Ancient woodland trails, chemins leading between quaint stone hamlets, many rivers, deep valleys, moulins, truffle orchards, prehistoric caves - the Dordogne region of South West France is a trail running paradise and renowned for its beautiful countryside, chateaux and gastronomic delights.
You will rarely see another runner out exploring, so vast is the network of trails on offer. Yet it is a popular location in France for both trail and ultra runners, with many living and training here.
I have explored many hundreds of kilometres of these trails, and I always find something new and amazing to find.
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Jeanette runs trail running holidays in Dordogne, France, having moved to the region in 1999.
She has qualified and run in the Boston marathon and Ultra Tour Mont Blanc CCC over 101km (Courmayeur Champex Chamonix) - as well as many other ultras.
Long distance running is her passion and the vast network of local trails are her training ground.
You get to run little-used tracks and trails and discover sights that 99% of tourists never get to see!
As well as the historic places mentioned above, make time to visit Sorges which is famous for its black truffles that are worth more in price than gold!
Every runner knows how important good food is for fuelling your running and the Dordogne is renowned for its cuisine. Eating home cooked, healthy regional seasonal food is the norm.
This famous pilgrim route passes straight through the Dordogne.
Poking your head into a prehistoric cave, running where bears used to roam, sitting beside an ancient lavoir, or trotting through truffle orchards, these are all experiences to be savoured in this beautiful region of France.
Best times to go:
Trail running is available all year round, but the best months are Spring, Summer and Autumn. (March through to November)
Spring running is a great time with all the flora and fauna and wildlife to be seen. Summer, with its hotter temperatures, means earlier starts to avoid running in the heat of the afternoon. It also gives you time to relax by the pool afterwards!
Autumn is one of my favourite times with the ever-changing colours of the woodland and yet still plenty of warmth in the days.
Of course I can accommodate the tougher trail runners who wish to run during December, January and February. The trails are always there and I am out there running them, even in the winter.
WHAT TO BRING
During the Summer: Trail or road running shoes, a Camelbak or similar water bladder backpack, sunscreen, cap, sunglasses, breathable tops, shorts.
In Winter: Trail running shoes, Camelbak or similar, lightweight jacket (wind/waterproof/breathable), long running trousers, buff, gloves, breathable top.
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