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This brochure is provided by Green River Canoes Ltd and details some of the Inn-to-Inn Guided Canoe Trips described on the website at www.greenrivercanoes.com . You can also reach us at: https://www.facebook.com/greenrivercanoes https://twitter.com/canoegreenriver For any questions please email us at info@greenrivercanoes.com or use the form at http://greenrivercanoes.com/contact-us You can subscribe to our infrequent newsletter to receive news of new trips, schedules and offers. Steven House


“Contents Green River Canoes

4

Introduction

6

7 Day Perigord Trip

9

6 Day Cele Trip

19

12 Days 3 Rivers Trip

27

What we see

41

Canoeing

44

Hiking

46

Wildlife

48

Maps and Books

51


Green River Canoes We provide Inn-to-Inn Guided Canoeing Trips on beautiful calm green rivers in the Perigord and Lot regions of the South of France. This brochure describes the following trips: 7 Day Perigord: with canoeing on the Vezere and Dordogne, the 6 Day Cele: with canoeing on the Cele and the Lot and the 12 Day 3 Rivers: which combines the two. The website shows the current price and schedule for the trips and you can see many more photographs from the trips too. All our trips are guided. Our guests will be accompanied on the river and trail by an experienced guide who knows the area and rivers well. Our other guide will accompany us in the background by driving our vehicle between lodgings. When necessary this


vehicle will be transferring our luggage, meeting us for lunch and generally being available as and when needed. All the accommodation on our trips is in small local Hotels, Chambre D'Hotes or B&Bs: All our trip prices include transfers, canoe hire, accommodation (with breakfasts) all lunches and all evening meals. Trips come in two sizes: with up to 7 guests we will have 2 guides and with between 8 and 14 guests we will have 3 guides (2 on the river & trail). Larger groups can be accommodated by request.


Introduction Take your time in examining the summary page for each trip and then look at the day-to-day schedule and the description of the hotels we use. This should give you a good idea of what to expect from each trip. The Prices and Dates page is self explanatory and the Details and Queries page may also answer some of the more technical questions you might have. If you have further questions then please do not hesitate to contact us, we are only to happy to help.


In particular if the dates we've scheduled don't fit your requirements or you would like to change the schedule in some way then we will do our best to help you. If you are a group of 4 or more then we are also happy to arrange a private trip for you. Just provide us with the dates you would like, the trip your are interested in (with any schedule changes you require) and we will do our utmost to provide it. Although our regular and scheduled trips have a maximum of 14 guests and 3 guides, larger groups can be accommodated with private and custom trips.


7 Day Perigord Trip On this 6 Night/7 Day trip we spend two days canoeing down the Vezere and three days canoeing down the Dordogne river. The Vezere is a medium sized river that flows down the famous ‘Valley of Man’ into the Dordogne. On the way it passes through several small towns and picturesque villages such as Montignac, St. Leon and Les Eyzies. Along this river man has lived for tens of thousands of years. The famous caves of Lascaux are close to Montignac and many other cave sites are spread down the valley. The valley also has the remains of medieval dwellings along its course: we can see them at Roque St. Christophe and Madeleine. We will also pass several Chateaux dating from the 13th and 14th C as well as the remains of a lock gate system which controlled the flow in the river when it was a major transport link. The river and trails along this Unesco Heritage site will give an easy opportunity to visit many of the places mentioned. The Dordogne is a large river that flows down to the Gironde before it reaches the Atlantic Ocean just north of Bordeaux. On the way it passes many large castles before the valley widens out into the famous vineyards of Bergerac and Bordeaux itself. The castles along the stretch of the Dordogne we paddle are those that were built to defend the borders of England and France during 300 years of struggle which ended after the 100 years war.


Day to Day Schedule Day 1. Arrival and first meeting. You will be met at our arranged meeting point by our guides for your transfer to the Vezere valley. This is usually Brive-la-Gaillarde Station for those guests arriving by train from Paris. Alternatively arrangements can be made for arrivals at regional airports: Brive, Limoges and Bergerac are possibilities. We will meet you off the train that arrives at Brive at 1pm or 2pm. The drive to St. Leon-sur-Vezere valley takes about   45 minutes. We will stop here for a picnic lunch, get to know each other and go over the trip together. It is a 10 minute drive from here to our accommodation, or a 45 minute walk instead. Our first picnic and meeting place under the willows on the banks of the Vezere. On our arrival at the Relais de la Cote de Jor we will be met by our host Roland. If time and the weather allows we will be able to use the swimming-pool.


Day 2. Our first day on the river. Today we will paddle the Vezere river from Montignac to St. Leon. When we pass the village of Sergeac we will stop to visit and look at the village and the old church. We will have our lunch on the river-bank here too. Later we can walk along the river bank and visit the cave at Castel Merle. This is a working excavation where a recent find is reputed to be the oldest known cave painting in Europe. We will pass several Chateaus built out over the river today and also see the remains of a lock system built in the 18th Century. We remain at the Cote de Jor tonight.

Day 3. Continuing down the Vezere river. We will continue our paddle from St, Leon down to Les Eyzies. We will stop for our picnic lunch at Tursac. Today we will pass under the cliffs of Roque St. Christophe which was a troglodyte city built into the cliffs and inhabited until the Middle Ages. Further downstream we will pass the Chapel Madeleine built into the cliff below a Roman Fortress. To d a y w e m o v e o n t o t h e


Hostellerie du Passeur in Les Eyzies but instead of dining all together we have the opportunity to choose our own restaurant in the town.

