If you're planning a holiday in the Périgord, it's unthinkable not to go canoeing! It's the perfect family activity for unforgettable memories.
Canoeing is the Dordogne's flagship activity.
If you don't have the kids, a trip down the river with friends is also fun.
Numerous canoe hire companies offer a variety of routes to suit everyone. Yes, of course, the river remains the same, although... Vézère vs Dordogne? We'll come back to that later! Nevertheless, the type of descent is adapted to each visitor: for you, it will be a stroll to discover the heritage or a quiet activity in the heart of nature? We'll guide you ...
Castle-lovers will prefer the upper reaches of the Vézère river. Leaving from Montignac-Lascaux, you can sail beneath the Belcayre or Losse castles.
If you hire a canoe in Saint-Léon sur Vézère, you can head down the Vézère towards the troglodyte sites. Les Roque Saint-Christophe cliffs or La Madeleine are even more impressive when seen from the boat.
And if you're looking for peace and quiet, you can book the Campagne-le Bugue route now!
Book a trip down the Dordogne or the Vézère?
Why choose a descent on the Dordogne? For views of the châteaux of Beynac and Castelnaud: the Vitrac-Saint Vincent de Cosse section is the best. Be careful, you are sharing the river with barges, so be vigilant and follow the safety instructions given at the start.
Why choose a descent on the Vézère? For the peace and quiet, the scenery and the natural sites. We've already mentioned the Renaissance-style châteaux at the top of the route, the troglodyte sites in the middle of the valley and the peace and quiet of a route starting from Campagne, but do you need any more arguments? Let's get started!
Canoeing the Vézère is easy
If you're a thrill-seeker, we've got other activities for you: activities. For all the others, those looking for a relaxing paddling holiday in the Dordogne, welcome to our region!
Enjoy the harmonious landscapes and limestone cliffs with their many caves. The river Vézère has no dam on the section between Montignac-Lascaux and Limeuil, there are no no strong current and no baïne. Your canoe won't tip over and your children are safe.
Admire the flora and fauna from a canoe, how royal is that?
The Vézère valley is classified as a "Grand Site de France". and local players are committed to preserving this environment and the luxuriant nature that surrounds it. Canoe hire companies are contributing to this collective effort through practical actions such as collecting rubbish on a daily basis and cleaning up the Vézère once a year.
Some service providers are eco-certified; you'll find the logo on their dedicated page.
Discovering the Vézère valley by canoe means having the chance toobserve aquatic buttercups up close, to admire dragonflies flying over the river and sometimes passing much larger animals. You may even come across horses watering on the banks. Discover theAtlas of biodiversity in the Vézère Valley to find out more about the unspoilt nature that surrounds us.
Canoe or kayak?
The choice is difficult when you don't know the difference between the two boats. Our canoe hire companies ( including a champion ! ) will be delighted to advise you.
For a family descent, opt for the more stable canoe, It can accommodate up to 5 people in the boat.
For a challenge with friends, take your own kayak (more streamlined) and race to your arrival base. Don't forget to look up to admire the Périgord! If you try to cross the finish line too quickly, you could miss the village of la Madeleine in Tursac, the villages of Les Eyzies and Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère or the Fortified House of Reignaca unique cliff castle.
Whichever route and type of boat you choose, you'll be in for a real treat.
And lots of arms too!
Let's not forget that this is still an (Olympic) sport!
You go canoeing for the first time ?
We advise you to test the activity on a 1 hour tour. Canoe hire companies offer easy routes for this duration. For further information, we're still going down the river, you will never be offered a circuit that goes backwards.
Are you a canoeing enthusiast?
Accommodation tip: you can start from campsite Le Rocher de la Granelle in Le Bugue or Le Paradis campsite in Saint-Léon-sur-Vézèresmall sessions are organised for customers as the campsites have direct access to water.
Some canoeing operators also offer "canoe routes". hiking + canoeing "For a more intense sports day. Contact them!
A paddle and good shoes, that's all there is to it!
Are you on your own? You can take the greenway up the river for part of the valley, then canoe down the river again. A tour from Le Bugue to Les Eyzies can be done in a day without any problems. From New Aquitaine bus serve the region in the summer if the altitude of the Dordogne is underestimated ?
Canoeing by night, so much fun!
As part of the Active Summer" programme The département offers night-time canoeing sessions. Discover the summer programme to book your ticket.
If you would like more information about the canoes, prices or the equipment used, please see our Canoeing & Kayaking section.