Village de Montmarsis

Lot – Dordogne area

Lot – Dordogne area

Region Sarlat - Cahors - Souillac

Sarlat-la-Canéda is half an hour's drive from Gourdon, the capital of the Dordogne with its historic center and the busy regional market on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

There are beautiful places around Gourdon. To the east there is the “Parc Naturel Régional des Causses du Quercy”, with the famous places Rocamadour and Saint Cirq-Lapopie. In the south is the famous city of Cahors, known for its robust Cahors wines. To the west are “les plus beaux villages de France” places like Montfort, Domme, La Roque-Gageac, Belvès and Villefranche. Between all this places flow the rivers Lot and Dordogne, on which you can kayak and canoe.


One of the largest departments in France is the Dordogne. The department has the same name as the river that flows through it and that rises in the Auvergne from the rivers Dorde and Dogne. The tourist region of Dordogne is seen broader than the departmental borders.

River Dordogne

The Dordogne is one of the longest rivers in France at about 500 km. From the Massif Central, from the confluence of the Dorde and the Dogne, it leads through the departments of Puy-de-Domme, Corrèze, Dordogne and Gironde to the Atlantic Ocean.
The Dordogne was originally of great importance for the transport of goods by boat. Because large parts along the river are very rough, the boats, la Gabare, were taken apart at the end (Lalinde) and brought back by horse and carriage to the starting point up the river.

At Souillac she enters the Dordogne department. Along beautiful cliffs to Le Cingle de Montfort (a large loop in the river) and Domme. Then along La Roque Gageac and the valley of the 5 castles, Lacoste, Castelnaud, Marqueussac, Fayrac and Beynac to Limeuil where the Vézère meets the Dordogne. Then towards Bergerac and on to the Atlantic coast.
For many tourists, the Dordogne is a great challenge to view by canoe or kayak. These can be rented at many locations along the river, to make a day trip or hike. To navigate the river more calmly, you can take a boat trip in a Gabarre steps. The river can also be easily followed by bicycle or car.

Canoeing in the Dordogne

Discover the Dordogne region from the water. The Perigord Noir area along the Dordogne is particularly busy. But the other rivers, including La Dronne, L’Isle and Vézère, are also excellent for canoeing and kayaking and it is considerably quieter here.
Quietly paddling along steep cliffs, pebble beaches along the banks, almost untouched nature, many canoeists have seen the kingfisher fly in person and admired castles from the water. It is discovering the area from a completely different angle. 
Various distances are possible from the rental location, often with the choice of being taken back from a point downstream by minibus or first taken from the location to a point upstream.

Hiking during the holidays in the Lot / Dordogne

The Lot and the Dordogne have great hiking areas. There are relatively flat areas and parts with more height differences, plenty of choices. There are often beautiful views from the higher parts.
In the villages, walking routes have often been set out from the center (“Le Bourg”: center of the village, village square) (Petites Randonnées, Circuits) that lead along the nicer parts in the area and back to the starting point. There are also the Grande Randonnées, these are the longer routes that also lead from village to village. From the next village, another Grand Randonnée can be followed. The routes are freely accessible.