Sport, adventure and heritage in the Perigord Noir

The Perigord area offers extensive countryside in which to indulge in numerous sports activities and experience some great adventures! Want to get away for a sporting weekend, have fun, discover the local heritage and meet new people? Follow the guide!

A "sensational" weekend organised by Perigord Noir's nature sports department

Jérôme and his team were recommended to accompany my friends and myself on our epic adventure, and they certainly concocted a great schedule for us.

On the programme: a leisurely canoe excursion along the Dordogne river; a kick-bike ride through one of the most beautiful villages in France, Domme (External link) ; archery at the foot of a captivating site, château de Commarque (External link) , and a wonderful finale taking part in a brand new escape game in the building's dungeon.

Day 1: you want some sport, here it is!

Let's go, we're embarking

Jérôme meets us early morning at the canoe base in Veyrignac and we are delighted by the wild side of the surroundings, with a charming wash-house in the grounds.
Luck is with us, the sun is shining brightly, and we listen eagerly to Jérôme's precious advice before we set off on a peaceful and authentic river trip. We have the feeling of being off the "beaten track", a more "natural" part of a river surrounded by cliffs and we navigate with great enthusiasm whilst letting ourselves be carried, at times, by the gentle current.
We make our way past large limestone cliffs, much to the chagrin of the many birds that used to nest there peacefully. Halfway along, as we approach the cingle (an almost complete loop of the Dordogne River), we catch a glimpse of the striking shadow of the sumptuous château de Montfort (External link) on the horizon. What a wonderful thrill it is when our boats cruise alongside the wooded riverbank overlooked by the impressive fiefdom.
Real kids at heart, we take the opportunity to test a little originality proposed by Jérôme, the "aquascope", which allows us to freely observe the depths of the river; rest assured that we didn't see a single shark!
The 10 kms run to Caudon are easily completed in 2H (we lingered for another 30min to enjoy a little dip); we are really pleased with our first experience.

After the morning's gentle descent, it's time for a more dynamic ride...

After a pleasant picnic on the verdant riverbank, we take the road to a nearby aerodrome. Ah, we're going flying! Actually no, not at all, we're going to plunge into the depths of the earth on funny two-wheeled machines, called Kick-Bikes. Picture a kind of scooter with big tyres, light but sturdy. You immediately imagine that it must be an uncontrollable machine, but on the contrary, the learning process is fast, the handling is excellent and we settle quite naturally at the handlebars of our bike.

We start with a discovery tour of the bastide town perched high on a promontory Domme (External link) . We gently meander through the magical alleyways of this ancient place to familiarise ourselves with our eco-friendly vehicle, driven solely by our calves! Our vehicles arouse the curiosity of passers-by when we reach the town esplanade. The view from this balcony overlooking the Dordogne River is stunning...
We hadn't expected to be able to combine sport and heritage visits, so Jérôme pleasantly surprised us. But now it's time for excitement, the thrills are felt immediately on the very first slopes on the outskirts of the village and then the more daring among us take pleasure in a descent leading to the Dordogne valley along some forest paths.

We again follow the Dordogne river which has accompanied us throughout this exhilarating first day. Now it is time for us to swap our sporty attire for a more casual look of flip-flops and swimming gear for a great refreshing dip in the crystal clear waters of the Dordogne.

Day 2: Skills and game thinking!

You will hit the bull's-eye

I must admit that we all slept like babies! Jérôme knows very well that our bodies were put to the test yesterday, so he planned more... gentle but no less thrilling activities for us today. And we discover all this in an extraordinary setting, a real gem of local history, hidden in the depths of a valley surrounded by forest, château de Commarque (External link) . The 10-minute walk through the woods immediately plunges us into the environment and we can only marvel at the magic of the place! The valley is classified as a Biosphere Zone and Natura 2000 for its incredible ecosystem.
We start the day with an archery session in the meadow in front of the castle ruins and quickly realise that not everyone has the natural hunter-gatherer instinct.

The castle seems to gaze proudly at us from its rocky spur. Behind the targets, we can see the remains of troglodyte dwellings against the rocky walls.
We are having a great time with lots of laughs and teasing each other about our obvious lack of dexterity. But no matter, we enjoy the fantastic setting and the pleasant view of the cows grazing in the valley. The breeze is nice but it just keeps deflecting all my arrows off target!
After practicing for about an hour and playing various games, we set off for a short walk in the valley and forest to stretch our legs. As the previous day, we have again chosen to take advantage of the good weather and the surrounding countryside to have a picnic lunch with a superb view of the castle: a real pleasure.

A castle steeped in history

Some would be very happy to have a little snooze, but the adventure is not over yet. To complete these 2 days, the mysterious Commarque offers us an unforgettable experience. We start with a disconcerting procession through the medieval remains and a visit of this impressive building that has survived through the ages since the 12th century to offer visitors a sensational journey back in time.

The highlight of the day, an escape game in the castle tower

We climb the steps of the 14th century dungeon to meet a strange monk who silently guides us to his lair; he tells us about a stone of perpetual youth, eternal youth and a witch... a real witch we are told!
We only understand one thing, that we have 1 hour to uncover the different secrets of the place, solve puzzles and find the solution to the mystery!
Locked in a room in the fortress, we rack our brains as a team while the candle flame serves as a countdown clock. What tension! But such fun, we just love being immersed in this medieval atmosphere and the décor helps a lot.
Believe it or not, but we solved the case after 59 minutes of intense debate, reflection and backtracking. There is strength in numbers and... great memories shared between friends!

The adventure is now over and we are heading back to our respective destinations, not forgetting to warmly thank Jérôme and his team for some unforgettable moments.

Good to know!

Contact: Jérôme Merchadou tel: 06 71 76 34 01 email: jeromemerchadou@orange.fr

Find out more:

Find out more about experiences to live in Dordogne-Perigord: download the brochure (External link)

Experiences Dordogne

Dordogne Valley