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  • 7 Night Route

    Price: from £1025
  • 6 Night Route

    Price: from £930
  • 5 Night Route

    Price: from £835
  • 4 Night Route

    Price: from £780

Classic France in the beautiful Dordogne valley

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Beautiful Beaulieu on the serene Dordogne

Beautiful Beaulieu on the serene Dordogne

Rocamadour, clinging to the limestone cliffs

Rocamadour, clinging to the limestone cliffs

A sleepy afternoon in Autoire

A sleepy afternoon in Autoire

A pretty country track

A pretty country track



Mist in the valley

Mist in the valley

Loubressac, one of the 'plus beaux villages'

Loubressac, one of the 'plus beaux villages'

The imposing fortress of Castelnau-Bretenoux

The imposing fortress of Castelnau-Bretenoux

The Dordogne at Meyronne

The Dordogne at Meyronne

Cliff-top chateau at Belcastel

Cliff-top chateau at Belcastel

Price: from £1025
Nights: 7
Walk: 3-5½ hr/day

Travellers Blog

The reticent river – Richard Mellor goes looking for the Dordogne

Wednesday 10th July | Posted by On Foot Staff

The reticent river – Richard Mellor goes looking for the Dordogne view article

Beautiful scenery ...

... the walnut groves, the waterfall at Autoire, the Chateau de Castelnau, the first sight of Rocamadour.

Interesting, comfortable accommodation. Some great food - eg at Carennac, Gerard's goat's cheese and pesto risotto followed by raspberry tart!

Alison Shield, West Footscray, Australia - October 2019

What we liked most was the wonderful walking - one of the best On Foot holidays we've enjoyed in this respect - because nearly all the walking was on footpaths and very little on roads, and the countryside was quite beautiful. As an added bonus, it being autumn, the fruit was literally dropping off the trees - apples, plums and we sated ourselves on ripe figs!

The distances each day and the balance between easy, medium and slightly harder were well explained and easily managed (given that we are probably rather older than the average On Footer).

Jane Irons, Lewes, UK - September 2019

The walking route was terrific. It was varied in the terrain and in the vegetation we passed through. The Hotel Pont de l'Ouysse provided the perfect end to our holiday. The setting was beyond beautiful and the meal was fabulous.

Our holiday with On Foot was much more than we ever expected. Thank you.

Rob and Daveda Foster, Sunshine Coast, Canada - September 2019

We enjoyed the walk immensely. The little villages we visited were beautiful and the walking route full of interest and variability. The route guide was excellent.

Laurie Curran, Australia - September 2019

We wanted to travel in Dordogne region because of its rich history, beautiful nature and famous gastronomy.

After the hike we had an opportunity to hire a car and see many small towns in the area. We also visited the Lascaux Cave - that was a big bonus.

Vladimir and Nadya Lumelsky, Washington DC, USA - September 2019

We thoroughly enjoyed our experience of walking in the Dordogne region. We love to walk and this region is glorious.

The On Foot office service is superb. Responses are accurate, timely, and friendly. People are clearly eager to communicate well, and attention to detail is excellent. Writing is clear and thorough. We made use of two taxis arranged by the On Foot office staff, and those arrangements worked flawlessly. We really appreciate all that you did for us.

Jack and Pat Roundy, Tacoma, USA - May 2019

Absolutely outstanding holiday - thank you!

The quality of the materials we were sent for the walk was fantastic, the maps and clear instructions took out any frustration or concerns about getting lost. Emily as our point of contact was great, well done her for such an enjoyable, well varied walk.

Tracy Refson, Wells, UK - May 2019

More independent feedback
Self-guided walking holiday in the Dordogne (7 night) with On Foot Holidays

At a glance

Dordogne 7-night version (the full walk). Add extra nights in Beaulieu, Carennac, Meyronne, or Rocamadour.

How much walking?

Full days: 12-22½km per day, 3-5½ hrs walking
Using shortening options: 8-14km per day, 1½-3½ hrs walking

Max. Grade:

Hills and valleys, vineyards, bridges and chateaux

The River Dordogne, beloved of travellers for decades, courses its way from the Massif Central to the Atlantic at Bordeaux, and passes through some of the most beautiful countryside in France. Each section has its own character, but the stretch we have chosen reflects that variety, giving the walker a taste of the Middle Dordogne landscape in all its forms.

