The Gabarre, sometimes spelled Gabare, a word derived from the Occitan gabarra, is a flat bottomed boat that was used on several French rivers which flow into the Atlantic.
This type of design enabled the vessels to get further upstream to load up with products from the interior and indeed to deliver foodstuffs, fuel and other goods to places which were otherwise inaccessible.
In the case of the Dordogne river, Gabarres were able to reach as far as Argentat to collect timber for use in the cooperage industries downstream. At its height during the 17th and 18th Centuries, the practice was still very important in 1850 when 60% of the trade between Bergerac and Bordeaux was carried in Gabarres.
No longer used to carry freight these vessels today take visitors on short trips along the river at various points including Beaulieu sur Dordogne, Beynac, Bergerac and La Roque Gageac. What better way is there to spend a warm summer’s afternoon?
The gabarres featured here operate from La Roque Gageac.