France - Black Perigord
The « black » Périgord, named after the black oak forest, largely spread across the valleys of the Vézère and the Dordogne, will seduce you with its centuries old history. Visits of castles and bastides (medieval fortified villages) in varied landscapes will offer riders memorable sights of this area as well as numerous culinary pleasures.
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Preliminary day-by-day program
Day 1- Arrival at 6.pp p.m. at Lalinde or Bergerac train station. From there, transfer to B&B La ferme du Peytavit in Couze.
Day 2 - After breakfast, around 10.30 am, introduction and horses' attribution at Château de Bannes (private castle from the 15th century). You ride through Lalinde's bastide, then follow the canal towards Mauzac (village on the Dordogne's right bank) where you have a picnic before going to Limeuil, ancient fishing port.
Dinner and night in a B&B or a hotel.
Day 3 - After crossing the forest, you have a picnic near the village of St Cyprien, at the Dordogne's edge. In the afternoon you ride towards the Milande castle, Josephine Baker's former property (1947-1968). And to finally reach the place where you leave the horses to rest for the night, you go along a medieval path between the Tayac's and Castelnaud-la-Chapelle's castles.
Dinner and night in B&B or a hotel.
-Possibility to visit the Milandes castle in the afternoon.
Day 4 - You ride from the Céou valley to the Dordogne valley where a picnic is awaiting at the foot of a windmill, in the Domme bastide. You will enjoy the beautiful sight of the Dordogne valley from this medieval village before going to Vitrac, night stop for the horses. You drive to Sarlat, a well preserved medieval city, for dinner and night in B&B or a hotel.
-In the morning, visit of Castelnaud-la-Chapelle's castle (12th century) and its museum (war in the middle age). The castle offers a magnificient panorama of various areas (Beynac, Marquessac, La Roche Gageac).
-Before or after the picnic, visit of Domme, royal « bastide » from the 13th century.
Day 5 - You ride only in the morning and go through Sarlat before stopping at the Campagnac castle to have a picnic. Free afternoon to fully enjoy the splendid city of Sarlat. Possibility of a city tour in the afternoon or after dinner, by night.
Dinner and night in B&B or a hotel.
- Capital of the « Black » Périgord, city of art and history, Sarlat is considered one of the most beautiful cities of Europe with it’s somptuous architecture.
Day 6 - The path you follow to reach Meyrals will give you the chance to see the Puymartin castle, built during the 15th century. Picnic at the foot of Meyrals' church before going to Limeuil through the Vézère's valley in the afternoon.
Dinner and night at B&B or a hotel.
– Visit of the Puymartin castle, first built in the 12th century, destroyed in the 14th cent and then rebuilt in the 15th cent.
Day 7 - You ride along the Dordogne river towards Cadouin, where you have a picnic near its abbey (12th cent). From there, you go through the Béssede forest, most important forest land of the Périgord, and take the time to visit Molière's village, bastide from the 12th cent. Before going back to the Bannes castle.
Diner and night at B&B or a hotel.
– Visit of the 12th cent. abbey after lunch.
Departure for the train station in Lalinde or Bergerac after breakfast.
The picnic is prepared by an assistant who also carries your baggage between the different sites. Chairs, tables and shelters to protect you from the rain and sun, are also transported to the different places you will stop. The picnic includes an appetizer, wine and coffee. The wine served during the picnic and dinners are "vin de table" from the region.
Travel: Fly to Bordeaux.
The shuttle bus or taxi then takes you to the city (about 8-10 km) and then you take the train to Lalinde trainstation. Trains run every hour and the journey takes about 1.5 hours. At the end of the ride you will be driven back to the train station in Lalinde. Train tickets in France can be booked via the Internet on the SNCF website www.sncf.fr. On this page you can also see train times.
Transfers: Transfer time is 6.30 p.m. where you will be met at Lalinde train station and driven to your B&B. Price: 20 EUR per person round trip. Paid on location.
Misc.: Entrance fees are not included and are paied direct, approx 25 EUR