Dordogne River Information

The Dordogne river is a river in south-central and southwest France, going across the very sought-after Dordogne area.

The Dordogne river rises on the flanks of Puy de Sancy in the mountains of Auvergne, from the confluence of two small torrents above the town of Mont-Dore: the Dore and the Dogne.

It generally flows west about 500km through the Limousin and Perigord before flowing into the Gironde River.

Dordogne River Characteristics

The Dordogne River is one of the few rivers in the world that exhibits the phenomenon known as a tidal bore. The upper valley of the Dordogne is a series of deep gorges. The cliffs, steep banks, fast flowing water and high bridges attract both walkers and drivers. In several places the river is dammed to form long, deep lakes. Camp sites and holiday homes have been growing very quickly wherever the valley floor is wide enough to accommodate them.

Below Argentat and around Beaulieu sur Dordogne, the valley widens to accommodate fertile farmland, well-watered pasture and orchards. In the towns, which are major attractions because of their history and architecture, the quaysides are lined with eating and drinking places. In Perigord, the valley widens further to encompass one of France's main gastronomic regions, with vineyards, poultry farms and truffle-rich woodlands.

The main season for tourism is the Valley of the Dordogne is from June to September with July and August being high season. The lifestyle and culture of the Dordogne valley attracts both visitors and incomers from all over France, but also from many other countries, particularly Britain and Germany.

The Course of the Dordogne River

The departments of France through which the Dordogne River runs, together with some towns in those departments that are on or quite near the river, are as follows:

  • The department of Puy de Dome, with the towns of Mont-Dore, La Bourboule.
  • The department of Correze, with the towns of Argentat, Beaulieu-sur-dordogne.
  • The department of Lot, with the towns of Souillac, Pinsac or Meyronne...
  • The department of Dordogne, with the towns of Sarlat, Saint-Cyprien or Bergerac...
  • The department of Gironde, with the towns of Sainte-Foy-la-Grande or Libourne

Dordogne River Activities

Aside from the general activities you can enjoy in most ares of France, there are also some very interesting water-related activities linked to the River Dordodgne. First of all, there Dordogne river is one of the best area for Fishing in France, and is very sought-after by the locals and visitors. Obviously, there are also other kinds of activities available such as Canoeing and Kayaking, which are very popular and easy to rent. There are also some Water Skiing spots, as well as rowing and sailing available.