Dordogne Valley tour
Stage 1 : Loubressac
8.30 : To business straight away : we've chosen Loubressac as the starting point for the tour. This village, one of the "Most Beautiful Villages in France", perched on the edge of the Causse, provides a wonderful panorama over the Dordogne valley, which you're going to explore.
Stage 2 : Autoire
Before dropping down into the village of Autoire, leave the car in the hamlet called "Siran" to get to the viewpoint over the Autoire valley and the Château des Anglais nestled halfway up the cliffs.
The 800m footpath leading to the Château is beautiful.
When you get there, there's a breathtaking view : the bay of cliffs, the village, the château… your camera will be overheating by now !
Continue along the road to Autoire village and its attractive houses with their round towers. Stop in the village and walk along to the waterfall (la cascade).
The waterfall stands before you, the water is clear and bright but a touch cool for bathing !
Stage 3 : Château de Montal
Take the road towards Saint Céré, and when you get to Saint Jean Lespinasse, make a little detour via the Montal Golf Course, which provides good views of the 16th C. Château de Montal.
In this little village, there's also a hotel-restaurant with 1 Michelin star. Not bad for a village with only a few inhabitants.
Stage 4 : Saint-Céré
And here you are in Saint Céré. Take a little tour around the town, along the quais des Récollets, and through the place du Mercadial. Before leaving Saint Céré, go up to the Tours Saint Laurent which overlook the town and enjoy the panorama.
These towers now house the Museum dedicated to the famous tapestry designer/weaver, Jean Lurçat, who set up his workshop here.
Stage 5 : Château de Castelnau-Bretenoux
On we go following the signs for Bretenoux, then turning left towards St. Michel de Loubéjou.
The best part comes after the village as you go down the hill on the other side. You get an amazing view of the ochre-coloured ramparts of the Château de Castelnau-Bretenoux.
Stage 6 : Bretenoux
Continue on to get to the bastide of Bretenoux.
Take a look at the village square, paved with pebbles from the Dordogne, its arcades and attractive façades. There's a charming market held here every Saturday morning.
Stage 7 : Carennac
Back on the road for the 3rd of today's "Most Beautiful Villages in France" in the valley ; the village of Carennac.
This is a good place to make a prolonged stop for lunch and for visiting the centre of the village built around a famous former Benedictine priory.
Before leaving, allow yourself a little post-prandial stroll along the banks of the Dordogne.
Stage 8 : Caillon stream
Before coming to Floirac, make a brief stop to admire the Caillon stream with its pretty little waterfalls going down in steps
Stage 9 : Copeyre belvedere
Cross the Dordogne over the bridge at Gluges and continue towards Martel until you get to the Copeyre belvedere which provides a superb panorama over the Dordogne, the "Rivière Espérance".
Go back to the bridge to take the road for Gluges. Go through this little village before taking the little cliff road to Creysse. Continue on and turn left for Saint Sozy where you cross the river again to Meyronne.
Turn right for Lacave to find yourself facing the impressive cliff known as "le rocher Sainte Marie".
Stage 12 : Lacave
Follow the little road downstream to Lacave with its pretty pebble beaches, caves to which you gain access via a little train, and further on, the castles of Belcastel and La Treyne perched high above the river.
Retrace your route as far as Meyronne, then head for the village of Montvalent, high above the valley, where this itinerary ends.
What's special about this tour ?
- The beauty of the landscapes
- The roads with their superb viewpoints
- Stopping beside the Dordogne for a siesta, a picnic or a bathe
- The variety of the tour, with something for people of all ages