Boating

Fun on the River at Les Séchoirs

Key facts

  • The river Lot is a broad flowing river fringed by fields, woodland and little villages. It is rarely busy so is a tranquil haven for everyone – not just fishermen!
  • Small boats may be secured next to the private fishing pontoons as Les Séchoirs.
  • Boats transported by our guests may be launched from the municipal ramp opposite Les Séchoirs.
  • During your stay, boats may be housed in one of the barns at Les Séchoirs; however please enquire.
  • With 13km of open river upstream to Castelmoron, guests have a beautiful stretch to enjoy with places to fish and/or moor and visit the local markets or enjoy a picnic lunch.
  • Slightly larger boats may proceed through the lock at Castelmoron and explore the many villages along the way – with the chance to moor up and explore.
  • The river Lot is rich in wildlife with many species of birds, fish and butterflies and is perfect for those who enjoy birdwatching, photography and sketching.
  • Small boats of various kinds can be hired during the summer months at Castelmoron.
  • There are some lovely walks to enjoy along the river bank including a couple from Les Séchoirs.

 

 

 

With your holiday accommodation at Les Séchoirs overlooking the river Lot and literally metres from the river bank, it is difficult not to want to enjoy the river. Sitting on the river terrace by the gîtes during the day and with a glass of local wine in the evening is the perfect way to relax and to enjoy the rich birdlife which includes many water birds including kingfishers and herons as many migratory species.

The walk from the gîtes crossing the bridge across the river in Clairac and then following the river bank towards the Plage (the river beach with lovely white sand)is delightful and numerous fish can be seen swimming in the shallow water by the bank. The Plage with its two cordoned areas is ideal for family fun. The smaller area with low water is for young swimmers, whilst the larger area and jumping platform is for older children and adults. Parents can relax as there is a lifeguard in attendance for many hours each day and the restaurant that overlooks the beach is perfect for ice cream, snacks and meals. Take your sun umbrella though as there are only a few available.

For those who enjoy walking, cycling and horse riding there are designated river paths to follow which are fringed by the river on one side and various fields and leafy glades.

Water to many means watery fun and at Castelmoron there are pedaloes, kayaks and other small boats to hire as well as surf boards and another river beach with plenty of leafy shade.

Fishing is a popular pastime for all ages and it is hard to resist a few hours in this peaceful haven relaxing with a fishing pole, hoping to catch one of the many fish that include bream and ide as well as sizeable catfish and carp. (Fishing licences can be easily obtained online or from several shops in Clairac or the fishing shop in Tonneins).

The river Lot is a lovely river for exploring by boat – not least of all because it is surprisingly quiet! In the past, the Lot was navigable for hundreds of kilometres and was an important transport method for produce and commodities produced in the area. The river was closed to navigation in 1926 and many stretches fell in to disrepair. Since then it has been divided into two sections – the Upper and Lower Lot  and in 2002 the lower Lot  -that flows from Saint Vite to the river’s confluence with the Garonne at Aiguillon- was reopened after much investment and it is hoped that the two sections will one day be re-linked.

The minimum depth of the Lower Lot is 1.50 metres – but in many places it is nearly seven metres deep- and the minimum headroom is 3.5 metres. The smaller ecluses (locks) are operated with magnetic swipe cards that can be obtained from the eclusiere at Buzet.

In the past, navigating the river could be challenging, as the water level dropped dramatically in the summer months and was high with a fast current in the winter.  The hydroelectric scheme with its dams now ensures that the sluices can be opened as the rain begins to fall to prevent flooding but can lead to a sudden fall in the water level which is usually adjusted within a few hours.

It is lovely to travel leisurely along the river (the speed limit is 10 kph except when navigating an ecluse when it is 6 kph) and to moor on the leafy floating platform at Granges sur Lot or on one of the moorings at Castelmoron which are overlooked by the town’s Moorish styled buildings.

Both villages have lovely restaurants offering set menu lunches at remarkably good prices. Remember as you head back to your boat to do so quietly though as you might just find a beautiful kingfisher aboard it, waiting for your return…..