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Customer reviews: France the canoeing holidays

Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus an overall rating and comments about their holiday.

Any feedback collected is posted to our website, so that people can make an informed decision based on past experiences before heading off on holiday. We don’t edit the reviews, the only thing we do is proofread them and alter any typos, where necessary, to ensure they are easy to read for everyone. All reviews will be published (except in certain extreme circumstances), and a member of the Headwater team will respond to any constructive criticisms/comments under the reviews, at their discretion. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Ms Ransome
Canoeing on the Dordogne

Canoeing on the Dordogne was an absolute highlight of my travels in France. Headwater’s in-country representatives were outstanding in every aspect - from the moment they met my train until they dropped me back at the station nine days later. This was my first experience of a holiday kayaking trip like this and, whilst I am an experienced kayaker, I was quite nervous to be doing this on my own. The thoroughness of my first day briefing put me totally at ease and I was able to relax straight away and enjoy every moment. I also appreciated the detailed notes and activity suggestions for my stay-put days and enjoyed a couple of great walks, following the extremely accurate guiding notes provided by Headwater. I would thoroughly recommend this experience to anyone who enjoys nature and water-based activities.

Mr Burgess
Canoeing on the Dordogne

This is our second Canoeing/cycling on the Dordogne holiday and our fourth with Headwater. We are already considering what our next will be, and whether we will do the Dordogne again in a few years.

Mrs Fitzmaurice
Canoeing on the Dordogne

A well organised and relaxing holiday with great canoeing, lovely hotels and a beautiful area

Mr Granger
Canoeing on the Dordogne

An awesome canoe holiday. Headwater were very thorough in all the preparation and organising. The reps could not have been more helpful in giving local advise and support. We will definitely be using Headwater again for another holiday adventure. Thank you to all

Mr Dickinson
Canoeing on the Dordogne

Spectacular holiday! Stunning canoe trip on the Dordogne- beautiful tranquil river. Fantastic accommodation and wonderful food! Headwater reps Andrew and Janet brilliant. Megan Wyatt at Headwater- thank you!

Mrs Jones
Canoeing on the Dordogne

Excellent experience - don't hesitate - book your holiday now!

Mrs Waller
Canoeing on the Dordogne

This was an amazing holiday full of different activities but the highlight was the canoeing. The standard of accommodation was excellent and the food superb. The outstanding feature was our 2 lovely reps who could not have done enough for us. Initially Andrew collected us from Toulouse rather than have us arrive late for dinner if we had come by train. In the morning he showed us features on the river to be aware of which was a great help to a pair of novices.

He gave us a lift to Rocamadour which we would not have seen otherwise. We paid for a taxi 2 days before to go to the Goffre Padirac which cost 30€ for a 10min trip! He even brought us bikes to cycle back as the temps were in the high 30° and not fun to walk in. Overall they did a fantastic job and really made a difference to our holiday. We would contemplate doing this trip again in the future as we enjoyed it so much. Thank you.

Mr Haley
Canoeing on the Dordogne

Our canoe trip in June 2019 was excellent. The weather was very hot (France’s recent heatwave) but the river was possibly the coolest place to be if you have all the right sun protection. Surprisingly, we were just about the only canoe on the river at this time. It made for a calm, surreal experience just for us. We found that the trip notes were misleading at times. Information on landing points and weirs/chutes could be updated and the maps made clearer. We brought a foam cushion for the seats and this made quite a difference when sitting in the canoe for up to 5 hours. Andrew and Janet were the reps in Souillac and they couldn’t be more helpful and friendly, even though they hadn’t been on the contract for long. They went out of their way to change the schedule to accommodate a wet day with a visit to Rocamadour. They were also keen to show us some of the key actual day 1 landing specifics which were ultimately essential in hindsight. The accommodations were good and we found that the food for dinner was generally high standard with good choices.

