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The Dordogne Itinerary

Day 4

Rocamadour and the Gouffre de Padirac

Stunning vierw of the Dordogne from Domme, Dordogne, ©2004 Simon MossToday we leave behind the lush valleys and climb onto the limestone causses on the way to Rocamadour. The terrain is a real contrast of arid volcanic plateau, and Rocamadour is one of the most spectacular towns in France, clinging to the side of a cliff hundreds of feet above the Alzou Gorge. The town developed around the site of a 13th century hermitage, and is now ranked as the second site in France. Michelin gave Rocamadour 3*** - and it is unforgettable.

The afternoon is easier than this morning's climb, and we have the chance to visit the Gouffre de Padirac, a massive cavern leading to an underground river and spectacular stalactite and stalagmite formations. Another Michelin 3*** attraction, and although the staff are bad even by French standards of customer service, the Gouffre de Padirac is unmissable.

By now it is usually early evening, and a 5-mile cycle ride brings us to the Hotel Lou Cantou in Loubressac, and the tender mercies of the Cayrousse family. Loubressac sits on the edge of the Causses, and we get beautiful views across both the Dordogne and Bavé valleys.

Click this link for Day 4 route map on mapometer.

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