The 10 Most Beautiful Hikes in the Dordogne


Last Updated on 10/01/2023 by Alfred

Explore the Aquitaine basin by walking the best hiking trails in the Dordogne.

Located in the southwest of France, the Dordogne is a department shared between the Aquitaine Basin plains and the massif Central foothills. This territory with a rich history can be discovered by visiting the cities of Périgueux, Bergerac, Sarlat or Ribérac… But not only!

Put on your hiking boots in the Dordogne for an invigorating getaway in the heart of the Périgord valleys. You can admire castles, green plains, sumptuous forests, bastides, and vineyards.

Here, each season has its own color and light. Finally, the hardest thing will be to know which path to start with… And at what time to come and discover it? To help you choose, we present you with the most beautiful: follow the guide!

1. Walk in Les Eyzies

  • Duration: about 2 hours
  • Distance: 8.9 km
  • Height difference: 206 m
  • Difficulty: Easy

Les Eyzies-de-Tayac is a picturesque village offering a superb hike in the Dordogne. It is one of the world capitals of Prehistory: it is entirely built on a prehistoric deposit and a troglodyte village.

Located about twenty kilometers from the city of Sarlat, this loop trail will make you explore the Vézère valley. It all starts on rue de Taillac near the Cro-Magnon shelter, where the first known burial was discovered.

After taking the direction of the bridge crossing the Vézère, continue on the path leading to the campsite to access the marked route. This forest walk will allow you to contemplate sumptuous cliffs, caves, and some small lakes.

On your return, you will be able to finish your journey in style at the old Castle of Les Eyzies: it is now the National Museum of Prehistory!

2. Trail between Castelnaud and Saint-Julien

  • Duration: about 2 hours
  • Distance: 7.2 km
  • Height difference: 264 m
  • Difficulty: Easy

This hike in the Dordogne forms a loop starting from the Maisonneuve campsite. The walk is very pleasant: you are in the heart of the fabulous Dordogne valley.

Rather shaded and, therefore, pleasant in summer, this getaway in the hills is perfect for a family outing. What is the goal of your tribe? Walk the bucolic trails, savor the scent of the shrubs and explore some beautiful caves.

The cliffs of Céou will face you at the end of your journey, which will end at the foot of the castle of Castelnaud. Built-in the thirteenth century, this historic monument dominates the Dordogne valley and will offer you the opportunity to take beautiful photos.

3. From Maisonneuve to Esparoutis

  • Duration: about 1h30
  • Distance: 5.5 km
  • Height difference: 192 m
  • Difficulty: Medium

This time we offer you a variant of the previous circuit. Still starting from the Maisonneuve campsite, this trail is more sporty: from the outset, a high climb awaits you. Good shoes are recommended to walk this loop rather well sheltered from the sun.

The path is traced through a dense forest of pines and oaks, then winds more quietly to beautiful views of the region. Along the Céou, the local river, you will admire the castles built by local notables.

Some are superbly preserved and elegantly punctuate this country of Cocagne. This hike in the Dordogne will certainly make you appreciate the Périgord Noir: in any case, it was our case!

4. The Montfort circuit

  • Duration: about 3h45
  • Distance: 14.8 km
  • Height difference: 449 m
  • Difficulty: Medium

This hike in the Dordogne is a must in the region: this loop is, it should be noted, very well marked.

Park near the Château de Montfort on the edge of the D703 and follow the yellow signs. Be careful; the first climb in the undergrowth can surprise the less experienced hikers!

You will reach, at the cost of some effort, the sublime village of Vitrac. It dominates a natural plateau and includes a remarkable fortress. A few kilometers further, you can also observe the castle of Marobert.

Special points of interest in the route? The cliffs of Caudon and the Percée rock are amazing natural works. Back at your starting point, visit the medieval village of Montfort: it’s definitely worth a look!

5. The banks of L’Isle

  • Duration: about 3h45
  • Distance: 16.4 km
  • Height difference: 287 m
  • Difficulty: Medium

Welcome to La Cave, a town in the department with a train station located along the road to Bordeaux. You will have to park there to access the marked route along the banks of the Isle, a quiet stream.