From the start at Beaulieu, where the wide river flows gently through the water meadows outside the old town, our route climbs into the hills above, with fine views and bucolic countryside on each of the first four walking days. You’ll then head over the limestone causse to the historic and dramatic pilgrimage centre of Rocamadour. The final day, should you choose to do it, takes you along the steep-sided valley of the river Ouysse, a tributary of the Dordogne, to Belcastel and the possibility of a late lunch at a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Stay in traditional inns and small hotels, many of them riverside, including a former château. And being France, the food is exceptional, with a lot of local specialities. The wines from the area are gaining a reputation too, and are worth exploring!

The walking is graded medium, but with built-in shortening options for those who would like to walk the route at a more leisurely pace.

Walked by On Foot staff: Simon and Debbie

REVIEWS: For independent walker reviews of this route submitted to the Association of Independent Tour Operators visit

ARTICLES: Read an article about On Foot’s Dordogne holiday on our blog here.

TRAVEL ADVICE: To find the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for UK citizens travelling to France, click here. Citizens of other nations will also find it useful, but should always check their appropriate local agency.

COVID-19 SAFETY PRECAUTIONS: Please read our summary of current regulations.

Route Highlights

  • The limpid waters of the Dordogne middle reaches
  • Castelnau castle
  • The Autoire waterfall and clifftop walk
  • Medieval fortified villages
  • Walking across the Causse
  • The sanctuary of Rocamadour
  • The valley of the Ouysse

This route features the following characteristics and interests: Villages and farms, Drive to route, Food, History

We Recommend

Extra nights in Beaulieu, Carennac, Meyronne and Rocamadour.

Eating and drinking

While the general standard of meals throughout the route is good, special mention should be made of the dinners provided by our hosts at Carennac (Petite Auberge) and Meyronne (La Terrasse) and, if your itinerary includes it (6- and 7-night routes only), the possibility of lunch at a starred Michelin restaurant in Belcastel.

How much Walking?

Full days: 12-22½km per day, 3-5½ hrs walking
Using shortening options: 8-14km per day, 1½-3½ hrs walking

The first day is not waymarked, so particularly careful attention to the route directions is required; less so on other days.  The paths are generally in good condition.

Medium: Average cumulative uphill stretches (CUSs) 500m (220m-745m) per day.

Easy-Medium: CUSs 350m (150m-425 m) per day using taxi shortening options (pay locally) most days.

GPX file available for handheld GPS or smartphone App for complete route.

Important note: Times given for each day are  walking times for an “average” walker and exclude stops. “CUSs” stands for “Cumulative Uphill Stretches” and measures the aggregated ascents in each day, expressed in metres of climb. See “Walk Grading” for more information.


When to go?

The best months to walk: April, May, June, September, October

Other possible months: early July, August (very end)

Enjoy the Dordogne in April, May and June for the spring flowers and in September and October for the golden autumn warmth. Route not available between mid-July and late August.  Please note that stays in Port de Gagnac are not possible on a Sunday night.

Please note: date ranges shown are for a ‘normal’ year. While Covid-19 restrictions remain, please contact us to discuss your plans and availability.

Start Dates


Weather Chart


Temperature and rainfall in Rocamadour


About the Route

Day 1 - Arrival day

Arrive and settle into your accommodation.  Wander around the town to check out a restaurant for the evening, and perhaps enjoy an aperitif ...

Day 2 - Beaulieu to Port de Gagnac

This first, relatively easy day takes you across the river to the hills above Beaulieu, then across pretty countryside and through remote hamlets before descending to the River Cère at Port de Gagnac for your second overnight stop. (Easy medium3hrs, 12km, CUSs 400m)

Alternative:  None – except to ride with the luggage.

Day 3 - Port de Gagnac to Autoire (or Loubressac)

A delightful day visiting the village of Glanes, walking through the vineyards of the Coteaux de Glanes and up to the majestic castle of Castelnau (we recommend delaying your start if you want to catch the opening times – see below), before winding along the Autoire valley to its eponymous historic village and your next accommodation in a traditional inn. (Easy-medium: 4¼ hrs, 18km, CUSs 430m)  (If our accommodation in Autoire is fully booked, we will book our simple hotel in Loubressac, which adds another 1.5 hrs to your day … but of course that makes the next day’s walk 1.5 hours shorter!)

Alternative:  Ride with the luggage to Castelnau (saving 2¾ hrs) – €15 supplement payable direct to driver.

