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The Dordogne is a river that has its source in the Massif Central, more precisely on the northern flank of the Puy de Sancy (a summit of the Dore mountains located in the Puy-de-Dôme department), at an altitude of 1366 m.

Cascade de la Dore (Source:
Cascade de la Dore (Source:

It is therefore at this altitude that two small mountain streams, the Dore and the Dogne, meet to form the Dordogne.

Contrary to popular belief, the name of the Dordogne does not come from the meeting of the names of the Dore and Dogne streams, but rather from the word Durānius, itself derived from the pre-Celtic root dur- or dor- (which designates a course of 'water). In the Middle Ages, Durānius evolved into Dordonia to eventually become the word Dordogne we still use today.

The Dordogne river, which stretches over 483 km, crosses 6 departments (Puy-de-Dôme, Cantal, Corrèze, Lot, Dordogne and Gironde). It ends up joining the Garonne at the Bec d'Ambés (in the Gironde department), to then form the Gironde estuary. The latter then leads to the Atlantic Ocean.

At the level of our territory, the Dordogne crosses the municipalities of Pessac-sur-Dordogne, Juillac, Flaujagues, Mouliets-et-Villemartin, Castillon-la-Bataille, Saint-Magne-de-Castillon, Saint-Pey-de-Castets, Civrac-sur-Dordogne, Sainte-Florence, Saint-Vincent-de-Pertignas, Saint-Jean-de-Blaignac, Saint-Aubin-de-Branne, Cabara and finally Branne.

UNESCO classification

Since 2012, the Dordogne basin has been classified as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO, a distinction which aims to preserve and reward a unique biodiversity in France. As a biosphere reserve, the Dordogne basin is now centered on the concepts of sustainable development and the preservation of landscapes, ecosystems and species.

View over the Dordogne to Cabara

The Tidal Bore

The Tidal Bore is a natural and unique phenomenon that occurs on the Dordogne. It results from a wave which forms at the mouth of the Gironde and which then rises over a hundred kilometers inland. The Tidal Bore takes place on the Garonne as much as on the Dordogne. At the level of our territory, it can be observed on the Dordogne river at Branne (even if its intensity is much lower there than downstream, as at the port of Saint-Pardon in the town of Vayres).