River Cruises

Explore the river Lot
from Les Séchoirs

There are many reasons why people choose to spend their holidays at Les Séchoirs. The gentle rolling countryside, the sense of being in “real France” with its culture, gastronomic specialities, wine and of couse, the beautiful river Lot. We welcome many fishermen (and women) who are attracted by the large and plentiful fish – especially carp and catfish – and the challenge of catching the larger ones.

However, there is much more!

Hire our spacious four metre boat – with its 6hp outboard motor – and up to five people can explore the river and its abundant wildlife. There are places to stop, have a picnic by the river, riverside villages or in the hills overlooking the Lot. There are places where children can play safely too. 

For a fishing trip, our boat is also ideal. You can travel upstream to your chosen spot; down-anchor and fish quietly and with few if any other boats. This boat, whilst excellent for family trips, is a favourite with fishermen as it is designed to glide quietly through the water, creating little noise and wake.

What else do I need to know ? 

  • A Mercury 6hp petrol outboard. 6hp is the maximum engine size permitted without a licence.
  • The speed limit on the river 10 kph. The 6 hp outboard motor will not easily exceed this going upstream but downstream (returning to Les Séchoirs) please be careful.
  • You will see fishermen all along the river bank, please slow down and keep to the centre of the river and away from their lines. They will not thank you for coming too close to the river bank!     
  • Mooring ropes; mud-weight “anchor”; metal anchor (legal requirement) are included
  • Two small oars (“just in case”)
  • Five life vests
  • Petrol (main tank and reserve) with plenty of fuel
  • A map and reminder information

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Other facts

  • The river Lot is a wide, flowing river fringed by fields, woodland and small villages. It is rarely busy so is a tranquil haven for everyone – not just fishermen!
  • Boats being used by our guests may be launched from the municipal ramp opposite Les Séchoirs.
  • 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.
  • 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 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…..