Day 4. A Market Day and then a start on the Dordogne river In the morning we will visit the market at Sarlat and then later we will paddle the Dordogne river from Cazoules to Montfort. We will have our lunch on the river-bank somewhere near St. Julien. The size of this river will allow us to explore various routes around several islands before we arrive under the massive Castle at Monfort. Tonight we will be staying in Pech de Malet Hotel.

Day 5. A day of Castles and Chateaux We will continue our paddle from Montfort down to Beynac. Today we will pass under the village of Domme before arriving at the cliff-hugging village of Roque-Gageac. Further downstream we come under the watchful gaze of Castelnaud before arriving at another cliff-top castle at Beynac. We will take time to visit these places as we pass. Lunch will probably be taken


on the river-bank at Castelnaud. Tonight we stay at the Hotel de Chateau in Beynac.

Day 6. A final day on the Dordogne river Today we will continue our paddle down the Dordogne from Beynac down to Soriac. Before leaving Beynac we will visit the castle and the village before paddling downstream to the Chateau de Milandes, where we will have lunch too. After lunch we will continue to meander downstream. We remain in the  Hotel de Chateau for tonight.

Day 7. A visit to Lascaux and the time to leave After a leisurely breakfast we will return to Brive in time to catch the 1pm train to Paris, but before that we can visit the world famous painted caves at Lascaux if we wish.


Where We Stay Relais de la Cote de Jor For the first two nights we are at the Relais de la Cote de Jor just outside the village of St. Leon-sur-Vezere. Sitting high above the valley of the Vezere with beautiful views from from the garden and balconies the small hotel is a short 10 minute drive from the village or an easy 30 minute walk down a trail. The hotel has a pool in which we can relax after a busy day on the river. For those that wish to walk before breakfast we have a couple of ideas. Firstly along to the Cote de Jor itself which is a viewing point looking down on a bend in the Vezere river with the village of St. Leon and its chateau and church in the distance. A second possibility is to take the trails through the chestnut woods and down to a couple of small fishing ponds before returning past a private Chateau with ornamental gardens. The Relais does not do evening meals so we shall drive into the village and visit the Restaurant de la Poste on one night and choose from a selection of other nearby restaurants for our second night.

Relais de la Cote de Jor

Hostellerie de Passeur


Hostellerie du Passeur On the third night we are at the Hostellerie du Passeur in the small town of Les Eyzies. This charming and comfortable hotel is at the heart of the village off a small square opposite the National PreHistory Museum. When in Les Eyzies we can choose our own restaurant for the evening. The hotel itself is available as are a number of restaurants in the town: they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. If you are in the mood for an early morning walk then we have a circular ramble that takes us across the river and up through some forests to the causse past some remote farms.

Pech de Malet On the fourth night we are at the Pech de Malet, between the villages of Vitrac and Montfort. This hotel sits alone above the Dordogne river and is a short 10 minute walk from our take-out. Our bus is available instead if you wish.

Pech de Malet

Hotel du Chateau


The hotel is a converted farmhouse and sits in a setting of beautiful flowers with a shaded terrace with views over the valley. You can visit the smallholding and garden which produces the vegetables for the kitchen as well as the chickens. The hotel sits in acres of Walnut Orchards. An early morning walk visits the Chateau Montfort which can look spectacular in the early morning light when the mist is rising on the river.

Hotel du Chateau For the final two nights we are at the Hotel du Chateau in Beynac. The hotel sits at the heart of this small village directly underneath the Chateau Beynac which looms above us. It is directly on the river and no more than a two minute walk from where we take-out the canoes in the afternoon and put-in the next morning. The early morning walk takes us up to the castle via a secret path with smugglers caves and out into the countryside beyond, past some farms and through a mysterious wood before looping back home. The hotel’s restaurant has tables on a terrace beside the river. It also has a small swimming-pool.


6 Day Cele Trip On this 5 Night/6 Day trip we spend three days canoeing down the Cele river and a day canoeing on the Lot river. The Cele is a small winding stream that flows down a steep sided valley into the Lot. On the way it passes through several small and picturesque villages such as Espingnac, Marciilhac, Sauliac and Cabrerets. Along the same valley a long-distance trail winds its way. Sometimes besides the river but mostly up high along the valleys edge. This is the GR651 which is a small deviation off the famous GR65 more commonly known as the ‘Way of St. James’ or the ‘Chemins de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle’. In an adjacent valley flows the Lot river with the famous cliffhanging village of St. Cirq Lapopie.


Day to Day Schedule

Day 1. Arrival and First Meeting. You will be met at our arranged meeting point by our guides for your transfer to the Vezere valley. This is usually Brive-la-Gaillarde Station for those guests arriving by train from Paris. Alternatively arrangements can be made for arrivals at regional airports: Brive and Bergerac are possibilities. The drive to our accommodation in the Cele valley takes about 1hr and 20minutes. On our way we will stop for a picnic lunch, get to know each other and go over the trip together. On our arrival at la Matairie Basse we will be met by our hosts Helen and Richard. If time and the weather allows we will be able to use the swimming-pool.

