5 Days Dordogne Private Travel Package - Based in Sarlat
Small Groups ( 2~7 )
- Know before
- Meeting point
- Wander the Picturesque Town of Sarlat
- See the Beautiful Town of Rocamadour
- Enjoy a Cruise on the Dordogne River
- See Extraordinary Cave Paintings from 15,000 BC
- Explore the Hidden Gems of the Wondrous Valley of Dordogne
- Local Tour Guide, Expert of the Dordogne Region
Program & Itinerary
Based in Sarlat, in the heart of the Dordogne region, follow us on this 5-day private guided tours to discover the essential of what this fascinating French province has to offer. Follow your guide on these small group day tours and visit one of the most well preserved 17th century towns during its bustling market day.
You will also experience a unique visit at Lascaux IV cave that will plunge you back to the origins of Art. The tour also includes the visit of some of the most beautiful villages of the area as well as a boat ride on the River Dordogne so as to admire stunning landscapes and mighty medieval fortresses lined up along the River.
ARRIVAL IN SARLAT ON YOUR OWNArrive in Sarlat on your own and settle into your hotel. Night in Sarlat.Discover the Charming small town of SarlatBecause modern history has largely passed it by, Sarlat has remained preserved and is one of the most representative towns of 14th century France. Located in the heart of the Perigord...Arrive in Sarlat on your own and settle into your hotel. Night in Sarlat.
Discover the Charming small town of Sarlat
Because modern history has largely passed it by, Sarlat has remained preserved and is one of the most representative towns of 14th century France. Located in the heart of the Perigord Noir, the town possesses an outstanding number of buildings and houses dating from the 13th to 18th century. Take some time to stroll through the small narrow alleys and streets for personal discovery.Read moreRead less
SARLAT GUIDED WALKING TOUR / VILLAGES OF THE DORDOGNE VALLEYBreakfast at your hotel.9.30am pick up at your hotel.Experience the Best of Historic Sarlat in Two HoursFollow your guide on a 2 hour walking tour and discover all the main sites the town has to offer. This charming small town of France boasts some of France's best preserved medieval architecture....Breakfast at your hotel.
9.30am pick up at your hotel.
Experience the Best of Historic Sarlat in Two Hours
Follow your guide on a 2 hour walking tour and discover all the main sites the town has to offer. This charming small town of France boasts some of France's best preserved medieval architecture. This is probably why the town of Sarlat is used as the setting for many movies. The latest being the "Last Duel" by director Ridley Scott and featuring Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Adam Driver due to screen in October 2021.
Visit the most important landmarks of the town with your guide including:
Lantern of the Dead: The Lanterne of the Dead or Lanterne of the Moors is a small stone tower located behind the Cathedral. Historically, these Lanterns indicated the location of a cemetery. They are called Lanterns because of the small openings at the top of the building where a light was exhibited at night. The legend has it that the Lantern of Sarlat was built in honor of the passage of Bernard de Clairvaux in 1147.
Another interpretation of the is that the Lantern is an interpretation of the dome of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem as it was represented since the 4th century: a circular tower, with a door on the first level and a second level topped by a canopy with 12 columns.
Saint Sacerdos Cathedral: The diocese of Sarlat was created in 1317. This is when the old Romanesque Abbey became the Cathedral of Sarlat. Renovations took place in 1504 but the works took a lot of time due to low finances, wars and pandemics. Even though some of the Romanesque parts of the Church remain, the Cathedral is mainly Gothique or northern influence. The bell tower dates back to the 12th century and is the oldest part of the building with the bulbed belfry at the top being more recent as it was added in the 19th century.
Saint Mary church & covered market: The construction of the Church dates back to the middle of the 14th century and was consecrated in 1507. By 1794 the church is abandoned and is transformed into a bakery, a postal office and is finally sold in 1805. In 1834 the town of Sarlat buys back the land and the church will be renovated. In 2001 the Church is transformed into a covered market.
Jean Nouvel, a famous French Architect, was commissioned by the town to transform the church into a market. By using material such as steel & glass, the architect rethought the whole building. See the two impressive doors that lead the way to the small nave that remains. The grey color used by Nouvel reminds the Lauzes tiles that cover the traditional houses of the Dordogne. After the visit, why not take the elevator located within the church to admire Sarlat from above.
La Boétie House: Built in 1525 in the Italian Renaissance style, it is the birthplace of writer, judge and philosopher Etienne de la Boétie. The main architectural features of this Private Mansion is the façade include large mullion windows framed by pilasters that are carved with large medallions. The house was classified as a Historical Monument in 1899.
On Wednesdays and Saturdays mornings, your guide will also point out all the main specialties that one can find in the Sarlat Market.
