` Mindfulness Tours Presents:
GUIDED CYCLING TOUR IN DORDOGNE & LOT RIVER AREAS IN FRANCE
NEW VAN OPTION AVAILABLE WITH EXPERIENCED GUIDE
11 Days & 10 Nights September 14- 24, 2022
A message from Dick Powell
I am announcing an 11-Day & 10-night Tour in my beloved Dordogne region in Southwest France, some of the most wonderful cycling in the world. This leisurely exploration of the Vezere River Valley, with its numerous prehistoric sites, and the Dordogne River Valley, with its old fortresses, churches and homes hanging from the cliffs, provides wonderful cycle routes and a backdrop for many optional excursions. I am hoping for no more than 16 people total, but have no idea if there will be that many interested. I hope so.
We will stay in small family run, historic hotels in Les Eyzies for 2 nights, La Roque Gageac for 2 nights, Meyronne near Rocamadour for 2 nights, Sarlat for 1 night, Montignac for 2 nights and back to Les Eyzies for the final night.
You will visit the best local Market in the Old Town of Sarlat. Also, Les Eyzies is the prehistory capital of Europe where Cro-Magnon Man remains were discovered (right next to our hotel). You will cycle to the beautiful villages of La Roque-Gageac, Domme, Beynac, Castelnaud, Souillac, Rocamadour, Sarlat, Montignac and more. This is designed as a leisurely tour for casual and more serious riders, so there will be extended ride options everyday. The daily mileage perfectly suites me, but hey, I never was a racer, just a tourist going from one food & drink stop to the next.
Our hotels serve delicious breakfasts, which, in addition to 7 gourmet dinners, are included in the price. The stunning Dordogne region is a well-kept secret among the French. Numerous prehistory sites going back 40,000 years, amazing medieval fortresses, wonderful cycling roads, and beautiful countryside to explore, make it the perfect arena for an unforgettable bicycle vacation in France. Did we mention the food? Mention the Dordogne to any French person, the first thing they say is "oh, the food, the scenery, magnifique!".
For those that don't know me, I started Mindfulness Tours as a retirement project after selling Outfitter Bicycle Tours and my bicycle shop, The Bicycle Outfitter of Los Altos. Mindfulness Tours never really got off the ground because my late wife Marilyn became sick and I became a full time caregiver for almost 4 years. I now run a tour about every 2 to 3 years because I love it! I can't tell you how many people said to us, after their Dordogne tour, that "this is the best vacation we have ever taken". One friend said "it is like Disneyland, but real!"
The tour begins in Les Eyzies, the pre-history capital of France, and ends there. Access to Les Eyzies is by train from anywhere in France. The 11 day, 10 night tour is $3490 per person, double occupancy, $850 single room supplement. Bicycle rentals of Road, Hybrid & Ebikes are available or bring your own. Jane & I plan on riding with you and our local Guides, Manfred & Mariet Holtey, will sag the baggage. Also Manfred is an excellent mechanic. See the complete itinerary below. Questions, contact me at DickPowell53@aol.com or 925-238-6366.
Note: The mileage shown below is the basic route to visit the locations described. Everyday beautiful extended routes can be added, so strong riders can have as much as they like.
Day 1: Wed. Sept. 14
Les Eyzies Arrival
Welcome to the pre-history capital of France, Les Eyzies! We will meet you at the train station, 200 meters from the hotel, and take you to your spectacular historic hotel—one built into the side of the cliffs next to where the Cro-Magnon man remains were discovered. Settle in for 2 nights.
Depending on the time of your arrival, you can assemble your bicycle or be fitted for your rental. After a short orientation you can take an afternoon warm-up loop if you are eager to be in the saddle, or visit historical sites by foot if you want to stretch your legs and mind. Then before dinner, visit the CroMagnon site next door, very enlightening. Our welcoming dinner is included at our hotel tonight.
Day 2: Thurs. Sept. 15
Loop Ride along the Vezere and visits to nearby Pre-historic Caves.
Visit the National Museum of Pre-History and if possible Font de Gaume, the only remaining cave where you can see original color paintings. There is an optional extended ride down the Vezere to where the Dordogne and Vezere Rivers meet. Dinner is on your own tonight and there are many options in the village, so as you explore keep and eye out for your a favorite spot. 12 - 50km
Day 3: Fri. Sept. 16
Les Eyzies to La Roque Gageac via Chateau Des Milandes & Castelnaud
Today you leave the Vezere River Valley and enter the Dordogne Valley after a lovely short climb over the hill to the Dordogne River. Your destination is a wonderful hotel we have used for many years right on the Dordogne River in a beautiful cliff side village. Along the way you will visit American born singer and sensation and war hero Josephine Baker's Chateau Des Milandes. There is also an excellent Falcon, Eagle and other large birds show and its beautifully decorated chateau. We recommend a snack lunch here. You then continue along the Dordogne to the village of Castlenaud, and it's amazing fortress high above down. If time allows you can either walk up through the village, or cycle up. This is also an excellent place to send mail, buy snacks or the International Hearld Tribune. A very full day, but only 40km. Settle in for 2 nights. Dinner is at your hotel and is always excellent.