Day 2. Our First paddle on the Cele river. Today we will paddle the Cele river from St. Eulalie to Marcilhac. When we pass the village of Espingnac we will stop to visit and look at the ruins and design of the old tower. Later we will have our lunch on the river-bank around about Brengue. Before the days paddle we can walk on the limestone causse and visit a Dolmen. We remain at the Matairie Basse tonight.

Day 3 Continuing down the Cele river


We will continue our paddle from Marcilhac down to Cabrerets. Before the paddle we can walk a short stretch of the GR651 and make sure we see the ruins of the old abbey in the village itself. We will stop for our picnic lunch at Sauliac. We remain at the Matairie Basse again tonight.

Day 4. A Cave, a paddle, a riverside walk and an arrival in St. Cirq Lapopie. We will walk from our lodgings across the causse and down to the Cele valley at Cabrerets. Will will then visit the caves at Peche de Merle to see the 25,000 year old paintings. We will then finish our canoe on the Cele with a short paddle down to Conduche and finish off the day with an hours river-bank walk to the beautiful village of St. Cirq Lapopie. Depending on timings we will have our picnic today at the caves or beside the the Lot river. Tonight we stay at the Auberge du Sombral in St. Cirq Lapopie. Instead of dining together you will have the opportunity to find your own restaurant in the village.

Day 5. A Hike on the Causse or a Canoe on the Lot. To d a y w e h a v e a c h o i c e between several long hikes. Either the GR651 pilgrims trail along the Cele valley, or a walk along the cliffs above the Lot


river or perhaps some walks around the forests and cliffs above St. Cirq Lapopie. We will carry our lunch with us today and find a suitable spot ourselves. Alternatively we can canoe along a section of the Lot riverthat is completely different from the Cele. Tonight we remain in the Auberge du Sombral.

Day 6. A Visit to Rocamadour and a Time to Leave. After a leisurely breakfast we will return to Brive in time to catch the 1pm  train to Paris. If we wish we can visit Rocamadour on the way.


Where We Stay Matairie Basse near the village of Sauliac For the first three nights we are at the Matairie Basse which is situated high above the Cele valley on the Causse above the village of Sauliac. Our hosts Richard and Helen have converted a farmhouse from almost a complete ruin to provide fabulous accommodation in this quiet area. In the grounds we can look at the market garden and chickens and also use the outdoor swimming-pool which nestles surprisingly in a converted barn Early morning walkers can enjoy some trails out onto the Causse and visit an ancient Dolmen: a Iron-Age burial site perhaps 8,000 years old. We can also walk the long, but downhill trail, to the village of Cabrerets on the Cele river to begin our third day with a visit to the cave at Peche Merle. Richard and Helen will provide us with some delicious homecooked meals featuring regional specialities and using ingredients from their own garden. They will also introduce us to some local Aperitifs such as Vin Noix, a Ratafia or perhaps a Fenelon.

Matairie Basse

l’Auberge du Sombral


l’Auberge du Sombral in the village of  Saint Cirq Lapopie. On the final two nights we stay at the l’Auberge du Sombral in the heart of Saint Cirq Lapopie. This picturesque village perches on the side of the cliff above the Lot river and is looked over by a ruined castle and abbey and surrounded by the remains of a fortified wall with entrance gates at the top and lower ends. The village has a single street from which vehicles are barred (excepting access for locals) and is riddled by a network of tiny cobbled pathways. Our hotel sits in the main square almost at the top of the village within easy walking distance of the restaurants and small shops. On our first evening here we are able to choose our own restaurant but on our final evening we will all dine together again either in the village itself or close by. For those that like to walk we have plenty of choices of all lengths and difficulties. The village is surrounded by woods and the top of the Causse can be easily reached to offer superb views over the valley. Other walks take the winding trails down to the river and we can follow the Chemin de Haulage which is the path previously used by the Bargemen and their horses to pull boats along the Lot.


12 Days 3 Rivers Trip This 11 Night/12 Day trip puts together the Perigord 7 Day and the Cele 6 Day trips with canoeing for 2 days on the Vezere, three days on the Cele and a further three days on the Dordogne. On the between days we will visit some sights and do some hiking The Vezere is a medium sized river that flows down the famous ‘Valley of Man’ into the Dordogne. On the way it passes through several small towns and picturesque villages such as Montignac, St. Leon and Les Eyzies. Along this river man has lived for tens of thousands of years. The famous caves of Lascaux are close to Montignac and many other cave sites are spread down the valley. The valley also has the remains of medieval dwellings along its course: we can see them at Roque St. Christophe and Madeleine. We will also pass several Chateaux dating from the 13th and 14th C as well as the remains of a lock gate system which controlled the flow in the river when it was a major transport link. The river and trails along this Unesco Heritage site will give an easy opportunity to visit many of the places mentioned. The Cele is a small winding stream that flows down a steep sided valley into the Lot. On the way it passes through several small and picturesque villages such as Espingnac, Marciilhac, Sauliac and Cabrerets. Along the same valley a long-distance trail winds its way. Sometimes besides the river but mostly up high along the valleys edge. This is the GR651 which is a small deviation off the famous GR65 more commonly known as the ‘Way of St. James’ or the ’Chemins de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle’. In an adjacent valley flows the Lot river with the famous cliffhanging village of St. Cirq Lapopie.


