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Saint Cere Loop via Beaulieu-sur-Drodogne

Bicycle Ride · Midi-Pyrénées
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  • Plade de Mercadial, Saint Cere
    / Plade de Mercadial, Saint Cere
    Photo: Angus Smith, Macs Adventure
  • / Castelnau Chateau from "the high road".
    Photo: Angus Smith, Macs Adventure
  • / Chruch Portico, Beauliue-sur-Dordogne
    Photo: Angus Smith, Macs Adventure
  • / Medieval square, Beauliue-sur-Dordogne
    Photo: Angus Smith, Macs Adventure
  • / Riverside, Beauliue-sur-Dordogne
    Photo: Angus Smith, Macs Adventure
  • / Church, Beauliue-sur-Dordogne
    Photo: Angus Smith, Macs Adventure
  • / Moody looking Castelnau Chateau on the return leg
    Photo: Angus Smith, Macs Adventure
m 300 200 100 50 40 30 20 10 km Beaulieu-sur-Drodogne Castelnau Chateau
A long loop ride that takes you through stunning countryside, past Castelnau Chateau, and along the riverside to Beaulieu-sur-Drodogne, then giving you a choice of routes for your return to Saint Cere.
Distance 52.2 km
5:00 h
514 m
511 m
This is long, but ultimately rewarding route that takes North to the riverside town of Bealieu-sur-Dordogne and its mediaeval town centre. On the way you will be presented with glorious views over Castelnau Chateau, and enjoy a superb lengthy and flat approach to your halfway point which will allow to stretch your legs before lunch. After exploring Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne, you can either return the same way, or you can chose a more challenging route that takes you to the top of the valley above the town, rewarding you with glorious across much of the region before descending back down to the village of Liourdres from where you’ll retrace your route back to Saint Cere.

Author’s recommendation

Castelnau Castle is impressive from any angle, and our chosen route gives you the best of views. It is open to the public, and while you a long day in the saddle, you may wish to find the time to tour the impressive battlements and enjoy the incredible views.

Bealieu-sur-Dordogne is a busy commercial town, but does have a fascinating medieval centre. Our route takes you past the Office de Tourisme where will find a handy map on the outside wall that illustrates a short route through the historic town and down to the tranquil riverside.

Profile picture of Angus Smith
Angus Smith
Update: August 03, 2018
Highest point
331 m
Lowest point
123 m
Best time of year

Safety information

There are some testing hills on this route, and some glorious downhill sections. You will be on roads all the way, and while they are mostly quiet backroads, it is essential you take great care and be aware of any oncoming traffic. Locals drivers are used to cyclists however, and tend to be courteous and give you plenty of room. There is a great temptation to gather speed on the long downhill sections, but please keep the brakes covered and watch out for cars, rather than look at the scenery.

The long section into Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne is a main road carrying a lot of fast traffic, but it is straight and wide, and the drivers tend to give cyclists plenty of room.

There are two other sections on main roads, which we have attempted to keep to a minimum by using backroads where possible. However, on leaving and returning to Saint Cere there is a long unavoidable section 2km stretch, which again is straight and wide, but the usual precautions must be taken. There is also a section of approximately 500m after the small town of Girac, where you cross the river and have no choice other than to use the main road. Exit through the gap in the wall on the right immediately after crossing the bridge on the way out.

Finally, there is a one-way system operating in Saint Cere. I have therefore chosen a slightly different end-point from where you started which saves you either a few hundred meters of cycling, or a conversation with the local gendarmerie. We also ask that you walk the first 200m or so with your bike before you reach the two way traffic system.

Tips and hints

There are a couple of small grocery stores in Saint Cere town centre town should you need to stock up for the day with food and water. As mentioned earlier, this is a testing route so plenty of liquids and some snacks are essential.

You can restock in Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne where the is a small supermarket on the ssaurealongside numerous café and restaurants

There is a pharmacy just off the Pace du Mercadial in Saint Cere and the Post Office is on the other side of the church.

Mobile reception is generally good in the urban areas, but patchy at best in the countryside


This cycle is included in the following itineraries:



Place du Mercadial , Saint Cere (150 m)
44.860940, 1.889985
44°51'39.4"N 1°53'23.9"E
31T 412302 4968102


Place d’Eglise, Saint Cere

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00km – Today we start from yesterday’s finish point – the Place du Merdacail in the town centre. As there is a one-way system in Saint Cere we suggest you psuh the bike along the pavement for this first section. Stand with your back to the fountain and the castle up on the hill and walk towards the main street. When you reach the street, TURN RIGHT and walk along the pavement until you reach the two-way street, where you can mount your bike. Cycle to the end of the road, and TURN LEFT, following the blue sign for the A20 motorway.

0.20km – BEAR RIGHT following the signs for the Stade Municipal.

0.30km – Just before you reach the car park, TURN LEFT and follow the road round past the playing fields.

0.70km – At the end of the road and opposite the Peugeot showroom, TURN LEFT and head towards the busy main road.