A Perfect Half-Day Afternoon Jaunt Through the Magic of the Dordogne Valley
Begin with the Bastide village of Domme
This afternoon discover the breathtaking landscape and traditional medieval villages of the Dordogne valley. First, drive to the beautiful village of Domme. With its trapezoid city plan, Domme is a bastide (a fortified medieval town) adapted to the surrounding terrain, and thus falling short of the rectangular city plan characteristic to Bastides.
The village is classified as one of the “Plus Beaux Villages de France” (“The Most Beautiful Villages of France”). In 1307, Knight Templars were imprisoned in Domme while during the Hundred Years’ War, the town was coveted by the English who first took it in 1347 and repeatedly changed rulers throughout the war until 1437 when it finally fell under French rule again.
Enjoy a peaceful boat ride
Then drive to La Roque Gageac and enjoy a peaceful cruise on the Dordogne River on board an authentic Gabarre to admire mighty castles that line the river. The boat ride lasts about one hour (tickets not included) and comes highly recommended. The Gabarres are traditional flat-bottomed boats that have been used for transporting goods along the Dordogne since the Middle Ages.
A trip on one of the Gabarres offers a relaxing way to enjoy the sight of some of the many Dordogne chateaux and villages from the perspective of the river. Various sights and wildlife are pointed out to you as you meander slowly down the river as well as the history of the Gabarres.
You can also discover the Gardens of La Roque that benefit from micro-climate conditions and where local vegetation stands alongside more exotic plants such as Banana trees, agave and Bougainvillea flowers.
End the tour in Beynac
Finally, reach Beynac to admire the village and the Castle. This Middle Ages construction, with its austere appearance, is perched on top of a limestone cliff, dominating the town and the north bank of the Dordogne River. The castle was built in the 12th century by the barons of Beynac (one of the four baronies of Périgord) to close the valley.
The sheer cliff face being sufficient to discourage any assault from that side, the defenses were built up on the plateau: double crenelated walls, double moats, one of which was a deepened natural ravine, double barbican. See architectural phenomenon, aided by nature, and discover more about the history of this unusual city on this half-day tour!
After the tour, return to Sarlat.
5.30pm Return to your hotel and night in Sarlat.Read moreRead less
PALEOLITHIC ART OF THE DORDOGNE PRIVATE DAY TRIP FROM SARLATBreakfast at your hotel,9.00am pick up at your hotel.Start with a Visit to the National Prehistory MuseumSome 15,000 years B.C. unknown artists created breathtaking paintings, drawings and etchings inside caves of which the most extraordinary examples are found in the Dordogne area. During this day you will be introduced to...Breakfast at your hotel,
9.00am pick up at your hotel.
Start with a Visit to the National Prehistory Museum
Some 15,000 years B.C. unknown artists created breathtaking paintings, drawings and etchings inside caves of which the most extraordinary examples are found in the Dordogne area. During this day you will be introduced to this fascinating art and to the people who created it.
Begin the day in Les Eyzies de Tayac for a guided visit of the National Prehistory Museum. Established in July 2004, the museum houses some 18,000 pieces and a collection of six million artifacts. The museum’s collections were established as early as 1913, when indefatigable researcher Denis Peyrony convinced the French state to acquire the Château des Eyzies, built at the end of the 16th century, and to transform it into an excavation warehouse that could double up as a museum.
The museum possesses the largest collection of prehistoric artifacts in the world. Follow your guide and discover the main chapters of the Hominids’ development through an anthropological frieze and a brief reminder of Africa’s history, starting with the early Australopithecus.
Many themes are explored, including the legendary “Lucy”, the 3.5-million-year-old woman discovered in Ethiopia in 1974. You will then visit the permanent exhibit galleries that will plunge you into the mists of time, revealing seven sequences that cover the entire Paleolithic era through an “ideal historiography”.
Free time for lunch in a local restaurant (at own expense)
Enjoy some free time for lunch in Montignac or a village of the Dordogne region. Ask your guide for recommendations.
Visit the Brand new Lascaux IV Cave Complex
Continue to Montignac where you will visit the brand new Lascaux IV cave – opened in December 2016. For the first time, all of Lascaux is revealed. A complete new replica retraces the discovery of the famous decorated cave.
But that’s not the end of the adventure: the entire site inquires into the position that Lascaux occupies in cave art and its relation to contemporary creation. The opening of the International Center for Cave Art marks the beginning of a new adventure combining the emotion of ancestral art and an important technological achievement.
Here, the reproduction of the original lascaux cave has been so precise that it would be difficult for even the most talented experts to find any flaws. Follow a guided tour with a local guide of the museum and then take some time to visit the exhibitions and the center for prehistoric cave art.