 The Dordogne is a large river that flows down to the Gironde before it reaches the Atlantic Ocean just north of Bordeaux. On the way it passes many large castles before the valley widens out into the famous vineyards of Bergerac and Bordeaux itself. The castles along the stretch of the Dordogne we paddle are those that were built to defend the borders of England and France during 300 years of struggle which ended after the 100 years war.

Day to Day Schedule Day 1. Arrival and first meeting. You will be met at our arranged meeting point by our guides for your transfer to the Vezere valley. This is usually Brive-la-Gaillarde Station for those guests arriving by train from Paris. Alternatively arrangements can be made for arrivals at regional airports: Brive, Limoges and Bergerac are possibilities. We will meet you off the train that arrives at Brive at 1pm or 2pm. The drive to St. Leonsur-Vezere valley takes about 45 minutes. We will stop here for a picnic lunch, get to know


each other and go over the trip together. It is a 10 minute drive from here to our accommodation, or a 45 minute walk instead. Our first picnic and meeting place under the willows on the banks of the Vezere. On our arrival at the Relais de la Cote de Jor we will be met by our host Roland. If time and the weather allows we will be able to use the swimming-pool.

Day 2. Our first day on the river. Today we will paddle the Vezere river from Montignac to St. Leon. When we pass the village of Sergeac we will stop to visit and look at the village and the old church. We will have our lunch on the river-bank here too. Later we can walk along the river bank and visit the cave at Castel Merle. This is a working excavation where a recent find is reputed to be the oldest known cave painting in Europe. We will pass several Chateaus built out over the river today and also see the remains of a lock system built in the 18th Century. We remain at the Cote de Jor tonight.


Day 3. Continuing down the Vezere river. We will continue our paddle from St, Leon down to Les Eyzies. We will stop for our picnic lunch at Tursac. Today we will pass under the cliffs of Roque St. Christophe which was a troglodyte city built into the cliffs and inhabited until the Middle Ages. Further downstream we will pass the Chapel Madeleine built into the cliff below a Roman Fortress. Today we move onto the Hostellerie du Passeur in Les Eyzies but instead of dining all together we have the opportunity to choose our own restaurant in the town.

Day 4. The Sarlat Market and Rocamadour. In the morning we will visit the open-air market in Sarlat and wander the streets of the picturesque town. Later in the afternoon we will visit the world famous Rocamadour which is a set of numerous chapels built into a cliff-face with a chateau above and a village below. It is a renowned pilgrimage site. Â We will then drive onto the Cele valley an hour or so away. On our arrival at la Matairie


Basse we will be met by our hosts Helen and Richard. If time and the weather allows we will be able to use the swimming-pool.

Day 5. Our First paddle on the Cele river. Today we will paddle the Cele river from St. Eulalie to Marcilhac. When we pass the village of Espingnac we will stop to visit and look at the ruins and design of the old tower. Later we will have our lunch on the river-bank around about Brengue. Before the days paddle we can walk on the limestone causse and visit a Dolmen. We remain at the Matairie Basse tonight.

Day 6 Continuing down the Cele river We will continue our paddle from Marcilhac down to Cabrerets. Before the paddle we can walk a short stretch of the GR651 and make sure we see the ruins of the old abbey in the village itself. We will stop for our picnic lunch at Sauliac. We remain at the Matairie Basse again tonight.


Day 7. A Cave, a paddle, a riverside walk and an arrival in St. Cirq Lapopie. We will walk from our lodgings across the causse and down to the Cele valley at Cabrerets. Will will then visit the caves at Peche de Merle to see the 25,000 year old paintings. We will then finish our canoe on the Cele with a short paddle down to Conduche and finish off the day with an hours riverbank walk to the beautiful village of St. Cirq Lapopie. Depending on timings we will have our picnic today at the caves or beside the the Lot river. Tonight we stay at the Auberge du Sombral in St. Cirq Lapopie. Instead of dining together you will have the opportunity to find your own restaurant in the village.

Day 8. A Hike on the Causse or a Canoe on the Lot. Today we have a choice between several long hikes. Either the GR651 pilgrims trail along the Cele valley, or a walk along the cliffs above the Lot river or perhaps some walks around the forests and cliffs above St. Cirq Lapopie. We will carry our lunch with us today and find a suitable spot ourselves. Alternatively we can canoe along a section of the Lot river – completely different from


the Cele. Tonight we remain in the Auberge du Sombral.

Day 9. The first day on the Dordogne river In the morning we will to Souilliac and then later we will paddle the Dordogne river from Cazoules to Montfort. We will have our lunch on the riverbank somewhere near St. Julien. The size of this river will allow us to explore various routes around several islands before we arrive under the massive Castle at Monfort. Tonight we will be staying in Pech de Malet Hotel.

Day 10. A day of Castles and Chateaux  We will continue our paddle from Montfort down to Beynac. Today we will pass under the village of Domme before arriving at the cliff-hugging village of RoqueGageac. Further downstream we come under the watchful gaze of Castelnaud before arriving at another cliff-top castle at Beynac. We will take time to visit these places as we pass. Lunch will probably be taken on the river-bank at Castelnaud. Tonight we stay at the Hotel de Chateau in


Beynac.

