Friday, 26 July 2013

Summer has finally arrived in Dordogne and it is hot! Where to go to cool off?

We were desperate for the sun to make its appearance in Périgord this summer and it finally has!  It is now suddenly very hot, the perfect weather to jump in cool water in order to keep the children busy during the summer holidays.  So for all of those who are not lucky enough to have their own swimming pool in their garden or simply to do something “different”, below is a list of addresses in Dordogne featuring water features offering all types of water activities:  

-          Grand étang de Saint-Estèphe: situated in Périgord Vert (Green Dordogne), north of the region, this lake offers 21 Hectares (52 acres) of water space.  It also benefits from environment and species friendly infrastructures - being located in the Regional Natural Périgord-Limousin Park.   Ideal for swimming, practicing water sports, fishing, canoeing or walking around nature.

-          Retenue de Miallet: reservoir also located in north Dordogne in Périgord Vert (Green Dordogne), this vast man-made lake offers 70 Hectares (173 acres) of water.  It emphasizes the ornithological protection and its observation.

-          Base de loisirs de Rouffiac: In north east Dordogne, close to the Haute-Vienne limit, this leisure centre combines sports and water activities as well as accommodation (camp site and chalets/mobile homes).  The lake of 40 Hectares (98 acres) provides a water ski tow and water ski infrastructure.

-          Grand étang de la Jemaye: this site is a combination of 6 inter-linked lakes, west of the Dordogne in the Double sector.  It offers water and nature activities.   Set in a woody area of the region, it is the perfect place to enjoy nature, to walk or to ride a bicycle in the thick forest surrounding the lakes. The main lake sits on 21 Hectares (52 acres) for a grand total of 35 Hectares (86 acres) all lakes included.

-          Lac de Gurson: This lake situated in Périgord Pourpre (Purple Dordogne) offers 14 Hectares (34 acres) without counting the « small lake » of 5 Hectares (12 acres).  It was recently rehabilitated – work being still in progress for its imminent reopening.   Don’t miss the fireworks on Saturday 13th July to celebrate its opening.  This lake benefits from its fantastic proximity to very sought-after villages and cities in Périgord Pourpre.

-           Base nautique de Trémolat : Water sports centre in Trémolat in the east of Périgord Pourpre (Purple Dordogne) close to Périgord Noir (Black Dordogne), this site located on the Dordogne river banks offers many water activities.  

This is only a short list of addresses where you can swim and enjoy nature around Périgord – free access or requiring an entrance fee.  The choice is vast from lakes (Etangs du Bos - Le Bugue, Lac de Neufont – Saint-Amand-de-Vergt), rivers (Dordogne, Dronne, Auvezère) to other water infrastructures (Aqua Park – Bergerac) or public swimming pools (Aquacap – Perigueux/Champcevinel).   More information in offices of tourism in various cities, towns and villages in Dordogne or on the Tourism in Périgord website.

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