Mrs Willock
Canoeing on the Dordogne

The holiday lived up to our expectations. Unfortunately the weather was not kind and we had a lot of rain but our reps Andrew and Janet bent themselves over backwards to make our days as enjoyable as possible. They went out of their way to juggle the itinerary and came up with great places to go on our rest day, always willing to provide transport. The canoeing was great fun and the scenery was spectacular! Most days, apart from an occasional fisherman, we had the Dordogne to ourselves! The food and accommodation throughout was very good and in some places absolutely brilliant! We both put on weight despite the canoeing! A great holiday, would thoroughly recommend.

Mr Brazier
Canoeing on the Dordogne

A great holiday away from the crowds at a quiet time of year. Paddling was easy most of the time with some interesting parts where the river ran shallow or faster. Hotels and food were great with some characterful hosts.

Mr St John James
Canoeing on the Dordogne

Excellent experience with outstanding food and accommodation, a gastronomic delight

Mr Nicholson
Canoeing on the Dordogne

Surpassed all our expectations because we were the only canoes on the river. Great river, great hotels and helpful reps.

Mr Hool
Canoeing on the Dordogne

Wife says it was the best holiday of her life, one of my best. Accommodations were just right - small enough to be intimate yet with all the conveniences. Advise to bring an electrical adapter - one hotel was without one/one hotel gave us an extra to carry for the remainder of the trip. River was a little low in September but we didn't bottom out anywhere. The weather was about perfect - very safe and beautiful -- almost a float trip with some mild rapids thrown in. Would highly recommend others to check out the cave at La Cave - really worth the side trip - take a cab, it's worth it. And the bike path from La Villa Romaine on an old railway line, even walking, shouldn't be missed. Overall quiet and relaxing. Our first trip to Europe -- we passed on the big cities (except for London) and glad we did - though we would probably have enjoyed a couple of days in Toulouse if we had the time.

Mrs Maile
Canoeing on the Dordogne

We enjoyed our holiday, the hotels, Locations were great and the food too. The canoeing was good but I feel it was a bit too isolated on the river for us.

Mr Brem
Canoeing on the Dordogne

Superb experience for family activity holiday; we loved it

Mr O'Hea
Canoeing on the Dordogne

Wonderful French culture, cuisine and canoeing down the Dordogne river, enabled by an excellent riverside support team at Headwater. In a word, superb!

Mrs Lovell
Canoeing on the Dordogne

A wonderful holiday to see a picturesque side of the dordogne region

Mrs Campbell
Canoeing on the Dordogne

Wonderful holiday, well organised but not obtrusive. Fabulous food in beautiful surroundings. Kayaking down the Dordogne was so beautiful. Will definitely book with Headwater again.

Mr Padfield
Canoeing on the Dordogne

A wonderful holiday with no issues or problems with our itinerary. Headwater got things right with a very light touch.

Mrs Chambers
Canoeing on the Dordogne

Excellent holiday, wonderful accommodation and food. We could not fault the reps who were extremely helpful.

Mr Sheridan
Canoeing on the Dordogne

Happy paddling on some quiet stretches of river in a beautiful area. Plenty of pools, good food, and all arrangements taken care of.

Mrs Adams
Canoeing on the Dordogne

Canoeing in the Dordogne. The most picturesque river and so quiet ( even in high season). The beautiful countryside was dotted with amazing chateaux and the food at each hotel was superb - a gastronomic delight. The canoeing was straight forward and the map instructions were good.

The hotels we stqyed in were in the most delightful medieval towns which were so well preserved. It was like staying in a fairytale town.

We really felt that we were part of France - so few foreign tourists as this was a place that the Fench go on holiday so we were really immersed into the country.

Our reps (Jude and Tim) were excellent as always available if needed

Mr Hammond
Canoeing on the Dordogne

absolutely lovely - from the helpfulness of the guides to the assiduity of the hotel staff - and the general friendliness

Canoeing on the Dordogne

Very well organised and effectively managed, with the odd surprise/challenge e.g. Tour de France promptly dealt with, worked round.

Mrs Lynn
Canoeing on the Dordogne

An enjoyable holiday cycling in the beautiful countryside of the Dordogne region, visiting medieval towns and villages, castles and gardens. We were sorry not to be able to canoe as planned but nevertheless had a great holiday.

