Like a fish to water


Making a splash

In the summer, temperatures in the Dordogne Valley average around 28 degrees. Blessed not just with one of the cleanest rivers in France but also wild streams and natural lakes, water enthusiasts have a wealth of options for taking a dip. These include supervised natural swimming beaches such as the one in Montfort but also wild pebbled beaches dotted along the Dordogne River.

There’s always a quiet spot to be found - to lounge around, have a splash or simply read a good book. Many of the region’s lakes are also family friendly with playgrounds, picnic areas, snack bars or restaurants and water sports available. There are also outdoor swimming pools and water parks for those who just need the rush of a hydro slide or two.





The Dordogne River is the only French river awarded UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve status. 486km in length, this 2nd categoryriver is a fisherman’s dream, world renowned as a top fishing destination. With stunning natural scenery, it is home to a number of UNESCO protected species and plant life. Fishing here is bountiful with healthy and quality brown and rainbow trout, pike, zander and black-bass in abundance. The 1st category streams that form the tributaries leading into the Dordogne River are mostly populated by salmonids and trout. These wild virgin streams offer a different fishing experience altogether and with an amazing array of idyllicspots.

Whether near Sarlat or further north in the wild upper valley, expert fishing guides can be hired in order to learn the secretsof where to fish and how to improve technique.

Absolute beginners can also learn the ropes on fly fishing and other techniques and stay in accommodation with all the gear on site at Fish and Gites.




The Dordogne River is a fly fishing mecca where fishermen can put their technique to the test in trying to lure the

ever evasive but plentiful brown trout. The river is part of a hydroelectric scheme and many dams such as Bort les Orgues in the Corrèze (the fourth largest in France) slow the flow of the current making it an ideal spot for wading. There are many places to fly fish but one of the most popular is between Argentat and Monceaux-sur-

Dordogne. Be sure to check out the bistro/bar in the village of Monceaux called ‘Chez Maryse’- an institution for local and visiting fly fishing enthusiasts where the talk is of lures and technique over a beer or two.



It’s easy to highlight the Dordogne River and overlook the many lakes, smaller wild streams and other excellent rivers that make up swimming options here. Lakes in the area are often accompanied by picnicking tables for families, snack bars and water sports and perhaps a minigolf course if fate smiles upon you. The Lac du Causse, Lac de Tamniès and Lac de Tolerme have large sandy beaches and many sports activities on site. For the wilder at heart, smaller streams allow a complete detachment from the travails of the modern world set right in the heart of nature.



All that aquatic fun is thirsty work. For those in need of a stamina reboot, there is an array of Guinguettes by the water. These unpretentious popular restaurants on the waterfront offer everything from a cool beer or ice-cream for the kids to a hearty traditional dinner. Food comes with dancing and live music, including a bit of accordion.

They include La Guinguette du Vieux Chêne near Montvalent, La Guinguette de Copeyre near Martel and La Guinguette du Causse on the lake not far from Brive.