One of a dozen or so cycling tours organised by the "slow holiday" company Inntravel, this seven day jaunt around the Dordogne Valley makes for a fairly challenging, but rewarding, trip for a family. Inntravel sells the holiday on a half-board basis and, although the accommodation can be a bit basic, you'll be well fed each night. You collect your sturdy hybrid bikes at La Vieille Auberge in the pleasant old town of Souillac - the start and end point for a loop, potentially taking in almost 200 kilometres of hilly and picturesque French countryside. Inntravel provides excellent and extensive directions and notes, which you can store in a plastic case on your handlebars, making it easy to navigate. Your luggage is transported from hotel to hotel by taxi, but you can carry a few essentials (such as water, a raincoat and the lame puncture repair kits) in your panniers. Note, the provided locks are very skinny - bring your own. On a typical day you'll ride for about three hours (including stops), leaving time for a leisurely lunch and sightseeing, caving, canoeing down the Dordogne and whatever else takes your fancy.
|Heading up on to the causse
|The picturesque climb towards Loubressac
|Arriving in the hilltop town of Loubressac
|The climb out of Gluges towards Martel