Dordogne (river)

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Dordogne 2.jpg
The Dordogne in Périgord, near Castelnaud-la-Chapelle
Location of the Dordogne in France
Native nameLa Dordogne
Country France
Physical characteristics
  location Massif Central
  elevation1,720 m (5,640 ft)
Gironde estuary
45°2′29″N0°36′24″W / 45.04139°N 0.60667°W / 45.04139; -0.60667 (Gironde-Dordogne) Coordinates: 45°2′29″N0°36′24″W / 45.04139°N 0.60667°W / 45.04139; -0.60667 (Gironde-Dordogne)
Length483 km (300 mi)
Basin size23,870 km2 (9,220 sq mi)
  average450 m3/s (16,000 cu ft/s)

The Dordogne (French pronunciation:  [dɔʁdɔɲ] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); Occitan : Dordonha) is a river in south-central and southwest France. It is 483.1 km (300.2 mi) long. [1] The Dordogne and its watershed were designated Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO on July 11 2012. [2]



The river rises on the flanks of the Puy de Sancy at 1,885 metres (6,184 ft) above sea level in the mountains of Auvergne, from the confluence of two small torrents above the town of Le Mont-Dore: the Dore and the Dogne. It flows generally west about 500 kilometres (310 mi) through the Limousin and Périgord regions before flowing into the Gironde, its common estuary with the Garonne, at the Bec d'Ambès ("Ambès beak"), north of the city of Bordeaux.


Canoeing on the Dordogne Canoe Dordogne.jpg
Canoeing on the Dordogne

The Dordogne is one of the few rivers in the world that exhibit the phenomenon of a tidal bore, known as a mascaret. [3]

The upper valley of the Dordogne is a series of deep gorges. The cliffs, steep banks, fast flowing water and high bridges attract both walkers and drivers. In several places the river is dammed to form long, deep lakes. Camp sites and holiday homes have proliferated wherever the valley floor is wide enough to accommodate them.

Below Argentat and around Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne, the valley widens to accommodate fertile farmland, well-watered pasture and orchards. In the towns, which are major tourist attractions because of their history and architecture, the quaysides are lined with eating and drinking places. In Périgord, the valley widens further to encompass one of France's main gastronomic regions, with vineyards, poultry farms and truffle-rich woodlands.

The main season for tourism in the Valley of the Dordogne is from June to September, with July and August being high season. The lifestyle and culture of the Dordogne valley attract both visitors and incomers from all over France, but also from many other countries, particularly Britain and Germany.


The Dordogne at Argentat in Correze, part of the Limousin region Argentat, July 2009.jpg
The Dordogne at Argentat in Corrèze, part of the Limousin region

The départements of France through which the Dordogne runs, together with some towns in those départements that are on or quite near the river, are as follows:


The Dordogne in the Perigord Dordogne.jpg
The Dordogne in the Périgord
Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne and Dordogne view from Altillac Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne cropped.jpg
Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne and Dordogne view from Altillac
Beynac-et-Cazenac Beynac.JPG

Main tributaries from source to mouth: [1]

N.B. : (R) = right tributary; (L) = left tributary


Aside from the usual activities such as tennis and golf available in many areas of France, there are a number of water-related activities related to the Dordogne, including:


Barrage du Chastang Barrage du Chastang-2075.jpg
Barrage du Chastang

Related Research Articles

Dordogne Department of France in Nouvelle-Aquitaine

Dordogne is a department in Southwestern France, with its prefecture in Périgueux. The department is located in the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine between the Loire Valley and the Pyrenees and is named after the river Dordogne that runs through it. It corresponds roughly with the ancient county of Périgord. It had a population of 416,909 in 2013.

Corrèze Department of France in Nouvelle-Aquitaine

Corrèze is a department in Southwestern France, named after the river Corrèze which runs through it. Its capital is Tulle, and its most populated town is Brive-la-Gaillarde.

