Dordogne - THE EASY ROAD TO MINDFULNESS
RELAXED 7 DAY 6 NIGHT + PLUM VILLAGE
Start any Saturday April through October,7 Days & 6 Nights + Plum Village:
Deluxe 3 Star Hotels & Chambre d'Hotes $2094*.
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, you will expand your study to both western and eastern philosophy. You will spend your 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 "relaxed" cycling itinerary has you in Les Eyzies for you 1st & last nights, Meyronne near Rocamadour for 2 nights, Sarlat for 1 night and Montignac for 1 night. You then travel by train to St Foy Le Grande where you will be met by Monastics who will drive you 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 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 250 to 500 Euro per person, depending on accommodation chosen from camping to dorm to private room. All meals are included at Plum Village. Again, we will help you navigate the booking process.
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. Dinner is included at your hotel.
Day 2: LES EYZIES TO MEYRONNE, Sunday The challenge today will be to not spend the whole day visiting all the wonderful medieval fortresses en route to Meyronne and get there before dark. You go over the ridge from the Vezere to the Dordogne River Valley, then on up the river valley, rated 3 stars by Michelin (Worth A Journey), past amazing old chateaux of Beynac, Les Milandes, Beynac, Fayac, Castelnaud, Montfort, Fenelon, and Treyne, through beautiful villages like La Roque-Gageac, Carsac, St-Julien-de-Lompon and the town of Souillac and it's Abbaye and Mueseo de Auotmatic. You leave the Dordogne Department and pedal into the Lot Department before Souillac, but continue to follow the Dordogne River to Lacave then on to Meyronne and your chateau hotel. Settle in for 2 nights. Your hotel is on a bluff overlooking the river and the food is outstanding. About 70 km. Dinner tonight is at your hotel.
Day 3: ROCAMADOUR, GOUFFRE DE PADIRAC, CARRENAC LOOP RIDE, Monday This is a great sight seeing day with 2 very different destinations and a World Class Ride, one of our favorites of all time. You ride up out of the Dordogne Valley to the Causse of Rocamadour, a plateau. It is an easy 10km climb and on to visit either the Gouffre de Padirac or Rocamadour or both. The Gouffre is a 100 meter deep hole in the ground which leads to caverns formed by the underground river which you navigate part way by boat to some of the most amazing formations formed by eons of mineral-laden water seeping through the roof of the cave. Then you head to Rocamadour. It is famous as a stop along the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela where the penitent ascended, on their knees, the long stone stairway up to the shrine. Before descending the path (you can cheat and take an elevator, though the walk is worthwhile) down to the sanctuaries and village below, passing the 13 Stations of the Cross, you may want to take advantage of the incredible view afforded by the ramparts of the chateau overlooking Rocamadour. Local delicacies famous throughout southwestern France are the creamy goat cheeses so special that they have been classified like wine: AOC Cabecou de Rocamadour. You find the cabecou grilled in salads or on toast, a worthwhile treat. A very full, but relatively easy, day of 30km if you just visit Rocamadour and an additional 24 if you do the Gouffre as well. Then there is the option to return to the hotel by the upper Dordogne Valley, a truly World Class Ride, one of our all time favorites. This will make it a 80+ km day, with a number of short climbs. If you choose this option, you will visit Rocamadour first, the the Gouffre, the the loop ride back to Meyronne. There is also a Cave at Lacave to visit if time allows. You are on your own for dinner tonight in the village of St. Sozy across the river or again at your hotel. This is almost always everyone's favorite hotel.
.Day 4: MEYRONNE TO SARLAT, Tuesday We retrace your route back down the Dordogne river, bypassing Souillac and riding some lovely new roads. We then get on a Bike Path (Piste Cyclable) and on to the wonderful old town of Sarlat and our hotel built into the wall of the Old Town. There should be time to explore several sites before dinner. It is an easy rolling 60km with 1big hill in the morning. Dinner is at your hotel, very special.
Day 5: SARLAT TO MONTIGNAC & SARLAT MARKET, Wednesday You will wake up to the sounds of the Sarlat Market, the best in the region. Besides the market there are wonderful shops, the perfect place to pick up gifts for those back home. After lunch it is a lovely country ride to Montignac, home of the Cave of Lascaux. Dinner is on your own tonight, many options.
Day 6: MONTIGNAC TO LES EYZIES, Thursday You have short 25 to 30km today, but it is very full. You start with a 2km climb to the Cave of Lascaux for a wonderful visit. Then head down the beautiful Vezere River Valley passing (and visiting if time allows) one wonderful pre-history or medieval sites after another. Tomorrow you will arrive at Plum Village. Dinner tonight is on your own in Les Eyzies. Many options.
Day 7: PLUM VILLAGE, Friday You depart early by train southwest, changing in Le Buisson, and on to St Foy Le Grande. Here you will meet Monastics from Plum Village who will drive you by van. The village is located in 4 different hamlets and which one we use depends on the makeup of the group. Upon arrival, you will sign in and be 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 to ride the approximate 72km to Plum Village if you desire. You will leave your bikes at the Les Eyzies hotel unless you choose to cycle to Plum Village. If you chose to cycle, your bike will be picked up at Plum Village.
Day 8 & 9: PLUM VILLAGE PRACTICE , Saturday & Sunday or One Week. Saturday is normally a work day. It begins in the Meditation Hall at 0545. The food is vegan, abundant and excellent. Sunday is normally a Day of Mindfulness and includes a morning Dharma Talk by Thay or other senior brother, 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 a very meaningful experience in store. A full week visit is recommended if possible. In July, during the Summer Opening, a week is the minimum.
Day 10 or 14: DEPARTURE, Monday or Friday If you rode you can leave the bikes at Plum Village. 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 by the fast TGV trains. Longer stays at Plum Village are possible and must be arranged with the village staff.
GENERAL NOTE: The cost for the 7 days & 6 nights is $2094*, 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.
*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 a Tandem 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.
Inspirational Adventures on the Path to