While researching our trip to the Périgord Noir region of France, I learned that we could rent a canoe and take a leisurely trip down the Dordogne River. While there are many companies offering rentals for essentially the same trip, we went with the one that worked with our B&B. Our host called on our behalf to make our booking, which was handy since we don’t speak French.
The next morning she sent us off with a map and driving instructions to get to the meeting point. By having her book on our behalf we received a small discount to our rental cost, which was very much unexpected and appreciated.
Side note: It was in the parking area that I made this discovery!
The rental company provides you with a large plastic sealable bin to protect your belongings from getting wet, should you somehow find your canoe taking on water
Once ready, they drive you up the river with your canoe and gear to the start point.
Please excuse the hideous hat. It was all I could find last minute before leaving for France.
The sights along the river were many of the places we had already visited, or planned to visit during the rest of our stay in the area. It was such a neat experience to see them from a different vantage point.
It was a gorgeous morning and we were lucky that there weren’t too many people on the water with us. For long stretches we’d be alone surrounded by beautiful scenery, with the only sounds being birdsong.
The water level in parts was quite low after a long hot Summer. At one point we ran aground. I stayed on board and let my boyfriend get out to drag the canoe back to deeper water. Obviously.
After an enjoyable couple of hours we found ourselves back at the depot, where we spent some time with the office cat and much deserved cold beer.
While the area is most famous for the caves, cuisine and Chateaux, we highly recommend getting yourself onto the water. If not by canoe, then one of the traditional Gabares. Either way, you’ll treat yourself to beautiful views of the area that can’t be seen by car.
You can find the link to my album here.