Day 11. A final day on the Dordogne river Today we will continue our paddle down the Dordogne from Beynac down to Soriac. Before leaving Beynac we will visit the castle and the village before paddling downstream to the Chateau de Milandes, where we will have lunch too. After lunch we will continue to meander downstream. We remain in the  Hotel de Chateau for tonight.

Day 12. A visit to Lascaux and the time to leave After a leisurely breakfast we will return to Brive in time to catch the 1pm train to Paris, but before that we can visit the world famous painted caves at Lascaux if we wish.


Where We Stay Relais de la Cote de Jor For the first two nights we are at the Relais de la Cote de Jor just outside the village of St. Leon-sur-Vezere. Sitting high above the valley of the Vezere with beautiful views from from the garden and balconies the small hotel is a short 10 minute drive from the village or an easy 30 minute walk down a trail. The hotel has a pool in which we can relax after a busy day on the river. For those that wish to walk before breakfast we have a couple of ideas. Firstly along to the Cote de Jor itself which is a viewing point looking down on a bend in the Vezere river with the village of St. Leon and its chateau and church in the distance. A second possibility is to take the trails through the chestnut woods and down to a couple of small fishing ponds before returning past a private Chateau with ornamental gardens. The Relais does not do evening meals so we shall drive into the village and visit the Restaurant de la Poste on one night and choose from a selection of other nearby restaurants for our second night.

Relais de la Cote de Jor

Hostellerie de Passeur


Hostellerie du Passeur On the third night we are at the Hostellerie du Passeur in the small town of Les Eyzies. This charming and comfortable hotel is at the heart of the village off a small square opposite the National PreHistory Museum. When in Les Eyzies we can choose our own restaurant for the evening. The hotel itself is available as are a number of restaurants in the town: they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. If you are in the mood for an early morning walk then we have a circular ramble that takes us across the river and up through some forests to the causse past some remote farms.

Matairie Basse near the village of Sauliac For the 4th, 5th and 6th nights we are at the Matairie Basse which is situated high above the Cele valley on the Causse above the village of Sauliac. Our hosts Richard and Helen have converted a farmhouse from almost a complete ruin to provide fabulous accommodation in this quiet area. l’Auberge du Sombral

Matairie Basse


In the grounds we can look at the market garden and chickens and also use the outdoor swimming-pool which nestles surprisingly in a converted barn Early morning walkers can enjoy some trails out onto the Causse and visit an ancient Dolmen: a Iron-Age burial site perhaps 8,000 years old. We can also walk the long, but downhill trail, to the village of Cabrerets on the Cele river to begin our third day with a visit to the cave at Peche Merle. Richard and Helen will provide us with some delicious homecooked meals featuring regional specialities and using ingredients from their own garden. They will also introduce us to some local Aperitifs such as Vin Noix, a Ratafia or perhaps a Fenelon.

l’Auberge du Sombral in the village of  Saint Cirq Lapopie. On the 7th and 8th nights we stay at the l’Auberge du Sombral in the heart of Saint Cirq Lapopie. This picturesque village perches on the side of the cliff above the Lot river and is looked over by a ruined castle and abbey and surrounded by the remains of a fortified wall with entrance gates at the top and lower ends. The village has a single street from which vehicles are barred

Pech de Malet

Hotel du Chateau


(excepting access for locals) and is riddled by a network of tiny cobbled pathways. Our hotel sits in the main square almost at the top of the village within easy walking distance of the restaurants and small shops. On our first evening here we are able to choose our own restaurant but on our final evening we will all dine together again either in the village itself or close by. For those that like to walk we have plenty of choices of all lengths and difficulties. The village is surrounded by woods and the top of the Causse can be easily reached to offer superb views over the valley. Other walks take the winding trails down to the river and we can follow the Chemin de Haulage which is the path previously used by the Bargemen and their horses to pull boats along the Lot.

Pech de Malet On the 9th night we are at the Pech de Malet, between the villages of Vitrac and Montfort. This hotel sits alone above the Dordogne river and is a short 10 minute walk from our take-out. Our bus is available instead if you wish. The hotel is a converted farmhouse and sits in a setting of beautiful flowers with a shaded terrace with views over the valley. You can visit the smallholding and garden which produces the vegetables for the kitchen as well as the chickens. The hotel sits in acres of Walnut Orchards. An early morning walk visits the Chateau Montfort which can look spectacular in the early morning light when the mist is rising on the river.


Hotel du Chateau For the final two nights we are at the Hotel du Chateau in Beynac. The hotel sits at the heart of this small village directly underneath the Chateau Beynac which looms above us. It is directly on the river and no more than a two minute walk from where we take-out the canoes in the afternoon and put-in the next morning. The early morning walk takes us up to the castle via a secret path with smugglers caves and out into the countryside beyond, past some farms and through a mysterious wood before looping back home. The hotels restaurant has tables on a terrace beside the river, and also a small swimming pool.