Day 4: Sat. Sept. 17
La Roque Gageac Exploration, Domme & Beynac – 30km + climbing
If you like a completely flat ride, today is not your day. You will first climb to the Bastide Village of Domme, a Plus Beaux Village de France, with a 3 Star Michelin view. Then come down and climb over to the ridge and down to the Ce'ou River and follow it down to the Dordogne, then cross over the Dordogne and head to Beynac, and then climb up and visit the famous Chateau Beynac. You can also just hang out, canoe on the Dordogne or take a guided tour by boat. Also the van can take you to Domme and Beynac. Dinner is on your own in La Roque Gageac tonight.
Day 5: Sun. Sept. 18
La Roque Gageac to Meyronne– 50km
A great ride today along the Dordogne River will lead you to the Lot Department. It is a 56km rolling ride to Meyronne with several hills, but you have all day to get there—take your time and enjoy the beauty. The route goes through Souillac, a lovely town on the Dordogne with a historic old abbey. Then on to Lacave and its grotto and then a bit further along a beautiful road is Meyronne. Your hotel, which dates to the 11th century, overlooks the Dordogne River, has a pool and a great restaurant. Dinner tonight is at your hotel. Settle in for 2 nights.
Day 6: Mon. Sept. 19
Rocamadour & Gouffre de Padirac Exploration – 51km
This is a beautiful sight seeing day with two very different destinations: Gouffre de Padirac and Rocamadour. The Gouffre is a 100 meter deep hole in the ground which leads to caverns formed by an underground river that is navigable by boat. Rocamadour is a famous stop along the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. A 30km ride with a lot of climbing awaits you if you choose Rocamadour alone. Add another 24k if you go to the Gouffre as well. Dinner is again at our Chateau Hotel.
Day 7: Tues. Sept. 20
Meyronne to Sarlat – 51km
We retrace part of our route back down the Dordogne River, but bypassing Souillac and riding some lovely new roads. We then get on a bike path (Piste Cyclable) for our ride into Sarlat, the regional capital known for its old town and shops and history dating back to the 9th century. It is an easy rolling 51km with one big hill in the morning. Outstanding shopping. in Sarlat and tomorrow morning is the famous Sarlat Market. Dinner is at our hotel this evening.
Day 8: Wed. Sept. 21
Sarlat Market to Montignac
You will wake to the sounds of people milling about in the old town market below. After breakfast, explore this magnificent market on your own! Local food, fabrics, clothing and art will be on display. In the afternoon you ride to Montignac, on the Vezere River, and the site of magnificent Lascaux which you will visit tomorrow. Settle in for 2 nights. Dinner will be at our hotel tonight in Montignac. A lovely town to explore.
Day 9: Thur. Sept. 22
Montignac & Lascaux IV Exploration
This morning you visit Lascaux IV. This Michelin 3 Star site is a wonderful new copy of the original cave, which has been closed for many years due to damage caused by exposure to the air. It was reproduced with the same techniques and materials and is magnificent. We suggest you lunch at Lascaux, then spend the afternoon following your Green Guide Walking Tour of this historical village. Be on the lookout for a place for dinner, which is on your own this evening.
Day 10: Fri. Sept. 23
Montignac to Les Eyzies
You follow the beautiful Vezere River west to Les Eyzies and visit some amazing pre-history and medieval sites along the way, Chateau Losse, Le Roque St. Christophe, and Maison Fort Reignac .Explore at your leisure before returning to Les Eyzies. Your return route can be extended for more amazing exploration. Our farewell dinner is at our hotel tonight.
Day 11: Sat. Sept. 24
Les Eyzies departure
Sleep late, have a leisurely breakfast, and enjoy your final morning in Les Eyzies. We will collect your bike if you rented one, and help transfer you and your luggage to the depot, 200m from the hotel, before bidding you farewell!
GENERAL NOTE: The cost for the 11 days & 10 nights is $3490, subject to dollar value in 2022, double occupancy. Single Supplement is $850 All breakfasts, 7 dinners and transferring your luggage to the next hotel are included, as well as sag support for emergencies. Drinks, extras, and lunches are not included. A $800 per person deposit is required to reserve your space. It is refundable up to 60 days prior to the trip less a $100 administration fee. Final payment is required 60 days prior to the trip and is refundable, less the deposit, up to 30 days prior to the trip. Check, Visa & Master Card are accepted. For additional information, contact Dick Powell at DickPowell53@aol.com, or 925-238-6366. Sign up on line. Bicycle Rentals - We have Hybrid, Road style, and eBikes bicycles available for rent. You can bring your own bicycle and we will help you re-assemble it. We love to ride our own bike, so are bring our tandem. However, traveling with your bicycle has become more difficult in recent years. We can provide advice and help with this option. Your choice. Hybrids rent for $285, Road for $450 or eBikes $450 for the tour.
To book: http://www.mindfulnesstours.org/tour-booking-info.html
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