South Coast Walks & Historical Sites
Bring intriguing coastal trails and history alive in South Hampshire
The gateway to the Dordogne. As you wander the streets of Rocamadour filled with the smells of fresh bread and clean air you are possibly the closest to stepping back in time you can get.
Tour codes: 50350
Our range of Adagio leisurely walking holidays and sightseeing tours are designed at a slower pace than the average Ramblers Walking Holidays, perfect for those who would like to slow things down but keep active.
Deep in the Occitanie region of France lies a secretive gorge home to Rocamadour, the rock shelter, aptly given its name from the buttress of rock that seems to overhang the river side chocolate box town below. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, made up of fortified gates and medieval streets overlooked by the Chapel of the Black Virgin, the area is popular with pilgrims and known locally as the gateway to the Dordogne.
During our own medieval wanderings, we will discover bastide towns, the cave drawings and some of the oldest and most distinct in the world as well as walking parts of the famous St James de Compostela (Camino de Santiago).
Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.
NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen
This is the land of lavender and olives, of plane trees shading weekly markets, of popes and artists, of gypsies and troubadours.
Chinon is on the River Vienne, a few miles of gently meandering curves away from where it meets the Loire. Here are cream-coloured stone buildings, turrets, half-timbered façades and riverside promenades. This is the rich land of wine and food, of castles and kings, producing some of the Loire’s best wine.
Itinerary & Travel
Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.
We travel by train via Paris to Brive-la-Gaillarde, continuing by road to Rocamadour.
From your first glimpses of Rocamadour on your arrival you will be restless to know more about this dramatic town with a local guide but not before we have had a morning walk around its outer paths to view it from a distance.
Your afternoon guided tour will reveal the history and legends of Rocamadour. Admire the black virgin statue, the beating heart of the sanctuary which attracted millions of pilgrims throughout history. Understand why boat models and chains hang from the ceiling of the chapel. Discover remarkably preserved outdoor frescoes some being 800 years old!
After a hearty breakfast we travel to Bretenoux where we head into the wonderfully varied terrain of the Occitane countryside of woodland rich with flora. After a brief visit to the village we wander through plantations of walnut and cherry towards the imposing hilltop Castelnau Castle, for a visit before returning to the village.
Please Note: Some sections of todays walking can have some short, steep sections. You may wish to bring walking poles for extra stability.
Today we visit two ‘Les Plus Beaux Villages de France’. First we take a short walk to view the cascades and village of Autoire Then onto the flowery hilltop village of Loubressac the second of ‘the most beautiful villages in France’. It is the starting point of our walk past rolling green fields along peaceful tracks to Gouffre de Padirac. After lunch we go underground into the Padirac cave known as one of the most extraordinary natural phenomena of Southern France.
Important note: There are 500 steps at Padirac Cave however we will have plenty of time to walk them down into the cave and a coffee stop after to rest for a little while after coming back up. Some areas of walking can have short, steep sections and you may wish to bring walking poles for extra stability.
Today we take to the St James de Compostella as we walk west from Rocamadour treading the same grounds as millions of pilgrims have in the years gone by. At the end we are treated to a demonstration of the Moulin de Caugnaguet. We will return to Rocamadour by bus. In the afternoon take some time to yourselves to explore further.
Today is our most strenuous walk in terms for distance, however the views are well worth the extra effort.
We start our day driving to Pech-Merle caves to see paintings from as far back as 25,000 years BC. Images of spotted horses, reindeer, handprints and humans. In the afternoon we walk along the towpath to Saint Cirq Lapopie, the third Plus Beau Villages de France before heading back to Rocamadour.
Our final day in the Dordogne is relaxed as we depart for Martel to visit
a Moulin de l’huile de noix (Walnut oil mill). Leaving the mill we will walk through the walnut tree plantations to visit Martel with its fairy tale book streets dating back to the 12th Century. In the afternoon we hop on the Haut-Quercy steam train, affectionately known as the ‘Truffle Train’ which meanders its way 8 miles from Martel to St-Denis Les Martel and back giving those last few panoramic views of the Dordogne river and valley.
