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          Mindfulness Tours Presents: 

GUIDED CYCLING TOUR IN DORDOGNE & LOT RIVER AREAS IN FRANCE  

11 Days & 10 Nights in September 2021 or June 2022 or September 2022 

  
 Note:  France is currently locked down due to Covid restrictions to all non European Union persons. It is expected to open before September 2021. However, if not, you can choose from either the June 2022 or the September 2022 option.  

    This unique tour combines 3 of the most wonderful cycle areas anywhere:  First the Val de Dronne in Northern Dordogne Department. Then the heart of pre-history Dordogne, the Val de Vezere. Then the heart of the Mediaeval areas, the Val de Dordogne & Val de Lot.  We connect these 3 areas by van shuttle to eliminate the less attractive cycling areas. We will stay in small family run, historic hotels, plus 2 Chateaux. If 11 days is too long, the tour can start at any of the 3 areas, and end after completing completing any area, with price reduced accordingly. It is summarized in Pricing below, although we recommend the complete 11 Days. Oh, did I mention the food? The Cuisine in the Dordogne (which the French invariably refer to as the Perigord when speaking of gastronomy) is one of France’s culinary jewels. For centuries the region has been synonymous with delicacies such as truffles, foie gras and confits. Sit down to a traditional meal here and you may never want to eat any other way again.
    The complete tour starts on a Friday and ends on a Sunday. We begin in the Val de Dronne in the northern Dordogne where there is less traffic and wonderful country roads and small villages. This is the area where I had a home for 19 years and I will lead you on this wonderful cycling adventure. After 3 days in the Dronne we will transfer to the heart of the Dordogne in Les Eyzies, the Prehistory Capital of Europe for 3 days and visit 2 new sites, Lascaux 4 and Abri de Cro-Magnon, the National Museo of Pre-History, as well as the Le Bugue Market. More wonderful cycling. Then we head to the Val de Dordogne for 2 nights in Vezac and Meyronne, one night each with wonderful food and an amazing number of magnificent mediaeval sites. Then we transfer to the Cele' River & Lot River Valleys and ride to St Cirq-Lapopie via Rocamadour for 1 night, following the Cele' River Valley and Lot River Valley. Magnificent cycling. For our final night we cycle through the beautiful small city of Cahors, through the Cahors Wine Region, to Chateaux Mercues. A magnificent cliff top wine chateaux with a Michelin Star Chef for our final night.

    Dates are: September 17 - 27, 2021; or June 17 - 27, 2022; or September 9 - 19. 2022.

DAILY ITINERARY 

Day 1 Friday:  Perigueux to Bourdeilles

   You arrive by train from Paris in Perigueux, the beautiful capital of the Dordogne. We pick you up at the train depot and van you to the Val de Dronne and beautiful historic village of Bourdeilles. Our lovely hotel sits right on the banks of the Dronne River and is known for its wonderful food. We will have time to fit your rental bikes, road, hybrid or electric assist hybrid. You can then explore the small village on the bike or on foot. Our hotel is in the shadow of the Fortress Chateau. You will have your own Michelin Green Guide to explain all the wonderful history of the area. Welcome dinner is included at our hotel this evening.

Day 2 Saturday:  Loop Ride to Brantome 
   After breakfast we depart across a beautiful 1 lane stone bridge and head upriver to the lovely Island village of Brantome. We are on small country roads with little traffic that parallel the Dronne. Lunch is on your own in the village, many wonderful choices, several on the banks of the Dronne. There is a beautiful Abbey founded in 769 to visit. Part of it is built into the cliffs along the river as is the parking garage of Moulin de Abbey Hotel. Great shopping here ladies as well. You can choose to return anytime to Bourdeilles and ex-lore the fortress and chateau.  There are always cycling options to add to the days ride for those that want more miles and plenty of climbing if desired. 25 - 50km.  Dinner is on your own in the village tonight.  

Day 3 Sunday: Loop Ride to Montagrier.
   We cycle down the Dronne and back on country roads to Grand Brassac to see a historic fortified Church. Then on to Montagrier, Dick's former home, for lunch on the village square. Then down to the river at Moulin de Pont for a visit. Then back along the Dronne via Lisle to Bourdeilles and another dinner at our hotel. Some of my favorite cycling routes anywhere. 50km and hills. Again there are great options to add more cycling. 

Day 4 Monday: Moving day and Market Day.

   You can bike or van to Tocane along the river to the Monday Market in Tocane. We will all lunch at my favorite, Cafe Rouge, in the heart of the market. We then van to  Perigueux to visit Musee Gallo-Roman***  Then on to  Les Eyzies on the Vezere River to our Hotel. Right next door is Abri de Cro-Magnon to visit. Then a walk through town looking for the best place for dinner, which is on your own tonight.  20km of cycling in morning.

Day 5 TuesdayLe Bugue Market & Loop Ride & Pre-History Museum 

   We cycle to Market Day in nearby Le Bugue, a lovely ride on the north bank of the Vezere River. Then return on the South side coming back to Les Eyzies. Then a visit to the National Mueseo of Pre-History, a must see to really appreciate what you will be experiencing in the Valley of Man tomorrow. Dinner is included at our hotel tonight.  24km. 

