Inspirational Adventures on the Path to
CHALLENGING 7 DAY TOUR + PLUM VILLAGE
A CHALLENGING CYCLING ADVENTURE FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN THE ROAD TO MINDFULNESS
Start any Saturday April through October, 7 days and 6 nights plus Plum Village.
Deluxe 3 Star Hotels & Inns $2298*,
We begin in the prehistory capital of Europe, Les Eyzies, on the banks of the Vezere River referred to as "The Valley of Man" because of its many sites showing the development of our ancestors and their spiritual beginnings. Through lectures, visits to prehistory sites, medieval fortresses and ancient churches, as well as local artists and meeting with teachers at local monasteries, we will expand our study to both western and eastern philosophy. You will spend our last 3 or 7 nights at Plum Village, the home and practice center of Thich Nhat Hanh, the world renowned Buddhist Monk, peace activist and master of mindfulness training. This "aggressive" cycling itinerary has you in Les Eyzies for your first and last nights, Rocamadour & St. Cirq-Lapopie for 1 night, La Roque-Gageac 1 night, and Montignac via Sarlat Market for 1 night before returning to Les Eyzies. You will then train to St Foy Le Grande where you will be met by the Monks and Nuns of plum Village and driven to Plum Village. The tour includes 3 dinners and 6 breakfasts, baggage transfer and emergency support. Detail route Notes and marked map are included. Air, trains and entrance fees and extras and drinks are not included.
*The Plum Village portion of your tour must be booked by you separately, but we will help you with that booking. The above prices do not include the Plum Village portion. Current pricing for 3 nights is: 120 - 215 Euro and 1 week is 280 to 500 Euro per per person, depending on accommodation chosen from camping to dorm to private room. All meals are included at Plum Village. You can also choose to stay off site at a B&B for the lower price shown, which includes 3 meals per day. We can help you with the B&B booking as well. Again, we will help you navigate the booking process. During the July Summer Opening a 1 week stay is required.
Day 1: LES EYZIES, Saturday Les Eyzies, in the heart of the Dordogne has access by train from airports at Paris(CDG), Bordeaux(BOD), Bergerac(EGC) or Toulouse(TLS). We meet you at the depot and our hotel is only 200m away. It is built into the side of the cliffs and is next to where the Cro-Magnon Man remains were discovered. Settle in for 2 nights. Depending on your time of arrival, you either assemble your bicycle or we will fit your rental, have a short orientation and then an afternoon warmup loop. A walk into the village and even a visit to one of the pre-history sites may be in order as well. Before your Welcome Dinner we will have a lecture by our local Pre-History expert which will make the area come to life for you.
Day 2: LES EYZIES TO ROCAMADOUR, Sunday
The challenge today will be to not spend the whole day visiting all the wonderful medieval fortresses en route to Rocamadour and get there before dark. You go over the ridge from the Vezere river to the Dordogne, then up the Dordogne River Valley, rated 3 stars by Michelin (Worth A Journey), past amazing old chateaux of Beynac, Les Milandes, Fayac, Castelnaud, Montfort, Fenelon and Treyne, through beautiful villages like La Roque Gageac, Carsac, St. Julien de Lampon and the town of Souillac and it's old Abbaye and Museo de Automatic. You leave the Dordogne Department and pedal into the Lot before Souillac but continue to follow the Dordogne River to Lacave and then up to Rocamadour. Your hotel is at the foot of the cliff with the village above. It caters to pilgrims and is small and intimate. About 80km with options for more. Dinner tonight is at your hotel.
Day 3: ROCAMADOUR TO ST. CIRQ-LAPOPIE , Monday
We are moving to the Lot River Valley today with several exciting options. There is a challenging 70 - 100km route over rough and wild remote countryside, a beautiful ride. Or, using the train to Figeac, ride 11km up to the train in Gramat, then an amazing 50 km slightly downhill ride along the Cele River Valley to the Lot River and 6km more including a final 2 km steep hill to St. Cirq-Lapopie, 68 km total. The fun challenge is to route yourself adding extra miles as desired. St. Cirq-Lapopie is another village on the cliffs and a pilgrimage stop on the Santaigo de Compostele route and an artist colony. It is extremely picturesque and a fun visit. Our small family run hotel is in the heart of the village. Dinner is on your own, several options.
