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The Charming Dordogne

4.3 stars(61 reviews)

Experience the beauty of the Dordogne

You are viewing the 2021 itinerary. Select your departure year
6 days From £699 per person
No Solo Supplement

No Solo Supplement subject to availability on selected departures. 

2021 Tour code: 21DQS

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

Meet your Tour Manager at our Departure Office at London St Pancras, then travel on the Eurostar service to Paris. Here you connect with the intercity train to Brive, before transferring to Le Bugue by coach on arrival, an attractive market town that sits on the Vézère River. The town remains mostly untouched by the throng of tourism, so walking around is a delight. Enjoy the laid back pace of life the locals are accustomed to during your stay at the Hotel Royal Vézère.

  • 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 serenely along the Dordogne River, soak up the views of soaring limestone cliffs that rise above the elegant townhouses, beautifully framed by exotic looking plants and flowers.

This afternoon, continue to Château des Milandes, the sumptuous former home of Josephine Baker, a star of Parisian cabaret in the roaring 20s. Built in 1489, it boasts popular Gothic features of the time as well as later, Renaissance architecture. Centuries later, Josephine famously restored the château in the style of the time, creating an Art Deco haven for her large, adopted family. Whilst exploring the castle and its grounds, see displays commemorating her life and work, including her time in the French Resistance during WWII. After exploring the house, why not step out into the perfectly-manicured grounds for a birds of prey show?

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Le Bugue

Today you have free time to look around the charming town of Le Bugue. Admire the town's 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 your ball as close to the target (known as a piglet in France) as possible, adopting a traditional throwing motion taught to the group 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 buildings built in warm honey coloured stone, is virtually unchanged since the Middle Ages. Developed around a Benedictine monastery, Sarlat is a favourite location for film directors as it's one of the most representative 14th-century towns in the country. Your visit coincides with market day, giving you the chance to peruse the stalls for fresh produce and local crafts. 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, a number of pretty courtyards - such as the Cour des Fontaines and Cour des Chanoines - can be found, as can some of the town's original fortifications. Overall, more than 1,000 years of architecture can be seen here: from the 19th-century buildings on the Rue de la République, to the medieval houses of Vieille Ville.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Rocamadour & Martel

This morning, travel to the magnificent village of Rocamadour, perched high above the meandering river below. The town rises up in levels, and is crowned by l'Hospitalet Abbey. In the afternoon, you continue to the medieval village of Martel, an attractive place steeped in history.

From here, take a ride on the restored Truffadou Steam Train which hugs the side of the hills as it travels around the valley, a great way to adsorb the views. The rail line was built to carry timber to Bordeaux, for the production of wine casks, though its current name comes from its later use as a method of truffle transportation. Whilst previously timber would have been carried slowly on Gabare boats, the introduction of the train line shortened the process considerably.

The railway was built in the 1880s and opened for traffic in 1889, though it was later dismantled in 1917 by American soldiers to help the First World War effort. Rebuilt the following year - also with the help of American soldiers - the rail operated in this commercial capacity until 1980. Thanks to railway enthusiasts, the line was reopened as a tourist attraction in 1997, and is now run by a not-for-profit group.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 - Le Bugue & London

Return to Brive's station by coach today, catching the intercity train to Paris. Here, join the Eurostar service back 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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4.3 stars4.3 / 5 · 61 reviews

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

Mrs C Batter

4 stars

Submitted 23 Oct 2019

The destination, hotel and coach trips were brilliant, sadly for me the discomfort of putting cases on and off Eurostar did not impress me nor did the trek across Paris

Collected by Rail Discoveries

Arthur Braybrooke

4 stars

Submitted 23 Oct 2019

Apart from the long journey to get there we thoroughly enjoyed the time spent in the Dordogne. The weather was good and our travelling companions were very pleasant

Collected by Rail Discoveries

Mrs R Wilde

5 stars

Submitted 18 Oct 2019

As a newcomer to Rail Discoveries I found it all went very smoothly

Collected by Rail Discoveries

Mrs M Roberts

4 stars

Submitted 16 Oct 2019

The holiday was great - but the initial journey to Le Bugue was too long.....the return journey was OK

Collected by Rail Discoveries

Mr G Morris

4 stars

Submitted 24 Oct 2018

Generally very satisfied, but travelling days -particularly outward were too long. personally I found the excursion to the cave paintings a disappointment.

Collected by Rail Discoveries

Mr D Marriott

4 stars

Submitted 24 Oct 2018

Arriving late at the hotel could have been avoided by using the fast train route to Bordeaux both ways although there was a 2 hour coach transfer to our Hotel Royal Vezere.

Collected by Rail Discoveries

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Europe & UK Escorted Holiday by Rail 2021

Europe & UK Escorted Holiday by Rail 2021

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The Charming Dordogne

Experience the beauty of the Dordogne


Lynne Broadley
Luke Simpson
Helen Laverack