7-Day Southwestern France Yoga Adventure, April 2018

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24500 Saint-Aubin-de-Cadelech


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Join Ananda Expeditions — **WINNER: "Best Curated Experiences" – 2017 Shape Healthy Travel Awards** — for a 7-day/7-night yoga adventure in the Dordogne region in Southwestern France. Enjoy twice daily Vinyasa yoga practices (all-levels) with Michael Hoyer, adventurous hiking and sightseeing excursions led by local guides, an array of culinary and cultural experiences, and ample time for relaxing or exploring the area on your own.

We have the privilege of lodging in an authentic 17th-century chateau located in the "Périgord Pourpre," or Purple Périgord region, just south of Bergerac in Southwestern France. The chateau offers luxurious en-suite rooms, comfortable common spaces, a game room, multiple outdoor lounging areas — including around the heated salt-water pool. The estate encompasses close to 100 acres of gorgeous land, which includes a lake surrounded by ancient oaks, wooded hills, and hiking trails for wandering. A professional, local chef will prepare us three locally-sourced meals daily: self-service breakfasts, 2-course plated lunches, and 3-course plated dinners. We have access to a fully-equipped yoga room, as well as an outdoor platform should we prefer to practice in the open air (weather permitting). Beyond offering luxury accommodations and relaxing wilderness, the chateau provides the ideal base from which to explore the many wonders of the Dordogne region.

During the week, we'll practice daily, float the Dordogne in a canoe, hike to a prehistoric church built into a cliffside, learn about regional wines in a tasting with a professional sommelier, and take a day-trip to the medieval city of Saint-Émilion, whose vines and subterranean church and catacombs we'll tour with a local guide. You can also opt to schedule and enjoy massage treatments on site.Sign up and get ready to experience an ideal sojourn in Southwestern France!

→ To book your spot, visit
→ Questions? Contact Michael at


Early Bird Prices (thru 12/20/17), per person:

$2295 Double (2 single beds)
$2420 Partner Double (1 king bed)
$2835 Single (double bed)*
$3145 Deluxe Single (king bed)*
* limited availability

$1895 Triple (1 king bed, 1 single bed)**
** Must sign up with roommates for triple option

Regular Prices, per person:

$2480 Double (2 single beds)
$2615 Partner Double (1 king bed)
$3065 Single (double bed)*
$3395 Deluxe Single (king bed)*
* limited availability

$2045 Triple (1 king bed, 1 single bed)**
** Must sign up with roommates for triple option


- 7 nights’ accommodation at chateau
- 3 meals daily (except for 3 lunches)
- Tea, coffee, fruit, and nuts available throughout the day
- All group transportation, including 1 scheduled transfer from Bergerac to chateau on arrival, and back to Bergerac on departure day
- Daily yoga practices (usually 30-min Morning Yoga & 2-hr afternoon practice with pose demonstrations and long savasana), use of mats, props
- Use of outdoor salt-water pool, tennis court, 100-acre grounds, trails
- Planned activities (including trip to Issigeac, canoe trip on the Dordogne, gardens visit, guided hike, tour of Saint-Émilion, and wine-tasting), entrance fees, local guides
- Wi-fi
- Gratuity for local guides, and house and kitchen staff


- Airfare from/to your home city
- Ground transportation to/from arrival airport to Bergerac, and transfers from/to Bergerac outside the 1 scheduled pick-up on arrival day and drop-off on departure day
- 3 lunches out (2 at restaurants, 1 sandwich picnic), and any other additional meals not mentioned in "What's Included"
- Local wine for purchase at wholesale prices to have with meals (€7 red, €9 white, €5.50 rosé)
- Supplemental, personal activities (i.e. massages, shopping, etc.), including transportation
- Short-term traveler's insurance
- Other travel-related expenses


Day 0 — Friday
Depart, if you're flying from North America (or elsewhere outside Europe), for the overnight flight to France.

Day 1 — Saturday
Plan to arrive into Bergerac — either the airport or train station — to catch the 4 PM group transfer to the chateau, or make your own way. Check-in at 4:30 PM. Settle into your room, then unwind with a relaxed, grounding yoga practice. Enjoy your first plated 3-course French dinner before retiring for a good night's sleep.

