Looking towards St Cere and the Dordogne Valley

Notre de VerdaleWithin our Inclusive Walking Holiday Package we have specially selected 9 walks for you to enjoy. For those staying longer than a week there are many other walks to experience. For each of our selected walks we have prepared clear written instructions together with a detailed map so that you can fully enjoy your day without worrying about finding your route.

Walking in this part of France is made easy by an excellent system of waymarkers at regular intervals. There are no stiles to tackle, no fences to clamber over and no ploughed fields to cross. In fact for the majority of the year there is little or no mud as the area is very free draining. Even when a route takes you along one of the small country roads you will find very little traffic to disturb you.

Each walk is suitable for anyone with a reasonable standard of fitness. There are ascents and descents but usually they are well worth the effort and we suggest that by taking your time you will appreciate more the wonderful scenery.


Our selected walks vary in time, distance and the landscapes you will experience. Each walk has its own special reason to be included whether for the spectacular countryside, the wonderful views, the lovely villages or even a combination of all of these. There is no fixed itinerary, you can decide which walks you would like to do - we are very happy to help you with our local knowledge.

Timings are for guidance based on an average pace and do not include stops. We can provide suggestions to combine the shorter walks with visits to other local attractions. A car is essential for this itinerary.

The walks are suitable for single people.

Please refer to our Prices page for costs of the 7 night package

Walk 1 – Frayssinhes Circular (15km)
A good introduction to the surrounding countryside known as the “Jardin du Ségala” – the word “ségala” is derived from seigle or rye, the main crop grown here for many centuries. Taking about 3.5 hours the walk rises from the hillside meadows through oak and beech woods to a height of about 500m with spectacular views in all directions.

It then continues with more far-reaching views, passing several small hamlets, before descending down through delightful mixed woodland to a charming river valley and return to Frayssinhes. The area is renowned for its wildlfowers and you may even spot the red squirrels and pine marten that populate the woods.


Walk 2 – Medieval Villages & the Causse (15km)
This circular walk is about 30 minutes from the house by car and is a complete change from Walk 1, taking in two of the picture-postcard villages designated as "Les Plus Beaux Villages de France" and the dry rocky Causse. Another 15km walk but slightly more challenging at about four and a half hours plus time to look around the villages. Starting at the very picturesque Loubressac the walk takes you to the edge of the fabulous limestone cliffs above Autoire before descending down into the village. An optional small detour takes you to the foot of the famous cascades. A short but steep ascent up the cliffs offers dramatic views and reveals a host of unusual wildlflowers and an opportunity to watch birds of prey circling above the valley. Your route then takes you along the edge of the Causses Regional Park with its amazing variety of flowers, butterflies and birds. You pass by the very popular Caves at Padirac (a 2 hour visit can be included although we recommend a separate day's visit) before returning across the high Causse to Loubressac.


Walk 3 – Carennac & Mézels (8.5km)
A shorter walk to allow you time to explore the lovely village of Carennac said to be one of the most popular places people would like to live - close to the river Dordogne and containing an abbey started in the 11th century. Partly following an ancient Roman Way the walk takes about 2.5 hours and offers views high over the river Dordogne and across the valley.Carennac

Walk 4 – Hills & Valleys (21km)
Our longest walk and in our view, definitely an all day walk taking over six hours to complete comfortably. Starting 10 minutes drive from the house this walk takes you along a beautiful river valley with steep hills rising either side before climbing to the village of Terrou. You pass by groves of walnut trees with the wonderful aroma of wild mint and thyme that grows alongside the road. Although close to a number of villages this walk gives the impression of wilderness and having the countryside to yourself - definitely a landscape to make you feel refreshed and alive. Once you reach the end of the valley you climb to the tops of the hills above the valley and return along a number of ridges with 360 degree views. Another walk where the wildlife is a highlight.

Walk 5 – Notre Dame de Verdale (6km)
The shortest walk and probably the easiest, a simple but delightful descent from our house down through woods to the river valley where the water tumbles over moss-covered rocks. Visit the remote chapel of the Notre Dame de Verdale before strolling along the river to the local village of Latouille. The walk takes about 2 hours unless you find yourself just relaxing by the river with your feet dangling in the water. We will arrange with you to leave your car at the finish in Latouille.

Chateau de CastelnauWalk 6 – Chateau de Castelnau(7km)
Starting just the other side of St. Céré, this walk takes you down through woods to then walk alongside the small river Bave. As this area is quite fertile you will find a number of walnut groves and fruit trees which attract a good variety of birds and butterflies. You then climb gradually up to the impressive Chateau, a landmark that can be seen for miles and offering wonderful views itself. The Chateau which was begun in the 12th century and subsequently renovated by an opera singer is open to the public (check times) although a stroll around the jumble of houses is equally rewarding. The walk returns to the starting point along a ridge with walnut, fig and even nectarines

Walk 7 – Beaches, Bridges and Mountain Views - Lac St Etienne (10km)
A very different walk to any of the others and we hope a bit of fun for you. Located just over the border in the Cantal department this walk takes you around the lake and across the wonderful new suspension bridge plus superb views of the mountains.Lac St EtienneThe lake is a playground for the locals with swimming, boating and fishing, it's the nearest we have to "being by the sea". So take your swimming costumes and enjoy a dip from one of the many beaches.

Walk 8 – “Are we there yet?” – Beaulieu sur Dordogne (12km)
We just couldn’t miss out a walk from the very picturesque town of Beaulieu sur Dordogne. The name we have given it is really our warped sense of humour and comes from the fact that there is a steady climb from near the start that fools you several times into thinking you are at the top! But do not be put off, Beaulieu is lovely, the climb isn’t too bad and you are rewarded with the most fabulous views back down onto the river. Throw in a wonderful Chateau and some delightful countryside and local houses and this is definitely not one to miss. The town is just inside the Correze and about 40 minutes drive from the house.
Beaulieu sur Dordogne

Walk 9 - Above and Around Figeac (8km)
One of the best medieval towns in this part of France, Figeac is rich in history and deserves a visit whether you do the walk or not. The walk is not too strenuous so can be combined with a stroll around the town and on Saturdays, a visit to the wonderful market. From a lovely park on the outskirts of the town the walk climbs at an easy pace with great views all around. At the top you pass an interesting chateau and a windmill before joining the well worn St Jacques pilgrim path as it
descends back into town. There is every chance you will meet some of the brave walkers doing the complete walk to northwest Spain!

Click here to see a Google Map with starting points for the walks

We are featured on the Walking World website where you will also find a short description of the local area.

Independent self-guided Walking Holidays in the Lot Department and Dordogne Valley


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Places to visit: St. Céré, Autoire, Loubressac, Cardaillac, Bretenoux, Turenne, Beaulieu sur Dordogne, Carennac, Curemonte, Salers, Martel, Floirac, Castelnau, Rocamadour, Lac du Tolerme, Argentat, Figeac, Cahors, St Cirq Lapopie, Marcilhac, Cajarc, Collonges, Conques, Padirac, Pech Merle, Gourdon, Gramat, Capdenac, Rodez, Gourdon, Souillac, Brive, Sarlat, Domme, River Dordogne, River Lot, River Cele, River Cere, Lot Quercy.
Things to do: Hiking, Cycling, Canoeing, Horse riding, Golf, Tennis, Swimming, Bird Watching.
All in the local area of the delightful Lot department and the adjacent Correze, Cantal, Aveyron and Dordogne departments of France

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