The Dordogne welcomes 4 types of canoeists to its river every year: The beginners, the experienced, the easygoers and the daredevils.
Whilst the easygoers put their paddles on their laps, lean back and trust the current to take them gently down the river, the daredevils are eager to do a hundred mile stint in just a couple of days. Easy peasy…
The river offers a variety of conditions to suit all levels including a few thrilling rapids. Please note that children under 7 and non-swimmers are not allowed on canoes.
Keen paddlers should start at Argentat where the river is faster with lesser crowds. Past Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne, the river widens, the current eases and the first limestone cliffs begin to appear. The river runs through stunning landcapes, near gorgeous villages such as Carennac, Gluges, Saint-Sozy, Lacave…past pebbled beaches and fairytale castles like Belcastel or La Treyne.
Vitrac marks the beginning of the busier (but still as delightful) part of river and beaches which entices many a rower to stop off for a picnic. From Carsac, the river winds round in s-shaped loops below medieval fortresses and stunning villages like Domme and La Roque Gageac.
The crowds fall behind past Château de Beynac and although the cloud-topping sights become fewer, the scenery remains just as gorgeous. If you can make it to Limeuil, the confluence of the Dordogne and Vézère offers great views of the two beautifully meandering across the floodplains in different directions.