The Vézère Valley: hiking destination in Dordogne!

With its rivers, its woods and its numerous historical sites, the Vézère valley calls for hiking. Not just on foot: there are circuits and trails for walkers, but also for horseback riding or mountain biking enthusiasts. For each activity, you will find family paths, routes, more technical trails or a loop which will lead you to the discovery of castles and exceptional landscapes. 

Hiking: the Vézère valley can be explored on foot, by bike or even on horseback 

Why is the Dordogne an ideal destination for hiking?

In the heart of the Dordogne, the Vézère valley has arguments that will not leave hiking enthusiasts indifferent. THE bucolic landscapes du Périgord are to be discovered at the detours of trails. Some hikes can be combined with a visit to an exceptional tourist location.
A walk in the forest or close to one watercourse, along the Vézère or the Dordogne, allows you to experience a real moment of calm and relaxation in the heart of nature. 

Tours for all levels

You are walking around in family with young children, you are looking for a path more technical or a more sporty circuit? On foot or by mountain bike, the Vézère valley in Dordogne offers hundreds of kilometers of hikes for all levels. Experienced walkers and cyclists will even have at their disposal stimulating elevation changes to surpass yourself.

Itinerant or loop hikes? Adventurous or organized?

Whatever your mode of hiking – walking, cycling or horses -, you can prepare your circuit alone or be guided. The Dordogne equestrian centers offer, for example, guided hikes. And why not opt ​​for a traveling tour? There are numerous loops to follow every day to go from village to village and discover the entire Vézère valley. Cards are available in the Lascaux-Dordogne tourist offices. You determine the duration of your hike, the distance and off you go on the trails of Périgord Noir!

Hiking in the Dordogne: the best itineraries

Trails to discover the landscapes and tourist attractions of the Vézère valley

Nearly 675 kilometers of trails are set up for walking around Montignac-Lascaux and Eyzies. Several routes are recommended for families or for a leisurely hike: opt for a short-distance circuit, with no difference in altitude. Depending on the circuit chosen and the duration of your walk, you can also pass close to exceptional historical places: medieval church or chapel, flowery village, fortified castle, prehistoric cave... 

  • The Micoque trail, in Les Eyzies, offers two walking routes in the footsteps of our ancestors; 
  • The Mas de Sireuil hiking loop, starting from the outlying hamlet of the village of Les Eyzies;
  • The Vézère greenway, for a walk along the Vézère;
  • The Virgen loop in Tursac gives pride of place to the valley's small heritage;
  • Or the Polissoir hiking loop, in Forêt de Campagne, and its many trails in the woods. 

Circuits for lovers of sporty hiking: elevation and distance!

Put on your best hiking shoes: with its woods and valleys, the Vézère valley and its surroundings offer many more technical and sporty paths, ideal for trail running. Signs at the start of each loop indicate the expected distance. The duration varies depending on your walking pace.

Hike by bike to discover the Vézère valley

If you are more aiming for cycling, good news, the Périgord Noir lends itself particularly well to it. There are many green ways secure for family walks and more sporty trails. Many places offer bike rental: electric bike or mountain bike, you will certainly find the one that suits you.

Bike routes and circuits for families 

Do you hum “when we left early in the morning” at the idea of ​​your next bike ride? Several routes and trails will satisfy your desire for nature and tourism: head to the Dordogne greenways.

  • The Vézère valley greenway: from Limeuil to Eyzies (under development);
  • The greenway from Thiviers to Saint-Pardoux-la-Rivière;
  • The greenway between Mauzac and Prigonrieux;
  • The greenway between Sarlat and Cazoulès. 

Or on road bikes:

  • The Céou road bike;
  • The Vallée de l'Isle road bike. 

Mountain bike trails in the forest for the more sporty

The Dordogne trails are perfect for mountain biking: in the Vézère valley, you will find several circuits and routes in the woods or along the river. It is even possible to combine your bike ride with a visit to one of the many tourist spots in Périgord Noir. 

Discover the Dordogne on horseback: horseback riding along the Vézère 

A horseback ride for a few hours or a day… 

Equestrian centers and farms offer rides, for several hours or a day, with horses accustomed to walking in the countryside. The circuit leaving from the center can be adapted according to your level. You can also hire a guide to introduce you to equestrian tourism.

It is also possible to rent a horse, a pony or... a donkey! The animal accompanies you, walking, throughout the path, to carry your picnic. And the children will be delighted to have a companion for the hike! 

…or a traveling hike through Périgord!

Do you prefer adventure and trekking? There are many hiking trails accessible to riders in the Dordogne. That you are experienced or beginner, you will inevitably find trails that correspond to your level. On the internet, associations of horseback riding enthusiasts share their itineraries, with information on the duration of the ride, the distance and the altitude difference to be covered as well as the villages where to stop or inquire at the Tourist Office to find out the marked routes.

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