Home > From Sarlat to Cahors: Biking Along the Dordogne and Lot Rivers
From Sarlat in the heart of Périgord to Cahors, the capital of Lot, every day you cycle along the Dordogne and Lot Rivers is certain to delight. Some of the best-preserved prehistoric cave paintings can be found in Périgord, and some are still open to the public! We suggest you set aside time to visit Pech-Merle, an art gallery featuring 25,000-year-old masterpieces! More “recent” marvels include Sarlat, one of Europe’s largest medieval cities; the Causses of Quercy, and innumerable castles.
Cyclists who fancy themselves gourmets — and even those who don’t! — will be treated to nightly feasts highlighting some of France’s most celebrated cuisine. This is the land of duck and goose dishes, of foie gras and truffles, of rich Cahors wine and walnut-based liqueurs. Don’t worry about over-indulging — this is your vacation, and with easy rides on quiet back roads, you can enjoy everything at your own pace.
For travel and cycling tips to Dordogne, visit our "Travel and cycling tips" section.
is easily accessible from Paris, Bordeaux, and Toulouse, or by car. However you get there, our wonderful local representative will greet you and prepare you for the journey ahead.
If you arrive on a Saturday, you may wish to stop at the town market and select supplies for a picnic lunch or at least a snack. Each opportunity to try local food is one you should take! We recommend allowing yourself some time to explore the city center.
Today's treat is a wonderful ride along the Dordogne River. Breathtaking sights abound, so you’ll want to stop and catch your breath, along with a few photos!
At every turn, a castle comes into sight: Chateau de Montfort, Chateau de Fenelon and more, as well as many Roman churches of interest. If you choose to do the longer route option, you’ll also get to visit two of France’s most beautiful villages: La Roque-Gageac and Beynac et Cazenac, with its own medieval Chateau de Beynac.
You will soon reach Souillac, home to a grand abbey. Périgord Noir will be at your back and Lot stretching ahead of you. Tonight, you’ll have yet another opportunity to relish the local gastronomy.
Pedal to the Parc Naturel des Causses du Quercy (Regional Park of Quercy - the causses are limestone plateaus), where the scenery and architecture are very different than anything you've seen so far.
Quaint castles and caves are welcome stops (Grottes de Lacave, for example) before climbing to Rocamadour, one of France's most beautiful towns. Words and pictures cannot do justice, so you must simply see it for yourself.
If you choose to extend your day’s ride, a longer option follows the Dordogne River on its northward bend from Lacave, where you'll cycle along peaceful back-roads through lush woods and charming villages like Floirac and Carennac in the gorgeous countryside.
On the Gramat plateau, the small, quaint villages may elicit a gasp. There’s lovely Thegra and its many-turreted Chateau; Padirac and its incredible chasm and cave; and of course Gramat itself, picturesque “Capital of the Causse”.
You’ll see more trees than cars as you wind through this beautiful and tranquil area. After a final stretch of uphill, you’ll find yourself in Labastide-Murat, just in time for another fabulous dinner.
Revel in more diverse scenery as you approach Saint-Cirq-Lapopie. Cycle through the “enchanted” forested region of Ségala, criss-crossed by numerous rivers.
The rich heritage is sure to astound you: Roman churches, mills, and barns cover the countryside, and towns like Bannes, Leyme, or fortified Lacapelle-Marival call for a stop. Saint-Cirq-Lapopie will be your home for the night.
Let the alluring Lot River put you completely at ease today and follow a leisurely or more challenging route to a state of total contentment! Take it all in from the seat of your bike, and revel in the landscapes that seem untouched by time. The rural village of Sauliac-sur-Célé, the Château de Cénevières, and the fabulous cave of Pech-Merle are among the highlights of today’s loop ride.
By the time you’ve finished dinner, you’ll be convinced you’ve found the secret to happiness.
For your last day of riding, you can either take the direct route to Cahors or spend more time in the serenity of Quercy before reaching your destination...it’s up to you! As you approach Cahors, the scenery will give off a certain southern French air. Cahors is known for its wine, so, naturally, you’ll find yourself among rows of vineyards.
Whether this medieval city is your favorite of all you’ve visited remains to be seen, but none of them can lay claim to the “Devil’s Bridge,” better known as Valentré Bridge, a fortified footbridge with an intriguing legend…
After breakfast, depart Cahors at the time of your choice
4 nights in 3-star hotels and 3 nights in 2-star properties of character