Days 2 - 6 — Sunday - Friday
While the schedule is subject to change, here's an outline of the two types of typical days:

Variant 1:
8:30 AM — Morning Yoga
9 AM — Breakfast
10 AM-4 PM — Day Trip
• Relaxed Canoeing + Visit to Beynac-et-Cazenac + Lunch Out + Gardens Visit
• Guided Hike + Picnic
• Saint-Émilion Tour + Lunch Out
5-7 PM — All-Levels Yoga Practice (including pose demonstrations and long savasana)
7:30 PM — Dinner

Variant 2:
9 AM — Breakfast
10 AM-12 PM — Issigeac Market / Free Time
12-1:30 PM — All-Levels Yoga Practice (including pose demonstrations and long savasana)
1:30/2 PM — Lunch
2:30-5 PM — Free Time / Massages
5-7 PM — All-Levels Yoga Practice (including pose demonstrations and long savasana)
7:30 PM — Dinner

Day 7 — Saturday
Enjoy a farewell breakfast. We'll check out at 10:00 AM. Then, transfer back to Bergerac (airport or train station) or continue on your own way

- OR -

Join the 4-day, 3-night Add-On Itinerary:


Day 7 — Saturday
We'll drive east, along the Dordogne, to picturesque Sarlat-le-Canéda to experience the weekly market. Tour the market and town with Michael, or explore on your own. In the late afternoon, we'll check in at our hotel — another chateau with gorgeous grounds located near Beynac-et-Cazenac. This evening, enjoy dinner on your own at the hotel's acclaimed restaurant, or walk a couple of kilometers to a handful of nearby options (recommendations provided).

Day 8 — Sunday
After a leisurely breakfast, we'll drive north to Lascaux, the renowned prehistoric cave and UNESCO World Heritage site. When we return to the chateau in the late afternoon, join in for a relaxed, outdoor yoga practice (weather permitting) — or enjoy free time in which you can explore the grounds and gardens, take a dip in the pool, or relax with a book on the lawn. Dinner on your own (recommendations provided).

Day 9 — Monday
We'll start the day's outing by heading further east along the Dordogne to a fortified 14th-century mill tucked away in an adjoining valley on a tributary. The mill's knowledgable caretaker will give us a tour. Then, we'll wind our way on the scenic approach to the cliff-perched town of Rocamadour and relax over lunch at a traditional restaurant. The final day's highlight will be an afternoon tour of a prehistoric cave… by boat, on its subterranean river. Enjoy a grounding evening yoga practice when we return to our chateau, followed by a final “Farewell Dinner”.

Day 10 — Tuesday
We'll depart after checking out and sightsee en route back to Bergerac, where our time together ends.


After you reserve your spot with the $500 deposit, you will receive a PDF of detailed information — including guidance on booking flights to France and arranging transportation to Bergerac.

Fly from North America on Friday 4/20; arrive in France and transfer to the chateau on Saturday 4/21 — either via the group transfer from Bergerac (airport or train station), or on your own. Check-in is at 4:30pm. When booking your flights, we recommend you plan to arrive into Bergerac safely by 4:00pm, so you can catch the group transfer. If you are unable to make the scheduled pick-up, we can arrange for a taxi to bring you to the chateau. (Note: private transfers will be at your own expense.)

Check-out is at 10:00am on Saturday 5/1. On the morning of departure, there will be one scheduled transfer from the chateau to Bergerac, departing at 9:30am in order to make the 10:16am train. (You can connect to Paris or Charles de Gaulle airport, arriving at approx. 2:15pm.) Airport transfers or other transfers outside of the scheduled drop off will be at your own expense.