Day 4: ST CIRQ-LAPOPIE TO LA ROQUE-GAGEAC, Tuesday
You start your day with a visit to one of the most interesting pre-history sites anywhere, Grotte du Pech Merle. It is a beautiful ride from the Lot Valley, over several ridges, then a long slightly downhill ride along the Ceou River back to the Dordogne Valley. You come into the Valley through the town of Domme,another Plus Beaux Village de France, high above the river with a magnificent view of the valley below, rated 3 stars by Michelin. Then down to the river and our lovely hotel right on the Dordogne. 80 km with several extra km options available. Settle in for 2 nights. Dinner is included tonight. La Roque-Gageac is an amazing town, another Plus Beaux Village de France. You can explore the cliffs and upper streets before dinner.
Day 5: LA ROQUE-GAGEAC TO MONTIGNAC via SARLAT MARKET, Wednesday
So much to see today. Start early and ride into Sarlat on the old rail line Piste Cyclable and experience the largest street market in the area. Besides the market there are wonderful shops, the perfect place to pick up gifts for those back home. Then an afternoon ride to Montignac, the location of the Lascaux II cave and it's beautiful cave paintings. Dinner is on your own in Montignac tonight, many great options.
Day 6: MONTIGNAC TO LES EYZIES via LASCAUX II, Thursday
You start your day by visiting Lascaux II only 2km (up) from your hotel. Then a beautiful ride down the Vezere River Valley past one amazing pre-history sight as well as 2 excellent Medieval sights on your way back to les Eyzies where you began. Dinner is on your own in the village tonight, again, many options.
Day 7: LES EYZIES TO PLUM VILLAGE, Friday
You catch the early train to St Foy Le Grande down the Dordogne River where you will be met by the Monks and nuns of Plum Village and be taken to PV by van. Upon arrival, you will be greeted and escorted to your rooms. You will receive an orientation and the Practice Begins! Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included and are vegan, abundant and delicious! You can choose the ride the 72 km to Plum Village if you desire. You will leave your bikes at Plum Village if you decide to ride, or Les Eyzies if you choose the train option.
Day 8 & 9: PLUM VILLAGE PRACTICE* , Saturday & Sunday or 1 week
Saturday is normally a work day. It begins in the Meditation Hall at 0545. Sunday is normally a Day of Mindfulness and includes a morning Dharma Talk by Thay or other senior Brother or Sister, followed by formal lunch. It rotates between hamlets so you will either travel to another hamlet either walking, cycling or by van unless it is held at your hamlet. Some of the best moments of our life have been listening to Thich Nhat Hanh at Plum village. You have a treat and very meaningful experience in store. If having Thay at PV while you are there is important for you, you can check the Plum Village site to view the annual schedule or contact us.
Day 10 or 14: DEPARTURE, Monday or Friday
If you rented bikes you can leave them at Plum Village. After breakfast you will be taken by van to St. Foy Le Grande where you can take a train to Libourne and from there to Paris and CDG. Longer stays at Plum Village are possible and must be arranged with the village staff. We always recommend staying a week if possible.
GENERAL NOTE: The cost for 7 days, 6 nights is $2298* per person using 3 Star hotels and deluxe B&B, all double occupancy, plus Plum Village*. Single Supplement is $$510. All breakfasts, 3 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. Entry fees and train fare are not included.
*The Plum Village portion of your tour must be booked by you separately, but we will help you with that booking. The above prices do not include the Plum Village portion. Current pricing for 3 nights is: 120 - 215 Euro and 1 week is 280 to 500 Euro per per person, depending on accommodation chosen from camping to dorm to private room. All meals are included at Plum Village. You can also choose to stay off site at a B&B for the lower price shown, which includes 3 meals per day at Plum Village, but the B&B is extra. We can help you with the B&B booking as well. Again, we will help you navigate the booking process.
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 or Mastercard are accepted. For additional information, contact Dick Powell at BikeOutfit@aol.com, or 650-279-5018. Sign up on line. Click on Tour Booking Info in the Navigator on the top of this page.
Bicycle Rentals - We have Hybrid and Road style bicycles and Tandems available for rent. However, we recommend bringing your own bicycle. As avid cyclists we have never enjoyed rented bicycles. We love to ride our own bikes which we are accustomed to, and they provide maximum enjoyment. 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 $235, Road for $330 and Tandems for $400 for the tour.