Few rivers can aspire to be a star of TV but the Dordogne became the Rivière d’Espérance (River of Hope) for a French TV series based on the novel by Christian Signol about sailors working the waterway.
Rising in the Massif Centrale, the Dordogne begins at the confluence of two torrents – the Dore and the Dogne. This magnificent river then flows for nearly 500km or about 300 miles to the Gironde Estuary near Bordeaux.
It is one of only a few rivers to experience a tidal bore and it also one of the cleanest in France. Its upper reaches are characterised by barages or dams with long lakes and steep sided gorges whereas the lower reaches are mostly calm, meandering and very wide.
In the Corrèze the river begins to widen and the fertile land on either side is used for orchards and pasture. By the time it reaches the gastronomic region of the Périgord the now very wide meandering stream passes castles, vineyards, woodland and occasional limestone bluffs.