Lot and Loire
Parc des Causses du Quercy and the Loire
Rocamadour and La Belle Etoile
An opportunity to experience French life as a guest in our home and French roads on your bikes combined with a cross country road trip to the historic town of Rocamadour, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Lot, Midi-Pyrénées Region, located in the Parc des Causses du Quercy.
La Belle Etoile is a large farmhouse set in grounds of just over four acres located in the Deux-Sèvres region of Western France. We would like to share our experience of living here and offer a three night B&B short break, for up to six guests, combined with a three night two star hotel B&B stay in historic Rocamadour.
We will be exploring the two regions over three full ride out days; it’s all about the riding, the incredible roads especially in the Lot and wonderful French countryside, towns, villages and of course the food and wine!
You’ll make your own way down for arrival at La Belle Etoile on Day One Sunday afternoon or early evening, we will supply you the most interesting but progressive enough route depending on your arrival port. As a Brittany Ferries Trade Partner, if required MSL Tours can make the booking on your behalf.
We’ll greet you with a complimentary home cooked three course meal on the first evening, with a glass or two of wine produced locally in the Loire Valley. You’ll have plenty of time to relax in the peaceful courtyard, listen to the swallows chirping and marvel at their flying skills as you enjoy a post dinner glass of wine, or a cold beer, reflecting on your day on the bike with fellow guests, perfect!
On Day Two Monday after a good breakfast, we’ll make an early departure for Rocamadour. Riding distance is approximately two hundred miles across country with plenty of coffee stops, lunch and a visit to the village of Oradour-sur-Glane, the ruins of the village left as a permanent memorial destroyed by the Germans in June 1944.
For the three nights you’ll enjoy the B&B comfort of our two star accommodation in l'Hospitalet,a small hamlet just outside Rocamadour with panoramic views of the town and the Alzou Valley. The hotel has an excellent restaurant with a terrace, offering gourmet regional cuisine and an extensive, reasonably priced menu. Alternatively explore the restaurants in the town with breakfast included at the hotel. Free, secure parking is provided on site for the bikes.
Rocamadour is one of the top tourist destinations in France. It is also an important pilgrimage destination, with the Shrine of Our Lady of Rocamadour, becoming famous for its ‘healing powers’ and as a stop on route to Santiago de Campostela in Spain. The village is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its stunning and dramatic setting built into the limestone cliffs overlooking the Alzou River Gorge.
Over the next two days Tuesday and Wednesday we will make the most of our time exploring the Parc des Causses du Quercy. This is a wonderful region of the Midi-Pyrénées to ride through, with some challenging, twisty roads winding through picturesque medieval villages and towns with some stunning views. One of the highlights will be a visit to the Gouffre (Chasam) de Padirac, an immense underground cave system and considered as one of the most interesting geological sites in France.
Day Five Thursday will see us riding back to La Belle Etoile for a further two nights; we’ll be eating out locally in the evenings. On Day Six Friday we’ll head north to explore the Loire Valley for our final ride out day, crossing the River Loire from Saumur four times as we follow its course eastwards on the north and south banks. We’ll plan to have dinner near Parthenay at a charming family run restaurant on the way back to La Belle Etoile on our last evening.
Day Seven Saturday is departure day, if you would like to stay longer or arrive sooner then you would be welcome to book a few more nights as a B&B guest!
We will be out for up to six - eight hours each day, covering around one seventy five – two hundred miles on the bikes, depending on our stops along the way with plenty of time for coffee breaks and lunch. A great opportunity therefore to experience and explore these two beautiful regions of France, staying in relaxed and informal settings at La Belle Etoile and Rocamadour with a small group of like-minded biking guests!