Originating in the Puy district of extinct volcanoes, the Dordogne flows west for almost 300 miles into the Garonne near Bordeaux. Its valley is one of spectacular gorges and frequent dams, marked with innumerable castles as one descends towards Aquitaine – the area fought over between England and France in the Hundred Years’ War.
A setting rich in tradition, Pilgrims have been visiting our base, the medieval city of Rocamadour for centuries. Defying gravity, Rocamadour is built onto the side of a cliff whose rocks protect the sacred shrines and Monastery.
The village is essentially just one paved street, lined with medieval houses, several of which are notable and many of which are impressive, passing through stone fortified gateways – the Porte du Figuier and the Porte Salmon are the two main gateways. The Grand Escalier (216 steps, once climbed by pilgrims on their knees) leads from the village to the sanctuaries above, and L’Hospitalet, with its views of the old town.
We use the Hotel Du Lion D’Or, a beautiful hotel which is built into the medieval city walls.