What We See CAVE PAINTING SITES: Castel Merle: we visit here on the 2nd day of the Perigord and 3 Rivers trips. Font de Gaume: this is in Les Eyzies. Access is restricted to 70 persons a day. We can try to make arrangements to visit if required on the Perigord and 3 Rivers trips. Rouffignac: the cave drawings in this cave are accessed by a small railway. It is possible to visit on the 4th day of the Perigord trip instead of the Sarlat market. Pech Merle: we visit this on the 4th day of the Cele trip and on the 3 Rivers trip. Lascaux: visitors are only allowed to access the replica site. But this is still amazing. We can arrange to visit on the last morning of each the Perigord and 3 Rivers trips before going to Brive.   MUSEUMS: Musee National de Prehistoire: we will have time to visit this on the 3rd or 4th day of the Perigord and 3 Rivers trips. Pole International de la Prehistoire (PIP): as above.   MEDIEVAL TROGLODYTE SITES: Roque St. Christophe: we canoe past this on the 3rd day of the Perigord and 3 Rivers trips. We can stop and visit if we want to.


Madeleine: we also canoe past this on the same day. We can also see the Roman Castle and the 11th C Chapel perched on the cliff. Access is not possible from the river though. Forte de Riegnac: we also pass this on the same day and get a glimpse through the trees.  CASTLES: Montfort: we pass under this beautiful castle on the 4th day of the Perigord trip and on the 3 Rivers trip. Castelnaud: we visit this castle on 5th day of the Perigord trip and on the 3 Rivers trip. Beynac: we visit this castle on the 6th day of the Perigord trip and on the 3 Rivers trip.   CHATEAUX: Chateau de Losse, Chateau de Belcayre and the Chateau de Clerans: we canoe past these beautiful chateau on the 2nd day of the Perigord and 3 Rivers trips. Commarque: we could visit these wonderful ruins on the 4th day of the Perigord and 3 Rivers trips instead of the market in Sarlat. Marquessac: we see this on the 5th day of the Perigord trip. We can arrange to visit the house and amazing gardens in the late afternoon if we have time. Also on the 3 Rivers trip. Milandes: famous for Joesephine Baker's time here, we visit this on the 6th day of the Perigord trip and on the 3 Rivers trip. Fayrac: we canoe past this on the 5th day of the Perigord trip and on the 3 Rivers Trip.


Cenevieres: we canoe past this on the 5th day of the Cele trip and on the 3 Rivers Trip.  LE PLUS BEAUX VILLAGE DE FRANCE: Beynac-et-Cazenac: we stay here on the 5th and 6th nights of the Perigord trip and on the 10th and 11th nights of the 3 Rivers Trip. Castelnaud-de-Chapelle: we visit this village on the 5th day of the Perigord trip and on the 10th day of the 3 Rivers trip. La Roque-Gageac: we visit this village on the 5th day of the Perigord trip and on the 10th day of the 3 Rivers trip. Saint-Amand-de-Coly: we could visit this village on the last day of the Perigord trip and the 3 Rivers trip instead of Lascaux. Saint-Cirq-Lapopie: we stay here on the 4th and 5th nights of the Cele trip and on the 7th and 8th day of the 3 Rivers trip. Saint-Leon-sur-Vezere: we stay here on the 1st and 2nd nights of the Perigord trip and the 3 Rivers trip.  


Canoeing All the canoes for the trips are provided by us and include paddles and a life-jacket. The price is included in the trip. We always use Old Town Canoes which are paddled in tandem with two people aboard (usually). If you prefer to paddle solo then this can be arranged. These canoes are especially suited for the calm water conditions we will be paddling on and are stable and safe. They allow plenty of room for yourself and your stuff. The particular model is the Discovery 158 though not all models have the new seats with a back rest as shown on the link. From time to time we get clients who wish to paddle a Kayak. We can arrange this for you if you prefer but we do stress that the rivers we canoe do not really warrant the use of a kayak and we feel tandem paddling in a canoe is the way to go.


Most of our clients have been canoeing before but we will insist on reviewing safety procedures at the beginning of paddling each day and revise paddling strokes for those who haven't paddled for a while or have paddled on lakes rather than rivers for example. For those who have never paddled before their will be plenty of time for lessons as we go. These rivers are ideal places for learning. If time and the inclination allows we can also practise other paddling procedures such as Eddy Turns, Peeling Out and Ferrying. The clients will not be expected to lift or carry canoes at any time.


Hiking Although the main focus of the trips will be on the canoeing we will have plenty of time for short walks and longer hikes. Where possible we will walk to and from the river, although this is not compulsory. In the appropriate season when early mornings are light we can opt to go for a pre-breakfast walk. The length and timing of the walk will depend on a consensus reached between those that wish to walk, how early we wish to rise and the time of year. On the Cele River we are asked by the Friends of the Cele Association not to start canoeing before 11am. This is to allow the


Fisherman some undisturbed time on the river. We will spend the intervening time between breakfast and 11am enjoying a walk. Some of the trails we walk on form part of the network of longdistance paths that criss-cross France. These are known as Grand Randonees (GR) and are waymarked by a red and white flash. We may walk on the GR36 (which goes from Normandy to the Pyrenees) and the GR651 (a diversion of the famous Way of St. James (GR65)) in the Cele Valley.


