Information about the 118km long river Dordogne

Dordogne-location

The Dordogne was formerly navigable from Bergerac weir to its confluence with the Garonne at Bec d’Ambès. However, navigation is now impossible over the first 14km below the weir and officially begins at Saint-Pierre-d’Eyraud, 12km upstream of the small town of Sainte-Foy-la-Grande. This is a free-flow navigation, with the difficulties that entails, down to Castillon-la-Bataille (PK 39). From here the river is tidal. The distance from Saint-Pierre-d’Eyraud to the confluence with the Garonne is 118km. It is to be noted that the possibility of mooring at most of the ‘quays’ indicated in the distance table depends on the state of the tides. Pontoon moorings have been established at the more important towns and villages on the river.Dordogne-reg

History – Plans to canalise the Dordogne were never completed. As well as mills and fish farming ponds, a serious obstacle throughout the 17th and 18th centuries was the series of rapids at La Gratusse, upstream of Bergerac. These were finally bypassed by the remarkable Canal de Lalinde, with its triple staircase locks, built in 1838-1844. The canal was in use until 1945. Restoration of Grand-Salvette lock in Bergerac, along with this canal, would open up navigation up to the spectacular Trémolat meander.


Key Waterway Dimensions

  • Max Height: 5.50m
  • Max Draught: 2.00m


Navigation

Draught  Above Branne (PK 56), the river bed is very irregular, and the depth may fall to 0.30m in low flow periods, making navigation virtually impossible. Below Branne there is generally ample depth for navigation. The tidal range increases progressively downstream, with 2.00m below Libourne at low water neaps and as much as 4.80m at high water neaps. Local advice should be sought if it is planned to proceed far up the river.

Headroom Above Libourne the fixed bridges leave a minimum headroom of 10m above mean water level, reduced to 5.50m above the highest navigable water level. The bridges below Libourne leave a minimum headroom of 19.85m above the highest water level.

Authority VNF Direction interrégionale du Sud-Ouest– 61 cours des Girondins, 33500 Libourne

Click to enlarge

Route description

PK 117.6     Confluence with the Gironde, Bec d’Ambès  lighthouse l/b
PK 117.0     Ambès oil terminal and refinery, industrial quays l/b
PK 113.9     Bourg quay and slipway, village r/b, castle
PK 111.7     Overhead power lines
PK 110.6     Ambès pontoon capacity 8 boats, water, electricity, restaurant, slipway, village l/b
PK 105.3     Slipway r/b (Plagne)
PK 102.8     Railway bridge
PK 101.9     Cubzac-les-Ponts bridge (Eiffel), pontoon capacity 16 boats, night €10, water, electricity, slipway, village 1500m r/b
PK 100.9     Motorway bridge (A10)
PK 98.3     Pontoon, slipway l/b (Cavernes), water, electricity
PK 96.0     Asques slipway, village r/b
PK 85.6     Saint-Pardon quay and village l/b (access poor)
PK 84.0     Vayres quay and village l/b
PK 82.7     Arveyres l/b
PK 77.7     Fronsac quay and slipway, village r/b
PK 76.4     Motorway bridge (A89)
PK 75.3     Confluence of Isle r/b
PK 75.0     Libourne bridge, quay u/s and landing stage d/s r/b, slipway, town centre r/b
PK 74.0     Railway bridge (Libourne)
PK 69.4     Quay (Génissac) l/b
PK 65.0     Bridge (D1089 Libourne bypass)
PK 64.5     Slipway (Carré) r/b, poor condition
PK 59.7     Moulon quay l/b, village 500m
PK 56.1     Branne bridge, quay u/s l/b, village l/b
PK 52.7     Vignonet quay and village r/b
PK 50.5     Cabara quay and village l/b
PK 49.5     Saint-Jean-de-Blaignac bridge, quay and village u/s l/b
PK 45.7     Sainte-Terre, mooring r/b, village 500m
PK 43.8     Island, d/s tip, access to Civrac in l/b arm
PK 43.2     Civrac-de-Dordogne quay and village l/b  (access from d/s)
PK 42.6     Islands, navigation in middle arm
PK 40.1     Bridge (D15)
PK 39.3     Castillon-la-Bataille bridge, quay, village u/s l/b
PK 38.5     Confluence of Lidoire, r/b
PK 33.7     Lamothe-Montravel quay and village r/b
PK 30.8     Flaujagues quay and village l/b
PK 27.2     Pessac-sur-Dordogne bridge, quay, village l/b
PK 22.2     Quay (Saint-Avit) l/b
PK 20.8     Saint-Aulaye quay and small village r/b
PK 18.3     Eynesse quay and small village l/b
PK 13.6     Bridge (D936 Sainte-Foy bypass)
PK 12.9     Railway bridge
PK 12.6     Bridge
PK 12.3     Port-Sainte-Foy bridge, quay d/s r/b, village r/b
PK 11.9     Sainte-Foy-la-Grande quay l/b, small town
PK 6.9     Le Fleix bridge, quay d/s r/b, village r/b
PK 0.0     Saint-Pierre-d’Eyraud, head of navigation (limit of département of Gironde, l/b), village r/b