Mrs Singleton
Canoeing on the Dordogne

Elizabeth was friendly, efficient and helpful tour rep. The food and accommodation were generally superb, especially at Hostellerie Fenelon, where the staff made special efforts with our 9 year old. We particuarly liked reading about the experiences of others in the Headwater Blue Book, which gave us useful clues for what to do on the 'non-canoeing' days. It also helped us plan for the weather which was variable, ranging from very hot to thunderstorms. We would highly recommend canoeing and cycling the Dordogne which is a welcoming and very attractive area of France. Our children really enjoyed themselves. We are glad that we didn't try it with children any younger because after four canoeing days, our youngest (9) was tired! The pools at each hotels were a particular hit. QuercyLand, the children's water park at Souillac, proved something of a lifesaver when we realised that we weren't going to be able to cycle because of illness.

Mrs Davidson
Canoeing on the Dordogne

An ideal combination of mild peril, moderate exercise and gluttony, in lovely and interesting surroundings.

Mrs Lithgow
Canoeing on the Dordogne

This was an ideal holiday for our family with three teenagers. The canoeing wasn't too demanding but was fun, and the 'rest' days could be as active as we liked. The Dordogne is a wonderful part of France, fantastically beautiful, and with superb cuisine. All the hotels provided fantastic meals and really good, friendly service. The kids had a triple room in three of the five hotels and these were well-sized, proper triple or family rooms so they had plenty of space.

I would normally put our family holiday together myself but it was wonderful being able to leave all the organisation up to someone else, knowing that all the pieces would fit together. They did our flights (from Scotland) - with dates that didn't match the canoeing holiday - and also car hire for those extra days at a very reasonable rate.

Just be aware that you will have extra costs when you are there. You will, of course, have to pay for drinks with your (half board) evening meal, and these prices varied quite a bit between the hotels, and the picnic lunches provided by the hotels varied between 7 and 10 Euros per person. We could add tips to our card payments at all but one of the hotels.

Mr Richards
Canoeing on the Dordogne

We went for a canoeing holiday. which didn't happen.Obviously, Headwater were completely blameless.We made the most of it, with excellent help from Elizabeth (our Rep), by walking. This area, especially at this time of year, wouldn't have been my choice for walking. For us,this was a very expensive walking holiday.

Mrs Hamilton
Canoeing on the Dordogne

Excellent holiday travelling through the Dordogne in a peaceful setting at your own pace and staying at well chosen establishments that provide some amazing standards of food quality relative to their star rating. The friendliness, helpfulness and availability of the reps Keith & Claire was excellent too.

Mrs Woodard
Canoeing on the Dordogne

I suggest you place the oldest persons in each group on ground floor hotel rooms. Hard for old guys to lug bags upstairs.

Mr Norman
Canoeing on the Dordogne

Wonderful holiday through a stunning and, at times, remote area of France with excellent food, drink and opportunity for activity. Very relaxing.

Mrs Powell
Canoeing on the Dordogne

Would definately recommend this holiday to everybody! The whole package was brilliant.I was a bit nervous at first -never been in a canoe before but after a very short time i was thoroughly enjoying every minute! We loved everything about the whole trip - the region, the canoes,the hotels, the bikes - the reps were brilliant -really helpful and knowledgeable. We,ve had some great holidays over the years and this one certainly ranks as one of our best ones! I took a lot of photos along the way and friends and family were very complimentery about them - seeing what we had been up to!!

Mrs Peters
Canoeing on the Dordogne

Fabulous family holiday. We were very impressed by the high standard of equipment provided and managed by our two reps Keith and Clare - the kit was immaculate and in excellent condition (especially the bikes, panniers, locks etc). The canoeing was so peaceful with beautiful scenery and wildlife all the way (numerous kingfishers, herons, cormorants, little egrets etc) - the faster water was fun, the daily distances were very achievable. On our 'rest' days we were fairly active and put in many miles (steep hills and off-roading) on our bikes (we bought detailed maps online before we went) however, it would have been very easy to have complete rest and relaxation by the lovely hotel pools. Basically you can be as active or inactive as you feel - would suit nearly all abilities. Fabulous food and wine (although the wine in the hotels was quite pricey). Would highly recommend to anyone.

