Kayaking Holidays

The Dordogne region of south-west France is renowned not only for its gastronomy, its magnificent castles and its golden limestone buildings, it’s also the destination of choice for thousands of keen amateur paddlers each and every year. Canoe and Kayak stations can be found all along a 170km stretch of the Dordogne river from Argentat, in the Correze department (north-east of the Dordogne department), right down to Mauzac et Grand Castang, close to the vineyards of Bergerac.

Two Kayaks, Dordogne River
Two kayaks by the Dordogne river, awaiting launch

Travelling down the Dordogne by canoe or Kayak is an absolute delight. After Souillac, the river is wide, slow moving and very tranquil. It’s a very safe mode of transport even for beginners and children. The sights and sounds are to die for, medieval castles atop rocky limestone escarpments (a great example being the Chateau de Castelnaud), the lush green valley with its sunflowers and walnut trees, geese and ducks roaming free, the heroes of this world-famous gastronomic region.

The most popular section of the river for families is the stretch between Grolejac and Saint Cyprien in Perigord Noir. This is a 32km stretch and it would take around 4-6 hours to complete in its entirety, but most people choose to do shorter sections at a more leisurely pace. Each different kayak station will offer you a choice of routes, which can vary from anything from 1 hour to 7 days! At La Longere we are extremely lucky to have two kayak stations right on our door-step at Port-Enveaux (St Vincent-de-Cosse), just 3km out of Beynac – namely: Canoe Roquegoffre and Canoe Détente. Canoe Roquegoffre offers trips from Carsac (28km/1 day), La Roque Gageac (14km/half day) and Vezac (7km/1 hour).

Kayaking in Beynac
Approaching Beynac by kayak, on the Dordogne river

You may be wondering, if you end up 28km from where you started, how do you get back to your car? So the deal is, canoe stations based upstream will set you afloat at their base, then pick you up at an agreed time at your final destination to bring you home. So, after your exertions you’ll be getting in a minibus with fellow paddlers and towing a trailer-load of canoes and kayaks behind you, back to where you started. Canoe stations based downstream will take you upstream by minibus to your agreed point of departure (again with boats in tow), and then you’ll make you way back to their base on the river at you own pace.

We think a downstream canoe station is the best choice, because on a really hot summer’s day, when you’re a bit pooped, and possibly a bit sunburnt, the last thing you’ll be wanting to do is get in a hot sweaty minibus for a 1 hour trip back to your car. Better to step out of your boat, get into the car, and drive the whole 2 minutes back to La Longere for a cold beer and a shower.  We really are that close to the canoe stations at Port D’Enveaux, and for that reason we think it is the perfect location for a canoe or kayak holiday in the Dordogne. We think you’ll agree!