Day 4 - Autoire (or Loubressac) to Carennac

Today’s scenic walk takes you to a dramatic waterfall, then out of the Autoire valley and up to a fine clifftop walk before descending to the pretty and historic village of Loubressac, which demands a ramble around the old part before continuing on (perhaps after a coffee at the Lou Cantou restaurant).  The second part takes you through pretty countryside with views out over the Dordogne valley, to the lovely village of Gintrac, before a final ascent and then descent to Romanesque Carennac. (Medium-hard: 4½ hrs, 16¼ km, CUSs 745m)

Alternatives: Either travel with the luggage as far as Loubressac (supplement of €15) (thereby missing the cascade, but also a steep climb up!) or all the way to Carennac.

Day 5 - Carennac to Meyronne

A long (if done in full), beautifully varied day starting and ending with two very different aspects of the Dordogne, and leading through woods and wide-open countryside, over some limestone plateau and into small villages.  There’s a lot of ground to cover, but there’s also a lot of opportunity for striding out over easy paths and tracks. (Medium-hard: 5½hrs, 22½km, CUSs 735m)

Alternatives: Lift with the luggage to Floirac (saving 2¼ hrs) or even Montvalent (saving 4 hrs). Supplement of €15 payable to the driver.

Day 6 - Meyronne to Rocamadour

An easier day largely through remote farmland on the Causse, belying the busyness of your destination – the tourist hub that is Rocamadour. The village’s dramatic setting grew up around a shrine to a black Madonna, and is now one of France’s “Grand Sites”, visited by pilgrims and travellers alike. (Easy-medium: 3¼hrs, 13¾km, CUSs 425m)

Alternatives: none except to travel with the luggage all the way.

Day 7 - Circuit from Rocamadour to Belcastel

Today you have a choice: a walk to Belcastel – an easy valley route, or an upper route of ups and downs, some steep, but nothing too long, with wide views at the top before a descent on quiet asphalt to the still-working Moulin de Cagnaguet, where it meets the valley route to wind alongside the river to Belcastel (for a late lunch – not Monday or Tuesday – at the Michelin-starred Hotel Pont de l’Ouysse perhaps).  Return via the valley route, or take a taxi back for a second night in Rocamadour. The other option is obviously to spend the day exploring the extraordinary site of Rocamadour! (Valley: Easy– 3hrs, 13¼kms, CUSs 220m; Upper: Easy-medium– 3½hrs, 14km, CUSs 420m)

Departure from Rocamadour

Leave for home – or have another night to explore the village.

Travel Information


Three airports serve the route – Brive is the nearest, but quite seasonal; Bergerac, a little further, is also quite seasonal, and will need a taxi transfer all the way (it’s not a cheap option); Toulouse is the furthest, but may have the best choice of flights.  Alternatively fly into one of the Paris airports and take the train as far as Brive la Gaillarde, where our taxi will pick you up.  Intercontinental journeys use Paris.

Land by: Toulouse 15:00; Bergerac no limit – taxi needed all the way; Brive no limit – supplement needed for taxi extension from airport.

Return flight earliest (for public transport options):  Toulouse 12:00 (with very early start from Rocamadour); Bergerac no limit – taxi needed all the way;  Brive no limit – supplement needed for taxi extension to airport.

No limit if opting to take a taxi all the way.

Flight information can change rapidly and not all flights run daily. Please do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner (see below) before finalising any booking with us. Do not book your flights until we have confirmed that we have provisionally reserved accommodation for you.

For up-to-date schedules and flights from all airports check Skyscanner.

See “Getting to the start of the walk” below for transfer information.


Nearest railway station:

Start: Bretenoux-Biars (nearest, but limited number of trains, so the holiday cost includes a taxi from Brive).
Finish: Souillac – holiday cost includes taxi from Rocamadour (or Meyronne) to Souillac station)

Sample journey by rail:

Via Paris: Gare d’Austerlitz to Brive ~4½ hrs

Souillac to Paris: direct to Paris ~5 hrs

We suggest for times, ticket booking and other information.


Leave your car at the start of the route in a public car park in Beaulieu (no charge).  Taxi back at end.


Getting to the start of the walk

The first hotel is in Beaulieu, and the last in Rocamadour, or Meyronne for shorter versions.  Transfer times and methods are suggested for the three nearest airports below.  For train arrival transfers see below.