It is time to bid 'au revoir' to Rocamadour as we transfer to Brive-la-Gaillarde for our train back to London.
Departure dates for your selected tour
17th Sep 2022 - 24th Sep 2022 (7 Nights)
1st Oct 2022 - 8th Oct 2022 (7 Nights)
8th Apr 2023 - 15th Apr 2023 (7 Nights)
22nd Apr 2023 - 29th Apr 2023 (7 Nights)
16th Sep 2023 - 23rd Sep 2023 (7 Nights)
30th Sep 2023 - 7th Oct 2023 (7 Nights)
Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.
Perched overlooking the town of Rocamadour sits the Hotel Restaurant le Belvedere. Offering comfortable rooms of a good standard, it is the hotels location which is the jewel in its crown. With splendid views of Rocamadour from its verandas.
All rooms are elegantly decorated with en-suite. Compared to many Adagio hotels this hotel has its own swimming pool at its sister property 300m away. All breakfasts and dinners will be taken at the hotel which offers panoramic views of Rocamadour.
The hotel is a short ten minute walk down into town which understandably, may take some time longer coming back up.
In the town you will find all the amenities you would need including ATM's, supermarket and bakeries to help ensure a pleasant holiday. The nearest Pharmacy should you require one is in Gramat, 10km away.
Please note this hotel does not have air-conditioning. We have scheduled our departure dates to avoid the hot seasons.
All Adagio holidays are expertly designed to allow you to immerse yourself in the destination. Leisurely exploration of the must-see, as well as lesser known, highlights together with relaxed enjoyment of local food and wines is what we have in mind.
There may be days of sightseeing on foot around a spectacular city or unchallenging strolls on easy terrain in open countryside interspersed with winery visits, guided tours, boat trips, cafe stops and traditional restaurants.
To fully enjoy the walking on this holiday you should be able to walk along uneven undulating paths at about 1½ to 2 miles per hour for distances between 5 and 7 miles broken into two or three sections, with walks lasting up to a total of 5 hours.
We use a mix of privately hired vehicles, taxis, and public transport which gives us some flexibility in our itinerary. We have a wonderful programme of walking, sightseeing and visits planned to let you fully experience the area along with opportunities to relax at our wonderful hotel and enjoy your surroundings.
Local transport costs, entrance fees and tips to local providers are included in your holiday price. You may wish to budget for any meals and drinks not included in the holiday arrangements, non-included entrance fees and any optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
The currency in France is the euro.
Credit cards are widely accepted. You may be asked to provide ID if you can’t pay by chip and PIN. ATMs are widely available in most towns and villages throughout France.
We include tips in the holiday cost and your Adagio Leader will take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. If you feel that someone has gone out of their way to make your holiday enjoyable or help you in anyway, please feel free to give a personal tip to the person should you wish. If you are having an independent lunch or other service not included in the holiday arrangements, tipping is at your own discretion.
Leaders Evening Briefing
Your Adagio Leader will discuss the programme for the following day with the group at each evening briefing. This will be your opportunity to find out more details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. Also, if you have any questions or concerns on clothing or lunch arrangements, this can be discussed then. If you wish to opt out of the organised group programme, this is fine, just let your Leader know.
Visiting historical sites, churches or museums are much more rewarding with a local guide. They give an insight to the local culture, language and traditions and can bring a destination alive. Many of our Adagio holidays include a knowledgeable English speaking guide on at least one of the days. Please refer to your daily itinerary to see where a guide is included.
We believe that the best things come in small packages, and our Adagio holidays prove just that. We limit our groups to a maximum of 18 persons, plus the Adagio Leader, so that everyone has the opportunity to mix, share their love of travel and return home with new friendships. Small groups also have less detrimental local impact, allows us to use public transport on some days, eat at small local restaurants and, we believe, offers a better experience.