End with the Visit of Rouffignac Cave
Finally, end the tour with the visit of Rouffignac Cave that possesses state of the art original cave paintings as well as authentic etchings and drawings. The Rouffignac cave was already mentioned in 1575 by François de Belleforest. In his ” Cosmographie universelle” he cites “paintings and animal traces”.
In the 19th century, the cave was known as a tourist attraction. Famous archaeologists like Henri Breuil, André Glory and Martel had visited the cave in the early 20th century, but it was only in 1956 when Louis-René Nougier and Romain Robert, two prehistorians from the Pyrenees, rediscovered and confirmed the cave art.
As you arrive, board an electric train and descend a near 2 kilometers deep to admire the artwork located inside the cave. The small train makes a few stops in front of spectacular drawings and etchings. Finally, reach the bottom of the cave for a stop of a few minutes. Disembark the train and just a few steps away arrive and admire the ceiling of the cave where a large amount of drawings are present.
Usually isolated or organized in a frieze, here the 66 animal representations seem to have been placed in a disorganized way, swirling over a large suction funnel that leads to a well that allows an access to the second floor of the cave. Mammoths are omnipresent, Rhinoceros, Bisons as well as Horses make up the rest of the bestiary. More unusual, all the representations of Ibex are located here, completely absent from the rest of the cave.
5.30pm Return to your hotel and night in Sarlat.Read moreRead less
PADIRAC CHASM & ROCAMADOUR VILLAGE PRIVATE DAY TRIP FROM SARLATBreakfast at your hotel.9.00am pick up at your hotel.One of the most stunning visits of the area: Padirac ChasmAfter a drive of just over an hour, arrive in Padirac. Experience a unique visit of one of the most extraordinary natural phenomena of the region as you plunge in an unexpected...Breakfast at your hotel.
9.00am pick up at your hotel.
One of the most stunning visits of the area: Padirac Chasm
After a drive of just over an hour, arrive in Padirac. Experience a unique visit of one of the most extraordinary natural phenomena of the region as you plunge in an unexpected underground world of the Gouffre de Padirac.
The chasm itself is 103 m (338 ft) deep, with a diameter of approximately 35 meters (115 ft). The flooded network of Padirac Chasm is the second longest in the world after those located in the Yucatan province of Mexico.
The visit of this vertiginous chasm begins with a 75 meter descent via a lift before actually entering the cave system. Following the descent, enjoy a peaceful boat ride on the mysterious subterranean River.
Then, disembark and walk along a path that will take you through large caves decorated with stunning gigantic limestone concretions. After the walk, you will return by boat to your original departure point and take the lift back up to reach the outside world. Once outside, your full day tour will continue towards a gem of the Quercy region.
Rocamadour: A Castle set above a sanctuary set above a village
After the visit of Padirac, board the minivan and head to the nearby village of Rocamadour. Miraculous rock, collection of tales, legends and beliefs, sanctuary of the Black Virgin, pilgrimage site: the Village of Rocamadour is all of this at the same time.
The old medieval houses, the towers and fortifications, the oratories all tumble along the steep cliff that dominates the Alzou Canyon. The whole site is topped off by the castle and its dungeon and the seven sanctuaries. Your tour guide will certainly stop here for a breathtaking view of the whole site that make for fantastic photo opportunities.
Depending on your time of arrival, you will either follow a guided walking tour of the village or enjoy some free time. For lunch, there are many restaurants & snacks to be found in the village and your guide will make the adequate suggestions depending on what type of meal you are looking for.
The name of the village probably originates from the association of St Amador or Amadour of whom the relics were discovered in 1166 in the heart of the sanctuary and roca (cliff).
This beautiful village is renowned for its historical monuments and its sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which for centuries has brought pilgrims from every country, among them kings, bishops, and nobles.
Follow your guide and stroll through the streets of the medieval village. You will then reach the steps that will take you to the middle part of the village where the church square is located, Place St Amadour, surrounded by its 7 sanctuaries.
The 216 or so steps that make up the Great Staircase takes visitors from the lower part of town to the religious complex. In the middle age, pilgrims would go up the steps on their knees.
Visit the Monastic buildings in the sanctuary
Upon arrival, your guide will introduce you to the sanctuary. Try and find the legendary sword of Roland, named Durandal, that is embedded in the cliff. The sword landed in Rocamadour as Roland, the nephew of Charlemagne, threw it from the battlefield so that no one would ever be able to use it again.
Once you have reached the sanctuary, visit the renowned Notre Dame Chapel, part of an extraordinary 13th-century chapel complex. Inside, your guide will certainly talk to you about the Black Madonna statue that was carved from a walnut tree in the 12th century.
Hanging from the ceiling are a number of ship models, given by thankful survivors that were saved from shipwrecks by calling upon the Black Madonna. Each time a ship was saved it is said that the miraculous bell, also located in the Chapel, would ring once.
