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need advice on a canoeing trip

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new york city
posts: 238
reviews: 2
need advice on a canoeing trip

my husband would like to do a 2 or 3 hour canoe ride...we're staying in montignac ... visiting sarlat on a saturday in july -

any advice on a certain company? how do we get back to our car? a good starting point? reservations?


Tampa, Florida
posts: 31,560
reviews: 9
1. Re: need advice on a canoeing trip

pop over to the tourist information office -- they'll have brochures from the canoeing companies. We used a couple of them this spring -- one on the Dordogne, and one on the Vezere (sorry, don't remember the names).

They either take you to the dropoff point and you canoe back to your car, or you canoe to the meeting point and they take you back to the car (we did one each way this spring). Yes, they give you a map, printed with the meetup points clearly marked, and most of the companies post a sign on the riverbank pointing to the spot.

Take a look at the brochures -- all of the companies have several different options, passing various points of interest...it all comes down to your tastes and preferences.

Do be aware that the Vezere is very much in a natural state, so the scenery will be the local flora and fauna, some sheer cliffs, and a few villages and chateaux (Chateau du Losse is particularly beautiful from the river). The banks are steep in most places, severely limiting your ability to just pull over and have a picnic -- you can do it, just not everywhere.

The Dordogne is much more visibly inhabited, with more villages and chateaus, and gently-sloping banks.

It's all a matter of what you're looking for.

The West Country, UK
posts: 11
reviews: 19
2. Re: need advice on a canoeing trip

Canoes Loisirs - we went with this company. We did a 13 km (2 - 3 hour) canoe trip with our 4 children in 2 canoes. It was great fun and a wonderful way to see the area. The river was very shallow in places as there had been little rain over the previous weeks - my husband managed to get stuck on some rocks which was quite funny! We took a picnic and stopped on the banks of the Dordogne. We were picked up by a mini bus at a pre arranged 'rendez vous'. We were advised not to do the Vezere by another family we met as they had done it and it also was very low (due to the lack of rain!) and full of weed which had made paddling for them very arduous!

Have fun!

Tampa, Florida
posts: 31,560
reviews: 9
3. Re: need advice on a canoeing trip

depends on how much water there's been -- when we were there both rivers were at a good level -- plenty of current, and the water deep enough to carry you over the weeds without even a push from the paddles.

posts: 22
reviews: 22
4. Re: need advice on a canoeing trip

Great canoe/kayak rentals in Roque Gageac. Paddle all the way down to Castlenaud or Beynac & they bring you back.

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 17,713
reviews: 50
5. Re: need advice on a canoeing trip

Definitely choose the Dordogne -- we have done both rivers and there is no comparison for scenery. On the Vezerre you could be in a farmland in Ohio.

We just choose a place below Le Roque Gageac and had them drive us upriver several K (there are choices of putting in spots to provide trips of varying lengths) We then spent most of a day paddling back down to the rental agency. We were able to pull over, to stop at a cafe for lunch on the riverbank and the many villages and chateaux were beautiful.

They give you a large plastic drum for things you want to protect from water (and I am embarrassed to say we actually managed to capsize on the Vezzere and the drum worked fine to protect the camera and wallet -- alas the lunch was not in it at the time) It takes a particularly idiotic crew to capsize so don't worry about that; we ventured near the bank to avoid plants in the middle of the river and were swept under the low hanging trees.

Tampa, Florida
posts: 31,560
reviews: 9
6. Re: need advice on a canoeing trip

Can we please agree that the Vezere is quite undeveloped with steep banks and cliffs, with a few very old and large chateaux, and that the Dordogne is more developed with more gentle banks, but more chateaux?

Telling everyone to avoid the Vezere because YOU didn't enjoy it doesn't give anyone the opportunity to make up their mind.

7. Re: need advice on a canoeing trip

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