Mrs Parker
Canoeing on the Dordogne

We as a family have canoed and kayaked in the past. I would have thought it would be quite tricky on the first day if you have never done it at all. I would suggest an hour demonstration for novices to get them try it out.

Mr Sears
Canoeing on the Dordogne

Wonderful food amazing canoeing in a brilliant location

Mr Newman
Canoeing on the Dordogne

All the accommodation was good, but the Hostellerie Fenelon, and the Hotel Quercy were outstanding in all respects - superb food and very friendly and welcoming.

Local reps Claire and Keith were also outstanding - available, informative, cheerful, nothing too much trouble, very well-informed - a pleasure to have them as reps

Mr Heyes
Canoeing on the Dordogne

Great time Well organised and well balanced with activities.

Mr Burgess
Canoeing on the Dordogne

This canoeing/ cycling holiday on the Dordogne rates as one of our best ever. In mid September, we had the river to ourselves, the weather fortunately was superb, the accommodation, locations and food were excellent and the logistics from Headwater and the support and advice from Keith our rep were outstanding. We plan to come again, especially in the quieter season.

Mr Kilby
Canoeing on the Dordogne

A wonderful holiday, alternating canoeing with walking. The hotels were all in good positions and the meals were gourmet standard - a real treat. We were very well looked after - our bags always waiting for us at each destination. Thank you for a great experience.

Mr Chaplin
Canoeing on the Dordogne

This holiday was exactly what was described and expected. All accommodation, activities and equipment were excellent.The company reps were very friendly and helpful. It was a great experience which we will doubtlessly repeat in the next few years. Thanks.

Mr Flower
Canoeing on the Dordogne

The right blend of activatity and relaxation in stunning scenery and beautiful locations.

Ms Martin
Canoeing on the Dordogne

The combination of activity (kayaking, cycling), and moving somewhere new without the problem of carrying heavy baggage, yet also having time to explore local towns and villages was perfect for us. Wish there were more kayaking options in southern france that you offered.

Ms Dixon
Canoeing on the Dordogne

Friendly Dordogne, repa and hoteliers alike. Helpful at all times. Good food if a little rich and large at times. Canoeing was excellent and good safety equipment and instructions. River is variable so guide lines only approximate. Very hot in July but trees provide shade as does starting out earlier than 10.00 a.m. On the four day canoeing( out of 8 days ) important on days 1 and 2 to wear a helmet. A hazard on each of those days and helmet was useful to one person ! Lovely hotel in Sarlat on first and last day with warm pool. Market exceptional in Sarlat. Trip out by air left us in Toulouse for over 3 houirs with luggage and heat of day waiting for train to Souillac. Very hard day travelling. Advise breaking it up or take euro star and train.

Mr Haggis
Canoeing on the Dordogne

Overall we enjoyed the holiday very much despite weather that was less than kind, especially for the time of year. The upside of going in June was that we had the river almost entirely to ourselves, and the faster-than-usual current made for some good entertainment and less strenuous paddling. We would certainly recommend it to people who - like us - have never canoed before. A couple of problems before we left: we were incorrectly invoiced (500 was added for flights we weren't taking) and both our surnames were misspelt. Once we got there Keith did an excellent job, including sorting out rooms with a bath to soothe our aching bodies at each hotel. He also lent me his own waterproof bag for the week, and picked us up early as requested on the final day - he couldn't have been more helpful. As far as the hotels were concerned, the weak link is St Sozy (although it's worth going there just for Bernard, who is a hoot). I suppose you have limited options around there, but it's quite a walk from the river and it's a pain that it doesn't open till 1730. Also to be told that we are only allowed one croissant each for breakfast is not really acceptable. On the other hand Bernard sorted us out an excellent taxi driver who took us by various scenic routes to Rocamadour on our rest day. One general comment we would make - especially in view of the cost of the holiday - is that Headwater might consider putting its guests in slightly better rooms - we seemed often to be in the cheapest - and preferably ones with a bath. Overall, though, an excellent holiday, though we'd be grateful if another time you could sort out the weather...