Canoeing the Dordogne with 3 young kids - Doable?

(14 Posts)
MyHusbandRoy Sat 08-Jun-13 09:36:40

We're going to the Sarlat area in August and would love to take the kids (5yr, 5yr and 3yr) canoeing.

Do you think it would be doable if my husband had a canoe with 2 of the children in and I had a canoe with 1 child in?

Obviously the kids wouldn't be paddling so could we control the canoe by ourselves?

Has anyone else done this?

We have our own full life jackets for the children, so would take those with us.

Thanks.

trice Sat 08-Jun-13 19:23:11

When dd was five she insisted on being towed along behind the canoe in her life jacket all the way down the river. Get a big canoe. Great fun.

sleepyhead Sat 08-Jun-13 19:26:18

If I remember rightly (and it's been a long time) you can hire pretty big canoes which would probably take all of you. It would be easier to have both adults in the same canoe with such small children I think.

hillbilly Sat 08-Jun-13 19:55:46

We are going to be in the same area. Out of interest where are you going canoeing exactly and have you found canoe hire yet?

trice Sat 08-Jun-13 20:43:22

Actually, thinking about it I would like one adult per child in a canoe, even somewhere as safe and easy as the dordogne. If the canoe tips over, who are you going to grab? They are a bit small, it is moving water.

MyHusbandRoy Sat 08-Jun-13 21:09:34

Trice I think I'd quite like to be towed along! I'm worried about that too, when I went as a child the river was very low as there had been hardly any rain but it was still fast flowing in some parts.

sleepy I remember them being very big as well but I'm not sure if that's because I was a lot smaller then!

billy There are lots of canoe companies along the river but I was going to have a look at the company that is based in Le Soleil Plage on the Dordogne. I have read that you should book a trip in high season, although there's no need to book until you've actually arrived in France.

I think I will email a few of the companies and see if they think it would be safe or not.

I have found a company that does a boat trip down the river so if we can't canoe the we'll do that instead !

Thanks again.

MyHusbandRoy Sat 08-Jun-13 21:17:11
hillbilly Sat 08-Jun-13 23:14:55

Thanks Roy. It's about time I started looking into what to do while we are there!

millimat Sun 09-Jun-13 10:45:47

We looked into canoeing on the Loire - nit sure if it's the same but as was 4 and wasn't allowed to do it.

Lucycat Sun 09-Jun-13 20:05:06

I'd actually suggest that you tried the Vezere river instead of the Dordogne - we have done both and the Dordogne can be a bit like a motorway in high season - I really didn't like it when we had to negotiate the paddle steamer type boats coming up the river towards us.
In contrast the Vezere is much quieter and there are plenty of places to stop off for a lunch.

Although having said that I think all children have to be able to swim to the bank in the event of a capsize so maybe it's an activity for a few years time.

A nice day out for the little ones is a place called Limeuil where the Dordogne and Vezere meet - the river is shallow and they can paddle and build little dams fairly safely.
This is their website

jamaisjedors Wed 12-Jun-13 22:50:56

I agree with Lucycat that your DC are too little.

We looked into it when we went to the Dordogne but the DC needed to be able to swim, or be 8 or something...

Hattieboo Sat 22-Jun-13 20:55:32

We did 25km in a day last year with our 5yr old and 9yr old. It was really fun, however... A day was enough really. It was beautiful, but at times really hard work. This year we might do 2 day trips over 2 1/2 wks, but kids can't actually move and to be honest (putting myself in a 5 year olds shoes) they want to run about and although the little rapids were exciting, the bit in between (while mummy and daddy are boiling in 30degrees, concentrating on not crashing;-() can get a little tedious!
Do it, but not too much at once! X

inmyheadimthequeen Sat 22-Jun-13 21:08:54

Agree with both Lucycat and Hattieboo, Limueil is great in terms of organisation and Vezere very enjoyable for all ages but a day or 2 half days is really enough. It's exhausting paddling in the heat and you don't get time to relax and look at the scenery, the water is quite fast moving in places. IMO your DCs are also quite young to be expected to sit still for the longer-than-you-think time that it takes to canoe a few miles.

Hattieboo Sat 22-Jun-13 21:15:52

We did Dordogne, the Campsite we stayed at recommended a stretch that wasn't too much for little ones. Which was great but from a paddling point of view, it was really tiring!
We did all really really enjoy it though! Take snacks and stop off for a little paddle and rest! :-)

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