Three years ago I met Scott while I was cycling in Las Terrazas in Cuba. We ended up riding together to Vinales and Pinar del Rio, in what turned out to be one of the best legs of my trip.

Being used to traveling alone on a bicycle, I have to admit that when you find a good travel partner, you end up having so much more fun  -  and taking much better pictures.

Therefore, I was very excited when Scott agreed to join me in France, for another cycling adventure in Dordogne.

Despite the cold weather of the days before our start, we ended up having ideal cycling conditions (no traffic, sunny weather and a pleasant, cool breeze). And the Dordogne is amazing!!


After renting two trekking bikes in Bordeaux, we took a train to Bergerac. Being used to ride on mountain bikes, the big wheels and high handlebar felt a bit odd (like a contemporary version of Monsieur Hulot), but touring bikes have their advantages (they are fast, have very comfortable handles and allow you to fully take in the surrounding landscape).

We spent ten days cycling at a comfortable pace around the Périgord Noir, sipping in the stunning variety of this region: farms, well-tended countryside, forests, castles, ancient monasteries, medieval villages and prehistoric caves.

We rode along two of the most picturesque rivers in France (the Dordogne and the Vezère), for once without hurrying through, but taking the time to enjoy the sleepiness of this beautiful region during low season.

Bergerac to Sarlat

Arrival in Bergerac and beginning of the adventure

Getting lost in the fields, trying to find an alternative route

... every detour has its reward: in this case, an abandoned castle

The Dordogne

The Dordogne at Couze

We continue along the “Chemins de Halage”

Camping in Cadouin

Cadouin is on the Camino de Compostela

Twelfth Century Cadouin Abbey

Discussing our route with an American lady who lives here

This orchard looks like the perfect place...

... for an extended lunch break! (we’ll have plenty of those during this trip)

Scott’s Japanese guitalele proved a good cycling companion

Approaching Beynac-et-Cazenac

Crossing the Dordogne at Castelnaud-la-Chapelle

Strolling around Beynac


The view of the Dordogne Valley from Beynac Castle is quite stunning...

... as is the view from Domme!

Overlooking the Dordogne at Domme, at sunset

Another great camping spot...

...makes it hard to leave the next morning!

This friendly cat distracted me from my morning yoga practice...

Passing La Roque Gageac

Another detour into the fields on the way to Sarlat

Hmmm...we might have to go back to the main road after all

Arrival in Sarlat, the capital of the Perigord Noir


The main square and the huge doors of the covered market


The wonders of modern technology: checking e-mails and the weather forecast in a picturesque courtyard in Sarlat



Cycling the Périgord Noir (Dordogne)

17-27 May 2010