Day 6 Wednesday: Upper Val de Vezere

   We head out of Les Eyzies early toward Montignac and up a big hill and back down to the Vezere river and a visit to a Goose farm at Tursac. Then on to Reignac, a fortress built into the side of the cliffs. Then on to La Roque St. Christophe , an ancient town built built in the cliff high above the Vezere River. The onto St. Leon sur Vezere, a possible lunch stop. We then hot foot it to Montignac and Lascaux 4, the new amazing copy of the original cave and it's ancient cave paintings.  We then race down the Vezere back to our hotel and another gourmet dinner included tonight. 60km. A very full day.

Day 7 Thursday: Les Eyzies to Vezac.

   Todays ride to our next hotel in Vezac is not long, but there is so much to see. Michelin rates the Dordogne River Valley*** , "Worth A Journey." We depart Les Eyzies up over a beautiful ridge on a small road, visiting an art studio or two if desired, then down to St-Cyprien and the Dordogne River. Then we cross the Dordogne and ride lovely back roads to the magnificent Chateau Des Milandes*, former home of infamous American performer Josephine Baker. If timing is right there is a wonderful Falconry show as well. It is a good place for a snack lunch. Then continue along the south bank of the Dordogne and soon your first sighting of Chateau Beynac** across the river comes into view. Continue along the river through Walnut Groves to Castelnaud**, high above you. It has an amazing siege weapons collection, always popular with the men. A great snack bar and small grocery at the foot of the village and a Post Office as well. Then across the Dordogne to Vezac and our lovely country hotel. Dinner is included tonight and the husband wife team are excellent cooks! If early enough, you can cycle to  Beynac** for a quick visit. 30km.

Day 8 Friday: Vezac to Meyronne
    There is much to see again today as you ride up the Dordogne Valley*** into the Lot Department. You can start with a visit to La Roque-Gageac**, a beautiful village you pass through.  Then climb up to Domme**, a Bastide Village, with a magnificent *** view of the river valley, not to be missed. Then back along the river passing Chateau du Montfort*, Cingle du Montfort* and wonderful riding following the Dordogne to Souillac, a great shopping town. Then along small roads to Grottes de La Cave, if time allows, worth a visit. Also snacks just across the street. Then a short ride to your Chateau Hotel overlooking the river and a wonderful dinner included. 50+km  

Day 9: Saturday: Meyronne to St.Cirq-Lapopie
    There are 3 ride options today. If you want to visit Rocamadour and/or Gouffe de Padirac, and ride all the way to St. Cirq, it is over 100 tough km. You might make it by dark if you don’t visit the sites along the way. Instead we suggest using the vans to Rocamadour overlook and take photos. Skip Gouffre de Padirac, and van to Figeac, then ride down the Cele' to the Lot, then up to St. Cirq-Lapopie. One of the best rides anywhere!  Dinner is on your own tonight. Our small hotel s restaurant is excellent, and there are other less expensive options in the  village. It is an artists & shoppers paradise. 48 near level km with 2km climb to village and hotel.

Day 10: Sunday: St- Cirq-Lapopie to Chateau Mercues via Cahors. 
    It is a lovely ride down the Lot Valley and into Cahors. You ride by their famous Cathedral and across town to the famous ancient bridge across the Lot and into the beautiful Cahors Wine Region. You pass through the village of Mercues and finish your day with a steep climb up to the beautiful Chateau Mercues. It looks out over the Lot Valley and is a wonderful place to finish our tour with a Michelin Star dinner tonight. It is also a winery. 55km.

Day 11: Monday: Departure from Cahors Gare
   We will load you all up and take you to the Gare in Cahors for your TGV to Paris or where ever you want to go.  Bonne Voyage 

Pricing & Options:

~ Option 1: 11 Days & 10 Nights: The Complete Tour beginning in Perigueux and ending in Cahors.  $3690 per person, Double Occupancy. Single supplement is $1000 for single room. 7 dinners, 10 breakfasts & 1 Lunch are included.

~ Option 2: 8 Days & 7 Nights: Begin in Val de Vezere at Les Eyzies Gare, end in Mercues. $2990 per person, Double Occupancy. Plus $900 single room. 5 Dinners, 7 Breakfasts are included.

~Option 3: 5 Days, 4 Nights: Begin in Val de Dordogne, Beynac Gare, Vezac hotel, and ending in Mercues. $1890 per person, Double Occupancy. Plus $700 single room.  3 Dinners, 4 Breakfasts are included.

~ Admissions are not included.

As stated above you can also end after any option for a reduced amount. Ask.

~Bicycle Rentals for the complete tour are:  Road: $416, Ebike Hybrid: $416, Hybrid: $328. 

  Booking requires an $800 deposit, fully refundable up to 60 days prior to the tour start date less $100. Payment in full is due 60 days prior to the Tour, and is refundable, less the deposit, 30 days prior to the start date. I will help you with flight and train or car reservations. Ask.

For more information contact DickPowell53@aol.com or 925-238-6366. 

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