Caves and cycling: where?

Old Sep 25th, 2022, 11:03 AM
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Caves and cycling: where?

Is it time for the Dordogne, or where else?

Timing: May-June 2023, two weeks or so

We like flattish, easy cycling and have done small portions of the Via Rhona and Canal du Midi. Also enjoy visiting caves, which can be a rental-car segment of the holiday. Have enjoyed that in Ariège, Hérault, Vercors and Ardèche. Missed some spots, could go back; could do southern Via Rhona or western Canal du Midi/Canal du Garonne. But it does seem as though we’d be missing something if we didn’t try for Pech-Merle, Lascaux and what else the Dordogne offers, before it’s everlastingly too late. Oh yes, we also kayak.

There was a centre-based self-guided cycling holiday in Dordogne that looked possible. But very open to other suggestions.

For a possible gîte-based week, I prefer being able to nip out on foot for a fresh morning baguette, which limits the options. Again, suggestions?
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Old Sep 25th, 2022, 11:59 AM
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You can rent canoes both on the Dordogne and on the Vézère. The latter is muddier as it does not have the upstream dams to clean the flow. Taken from a day trip on the Dordogne:

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Old Sep 25th, 2022, 02:18 PM
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I’d be very careful planning some of the routes in The Dordogne - it is generally very hilly and annoying hills for cycling - one mile up, one mile down ….mile after mile - I did 44 hills in 65 miles just before Covid cycling from Angouleme to Lalinde - just soul destroying.

We have a house near Saint Emilion - really lovely to cycle through the vineyards - wine tasting is no issue as you are not driving.

This area is much flatter and around a 2 hour drive from the Upper Dordogne.
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Old Sep 25th, 2022, 02:53 PM
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Area around Le Loir, lots of troglodyte houses. Also Chablis/Auxerre/Vézelay only wine caves but Irancy etc has canals and rivers and just a few hills.
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Old Sep 25th, 2022, 03:58 PM
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Frances, I cannot help with cycling options as we do not cycle. But just wanted to say I am happy to see you are planning a trip to France. I also cannot help with location suggestions. If we have a boulangerie or small epicerie near that is good, but do not worry if we do not as we do not need it for breakfast. We go out every day so just pick up a baguette for lunch then.

The Dordogne is lovely. We are having our first week there in April and staying in the small village of Biron.

Good luck with your planning.
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Old Sep 26th, 2022, 11:10 AM
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I want to cycle in France but I have yet to do it. One area I have been to that I think would be great for easy cycling is La Thierache. It's a micro region of about 60 villages with a unique style of fortified churches with a fascinating history, in the Northeast of France. You can cycle form village to village. Some churches will simply be open but at others you will have to ask a local for the key.

Another region I have seriously thought about cycling is the Parish Enclosures (les enclos parroisses) in Brittany, again a unique style of architecture.

The Marias Poitevin, aka The Green Venice, is a former bay that was canalised by monks in the 14th century. There is an astounding network of hundreds of canals. There is a 'wet' portion starting in Coulon going east where poplar and other trees have grown making it a verdant oasis. Very cute port towns have grown up along these tiny canals. I have boated here but not cycled.

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Old Sep 26th, 2022, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by BritishCaicos View Post
I’d be very careful planning some of the routes in The Dordogne - it is generally very hilly and annoying hills for cycling - one mile up, one mile down ….mile after mile - I did 44 hills in 65 miles just before Covid cycling from Angouleme to Lalinde - just soul destroying.

We have a house near Saint Emilion - really lovely to cycle through the vineyards - wine tasting is no issue as you are not driving.

This area is much flatter and around a 2 hour drive from the Upper Dordogne.
Rent ebikes.
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