Outward: Pre-booked taxi from airport to Beaulieu (included).
Return: Pre booked taxi (included) to Souillac (15 mins), train to Brive (30 mins), taxi off train station rank to airport – allow 1-1½ hours.


Needs taxi all the way in both directions.


Outward: shuttle bus to main station, train to Brive, pre booked taxi from there to Beaulieu.
Return: pre-booked taxi Rocamadour to Souillac station (included); train to Toulouse; shuttle bus to airport – allow 3 hours.


Transfers from train stations:
Outward:  Pre-booked taxi from agreed arrival point (supplement for stations other than Brive)
Return: Taxi to Souillac station (included).

Full transfer advice, including timetables, is provided in your Walkers’ Pack.  Contact us if you would like additional pre-booking information. For pre-bookable taxi prices see “Prices”.

Where You'll Stay

The Dordogne is a popular holiday destination, and as such, there is a good variety of hotels and B&Bs – some very simple, such as those at Port de Gagnac and Autoire/Loubressac, others more sophisticated, such as that in Meyronne. Do consider an upgrade in Beaulieu or Rocamadour, or perhaps upgrade to a tower room or suite in Meyronne.

All accommodations have ensuite bathrooms and WiFi.  Only Le Turenne (upgrade) in Beaulieu, La Terrasse in Meyronne, and the Beau Site (upgrade) in Rocamadour have aircon.

Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne – Hôtel Les Flots Bleus (B&B)

Night 1

Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne – Hôtel Les Flots Bleus (B&B)

Small riverside hotel with comfortable rooms and terrace restaurant.

Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne – Hôtel Le Turenne (B&B)

Night 1 (Upgrade)

Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne – Hôtel Le Turenne (B&B)

Chic modernity in a lovely old townhouse.

Port de Gagnac – Auberge du Vieux Port (dinner, B&B)

Night 2

Port de Gagnac – Auberge du Vieux Port (dinner, B&B)

Charming family-run hotel on the riverside. Restaurant boasting local specialities.

Autoire – Auberge de la Fontaine (B&B)

Night 3

Autoire – Auberge de la Fontaine (B&B)

Renovated 18th century house in a historic village.

Meyronne – La Terrasse (dinner, B&B)

Night 5

Meyronne – La Terrasse (dinner, B&B)

A touch of glamour at this riverside castle with pool.

Rocamadour – Le Terminus des Pélerins (B&B)

Night 6 & 7

Rocamadour – Le Terminus des Pélerins (B&B)

In the heart of the medieval town. Small rooms.

Rocamadour – Hôtel Beau Site (B&B)

Night 6 & 7 (Upgrade)

Rocamadour – Hôtel Beau Site (B&B)

19th century house tucked below the cliff, with a panoramic view.


Price: from £1025 for 7 nights

Total 7 nights in double/twin room, all breakfasts, 3 picnics and 3 evening meals, luggage transfers between all hotels on walking route; taxi from Brive railway station at start to Beaulieu, and from Rocamadour to Souillac railway station at end; full Walkers Pack with route directions, maps, transfer and background information; local telephone support.

All prices are per person unless otherwise indicated, and are based on a standard booking in May. Prices may vary seasonally and a fixed price will be given to you before you commit.

Single Room Supplement (SRS): From £275
Lone Traveller Additional Supplement (LTAS): From £260
Large Party Saving (LPS): Groups of more than 2 people (on an identical itinerary, on the same booking and booked at the same time) – discount of at least £50 per person.
Maximum party size: 10


Add Ons

Extra nights possible throughout the route: Contact On Foot for ideas and prices

Pre-booked taxisa taxi from Brive railway station to Beaulieu sur Dordogne and from your final hotel back to Souillac railway station is included in your holiday price – if you would like to come from or go back to another town, ask us for a quote.

Arrange locally: Local taxi as required

Sending Walkers Packs to addresses outside the UK:  £10-£40 (per pack, location dependent)

Reserve your dates Add to shortlist
Emily Stokely

Our local team

Emily Stokely

This particular part of France has been part of Emily’s life since she was a little girl holidaying here with her parents. It was one of the first places she visited after meeting Jeremy and as keen outdoors enthusiasts, they spent many subsequent holidays discovering the area on foot and by bicycle. In 2005 they decided to move here with their young family in order to build a house, and now live in the hills above Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne where they run a small business managing holiday houses.

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