Published by Lyn on 2 March 2014
Steve emailed to ask about bike rental in the Dordogne for a week-long cycling holiday.
I really like your site - such great information on organising a cycling trip to France.
We are planning on visiting the Dordogne during the summer (we have confirmed our dates but not much else yet) and I was wondering where you would recommend hiring bikes from. Mostly we'd like to explore the Dordogne and Vézère valleys, taking in all the usual spots – Sarlat, Beynac, Les Eyzies and Lascaux etc.
We are quite experienced riders and would happily cover up to 100km a day, though would prefer a few less so we can stop and see the sights. Ideally we'd like to stay at a fixed base and take day rides from there, however I was just looking at your accommodation section, and we may yet consider a few days at a B&B or hotel before moving on to another to give us more time to see the historical sites and so that we can cover more ground.
Any tips of recommendations for reliable bike hire that'd be flexible enough to fit in with our evolving plans would be great.
Kind regards and thanks again for providing such a great resource for cyclists,
So great to hear you've found the site useful.
You are spoilt for choice for bike rental in the Dordogne. Many, many B&Bs, hotels and self-catering gites have arrangements with bike hire delivery firms that will deliver to your door. However, as you have your dates but no accommodation booked yet, and as you're planning to visit during a really busy period, I'd advise gettting in early and getting in touch directly with one of the bike delivery firms that operate in the Dordogne. You can always reserve your bikes and finalise delivery closer to the time – and organising this yourself will be less messy than if you do decide later on to have the bikes delivered to one hotel/B&B and picked up from another.
You have a few good options and I recommend quite a few on our bike delivery page.
They all offer a similar service and have similar offerings in terms of bikes, trailers, and the like, though some will have mountain bikes as well as hybrids and tourers; road bikes are harder to find. In Bordeaux – west of the Dordogne and possibly a point of arrival for you – O2 Cycles has quality road bikes, and there is a direct train line between Bordeaux and Sarlat.
In case you haven't found it yet, I have this article on cycling in the Vézère Valley – such a wonderful place. If you're thinking about making it further north up into the valley, see this article on bike routes in the north of the Dordogne. On the western fringes of the region, there is also the lovely Lawrence Arabia bike route.
Here is a map below of all the accommodation I've identified so far as being bike-friendly – they all have secure bike parking and are keen to welcome more cyclists. You can find out more information on each place by searching Aquitaine in the Where to Stay section.
If you need help planning your route, a number of excellent companies offer self-guided holidays that include bike hire and accommodation. Check out our Organised tours section for ideas (again searching Aquitaine).
I hope that helps - please drop me a line if you need any more info.
It would be great to hear how you get on.
Steve writes back:
Wow, Lyn! Thanks so much for all these contacts and links. I have been trawling your site for a few days now and had made a note of many of the points you've written but to have them all in one place makes life a lot easier. I'll contact the bike hire companies you mention and get some prices - ideally we'd like road bikes so we can cover more miles, but it depends really on whether we choose to stay at the same place or not as tourers would probably be better suited to taking out stuff with us.
Thanks again for your time and your fast reply. I'll email you back if I get stuck again (you have been warned!)