Wildlife On the river we will see plenty of bird-life both on and around the water. We will see Ducks, Egrets, Swans, and Herons. We will also see Kingfishers, Wagtails, Dippers and Sandpipers. We will see Swallows and Swifts and Martins as well as various other birds crossing our path such as Woodpeckers, Jays and other crows as well as the almost invisible songbirds in the tree and hedges. Of the raptors we will see the Common Buzzard and possibly an Osprey or a Kestrel. This part of France has a rich variety of Butterflies and we will see many familiar species (if you are from Britain). We will also see some rather more exotic species such as the two types of Swallowtail, the Cleopatra, the Banded Grayling and if we are lucky some rarer species such as the Large Blue or the Lesser Purple Emperor The river itself will provide many examples of the Dragonfly and Damselfly family. The delicate damsels include the Western Demoiselle, the White-Legged, the Orange Featherleg, the Blue Featherleg and various Bluets and Bluetails. Of the dragons we may see the Small Pincertail, the Yellow Clubtail,


the Pronged Clubtail and the Common Clubtail amongst others. We will also be able to see many flowers, especially early i n t h e s e a s o n b e f o re t h e meadows are cut, and these will include several orchids such as the Purple, the Pyramid, the Bee and the Lizard Orchids. Of course we will also see many trees and shrubs along the river course and in the forests. We can have some fun trying to identify them. Of the reptiles we will probably see lizards and hear frogs. We sometimes see a Grass Snake swimming in the river (harmless) and sometimes a Viper (the only venomous snake, which is small, 18 inches long, and not very poisonous). The hardest things to see are the mammals. We have seen Nutria and Otters on these rivers and we've also glimpsed Red Squirrels and Mink and Martens along the banks. On the early morning walks we've encountered Foxes, Roe Deer and Fallow Deer. Badgers have only been seen at night in the headlights. Wild-Boar have been seen, twice, both times very early in the morning.


Maps And Books GUIDE BOOKS, for the 7 Day Perigord, 6 Day Cele and 12 Day 3 Rivers Trips The Rough Guide to Dordogne and the Lot by Jan Dodd The Rough Guide to the Dordogne and the Lot is the ultimate handbook for discovering the region, from its spectacular limestone caves to the fairytale chateau of Najac. Discover walks and cycle trails to ancient cliffs and peaceful riverbanks, and stop off at world-famous vineyards. Foodies will enjoy a full-colour section on A taste of Perigord, sharing the best of the region's world-renowned cuisine, while readers are directed to the finest restaurants and water-side cafes, not to mention festivals and local markets. Whether you're looking for the best campsites or the most stylish hotels, you can rely on accommodation suggestions for every budget and taste. You'll find practical advice on travelling around the region, from boat tours to rail services, relying on the clearest maps of any guide. Explore all corners of this region with authoritative background information on everything from the region's varied landscapes and wildlife to its fascinating history and cultural heritage.     Dordogne and Lot Footprint by Michael Pauls and Dana Facaros The Dordogne takes people by surprise. Green and calm and quiet, at first glance it seems like just another corner of rural France designed for good food, fine wine and easy living. Then


they notice that it holds humanity's first great works of art, provocative paintings on the walls of its caves that go back over 15,000 years BC. It's been a busy crossroads ever since. The land of a thousand castles has cinematic medieval donjons and turreted Renaissance chateaux to rival those of the Loire. A dramatic history hasn't kept the Dordogne from polishing the arts of everyday life. There's an inviting cuisine based on duck, foie gras and truffles, and lovely villages of warm golden stone that complement some of France's most civilized landscapes. Including ideas for great days out, locals recommendations and travel tips to avoid the crowds and save money, FootprintFrance Dordogne gives an insight into a region that will have you reaching for your passport today.   HISTORY  The Discovery of France. A Historical Geography from the Revolution to the First World War. by Graham Robb Illuminating, engrossing and full of surprises, The Discovery of France is a literary exploration of a country few will recognise; from maps and migration to magic, language and landscape, it’s a book that reveals the real past of France to tell the whole story and history of this remarkable nation. ’With gloriously apposite facts and an abundance of quirky anecdotes and thumbnail sketches of people, places and customs, Robb, on brilliant form, takes us on a stunning journey through the historical landscape of France’ Independent. ‘Certain books strain the patience of those close to you. How many times can you demand: Look at this! Can you imagine? Did you know that? Without actually handing over the volume? This is such a book’ Mail on Sunday. ’An extraordinary journey of discovery that will delight even the most indolent armchair traveller’ Daily Telegraph


A Brief History of the Hundred Years War: The English in France, 1337-1453 by Desmond Seward For over a hundred years England repeatedly invaded France on the pretext that her kings had a right to the French throne. France was a large, unwieldy kingdom, England was small and poor, but for the most part she dominated the war, sacking towns and castles and winning battles - including such glorious victories as Crecy, Poitiers and Agincourt, but then the English run of success began to fail, and in four short years she lost Normandy and finally her last stronghold in Guyenne. The protagonists of the Hundred Year War are among the most colourful in European history: for the English, Edward III, the Black Prince and Henry V, later immortalised by Shakespeare; for the French, the splendid but inept John II, who died a prisoner in London, Charles V, who very nearly overcame England and the enigmatic Charles VII, who did at last drive the English out. Desmond Seward's account traces the changes that led to France's final victory and brings to life all the intrigue and colour of the last chivalric combats as they gave way to a more brutal modern warfare. Â A Concise History of France by Roger Price This book provides a clear and well-informed guide to French history from the emergence of a strong state in the Ile-de-France in the early middle ages, to the trente glorieuses following the Second World War and the Mitterrand presidency. As such, it provides the most up-to-date and comprehensive study of French history available. Among the book's central themes are the relationship between state and society, the impact of war and such crucial questions as who possessed political power, how this power was used, in whose interests, and with what consequences. Roger Price examines the role of leading figures including Philip Augustus, Henri IV, Louis XIV, the two Napoleans,