OR: join the 4-day/3-night Add-On Itinerary: EXPLORE PÉRIGORD & THE VÉZÈRE VALLEY — April 28 - May 1, 2018 (details on the Ananda Expeditions website)


Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG) — connect to Bordeaux or Bergerac by train (4 - 6 hours, depending on train type and schedule)
Bordeaux International Airport — train connection from Bordeaux St-Jean to Bergerac (approx. 1.5 hours)
Toulouse International Airport — train connection to Bergerac (4 - 5 hours, depending on train type and schedule)


Michael Leigh Hoyer, PhD

Michael has completed 500 hours of Vinyasa yoga teacher training with her two primary teachers, Jason Crandell and Stephanie Snyder. She teaches strong and mindful Vinyasa practices that blend intelligent sequencing, precise alignment cues, and accessible contemplative themes. Most importantly, she focuses on meeting the specific desires and needs of her students — whether that entails introducing the basics of the practice to those who are new to yoga, or supporting more experienced practitioners in their process of continual growth and discovery. In practicing with her, you can expect to be warmly welcomed and physically challenged, to receive thoughtful (not forceful) manual adjustments, to experience a deeply restorative savasana at the practice’s end, and to leave your mat feeling both relaxed and invigorated.

In addition to yoga, engaged, mindful travel has long played an important role in Michael's life: she has visited nearly 40 countries, spending a cumulative 5+ years traveling and living abroad — predominantly in France and Sweden. In addition to travel, Michael's passion for languages, literatures, and the arts has defined her path. She graduated magna cum laude from Middlebury College with a double-major in English and Studio Art and went on to complete an MA at Dartmouth College. In 2012, Michael received her PhD in Comparative Literature from Stanford University.

In 2015, Michael founded Ananda Expeditions to offer widely the kind of engaged travel experience that has given her sustained joy over the years. She relishes the opportunity to guide others on journeys that they have always craved — trips that make room for activities that engage both the mind and the body, through which travelers discover new depths of joy while creating lasting memories. Michael teaches all-levels Vinyasa yoga at Bernal Yoga, in San Francisco, and on multiple annual Ananda Expeditions yoga adventures in beautiful, historical and cultural destinations in Western Europe.

When Michael isn’t guiding and teaching Ananda Travelers on inspired adventures, she's practicing/teaching yoga, metalsmithing, cooking, running on trails in her native Boulder, Colorado, or riding her Bianchi cross-bike in the hills of San Francisco.

→ To meet Michael and take a walk with her in Paris, check out this post and short video:

→ Also, read about how Michael designs the arc of practices over the course of a week, and get a taste of what an all-levels Vinyasa practice on an Ananda Expeditions yoga adventure feels and sounds like from this video:


**WINNER: "Best Curated Experiences" – 2017 Shape Healthy Travel Awards** →

“I spent a lot of time researching the perfect yoga retreat for me; I could not have made a better choice: Michael responded quickly to all the questions I had, and I felt that we were in good hands the entire week. The group we traveled with was fantastic, and everyone got along very well. I thought this would be something that I could cross off of my bucket list, but now I’m not done — I want to go again!”
— Tracy

“Michael is one of my favorite yoga teachers! She gives you just the right amount of explanation, and I felt really comfortable in the class. Everything about the yoga adventure was amazing! It struck the perfect balance between practicing yoga, visiting the area, and having a beautifully relaxing vacation. The food was excellent, and the accommodations were beautiful. I will recommend Ananda Expeditions to everyone!”
— Holly

“I will definitely recommend Ananda Expeditions to my friends. The yoga adventure was well organized and thoughtfully put together. The accommodations were uniformly excellent. The venues and guides included fascinating places and people that I likely would not have found on my own. My horizons were definitely expanded, making the trip well worth the investment!”
— Lyn

“From booking to pre-departure communication to the actual trip, everything was well organized and clearly communicated. Michael’s ability to be flexible to deal with the needs of the group as well as the weather was awesome. You could tell that providing the best possible experience was top priority. This type of trip is great for individuals looking to explore new places, without having the typical tourist experience.”
— Emily

“I’m telling everyone I care about that Ananda is the answer for how to turn an opportunity for travel into a meaningful, memorable experience. We always felt well cared for by Michael, and the pacing of our activities and meal times was perfect. We never had to deal with even the smallest headaches that are always a part of international travel; Michael took care of everything!”
— Jo

“I absolutely recommend Ananda Expeditions without hesitation. The yoga adventure was very thoughtfully and professionally planned out every step of the way. Michael got ahead of the few, inevitable travel-related issues that arose — changing the itinerary according to the weather, taking amazing care of us all.”
— Arika

→ To hear more from past Ananda Travelers:


How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Please email Michael at with any questions you might have.

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