaxed activity holidays since 1985

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