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The Charming Dordogne

4.2 stars(143 reviews)

Experience the beauty of the Dordogne

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6 days From £849 £749 per person
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2023 Tour code: 23DQS

About the tour

From your base in pretty Le Bugue, explore this beautiful area of south-west France, visiting Sarlat and Rocamadour, enjoying a game of petanque, and journeying on the unique Truffadou Steam Train.


What’s included


Day 1 - London & Le Bugue

From London St Pancras, take the Eurostar to Paris. Continue to Brive before transferring to Le Bugue by coach. An attractive market town on the Vézère River, amid the wooded hills and beautiful countryside of the Dordogne Valley, Le Bugue remains mostly untouched by tourism. Spending time here offers a wonderful insight into this part of France, and you'll find yourself enjoying the laid-back pace of local life during your stay.

  • Dinner
Day 2 - Dordogne cruise & Château des Milandes

Take to the water at La Roque-Gageac today for a traditional flat-bottomed Gabare boat cruise. Sailing along the Dordogne River, soak up the views of soaring limestone cliffs that rise above the elegant townhouses, framed by exotic-looking plants and flowers. Continue to Château des Milandes, the sumptuous former home of Josephine Baker, a star of Parisian cabaret in the roaring 20s. Built in 1489 with Gothic and Renaissance features, centuries later, Josephine famously restored the château in the style of the time, creating an Art Deco haven. Whilst exploring the castle, see displays commemorating her life and work, including her time in the French Resistance during WWII. After exploring the house, you could step out into the perfectly-manicured grounds for a bird of prey show.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Le Bugue

You have time to get to know charming Le Bugue, a town that boasts a wealth of handsome 19th-century architecture and some appealing shops and restaurants. Admire the traditional houses and take a stroll along the river, or perhaps visit nearby Gouffre de Proumeyssac, the single largest developed cave system in the area. There's also a chance to join in an optional game of petanque. Similar to boules, the aim is to get the ball as close to the target (known as a piglet in France) as possible, adopting a traditional throwing motion taught to you by a local player.

  • Breakfast
Day 4 - Sarlat

Today's excursion is to Sarlat, a picturesque town in the heart of the Dordogne. The medieval Old Town, with its labyrinth of alleyways and honey-coloured buildings, is virtually unchanged since the Middle Ages. Developed around a Benedictine monastery, Sarlat is a favourite location for film directors as perfectly depicts a 14th-century town. Your visit coincides with market day, giving you the chance to peruse the stalls. You could also take a walk around the historic attractions, perhaps visiting the Cathedrale Saint Sacerdos. Much of Sarlat's oldest architecture is located in the lanes at the back of the cathedral. Here, pretty courtyards - such as the Cour des Fontaines and Cour des Chanoines - can be found, as can some of the town's original fortifications.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Rocamadour & Truffadou Steam Train

Travel by coach to the clifftop village of Rocamadour perched high above the meandering river below. The town rises up in levels and is crowned by l'Hospitalet Abbey. You have free time here to explore. Take a stroll along pretty Rue de la Couronnerie, the village's main street, where you'll find a host of boutiques, cafés, and restaurants housed in historic buildings. In the afternoon, you visit the village of Martel for a ride on the restored Truffadou Steam Train, named as it was historically used to transport truffles from Martel's Market. Hugging the side of the hills as it travels around the valley, this is a fantastic way to soak up views across the beautiful local countryside.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 - Le Bugue & London

Transfer to Bordeaux, catching the train to Paris. Here, join the Eurostar service to London St Pancras.

  • Breakfast

Additional information

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.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


Hotel Royal Vézère, Le Bugue

Hotel Royal Vézère, Le Bugue

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Truffadou Train

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4.2 stars4.2 / 5 · 143 reviews

  1. 5 stars
  2. 4 stars
  3. 3 stars
  4. 2 stars
  5. 1 star

L Kidd

5 stars

Submitted 22/May

The tour was very well organised and managed. Interesting places and enjoyable experiences. An interesting mix of people in the group - as always. We would happily recommend Rail Discoveries and have already booked another trip ????

Collected by Trustpilot

Eleanor Lewington

5 stars

Submitted 22/May

excellent good selection of well chosen visits

Collected by Trustpilot

M Abrahams

4 stars

Submitted 22/May

The hotel needs updating. Helpful staff. Good position on the river. Trips out very good with a very good tour manager.

Collected by Trustpilot


2 stars

Submitted 22/May

A six day break with two extremely long travelling days. The food in the hotel was poor and the vegetarian options were pitiful

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Derek Sharp

3 stars

Submitted 22/May

Good awful at Hotel Hotel tired and needs attention inside and out. A bit too much free time Reference made to prehistoric attractions near by but not included in itinerary Town pretty but remote I,e little public transport

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J Croucher

5 stars

Submitted 13/May

idyllic in the Spring.

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