The Dordogne River

9 May 2016

At around 300 miles long, the Dordogne River is not only beautiful to look at. You can canoe, fish, kayak, motorboat, raft, row, sail and water ski on it and swim in it. (If all that sounds a bit much you can just admire it from one of the terraces at Les Milandes!) The Dordogne River provides sustenance for farmland, orchards and vineyards. It is also one of the hundred(ish) rivers in the world to exhibit the rare phenomenon of a tidal bore.

See the sights from the Dordogne River

Travel along the Dordogne River near Les Milandes and you’ll get to see some incredible sights. Take in the numerous castles, the gardens at Marqueyssac and Josephine Baker’s former home, (our neighbours) Château de Milandes. Some of the villages you can see along this particular stretch of the river are probably among the most photographed in the Dordogne; Beynac, Castelnaud and La Roque-Gageac. Here, you pass beneath dramatic castles on probably the most stunning canoe trip the area offers. Look up at the right time and you’ll see the fortified town of Domme perched on the edge of a cliff.

Dordogne River

Where the Dordogne River meets the Vézère you’ll find the world famous prehistoric caves at Lascaux and Les Eyzies. A little further upstream is Montignac – its old town has timber-framed houses which date back to the 14th century.

The Dordogne River also provides hydroelectric power, so in several places it has been dammed to form deep lakes. (Above the Bort dam the river forms a lake which is over 10 miles long!)

Travel around the Dordogne and you are bound to encounter the river at some point. When you do, take the time to remember the words of an ancient Chinese philosopher who said, “The mark of a successful man is one that has spent an entire day on the bank of a river without feeling guilty about it.”

The beautifully slow pace of life around Les Milandes should allow you to do this quite easily.

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