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Itinerary Help visiting area July 2013

Toronto
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Itinerary Help visiting area July 2013

We are a family of three with a 9 year old boy. We will be travelling in France in July for 17 days. We start off with visiting family for 3 days in Lille. From there we would like to do 6 days of cycling. We would like advice whether we should cycle in the Loire region or the Dordogne region. We have never been in these areas. Any advice on must see places to visit is very much appreciated. We are also looking for a cycling outfitter that has quality road bikes and offers self guided routes. We like to explore places that are unique and off the beaten path.

Should we station ourselves centrally and do day trips with the bike or should we do a circuit route.

We appreciate all your inputs and advice

Albufeira, Portugal
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for Algarve, Faro
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1. Re: Itinerary Help visiting area July 2013

I can only tell you that the Dordogne is generally very hilly. Not for the faint hearted.

England, United...
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2. Re: Itinerary Help visiting area July 2013

IMO I'd choose the Loire Region. Here are some websites for you to look at:-

www.frenchcyclingholidays.com

www.cycling.inntravel.co.uk/Loire

www.utracks.com

www.cycling-loire.com

Melbourne, Australia
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3. Re: Itinerary Help visiting area July 2013

If you choose the Dordogne, there is a group called Aquitaine Bike, which is run by an English couple, and mainly focuses on the Perigord Noir region. They not only rent bikes (and deliver them to your door!), they also offer customised bike tours, including pickup and moving of your luggage to the next hotel. Maybe worth googling them to see if they fit the bill?

Toronto
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4. Re: Itinerary Help visiting area July 2013

Thank you all for your inputs. It's very helpful. I will check the websites.

Any must see small towns in the Dordogne region that is not too touristy?

Much appreciated. Thx

Melbourne, Australia
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5. Re: Itinerary Help visiting area July 2013

I hate to say it, but practically any place of interest in the Dordogne will be 'touristy' in July (as will the Loire). My prefered area is pretty much anywhere in the Perigord Noir & Perigord Pourpre east of Bergerac, north and south of the river. If you take a look at the Dordogne list of "Plus Beaux Villages de France", that will give you a starting point. There's another website "France This Way" which gives good descriptions and photos of many small villages in the Dordogne which you may not read about in the guide book. But if you are cycling, just keep in mind that many of the villages in Aquitaine were built as 'bastides' (fortified/walled villages) on elevations for security during the Hundred Years War, and many others were built on outcrops and on riverside clifftops for defence - so they'll definitely give your legs a workout on those bikes!

Perigueux, France
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6. Re: Itinerary Help visiting area July 2013

I would differ with the last post in that not every place of interest here in the Dordogne is 'touristy' and most of the Perigord Noir is in the Dordogne anyway.

There are groups of cyclists all over the place in the summer and they all seem to have different routes.

Remember that most of the villages were built many hundreds of years before the hundred years war and cater for bikes and even cars these days.

7. Re: Itinerary Help visiting area July 2013

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