Just add water
These days swimming pools are an absolute must when choosing a summer holiday, those lazy days relaxing and those family fun filled days splashing around and enjoying a poolside cocktail whilst keeping an eye on the kids. However in the Dordogne its not just about the pool. Over the last 5 years we have found a number of great places to spend the day. Here are a few of them in our “just add water” feature.
Just between Lisle and Creyssac about 5 km from Villa Duroux and hidden away off the beaten track you can find the little jewel of the Dordogne called Renamont. Here you can feel the hippy vibe of the guinguette (riverside restaurant) which operates throughout the summer. There is a small beach bordering the river where you can hire canoes and explore the riverside before arriving back at the beach for some impromptu rope swinging into the cool water and a BBQ grill type lunch. Afterwards you can relax in the beautiful countryside and snooze or try your hand at french boules or volleyball. This place is a real haven to spend the day and during late July and August watch out for the summer concerts which can last well into the night.
No Dordogne picture postcard is complete without the wonderful photo of the canoes against the dramatic background of La Roque Gageac but the River Dronne has also many beautiful sections of river to explore. From Brantôme to Bourdeilles and onwards to Creyssac, Renamont, Lisle and Tocane there is enough waterway for you to spend days “just messing about on the river”. We have even taken our own canoe and stand-up paddle board from Creyssac to Villa Duroux on one marathon edition. We love the Creyssac stretch because of the pool at the water mill which is featured in the photographs here and because it also includes a pit stop at Renamont for refuelling.
Lisle riverside beach
Another of our favourite canoe spots is at Lisle. Here you can also spend your afternoons and early evenings enjoying the small riverside beach, the diving board and the weir. The beach which is manned by a lifeguard is situated near the local camping site with its shop for ice creams and refreshments and features a beautiful bridge and a 70 meters roped off section especially for swimmers. Of course, for wild swimmers there are no limits and you can swim as far up the River Dronne (one of the cleanest rivers in Europe, I’m told) as you like. Outside of the summer season you will also find Aleksandra and the rest of the Dronne Valley Aquabelles taking the plunge in the river at temperatures as low as 5 degrees.
Just 200 meters from Villa Duroux the river winds its way from Tocane to Ribérac. This is a relatively quiet place on the river with a small pool and makeshift ropeswing. It’s popular for fishing and walkers enjoy the tranquility of this spot. It’s also a great place for bird watching.
Situated just 20 minutes drive from Montagrier, Lac Jamaye is an idyllic park
and lake designed for maximum enjoyment of nature. There is a specific area for fishing another for water sports and a third area for beach and swimming. The lake is manned by lifeguards for security, however, the water is shallow for the first 10-15 meters which allows for plenty of fun for all age groups when the weather is warm. The lake is surrounded by a 7 km trail through the forest with plenty of things to see and enjoy. There is also a restaurant and several snackbars available if the traditional French picnic has not already been packed for lunch.
The pine forest offers plenty of shade from the sun when its too hot and there is also a great kids playground and keep fit apparatus installed all the way around the lake if you feel you need to burn any calories.