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La Roque-Gageac and its traditional gabares sailing boat

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    Classed as one of the most beautiful villages of France. This village hugging the valley side develops its micro climate, protected from the northern winds by the cliffs rising to over 200m above. A steep walk up through the colourful yellow houses with their traditional Perigord architecture and to the church's terrace will reward you with a good view down the valley.

    On the path up to the top of La Roque-Gageac there are places to stop off for a coffee and ice cream. You will also find a few shops and art galleries hidden in amongst the vegetation that grows in abundance throughout the higher reaches.

    La Roque-Gageac village view La Roque-Gageac

    Due to the situation of the village, rockfalls (the last major rockfall was in 1957) are always a slight problem, but over the years the valley floor has been protected by large amounts of wire netting and each year these are inspected to remove any danger, so don't worry as it's very unusual for any debris to hit the valley floor.

    La Roque-Gageac

    Out of the summer months the village pace slows down, but still even in the middle of winter you should book early your stay as the limited spaces fill up very quickly. But still there are a good choice of bed & breakfasts, a couple of hotels (L’Auberge des Platanes and the Belle Étoile), campsites (Camping Beau Rivage, Camping La Butte and Camping la Plage) and rental houses all within a few miles of the village.

    Les Terrasses de La Roque La Roque-Gageac Auberge des Platanes La Roque-Gageac

    Up and down the river Dordogne there are some great places to visit, including medieval castles, gardens (the gardens of Marqueyssac) and caves (grottes) with their rock formations and prehistoric paintings. But a must is a trip on the River Dordogne on a traditional flat bottomed boat called a Gabare is a must on a sunny afternoon in La Roque-Gageac.

    Do drop into the bamboo garden (La Bambousaie) for a quiet and pleasant stroll and an ice cream in a small botanic garden by the church on your way up.

    First you may ask what is a Gabares or Gabarre..

    Les Gabarres Caminades Gabares boat Gabares Norbert

    You find two distinctive types, one is a sea going vessel while the other is used for navigation on a river. The sailing boats in this region of France were originally used to transport freight on the rivers and so were the flat bottomed type, giving a low draft to produce a maximum payload during the summer months.

    To day the freight is transported by train and lorry and "Les GABARES" have found a new purpose.. and now serve for guided tours for those who want to discover the rich heritage along the meanders of the river Dordogne in a modern and secure replica.

    Gabares boat Gabares Norbert

    The Gabares boat tours go from the village of La Roque-Gageac to the Castle of Castelnaud and the Gardens of Marqueyssac on the otherside of the valley (the tour takes about 1 hr and is well worth the visit).

    first words : 2018 / latest update : 2021

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