0.80km – At the main road, carefully cross when it safe to do so and go STRAIGHT ON and head up the hill.

1.50km – At the top of the slope, TURN RIGHT following the signs for Le Claux.

2.00km – BEAR RIGHT at the fork and continue ahead into the golf course.

2.70km – TURN RIGHT at T-junction just after golf course.

2.90km – At the fork, go STRAIGHT ON through the green gate and up the path beside the wall. Pass through another green gate at the top, and continue STRAIGHT ON again.

3.30km – At the crossroads with the stone cross go STRAIGHT ON, then immediately BEAR RIGHT down the slope where the cul-de-sac sign is. This track is a little rough in places, so please take care. At the bottom (roughly 100m) TURN RIGHT onto the road.

3.60km – At the crossroads, continue STRAIGHT ON. After a further 300m, you will merge with the main road and continue down to the roundabout.

4.1km – At the roundabout, TURN LEFT, taking the third exit to signposted for Carannac. You will be on this busy main road for over 2km, so please be aware of the fast traffic. The road is flat and wide, and the cars tend to give you plenty of room, but it is advised that you keep as far to the right as possible. The next turn off (to the right) is quite easy to miss, so please look out for two ruined farm buildings quite close together, one either side of the main road.

6.30km – When you reach the two ruined farm buildings, BEAR RIGHT off the main road. There are no signs here, but you may notice some painted yellow markers on the road, and the telegraph pole.

7.20km – Continue STRAIGHT ON after crossing the bridge. You will see the first sighting of Castelnau Chateau ahead to the left.

7.80km – At the crossroads, go STRAIGHT ON and head up the steep slope ahead following the signs for St Martin de Bois. You will be climbing steadily for over 1km now.

8.30km – BEAR RIGHT at the fork and continue up the steep tarmac road.

9.00km -  At the top of the hill, you will reach St Martin de Bois. BEAR LEFT onto the road, and immediately TURN LEFT onto the road downhill. As you freewheel down this section, you will be rewarded with a magnificent view over the Castelnau Chateau.

9.70km – At the bottom of the slope, beneath the castle, TURN RIGHT and head down the steep road through the trees. You can of course take a break here and explore the castle itself. The road down is quite bumpy so take care.

10.80km – At the bottom, continue between the two farm buildings and head STRAIGHT ON across the stream. After crossing the stream BEAR RIGHT at the fork.

11.90km – When you reach Bretenueax, carefully cross the main road and follow the signs to that says “Access Centre Bourg”, alongside a white arrow on a blue background.

12.10km – TURN LEFT at the main road continue over the bridge.

12.40km – Immediately after the bridge, you need to TURN LEFT onto the narrow street before the roundabout. You can either go around the roundabout and come back or you may find it easier to go into the car park at the corner where the roundabout is and cross at the pedestrian crossing.

12.50km – At the end of this short road, and before the entrance to the camp site, BEAR RIGHT along Rue Al Port. Keep left at the ned of this road.

12.80km – At the junction, TURN RIGHT onto Impasse de Bourgnoux. When you join the tarmac road, almost immediately BEAR RIGHT off it and onto Chemin du Camp de la Donne. Follow this road ahead onto a rough track.

13.50km – BEAR LEFT, following the red markers on the fence posts. After 100m or so, TURN RIGHT at the wooden stables.

13.70km – TURN LEFT onto Chemin de Girac.

14.50km – BEAR LEFT onto the wider road and head into the small village of Girac. Continue STRAIGHT ON through the village.

15.20km - TURN RIGHT and head up past the camp site to the main road. At the main road, cross when it is safe to do so, and TURN LEFT over the bridge. This is a fast road, and you must ensure there is a large gap in the traffic before committing to your turn. Immeidately after crossing the bridge, go through a small gap in the wall on the right and head up to the top of the slope.

16.30km – Sharply TURN RIGHT and head up the slope, following the road round to the left.

17.70km – after passing through the village of Liourdres, you will come to fork in the road beside a house. This is where we are going to start our loop to Beaulieu-sur-Drodogne. We will return to this point later, but for now we are going STRAIGHT ON. Continue on this road for the next 7km until you reach the outskirts of Beaulieu-sur-Drodogne

24.70km – Continue STRAIGHT ON following the signs into the town centre.

25.20km – When you reach the square with the Office de Toruisme, you can take a well-earned break. Use this square as your base for exploring the town and return to continue your journey. There is a useful map on the wall outside the tourist office, showing a short around the local sights.

Once you have returned to the square you can choose to head back the same way you came, or follow the documented route up the hill to the top of the valley. This does include a very testing 2km climb out of town, but rewards you with great views over Dordogne and beyond. The notes below describe this latter option.

25.20km – When ready, leave the Office de Tourisme and head back onto the main road where you should TURN LEFT onto the main street. At the end of the place, TURN LEFT onto Place Marbot (the far street on the square). At the Boulangerie/Patisserie, BEAR RIGHT. At the end of that street continue STRAIGHT ON up the steep street ahead with the hedges on the right. You will be climbing steeply for the next 2.5km.