Bort-les-Orgues Commune in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Bort-les-Orgues is a commune in the Corrèze department in central France.

Périgord Natural region in France

The Périgord is a natural region and former province of France, which corresponds roughly to the current Dordogne department, now forming the northern part of the admistrative region of New Aquitaine, formerly Occitania. It is divided into four areas called the Périgord Noir (Black), the Périgord Blanc (White), the Périgord Vert (Green) and the Périgord Pourpre (Purple). The geography and natural resources of Périgord make it an unspoiled region rich in history and wildlife, and the newly created Parc Naturel Régional Périgord-Limousin aims to conserve it as such.

Saint Vincent may refer to:

Beaulieu, from the French for "beautiful place", may refer to:


The Vézère is a 211-km-long river in southwestern France. It is an important tributary to the Dordogne. Its source is in the northwestern part of the elevated plateau known as the Massif Central. It flows into the Dordogne near Le Bugue. A tributary of the Vézère is the Corrèze.

The following is a list of the 25 cantons of the Dordogne department, in France, following the French canton reorganisation which came into effect in March 2015:

Puy de Sancy

Puy de Sancy is the highest mountain in the Massif Central. It is part of an ancient stratovolcano which has been inactive for about 220,000 years.

Mont-Dore Commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Mont-Dore, in common usage Le Mont-Dore, is a commune in the Puy-de-Dôme department in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes in central France.

Montignac, Dordogne Commune in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Montignac, also called Montignac sur Vézère or Montignac-Lascaux, is a commune in the Dordogne department in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in southwestern France. It is a small town situated on the Vézère river and has been the capital of the canton of Montignac since 1790. In 2015 it became the capital of the newly created Canton de la Vallée de l'Homme. The poet Pierre Lachambeaudie (1806–1872) was born in the village.

Argentat Part of Argentat-sur-Dordogne in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Argentat is a former commune in the Corrèze department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of central France. On 1 January 2017, it was merged into the new commune Argentat-sur-Dordogne.

Badefols-sur-Dordogne Commune in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Badefols-sur-Dordogne is a commune in the Dordogne department in southwestern France. The commune is situated on the river Dordogne.

Bassignac-le-Bas Commune in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Bassignac-le-Bas is a commune in the Corrèze department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of south-central France.

Ambès Commune in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Ambès is a commune in the Gironde department in southwestern France.

La Tour-dAuvergne Commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

La Tour-d'Auvergne is a commune in the Puy-de-Dôme department in Auvergne in central France.

Rhue (river)

The Rhue is a 56.6-kilometre (35.2 mi) river in the Puy-de-Dôme, Cantal and Corrèze départements, south central France. Its source is at Besse-et-Saint-Anastaise, near Super Besse, in the parc naturel régional des volcans d'Auvergne, 4.5 kilometres (2.8 mi) southeast of the puy de Sancy. It flows generally southwest. It is a left tributary of the Dordogne into which it flows at Bort-les-Orgues.

Nouvelle-Aquitaine Administrative region of France

Nouvelle-Aquitaine is the largest administrative region in France, spanning the west and southwest of the mainland. The region was created by the territorial reform of French regions in 2014 through the merger of three regions: Aquitaine, Limousin and Poitou-Charentes. It covers 84,036 km2 (32,446 sq mi) – or ​18 of the country – and has 5,956,978 inhabitants. The new region was established on 1 January 2016, following the regional elections in December 2015.

Argentat-sur-Dordogne Commune in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Argentat-sur-Dordogne is a commune in the department of Corrèze, south-central France. The municipality was established on 1 January 2017 by merger of the former communes of Argentat and Saint-Bazile-de-la-Roche.


  1. 1 2 Sandre. "Fiche cours d'eau - La Dordogne (P---0000)".
  2. "UNESCO description of the Bassin de la Dordogne".
  3. Tidal bores, Mascaret, Pororoca (1). Myths, Fables and Reality !!!