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Dordogne & Lot

(Tour code: 17DLS)Explore pretty Dordogne and Lot by rail

The picturesque region of Dordogne is adorned with pretty villages, unique history and many attractions. Take in the beautiful countryside and relax on a journey aboard a heritage train and a river cruise.


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Tour Highlights
  • Souillac’s Market and Sarlat
  • Traditional Gabare boat trip along the Dordogne
  • Visit to La Roque-Gageac
  • Visit to Martel with free time to explore
  • Trip on the Truffadou Train
  • Excursion to Rocamadour
What’s Included (Full details)
  • Standard Class Rail
    Heritage Rail Excursion
  • 3* Hotel Accommodation
    Breakfast Every Day
    Evening Meals
    Evening Meals With Wine
  • Gabare Boat Cruise Excursion

Itinerary & Map

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Departure Times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We will write to you around 10 weeks before your departure date with the precise meeting times for your tour group.

Day 1

London to Souillac

You meet your group at Rail Discoveries' dedicated Departure Office in London St Pancras International, departing on a Eurostar service from London to Paris, where you join the train to Souillac. Here transfer by coach to the charming and welcoming 19th century 3* Grand Hotel for a five night stay. Perfectly situated in the heart of Souillac, the Grand Hotel is a charming family-run establishment with comfortable en-suite rooms and a welcoming atmosphere. The Grand Hotel has previously won Rail Discoveries' Gold Award for its outstanding customer service.

  • Dinner
Day 2

Souillac’s Market

This morning is free to stroll through Souillac's Old Town where you can find the treasured 19th century market hall. Listed by the French National Heritage Fund as an important historical monument in 2004, the hall is one of many historic buildings in the town centre. This afternoon you might like to join the optional excursion to Gouffre de Proumeyssac, amongst the most spectacular of the region's cave systems. Discovered in 1907, the ancient Gouffre de Proumeyssac is the single largest developed cavern in the entire province of Périgord; a region of France world-famous for its abundance of prehistoric caves, many of which contain superbly-preserved examples of engravings and paintings dating back thousands of years. The wonders of the Gouffre de Proumeyssac, by contrast, are entirely natural. Entered on foot via a tunnel or from above in a gondola that gently lowers you to the floor of this vast natural cavern. The interior is densely packed with impressive stalagmites, stalactites and other glittering crystalline rock formations which have earned this place the nickname 'the Cathedral of Crystal'. These stunning deposits of accumulated minerals have been 'sculpted', over centuries creating recognisable shapes with names such as the waterfall, jellyfish, siren and octopus.

During your time here an introductory lightand-music display highlights the remarkable formations and rock pools. You then have the opportunity to explore the cavern on foot, accompanied by an optional audio guide if required.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Excursion
Gabare Boat on the Dordogne
Day 3

La Roque-Gageac and Chateau des Milandes

Enjoy a free morning visit to the pretty town of La Roque-Gageac on the banks of the Dordogne. La Roque-Gageac's beauty is breathtaking, melding stunning architecture with glorious French countryside to create a sense of serenity. With its medieval layout of winding cobbled streets, La Roque-Gageac has retained an old-world feel you are sure to enjoy. Admire the ochre coloured houses, sheltering under dramatically overhanging cliffs, before setting off along the Dordogne in a traditional flat-bottomed Gabare boat, cruising past five of the valley's most beautiful châteaux. Continue to Château des Milandes this afternoon, a historic castle built in 1489. As the former home of Josephine Baker, the famous music hall performer who first sashayed onto the Parisian stage during the roaring 1920s, the property has kept her spirit alive by presenting the preserved art deco rooms alongside exhibitions of her notorious costumes.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Gabare Boat Cruise
Day 4

Martel and Rocamadour

Today's first stop is Martel, once a medieval 'city' of seven towers, it now is classed as a picturesque village. The town became very prosperous following the Hundred Years War, leading its wealthy citizens to construct beautiful buildings that you can still see today as you stroll through the ancient streets. Of particular note are the Palais de la Raymondi and the Maison Fabri, both of which are steeped in local history. Whilst the Maison Fabri is where Richard the Lionheart's brother Henry Short Coat died, the Palais was built by Martel's tax collector in 1330 as a status symbol, but was soon repurposed as a belfry. After time to explore, we take a ride on the restored Truffadou Steam Train as it travels along a scenic line, formerly used to transport truffles, to the village of St Denis. First opened in 1889 to great success, the line ran scheduled services for almost a hundred years. Restored to working condition in the 1990s, it continues to delight tourists, remaining one of the very few heritage lines to run at its complete original length. Later, you head to the pilgrimage site of Rocamadour, named for St Amadour, a devout hermit whose uncorrupted body was discovered in a cave in 1166. Tourists and worshippers come here to also witness the Black Virgin, an 11th century statue of the Virgin Mary carved in walnut that is still on display in the small 12th century chapel of St Michel.


*Steam or diesel-hauled depending on departure date

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Excursion
  • Heritage Rail Journey
Day 5


Following a free morning, this afternoon is spent in nearby Sarlat which occupies a delightful setting lying between two hills. Mansions, built in warm golden sandstone, have been lovingly restored to their former glory and are clustered together in a maze of narrow alleyways and shady courtyards. Tonight enjoy a meal of authentic French cuisine, accompanied by a local band performing traditional songs.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Free Day
Day 6

Souillac to London

Today you bid farewell, or perhaps 'au revoir', to France. Travel by train to Paris for the Eurostar service back to St Pancras International.

  • Breakfast

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.


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