8 Best Places To Go Canoeing in the Dordogne


Last Updated on 10/01/2023 by Alfred

Are you going to recharge your batteries in the Périgord? Discover the sites where to go canoeing in the Dordogne!

Located in the southwest of France, between the Gironde, the Lot, and the Corrèze, the Dordogne is the former province of Périgord. With an area of more than 9000 km2 and an estimated population of more than 413,000 inhabitants in 2017, it is the third French department. Its temperate climate makes it a most pleasant destination for a holiday in the great outdoors.

The choice of activities available to you to discover the region is immense. And if there is something to test at all costs, it is to go canoeing in the Dordogne. Indeed, the department has 5 rivers: the Dordogne, the Vézère, the Isle, the Dronne and the Auvézère … So there is plenty to do.

Here is our selection of sites where to canoe in the Dordogne, along the different rivers of the region.

Canoeing on the Dordogne

Are you looking for where to go canoeing in the Dordogne? On the Dordogne of course, it seems obvious! The Dordogne is a calm river, which originates in puy de Sancy, crosses the entire department, and joins the Garonne.

1. Carennac

Level: easy

Duration of the course: from 1 h 30 to 4 h 30

Period: April to October

A great day awaits you on the Dordogne, with 3 courses to choose from, of 9, 15 or 25 km, depending on your desire and motivation. Depending on the route you have chosen, you will leave Girac or Carennac, to reach the village of Montvalent. An ideal setting to spend a beautiful day with friends or family.

2. Veyrignac

Level: easy

Duration of the course: 1 h 30 for the descent “St Ju” and 3 hours for the descent “le Roc”

Period: April to October

Let’s go for the discovery descent “St Ju,” 5km long, or the descent “the rock,” which it is 15 km. During 1h30 or 3h, depending on your choice, you will advance in the middle of fabulous landscapes and exceptional fauna and flora. The small course is ideal for initiation or for a quiet moment with children. If you want a little more sporty, choose “the rock.”

3. Castelnaud-La-Chapelle

Level: easy

Duration of the course: half a day

Period: April to October

Here, two ideal routes for canoeing in the Dordogne are available to you. A 12 km course starting from Cénac, and the other 20 km from Vitrac, both arriving in Beynac. Throughout the route, you can see the Roque-Gageac, the castle of Marqueyssac, Fayrac, and finally, Castelnaud.

Canoeing on the Vézère

If there is one essential river to go down by canoe-kayak in the Dordogne, it is the Vézère. Along the water and at your own pace, you can admire the valley of prehistory, the castles of Losse or Belcayre, the troglodyte villages of Roque Saint-Christophe or Madeleine or prehistoric shelters. The Vézère is discovered at its own pace, from Montignac to Limeuil, considered one of the most beautiful a href=”https://generationvoyage.fr/plus-beaux-villages-france/” French villages. You will also pass by Les Eyzies de Tayac, the world capital of Prehistory.

Here we have selected four courses that will make you happy if you are looking for where to canoe in the Dordogne.

4.Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil

Level: easy

Duration of the course: 1h30, 2h30, 4h or 5h

Period: April to the end of September

1h30, 2h30, 4h, 5h…? Make your choice!

  • Discover the beautiful 9km course, named “le Marzac”, ideal perhaps for the first time by canoe. Here the river is wide and the few rapids are safe.
  • The “La St-Christophe” route extends over 13km, with a start at La Roque St Christophe, facing the largest troglodyte site in Europe. For 2h30, you will sail in the steepest part of the river, while admiring the footprints left by prehistoric man under the large cliffs of the Ruth.
  • “La St-Léon sur Vézère” is a 19km course from one of the most beautiful French villages: Saint Léon sur Vézère.
  • Finally, for the bravest, discover the course of the “3 castles”, 26km long. Here, you will need about 5 hours. But you will not regret it: typical villages, cliffs, troglodyte sites… It’s a memorable moment waiting for you, be sure!

Canoeing on the Isle

Have you heard of the “river of golden glitter”? It is actually the Isle that it is. This river is composed of gorges upstream, towards Jumilhac, crosses Périgueux, and then calms down when it meets the Auvézère.

If you want to go canoeing in the Dordogne, the descent of the banks of the Isle, where mills and picturesque villages follow one another, is a moment of pure happiness guaranteed.

5. Montpon-Menesterol

Level: easy

Duration of the course: from 1h to 6h30

Period: June 15 to September 15

Several bases offer boat rentals, ranging from hourly rentals to the whole day. Here too, different courses are proposed, in order to best meet your expectations.

Ideal to start, you have the possibility to rent a canoe for 1 hour and stay around the base. Otherwise, opt for the 4km course of the “Pont Cassé”, the “Moulin du Duella” which is 9km, the “Fournils” of 14km or finally the “Chapelle St Martin” which goes down 20km. Whatever your choice, you will spend a pleasant day on the water, at the whim of the rapids, on the banks of the Isle.

Canoeing on the Dronne

To go canoeing in the Dordogne, go to the Dronne. This river will make you discover all along, several castles such as Saint-Front, Pommier, Vaugoubert, or Bourdeilles, but also pretty authentic villages like Brantôme or Bourdeilles.

6. Fountain of Love

Level: easy

Duration of the course: 2h or 4h30

Period: July and August

From Fontaines d’amours, two courses are offered. A short, lasting 2 hours for about 8 km that will take you to the base of Brantôme. This course with a “slide” and is fun, easy, and pleasant. But if you prefer, you can continue to Bourdeilles, for the 18km course. Count here 4h30 of dams, rapids, and slides, in the middle of the castles and mills of the region.

Canoeing on the Auvézère

Are you a fan of rapids and looking for where to go canoeing in the Dordogne? This is where it happens! Indeed, this river alternates white water and calm water to seduce along its course, all profiles and all levels.

7. Cherveix Cubas

Level: easy

Duration of the course: 1h, 3h or 4h30

Period: July and August

Here, three courses are proposed to meet all desires: 1h, 3h, or 4h30. You will discover, along the water, magnificent landscapes along the valley of the Auvézère. Depending on the route chosen, you will start from Cherveix-Cubas, with the possibility of going up to Guimalet or Cubas. The 3h route will make you arrive in Tourtoirac and that of 4h30, in St Eulalie d’Ans.

8. Cubjac

Level: easy

Duration of the course: 6km and 10km

Period: July and August

To go canoeing in the Dordogne, Camping de l’Ilot is a good solution. Here, 2 courses are announced: the small 6km with a start in Ste Eulalie d’Ans, and the large course of 10 km from St Pantaly d’Ans. During this descent, you will evolve in a rural environment, where meadows, fields, woods, mills, castles and Perigord properties will follow one another.

Rates and practical information

Rates

What are the prices for canoeing in the Dordogne? Here is an idea of the rates charged:

The rates oscillate between 5 and 30 €, depending on the duration of the course.

  • 5km: about 5€ per person
  • 10km: about 15€ per person
  • 15 km: about 20€ per person
  • Waterproof canister: 2€

Practical information

  • Reservation: you can easily book the activity on the website of the canoe kayak bases in the Dordogne.
  • Equipment: Bring a swimsuit, closed shoes, water, a cap, sunscreen, and sunglasses.
  • Accessibility: there are courses adapted to all levels and for all ages, but most often, all courses are accessible to beginners. This can vary depending on the amount of rain that falls as well.
  • If you have never practiced canoeing, you are not sporty/ sporty; start slowly with short distances! Do not hesitate to call the centers for more information on the courses.

Alfred

Alfred is the author behind the Travelvibe travel blog and is always searching for the quieter, less-visited corners of the world.

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