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Walks and Hikes in the Dordogne Valley

The Dordogne, in southwest France, is a department that stretches between the plains of the Aquitaine Basin and the foothills of the Massif Central. The area has a rich history which you can explore by visiting the cities of Périgueux, Bergerac, Sarlat or Ribérac, but that’s not all! 

If you want an invigorating experience, escape to the heart of the Périgord valleys and try hiking in the Dordogne. You will have the opportunity to see castles, green plains, magnificent forests, bastides and vineyards. 

Here, each season brings its own palette of colours and light. The hardest part will be deciding which trail to try first and when to come and see this enchanting place. 

Les Eyzies Walking Tour

Enjoy a two-hour hike in picturesque surroundings, covering a distance of 8.9 km, with an elevation gain of 206 metres. This is an easy outing, providing a pleasant experience for outdoor enthusiasts of all abilities. 

On this loop trail, you will explore the Vézère Valley, situated about twenty kilometres from Sarlat. The walk starts on Rue de Taillac, near the Cro-Magnon shelter, where the first known burial of modern man was discovered. 

Thanks to its reasonable distance and moderate elevation gain, this hike is ideal for beginners and those looking for a relaxing walk. You can enjoy some good exercise while admiring the natural beauty of the area. 

So pack your walking shoes, water bottle and camera and set out for a nature adventure on this easily accessible trail that promises wonderful memories.

Trail between Castelnaud and Saint-Julien

Set off for a two-hour hike in a picturesque setting, on this 7.2 km route with an elevation gain of 264 metres. This is an easy outing, offering a pleasant experience for outdoor enthusiasts of all abilities.

The shade on this walk makes it particularly enjoyable during the summer and ideal as a family outing. You and your family will be able to discover bucolic trails, savour the scents of shrubs and explore some superb caves. 

At the end of your walk, the cliffs of Céou will stand before you as you reach the foot of Castelnaud castle. This historic 13th-century building overlooks the Dordogne valley and is the perfect place to some capture superb souvenir shots. 

From Maisonneuve to Esparoutis

Whether you are an occasional hiker or a hardened enthusiast, don’t miss this 1.5-hour hike through captivating scenery, on a 5.5 km route with 192 metres of elevation gain. This walk is of medium difficulty, making it suitable for hikers looking for a slight challenge. 

The path passes through a dense pine and oak forest then continues on easier terrain, offering magnificent views of the area. As you follow the river Céou, you can admire castles built by the region’s notables. Some are very well preserved and add to the enchanting landscape of the Black Périgord.

Montfort Circuit

This new route of medium difficulty is ideal for hiking enthusiasts looking for a nice challenge. The 3-hour-45-minute walk covers a distance of 14.8 km with an elevation gain of 449 meters.

Park near Château de Montfort, along the D703, then follow the yellow signs indicating the path. Watch out, because the first climb through the woods can surprise less experienced hikers! 

With a little effort, you will reach the beautiful village of Vitrac. Perched on a natural plateau, it is home to a remarkable fortress. A few kilometres on, you can admire Marobert castle. 

Among the points of particular interest on this walk, don’t miss the cliffs of Caudon and the Roche Percée, amazing natural formations. Back at your starting point, allow yourself time to see the medieval village of Montfort, which is definitely worth the visit.

The Banks of the Isle

To conclude, we bring you this exciting hike of 16.4 km and 3 hours 45 minutes, which is easy and accessible to all. 

Make your way to a place called La Cave, in the department of Dordogne, which has a train station along the road to Bordeaux. You can park here to access the signposted route that runs along the banks of the peaceful river Isle. 

You will pass through the villages of Razac and Fauveau, then you will approach the castle of Antoniac towards the end of the route. 

This hike in the Dordogne is particularly pleasant in spring or autumn, when the heat is not too strong. 

Hiking in the Dordogne Valley is a tremendous experience for nature lovers, history buffs and those looking for a revitalising getaway. With its picturesque landscapes, sparkling waters and green riverbanks, the Dordogne is ideal for letting go amid the natural beauty of the region.