Canoeing on the Dordogne

rafting on the dordogne

rafting on the dordogne
rafting on the dordogne

In addition to a welcome basket, Stephanie also had a suggested itinerary for our stay in the Dordogne region. It was so helpful! Her first idea was a morning spent canoeing on the Dordogne river. Driving through this region is spectacular, but the views from a canoe are particularly good. Lush green mountains, big cliffs, tranquil water and castles everywhere you look.

Our kids loved being here, but it would also make a romantic getaway. I think it would be fun to rent out La Maisonette (it’s literally minutes from the canoe dock) and stay for a few days with Ben Blair.

rafting on the dordognerafting on the dordogne

The canoe trip was long — about 3 hours. So along the way, the group docked at a river side village and picked up ice cream cones. Delightful!

rafting on the dordognerafting on the dordogne

Ben Blair took these photos with his iPhone. While the dads took the older kids canoeing, Stephanie and I took the too-young-for-canoes kids to a community-wide tag sale instead. Also fun — in a totally different way. Just curious: how do you handle this sort of thing when traveling? Do you stick to activities the whole family can do? Or do you split up when needed?

P.S. — Happy Cinco de Mayo! Are you doing anything special to celebrate?

41 thoughts on “Canoeing on the Dordogne”

  1. Absolutely beautiful! How lucky to spend time with Stephanie. She’s been so sweet to me (both in person and online) in this blogging world.

  2. Your trip looks wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. As a European, I feel so homesick!

    What especially impresses me, though, is how warm and lovely the weather in Europe is this spring. My nieces from Holland just sent me Easter pictures and there they were – coloring Easter eggs in their underwear.

    We, here in Michigan, are still wearing heavy coats!

  3. Didn’t know there was such a thing as “too young for canoeing…” Maybe an infant, but other than that, my opinion is to throw ’em on in with you!

    But a tag sale sounds fun too…

  4. I’m almost certain I’ve been to that village where they stopped for ice cream when I was on a Dordogne canoe trip. I think it might have been where we started and finished (with a coach ride up river in between).
    Lovely pictures!

  5. After the third gorgeous photo I was wondering how June was traveling in a canoe. And then I read she went tag sale shopping! ;D I love that you found two spectacular things to do. The older children had a once in a lifetime experience while you & June and a wonderful time too. (Did Betty shop or canoe?) I know a lot of people are comfortable taking infants in boats but I have never been comfortable with it. Our kids have taken the grandkids out in boats to go water skiing and I always sit at home and fret the entire time.
    I am loving you “year” in France so far! Especially the travels Gabby. Thanks so much for taking the time to share!!

  6. Gaby,

    Is there anyway you could send me the itinerary Stephmodo gave you? We are planning our August vacations there…and I am lost plus with a 2 year old and preggos so no time ;-)

    Anything would be helpful!



  7. Mr. Survival insists on everything together. I think that vacationing with someone else would make it easier to sneak away with the little ones that make an activity yucky for everyone. Great idea!

    Also, those iPhone photos are pretty color saturated…is there an app for a better phone? ;)

  8. Oh my gosh, this takes me back!! about 8 years ago I went to the Dordogne on my college abroad, it was magical. The views you get from the bluffs of the valley and the fields are breathtaking and how the weather moves in is also fantastic! We were there in the fall and experienced the crisp fall air and colors. Your spring pictures of you all canoeing are great! I was just telling my family that we all have to go to the Dordogne region on our next family vacation and now I will add canoeing to one of our activities. ; )

  9. Thanks for reminding me today to be about bigger, more adventurous things that the every day, same old, same old! More adventure, more getting together with people, more seeing the world. Ah, I love it. I’m thinking of your inspiration as I head out to day in the sun at farmer’s market, parrot refuge and a walk in a pretty wooded area with The Little Bug.

  10. Based on my childhood vacations, I would say that splitting up once in a while can make for a better trip.

  11. The photos are picture perfect! I can’t believe all were taken with an iphone. Amazing! It gives me hope as a fancy SLR is still on my wish list:)

  12. That first picture! Those clouds! Are you kidding me?
    Splitting up is great, everyone comes together for a meal or whatever eventually and all are happy and refreshed. A perfect vacation has family time and me time.

  13. Definitely split up but mix in full family events. I’m pretty sure you need to post about something terrible in France so I know you aren’t writing about a fairytale with beautifully photoshopped pictures. I love hearing and seeing all of the wonderful stuff.

    P.S. Do you have an intern or anything or do you manage all of this blogging and businessing and mothering and whatnot on your own?

  14. oh my gosh – that place doesn’t even look real!
    i know you’ve told us before, but what type of camera do you own? i need a new one and although i want to keep it easy – no big lenses or too much $$$ – as my kids LOVE to take pictures, too! thanks!

  15. Wow, from an iPhone! Gorgeous photos!

    We travel pretty frequently with our brood and usually schedule what we call “divide and conquer” times during the trip. My husband and I will take various combinations of kids for different activities, depending on what is age appropriate or according to interest. Sometimes we’ll even split up for the same activity (during a recent trip to Central America we took several short morning hikes, each group took a camera & then compared what we found along the way).

    Sometimes it’s because of the age factor, other times it just feels nice to have more mom/dad time with smaller numbers!

    I like to row my boat-boat.
    To keep it all a float-float,
    It’s fun for you and mEEEEEE!

  17. Sometimes I wonder if this whole blog is a mirage and whether you really exist!

    That first photo is astounding — the clouds scuttering by — it’s hard to believe it’s from an iPhone!

  18. These are gorgeous! And like so many previous posters have said…I can’t believe they were taken with an iphone!

    I’m excited to see photos from the tag sale as well. We don’t have anything like that around here (South Dakota)…

    amy @ glass confetti

  19. Such beautiful pics!! We definitely divide and conquer based on age and ability when we’re on holidays. We want each child to have the best experience possible, and being frustrated quickly turns into a not so fun adventure for anyone. When we go to Tofino every year the older one kayaks with dad, while I take the younger one on a boat tour to Meares island for a hike, and everyone is happy!

  20. The iPhone behaves beautifully in bright light, it can take stunning pictures given the right conditions.

    GREAT shots, it makes me long to go there pronto. We took our two to NZ last year and went canoeing (they were 4&2); it was fantastic, but I can’t wait til they are a bit older so I dont panic so much! I grew up canoeing and was competent solo by age 6, so I just need to let go ;)

    Ps great blog, am first time visitor and just added to my blogroll ;)

  21. Next time you come down we will leave the little ones with our new-found-babysitters and hit the river ourselves!

    p.s. I’ll be sure to fly back out for this rendevous :)

  22. this brings back so many happy happy memories. we did the dordogne family vacation two years ago and fell in love with the region, the quaint villages, the yellow stone and the delectable food! but our funnest memory was by far the canoes!!!! ( we were 6 families total: the parents, their five children and spouses and grandchildren! more than 30 people! most of the time we stuck together: a caravan of 5 mini-vans, but occasionally we split up for different activities. although sometimes stressful, i definitely love it way more when we stick together!

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