Dordogne Canoe Ride - All wet!

Jun 19th, 2013, 10:25 AM
  #1  
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Dordogne Canoe Ride - All wet!

We plan to experience the Dordogne canoe ride (out of Sarlat). We are considering the 4 to 5 hour ride or half day. In reading posts about the ride people have commented about , stopping and swimming, picnic lunches, stopping to explore. The comments said there was no problem with leaving your canoe it would be there when you get back.

So if we swim and picnic and the next stop decide we want to go explore the area close by, what is the recommendation on dressing. Obviously you are in a wet swimsuit. This is probably simple. But I would want to know how other people have managed and enjoyed their canoe ride on the Dordogne!

Thanks!
milestogoneedadvice is offline  
Jun 19th, 2013, 11:57 AM
  #2  
 
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Out of Sarlat? Where would that be?

Unless you do this a ot, a half day of paddling is a chore unless the river's really running. I don't even do the canoes anymore; I prefer the kayaks, which are lighter and more maneuverable, especially when the river is wall-to-wall people in high season.

You don't have many choices of places to stop. There are beaches here and there, and you'll see the bunches of canoes and kayaks up on the shores where people have grounded them to go ashore. But it's not as though you can decide to stop at any town or village along the way and go exploring. The only one I can even think of is Castelnaud, where we always stop for a picnic or a visit to the café for a quick lunch or an ice cream. There are other places to beach your canoe, of course, but not with any commerce or town or village nearby, just maybe a canoe outlet snack bar or rocky cliffs or grassy banks to meander around. Do not envision being able to do much useful sightseeing along the river in terms of getting off the canoe and exploring.

You rent a small barrel-shaped dry pack for the things you don't want to get wet, including clothing to put over your swimsuit, and put it on when you beach the canoe, IF you are headed to a café or something, but as noted those options will be very limited.
StCirq is offline  
Jun 19th, 2013, 12:36 PM
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Great information. I had read people's travel reports, but it was never as exact as yours. Kayaks sound like a great idea. We enjoy water and those activities!

I did read one account that they walked to Castelnaud from the river. Is that a stretch of the imagination. Is it something to consider or misleading?

I have contacted the canoe/kayak company you recommended and will follow up on that activity!
milestogoneedadvice is offline  
Jun 19th, 2013, 12:44 PM
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As I have pointed out before, including above, there is a beach at Castelnaud and that is always where we stop for lunch - either a picnic or the café. Occasionally we go to the little grocery store and buy stuff, too. The walk from the beach to the lower town takes maybe two minutes. But if you have plans to actually hike up the hill to the château itself and visit the upper town and the castle, be prepared for a) a very long, strenuous hike and b) an hour or two at least for the visit.
StCirq is offline  
Jun 19th, 2013, 06:08 PM
  #5  
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Thank you St. Cirq. I need to look at our day and think about this. i think as I gather more information and get a better idea of the big picture it will fall in place. The hike is not necessarily a bad idea, but perhaps time becomes the value. The idea of viewing this area from the water, enjoying a picnic lunch seems to be the best. I might opt for the little grocery store for the experience and buy lunch items there. I love that the canoe/kayak ride will slow us down to savor the moment. Your input is invaluable!
milestogoneedadvice is offline  
Jun 21st, 2013, 03:34 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
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1. Sarlat isn't on the river, so you'll need to get to Vitrac or some other spot along the river to get into your canoe or kayak. I like Copeyre Canoe from Vitrac-->Beynac (about 2 1/2 hours), but you can put in at St. Julien de Lampon instead, for a longer ride. Check: http://www.canoe-copeyre.com/parcours for a map of their options.
2. They'll provide a shuttle service from Beynac back to wherever you left your car.
3. In addition to Castelnaud, you can easily pull up at La Roque Gageac and have a stroll, walk up into the village, have a cold drink or lunch, then get back in for the rest of the trip.
4. Along the way, presuming you come in July or August, there will also be a few beaches along the way where vendors will have some snack bars selling cold drinks, ice cream, etc.
Have fun!
La_Tour_de_Cause is offline  
Jun 21st, 2013, 03:40 PM
  #7  
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Excellent information! I will check out their website. It looks like a great part of the trip!
milestogoneedadvice is offline  
Jun 21st, 2013, 05:44 PM
  #8  
 
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We took the canoe from Cenac to an area west of Beynac Near a railway bridge. It was great. Did it in Sept. Water was about Knee deep. So you may wan't to reconsider swimming if you're going at that time of year.
leuk2 is offline  
Jun 21st, 2013, 09:39 PM
  #9  
 
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Water is almost always about knee deep unless there have been rains. I didn't realize you could pull up at La Roque-Gageac (never noticed that), but that would certainly be a good stop.
StCirq is offline  
Jun 21st, 2013, 10:57 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Water is certainly not knee deep this week as it continues to rain. No-one out at all, and recently even the canoe clubs were forbidden to go on the river as it was too dangerous. One reason why you don't want to micromanage your time here. You never know what might come up

We always recommend our guests go from Cenac at the foot of Domme to Beynac. There are several companies there.
Carlux is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2013, 06:24 AM
  #11  
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Thank you for the pertinent information!
milestogoneedadvice is offline  
Jun 24th, 2013, 01:34 PM
  #12  
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La_Tour_de_Cause
Thank you for responding. You commented that Vitrac to Beynac is 2 1/2 hours. Does that include stopping along the way to explore, swim, picnic, etc.? I realize that for indviduals it will vary, but since we have no idea your information really helps.

The websites don't offer as many details. I think we would choose the Vitrac to Beynac as it has a beautiful view along the way. Although the idea of wall to wall (shore to shore) people in boats doesn't sound inviting. But you still have the view!

Does Copyre have a scheduled pick up time for the Vitrac to Beynac float? Would you recommend a picnic lunch along the way or venturing to a cafe?

Anything you can share about your experience is appreciated!
milestogoneedadvice is offline  

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