Hiking, riding, cycling
Push your limits by taking advantage of the Dordogne’s thousands of kilometres of marked trails, covering everything from simple family walks to more advanced hikes. Enjoy rural charm on the greenways in Sarlat and Périgueux, ideal for bike or horseback rides. Take your time and pause to admire the wonderful landscapes – near Sarlat there’s a magnificent view of a viaduct.
The annual ‘Randonnée en Fête’ offers guided hikes all over the département, some encompassing typical Périgord villages, and some with a foodie theme. There’s no risk of getting lost thanks to excellent maps available from all tourist offices. For nearly 400,000 years, the Dordogne has seen generations of hunters, hikers and pilgrims pass... For your encounter with nature, history, culture, and rural and built heritage, the Périgord provides 1,130km of long-distance footpaths (GR) and 7,000km of short-distance footpaths (PDIPR). On the Compostella route, 200km of the GR 654, marked in white and red, cross the Dordogne from north to south, through the towns of La Coquille, Thiviers, Sorges, Périgueux, Bergerac and Monbazillac.
Cultural hike: in the footsteps of Harrison Barker: This new 80km walk with a focus on local history transports ramblers on a journey to the heart of the Dordogne valley, famous for its wolves, old wash-houses and traditional gabarre boats. This 3 to 5-day hike has been created from texts written by the 19th century English journalist and traveler Edward Harrison Barker, who chronicled his travels in great detail. Thanks to the waymarked “Chemin de terre et d’eau” trail, visitors can journey back in time through the Périgord on foot and by canoe in the footsteps of this 19th traveller.
5 days of hikimg in the footsteps of Harrison Barker
From Périgueux (Trélissac) to the border with the Gironde (Le Pizou), the Véloroute Voie Verte offers over 100km of trails for individual cyclists, roller-bladers and families to enjoy. It’s dotted with rest and play areas as well as impressive footbridges spanning the River Isle. Along the route, visitors can admire superb landscapes, unspoilt nature, historic sites (castles, charterhouses, churches and abbeys) in addition to sampling the best of Périgord’s gastronomy. In the near future, the route will become part of the major trans-European trail, the Véloroute Voie Verte “V90”, passing through the centre of France and extending via the Dordogne to the Aquitaine’s Atlantic beaches.
A region of rivers and streams, the Dordogne is the ideal place to enjoy all water activities – and France’s leading département for recreational canoeing. With the only 4-seater family canoes on the market (the famous C4 canoes) available on the Dordogne, Vézère and Dronne rivers, visitors can explore the delightful valleys of the Périgord (the “Vallées de la Préhistoire” and the “Vallée des Châteaux”) from spring all the way through to the autumn. Over 5,400 canoes are available for hire.
The Dordogne’s traditional flat-bottomed boats offer you typical cruises to discover the chateaux and the Périgord landscape from the river. An original and poetic way to discover the wonders of the region, flowing with the current. There are also numerous lakes, perfect for a refreshing dip. The Étang de la Jemaye in the Forêt de la Double, the Plan de Saint-Estèphe in the north of the département, and the Base de Loisirs de Rouffiac are all owned by the Conseil Général (County Council), which ensures that they are open to the public free of charge throughout the year. In summer, lifeguards are on duty and an array of sports and leisure activities are on offer. In addition, a sailing club located at the end of the Trémolat meander (‘cingle’) at Mauzac-et-Grand-Castang offers a variety of courses for beginners.
Whether you live for the game or indulge in a casual tee-off, a golf stay in the Dordogne is the ideal chance to practice your swing! The Dordogne has eight golf courses – four 18-hole (or more) and three 9-hole courses – giving golfers of all levels the possibility to enjoy their passion for the little white ball. Their pride and joy are their courses set in both natural, untamed surroundings, or near well-known tourist sites.
Golf 27 holes of Chateau des Vigiers in Monestier – www.vigiers.com
Golf 18 holes of Périgueux in Marsac – www.golfdeperigueux.com
Golf 18 holes of la Marterie in St Félix de Reilhac – marterie.bluegreen.com/en
Golf 18 holes of Lolivarie in Siorac- en- Périgord – www.lolivariegolfclub.com
Golf 9 holes of Club Château Les Merles in Mouleydier – www.lesmerles.com
Golf 9 holes of Essendieras in Saint Médard d’Excideuil – www.essendieras.com
Golf 9 holes of la Forge in Siorac-en-Périgord – www.golfdelaforge.fr
Golf 9 holes of Genet in Saint Barthelemy de Bussière – golf-du-genet.business.site
Stopping points and places of interest along the route
• Domaine Huso, the caviar farm in Neuvic-sur-l’Isle
• Moulin de la Veyssière in Neuvic-sur-L’Isle
A 16th-century water mill where walnut and hazelnut oil are produced by the Elias family using traditional methods.
www.moulindelaveyssiere.fr (French only)
Accommodation along the route
• Annesse-et-Beaulieu: Château de Lalande, a 4-star hotel-restaurant
• Pont Saint-Mamet, Douville: Camping Lestaubière, a 3-star campsite
• Saint-Front-de-Pradoux: Château la Thuilière B&B
Sporting events for your diary
• March: Marathon des Forts du Périgord (http://mdf2018.ikinoa.com/)
• April: 100km de Belvès (http://www.clubathletiquebelvesois.fr/en/)
• May/June: Val Natura, a hiking trail for seniors with a focus on nature and culture
• September: the Dordogne-Périgord marathon by canoe and kayak
• October: Vélosilex de Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère (mountain biking and hiking) (http://velosilex.com)
• October: La Ronde des Villages in Salignac-Eyvigues (www.larondedesvillages.com)
• October (last Sunday of the month): Rand’Auvézère in Genis (https://fr-fr.facebook.com/paysdauvezere)
Find out more:
- Canoes in the Dordogne (French only)