27.90km - At the top of the hill, you will find yourself in the village of Sioniac. Continue STRAIGHT ON through the village.

28.10km – BEAR LEFT following the signs for the D114 to Bilhac. 

3km - After leaving the village, continue down the hill then BEAR LEFT at the fork, and up the slope signposted for Bilhac.

31.00km – At the fork, come off the main road and BEAR LEFT up the road signposted Liourdres.

32.90km – At the crossroad with the metal cross, continue STRAIGHT ON down the hill.

33.80km – At Le Claux, continue STRAIGHT ON and follow the road round to the right.

34.30km – At the bottom of the hill, you will recognise the junction you were at before. TURN RIGHT and continue through the village of Liourdres.

35.80km – Don’t go all the way to the roundabout but instead sharply TURN LEFT onto the slope down to the main road. At the main road, carefully cross when it safe to do so, and TURN LEFT across the bridge. After the bridge immediately TURN RIGHT. Follow the road allthe way to the bottom, then TURN LEFT into the village if Girac, and continue STRAIGHT ON through the village.

37.80km – At the metal cross, BEAR RIGHT onto the narrower road.

38.50km – At the sign for Chemin de Griac, TURN RIGHT down the slope. Just before the red house, TURN LEFT. This next section is a bumpy so be aware of potholes. Continue ahead and you will come to the sign for Chemin du Camp de lad Donne, where you should TURN LEFT onto the tarmac road, then immediately TURN RIGHT onto track again. At the stables at the bottom TURN LEFT. Continue along the track and follow the red markers as the road sweeps gently to the right.

39.90km – At the entrance to the camp site, TURN LEFT and head up to the main road. Then TURN RIGHT and cross the bridge over the river.

40.20km – TURN RIGHT following the signs for Prudhomat.

40.40km – At the end of this street cross diagonally and go STRAIGHT ON along Rue de Felines.

41.50km – BEAR LEFT between the two farm buildings and follow the signs for Castelnau Chateau.

42.50km – At the top and beneath the castle, BEAR RIGHT down the hill, and immediately and sharply TURN LEFT down the steep slope which sweeps round past a large house.

43.00km - As the steep slope evens out, and after the house TURN LEFT.

43.40km – After the Farmhouse, and at the crossroads go STRAIGHT ON onto the red gravel path ahead. BEAR RIGHT at the end and head down the hill joining the route where split before.

44.00km – Go STRAIGHT ON across the main road. Continue along this road until you reach the busy main road back to Saint Cere.

45.50km – At the main road, carefully cross when it is safe to do so and TURN RIGHT. You will be on this stretch for the next 2km until you reach the roundabout.

47.70km – At the roundabout, follow the signs for the A20 motorway and TURN RIGHT. Head up the hill and after 200m BEAR LEFT. As well as looking out for oncoming traffic, please be aware of fast traffic that may be approaching from behind. Go STRAIGHT ON at the crossroads, then head left through the green gates. You will merge with the tarmac road again at the top and should then continue on past the stone cross and through the next set of green gates.

49.10km – After the third set of gates, join the tarmac road and BEAR RIGHT down the hill. At the house TURN LEFT and continue through the golf course.

50.60km – TURN RIGHT and head down the main road. At the main road, carefully cross and go STRAIGHT ON alongside the sports field. TURN RIGHT just before the Peugeot showroom, and follow the road as the goes left. TURN RIGHT when you are next to the car park.

51.80km – At the end (and to obey the one-way system), TURN RIGHT and head down the main road, At the main road TURN RIGHT again, and continue along until you see a very narrow street called Rue de la Cite, just after the Post Office. TURN LEFT into this very barrow street.

52.20km – When you reach Place d’Eglise and the church entrance, you have completed today’s route. There are a number of cafes nearby where you can enjoy a light refreshment.


all notes on protected areas


44.860940, 1.889985
44°51'39.4"N 1°53'23.9"E
31T 412302 4968102
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


All normal cycle equipment and outdoor gear is required. In particular cycle gloves, waterproof jacket, a warm layer, bottle of water, and food for the day.  A helmet and padded cycle shorts are highly recommended along with suncream. 

Basic Equipment for Bike Riding

  • Cycling helmet
  • Cycling gloves
  • Sturdy, comfortable and preferably waterproof footwear
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket)
  • Sunglasses
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass

Technical Equipment for Bike Riding

  • Air pump or CO2 pump including cartridges
  • Puncture repair kit
  • Replacement inner tube
  • Tire levers
  • Chain tool
  • Hex keys
  • Phone / device holder as required  
  • Bike lock as required
  • Where applicable, the bike must meet requirements for road use by having a bell, front and rear lamps and spoke reflectors
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

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52.2 km
5:00 h
514 m
511 m
Multi-stage route Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical interest Geological highlights


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