Arrival in Gourdon, a lovely town with a charming medieval quarter of narrow streets, and a 14th century Gothic church. Cliff will give you the bikes and a briefing for the tour.
Head through the Bouriane through Daglan, St-Pompont, and Besse. Your destination is Monpazier, one of the most beautiful and best-preserved bastides of the Perigord. Bastides were fortified towns built in a grid pattern and surrounded by ramparts.
Pedal past mighty Biron castle, besieged by Simon de Montfort in 1211, then enter the department of Lot-et-Garonne. Ride into the Vallée de Gavaudun, where high cliffs pocked with caves loom over the river valley. Pause at the village of Gavaudun, perhaps climb to the old crenelated keep on its rocky spur. Soon you’ll arrive at Mauroux where you’ll stay two nights.
Today’s highlight is Bonaguil castle, the majestic fortress on the border between the Périgord and Quercy and one of the best examples of 15th– and 16th-century military architecture in France. You can also ride to Villefranche-du-Périgord, a beautiful bastide town.
Pedal through Puy L’Éveque, on one of the most picturesque sites on the Lot, and into the vineyards, famous for their dark red wines. Pass the feudal castle of La Coste and look for the carved doors in Douelle, then arrive in Cahors, an ancient city dating back to Gallo-Roman times. Be sure to visit the beautiful medieval bridge of Valentré.
Today’s ride is short, allowing plenty of time to enjoy the spectacular views and explore St-Cirq-Lapopie, perched on 100-foot high cliffs. You’ll stay here for two nights.
Visit the Grotte de Pech Merle, full of wonderful prehistoric paintings, then ride into the tranquil and green Célé Valley, dotted with beautiful old villages and the remains of châteaux. Return to St-Cirq-Lapopie.
Leave the Lot Valley and the dry limestone causse to return to the green hills of the Bouriane. Watch for the ornate dormer windows, unique to the Bouriane. Today’s destination is Gourdon.
Enjoy a final stroll around Gourdon before departing on a new adventure
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