An Adagio Leader will accompany you throughout the holiday. They are all experienced travellers with a love for exploring and will help capture the true essence of the destination with their stories, knowledge and insights. They are well-organised, pay great attention to detail and enjoy being with people. They are there to help make your holiday as enjoyable and stress free as possible.
Luggage Allowance & Tickets
When booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday with us, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.
Personal Details Check
Please ensure that the personal details we have on file for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements.
Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to accurately manage your holiday booking are correct at the time of booking (including health and dietry requirements). You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.adagio.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 386700. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
Getting to your Holiday
We travel to Paris Gare du Nord by Eurostar from London St Pancras International. From here we have a private transfer to Paris Austerlitz and then take the TGV direct to Brive-La-Gaillarde. We will then have a one hour transfer by private coach to our hotel on the outskirts of Rocamadour.
During the week we will travel on foot and by road.
Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements
If you wish to organise your own flights from either a non-UK or UK regional airport, or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. If you choose to do this, before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.
If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at the hotel. Although airport/train station transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport/train station, depending on your flight/train arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details.
Please note that your flight/train must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight/train to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight/train number, arrival time and departure point so that your Adagio Leader is able to meet up with you.
General Passport Advice
It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport page (with your photo on). Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country. Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.
Brexit Passport Advice
If you are planning to travel to an EU country (except Ireland), or Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or Vatican City, you must meet the Schengen area rules.
Your passport must meet 2 requirements. It must be:
The guidance for Schengen border guards may not be updated until the spring of 2022. Until then, for some Schengen countries your passport may need to be less than 10 years old during your whole visit, and the 3 months at the end of your visit may need to be within 10 years of your passport’s issue date.
Check both the issue date and the expiry date in your passport. If you renewed your passport early, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. This could affect the requirement for your passport to be less than 10 years old.
Non British Passport holders should consult the host country’s embassy for applicable passport and visa entry requirements.
Breakfast and all dinners are included in the price of the holiday and will be taken in the hotel. One of our reasons for selecting our chosen hotel is its superb views of Rocamadour from its dinning room and verandas. Breakfast is a continental and hot selection breakfast with dinners being typical french food of the region. Do try some of the local wine with your dinner!
We don’t include lunches in the price of the holiday – normally these can be taken as a picnic or in a pleasant café.
Comfortable, broken in, walking boots or shoes with a good sole are recommended for this holiday. Walking shoes or other comfortable footwear will be suitable for sightseeing days.
General Kit List
We recommend you bring the following items with you:
Swimming in France
Please note that in French public swimming pools men are not permitted to wear baggy swimming shorts but must have ‘Speedo’ style trunks or tight fitting longer shorts. Men with incorrect swim wear will not be allowed into the pool.
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
Travel Document Checklist
To ensure your holiday gets off to a good start, please make sure that you bring the following documents and information with you:
Electricity in France
Electricity is supplied at 220 Volts. If you wish to use electrical equipment you will need a European two pin adaptor with round pins. More information can be found at https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/
The Map Shop
If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:
The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.
No compulsory immunisations are required for visits to France.
You should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK.
You may wish to consider immunisations against Tetanus and Tick-borne Encephalitis
Further Health Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
Please take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you; it will help you in the event of you needing medical assistance during your holiday. Please note that the EHIC has an expiry date, so please check that your card is valid for the duration of your holiday. Please note however the EHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance.
For more information please visit ehic.org.uk.
It is a condition of booking with Adagio that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the trip, including all optional activities.
Your travel insurance policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation. Please ensure your policy covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are walking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. Medical and repatriation insurance cover are not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.
Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.
Looking for travel insurance cover?
If you have not already arranged cover, please visit SunWorld who offer travel insurance.
SunWorld policies include cover for COVID-19, subject to applicable terms and conditions.
It is important to ensure while purchasing insurance that you are insured for guided walking upto 1000m.
We're committed to operating responsible tours in all our destinations as best we can. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way.
Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel Ltd’s (inc Adagio) profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public.
In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Visas and Passports
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