Facing Notre Dame chapel, admire the beautiful frescoes that represent the Annunciation and Visitation and that date back to the 12th century.
Enjoy some free time for personal discovery
After the visit of the sanctuary, you will have some free time to visit on your own. If you make your way out of the sanctuary at the same level it will be possible for you to reach the Castle that is located above the Sanctuary. The Castle itself cannot be visited but it is possible to follow the remparts for stunning views over the Alzou canyon.
Another option is to make your way down back to the village and take some time to stroll through the main street and shop for local souvenirs. There are a number of arts & crafts shop that make for perfect presents.
5.00pm Return to your hotel and night in Sarlat.Read moreRead less
SARLATBreakfast at your hotel, end of our services.Breakfast at your hotel, end of our services.Read moreRead less
3* Hotel OptionFrom € 760.00
4* Hotel OptionFrom € 1,010.00
Hotel Le Renoir (or similar)Modern, elegant and timeless, Le Renoir, Best Western hotel in Sarlat is highly surprising. Built in a non-conventional style, it is located in the very ...
Modern, elegant and timeless, Le Renoir, Best Western hotel in Sarlat is highly surprising. Built in a non-conventional style, it is located in the very heart of the medieval city. Arcades, paved courtyards and columns confer to this former distillery and the villa beside a deep character. In the capital of Perigord Noir, only 2 or 3 Italian style dwellings remain.
The rooms are functional and personalized, perfectly laid out to brighten up your stay and come up to all your expectations. 36 bedrooms including bath and shower, mini bar, individual safe, TV set, Satellite, free Wi-Fi.
Refined decoration. Attentive service. Outdoors swimming pool.Show moreShow lessShow 4 medias
Hotel Plaza Madeleine (or similar)PLAZA MADELEINE Hotel & Spa, has always been considered the Sarlat hotel of reference, an authentic 4 star establishment situated in the heart of ...
PLAZA MADELEINE Hotel & Spa, has always been considered the Sarlat hotel of reference, an authentic 4 star establishment situated in the heart of the old town.
The hotel is ideally situated at the entrance of the medieval city with its listed monuments, markets and shops, numerous restaurants, street shows and performances.
Spending time at PLAZA MADELEINE Hotel & Spa is also the privilege of enjoying, right in the heart of the city, a heated pool with a terrace and a sun lounge, a relaxing space with a sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and themed shower …
The hotel is fully air conditionned and offers access to a complimentary high speed Wi-fi connection and the best equipment to meet the high expectations of an international clientele.Show moreShow lessShow 4 medias
Know before you book
- Tour available all from April to October
- Tour is operated in English, other languages on request
- Prices are per person - based on the number of persons travelling toghether
- Tour is not wheelchair accessible
- Currency is in Euros
- Face masks required for travelers in public areas
- Face masks required for guides in public areas
- Hand sanitizer available for travelers and staff
- Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
- Guides required to regularly wash hands
Do you organize pick up and return at accommodation for Sarlat private tours?Yes, absolutely, we will come and pick you up everyday at your hotel in Sarlat.
What type of vehicles are used during your private tours from Sarlat?Our company uses only Mercedes Vito Tourer 8 seater minivans that are recent, comfortable and fully equipped including individual A/C, shaded windows, large leg space and on board P/A system for commentaries by the guide.
Who conducts these Dordogne private tours from Sarlat?We only employ fully accredited, licensed tour guides that are also the drivers for all tours that need visits to be conducted by certified guides. Good examples are: the visit of the National Prehistory Museum, guided walking tours in villages such as Domme, visit of historical monuments and so on. In the Dordogne, all our guides are experts in History & Culture. All have a large experience in Paleolithic Art and conduct tours in both Caves & Castles.
Can we modify the program of your Dordogne Travel Packages?Yes, absolutely. As these are private tours, we can adpat any of the days to your wishes. Don't hesitat to contact our team and let them know which sites or activities you would like to include and they will take care of the rest. We will then send you a revised itinerary and program adapted to your requirements.
Can the orders of the days on this package be different?Yes, it might be that we have to modify the order of the tours in order to adapt the days to your visits.
How strenuous are the full day trips on this Dordogne package?This tour includes some walking in the medieval villages where there are still a large number of cobblestone streets. In Rocamadour there are stairs to climb but one can take elevators to reach the sanctuary. It is cold and damp in the caves and in Padirac Chasm. This tour implies that you wear comfortable walking shoes. This tour is not adapted to persons with walking disabilities. You must be in a good physical condition to follow these 3 full day tours.
Will we have the same guide for the three days?Yes, unless there is a last minute event, you will have the same guide during the whole time of your stay in the Dordogne.