Nothing very difficult: Sunday walkers are welcome here. You will reach, in turn the villages of Razac and Fauveau then you will get closer to the castle of Antoniac at the end of the course.

This hike in the Dordogne is quite ideal in spring or autumn when it is not too hot. The only precaution all the same: take water and move away at the passage of the mountain bikers, who share the trail.

6. Holm oak loop

  • Duration: about 2h20
  • Distance: 9.5 km
  • Height difference: 388 m
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Clearly, this hike in the Dordogne is one of our favorites: it offers the opportunity to discover La Roque-Gageac, an ochre village that is one of the most beautiful villages in France.

From the Halle car park on the banks of the Dordogne, walk along the river to the Château de La Malartrie, on the other side of the village. Then you will have to make a fairly easy climb in the middle of a holm oak wood.

Meadows, forest trails, then an ancient Roman road: hiking knows how to vary the pleasures. Perfectly signposted and well-shaded, the route is ideal for lovers of running in the middle of nature.

7. Discovery of the Garrit Bridge

  • Duration: about 2h45
  • Distance: 11.1 km
  • Height difference: 264 m
  • Difficulty: Easy

The Garrit bridge, you know? All of the iron designed, rests on piles of rock and beautifully spans the Dordogne between Saint-Cyprien and Berbiguières. This is your starting point on the side of Saint Cyprien.

After crossing it, descend along the bank towards Allas. This medieval village has remarkable tourist points of interest. The Romanesque bell tower and the remains of its castle are famous sites.

Throughout your journey, pay special attention to the small signs along the trail. Botanical descriptions of the plant species along the path are presented. Orchids, euphorbias, or centauries decorate and perfume this hike in the Dordogne.

Spring is, in our opinion, the best time to discover it.

8. The blue lake of Guizengeard

  • Duration: about 1 hour
  • Distance: 3.1 km
  • Height difference: 112 m
  • Difficulty: Easy

In-cro-yable this loop hike! From the town of Guizengeard, you will have to follow the D68 for a few kilometers and park at the church on your right. Signs indicate the location of this mysterious place hidden in the heart of a huge Charente forest.

What a surprise when you arrive! The trail goes around a spectacularly blue lake. But then, a blue of the most shimmering … And necessarily not quite natural.

This is an old white clay quarry gradually filled with rainwater. The chemical composition of the soils does not allow the development of aquatic life (nor bathing). But in fact, the water remains crystalline, and no matter in suspension disturbs it.

The sunlight gives this liquid expanse an almost supernatural turquoise color… Sensations are guaranteed!

9. Hiking along the Lot

  • Duration: about 2h20
  • Distance: 9.5 km
  • Height difference: 369 m
  • Difficulty: Moderate

We present you a nice panoramic walk along the Lot from the small village of Bouziès. Once at the car park of the same name, you will reach the banks of the river by following the path on the right.

The markings (red and white) are of excellent quality and will easily take you to the belvedere at the entrance of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie. What a panorama of the valley!

The return to the car park is done by a pleasant undergrowth path, even in summer. Attention: the Bouziès car park is subject to a fee.

10. The Gorges de l’Alzou

  • Duration: about 3 hours
  • Distance: 12.6 km
  • Height difference: 334 m
  • Difficulty: Moderate

This trail will make you discover the canyon of the Alzou dug between Gramat and Rocamadour. From the clearing car park, go down the GR6 to the Saut mill. The trail crosses it and then allows you to reach the mills of Mouligne or Boulégou.

Ruins of more than a millennium punctuate the route in the middle of lush vegetation from March to October. The path is rather hilly, so get good shoes.

Do not hesitate to enhance your hike with a visit to the medieval city of Rocamadour or the observation of the sunset at the top of the gorges. Splendid, isn’t it?

Alfred

Alfred is the author behind the Travelvibe travel blog and is always searching for the quieter, less-visited corners of the world.

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