Clemenceau and De Gaulle as well as the lives of ordinary people. A rich entertaining guide for the student and general reader. A Traveller’s History of France, by Robert Cole The Traveller's History series is designed for the traveller who feels they need more historical background information on the country in which they are staying than can be found in an ordinary guidebook. For those who want to look deeper and discover more about the roots of France, its history and culture, in an enjoyable read, this is the book to choose. Designed for easy reference it is the key to unlocking the secrets of France. If you want to find about the mysterious Merovingian kings or the results of the last election; if you want to know when Chartres cathedral was built or how Napoleon rose to power or when and where Princess Diana died - you'll find it all in A Traveller's History of France. 'Undoubtedly the best way to prepare for a trip to France is to bone up on some history. The Traveller's History of France by Robert Cole is concise and gives the essential facts in a very readable form.' The Independent 'This little book is a very good idea indeed, a running commentary on the complexities, triumphs and tragedies of French history from the Lascaux Caves to the Pompidou centre. A must for tourists who want to know what happened where.' The Birmingham Post 'A brilliant idea from Gloucestershire publishers Windrush: a series of books which give a potted history of European countries. Ostensibly aimed at holidaymakers, the first on France, is an excellent introduction for anyone who wants an idiot's guide to a history that has so often intertwined with our own.' The Oxford Times  


The Cave Painters: Probing the Mysteries of the World’s First Artists by Gregory Curtis The Cave Painters is an introduction to the spectacular cave paintings of France and Spain. From the individuals who rediscovered them, through theories about their origins, and to descriptions of their splendour and mystery.Gregory Curtis makes us see the astonishing sophistication and power of the paintings and tells us what is known about their creators, the Cro-Magnon people of some 40,000 years ago. He takes us through various theories ”that the art was part of fertility or hunting rituals, or used for religious purposes, or was clan mythology”examining the ways interpretations have changed over time. Rich in detail, personalities, and history, The Cave Painters is above all permeated with awe for those distant humans who developed ”perhaps for the first time” both the ability for abstract thought and a profound and beautiful way to express it.   FICTION Bruno, Chief of Police by Martin Walker  Captain Bruno Courreges goes by the grand title of Chief of Police, though in truth he's the only municipal policeman on staff in the small town of St Denis in the beautiful Perigord region of south west France. Bruno sees his job as protecting St Denis from its enemies, and these include the capital's bureaucrats and their EU counterparts in Brussels. Today is market day in the ancient town. Inspectors from Brussels have been swooping on France's markets, attempting to enforce EU hygiene rules. The locals call the Brussels' bureaucrats 'Gestapo' and Bruno supports their resistance. What's more, here in what was Vichy France, words like 'Gestapo' and 'resistance' still carry a


profound resonance. When an old man, head of an immigrant North African family, is found murdered, suspicion falls on the son of the local doctor, found in flagrante playing sex games surrounded by Nazi paraphernalia. But Bruno isn't convinced, and suspects this crime may have its roots in that most tortured period of recent French history - the Second World War, a time of terror and betrayal that set brother against brother. http://www.brunochiefofpolice.com/  A Castle in the Backyard by Betsy Draine and Michael Hinden "A Castle in the Backyard" chronicles the French adventures of American couple Betsy Draine and Michael Hinden, who in 1985 embarked upon a dream. After falling in love with a small stone house set beneath a medieval castle in Perigord, they bought the tranquil getaway located in one of the most beautiful river valleys in Europe. In this delightful memoir Betsy and Michael offer an intimate glimpse of a region little known to Americans - the Dordogne valley, its castles and prehistoric art, its walking trails and earthy cuisine, its people and traditions - and describe the charms and mishaps of setting up housekeeping thousands of miles from home. Insightful and poignant, this memoir chronicles the transformation of Perigord as development poses a challenge to its graceful way of life, and evokes the personal exuberance of starting over, even in mid-life.      


MAPS Many types of maps are available for this region but I recommend those produced by the Institute Geographique Nationale (IGN). They have two series of walking maps which are suitable for our canoeing needs. The Top25 series is at a scale of 4cm to the km and the Top100 series is at a scale of 1cm to the km. For the 7 Day Perigord and the 3 Rivers Trips: TOP25 IGN 1936 ET Les Eyzies and IGN 2036 EY Sarlat/Souliac (Vallee de la Dordogne) For the 6 Day Cele and the 3 Rivers Trips: TOP25 IGN 2138OT Cahors/St. Cirq Lapopie/Vallee de Lot et de Cele and IGN 2238O Carjac TOP100 IGN 154 Brive la Gaillarde/Figeac covers all the trips These maps are available to buy online at IGN and at the usual online book shops.


Green River Canoes: Perigord, Dordogne and Lot  

A description of Inn-to-Inn Guided Canoe Tours to the Perigord, Dordogne and Lot regions of the South of France. 2nd Edition December 2016

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