Limousin is known as the Land of a Thousand Lakes. The town of Brantome not far from Chalus in the Dordogne is often called the Venice of France.
Whether you are visiting the Perigord Limousin National Park (Chalus is located in this park) or venturing into the Dordogne you will never be far from water.
The Limousin alone boasts roughly 11,000 kilometres of rivers and more than 3,000 lakes offering everything from scenic walks, fishing and bathing, to speed boats and jet-skiing at Vassiviere, the largest lake at over 1000 hectares.
On the borders of Limousin and the Dordogne between Chalus and St Yriex la Perche, this lake, small by Limousin standards, has a lot to offer besides swimming and sunbathing.
Although there are no watersports as such there is crazy golf, tennis and a miniature railway. Surrounded by stunning scenery, Bussiere is also the location of the Parc Acrobois and the Velorail and the nearby village about 1 Klm is worth a pleasant stroll before taking lunch in one of its bar restaurants.
The Lac de St Mathieu is a beautiful 14 hectare lake in the Haute-Vienne, Limousin. Surrounded by stunning pine forest it is ideal for whiling away the sunny days or taking a leisurely stroll around the lake or enjoying a picnic under the trees. In July or August, hire a canoe or pedal boat, enjoy a swim or sunbathe on the supervised beach area. Maybe even indulge in a snack or meal in the newly renovated "Grange du Lac" cafe bar, which has a great atmosphere and offers delicious local dishes at very affordable prices.
Surrounded by unspoilt woodlands and nestling in the heart of a large forest the 330 hectare Lac de Saint Pardoux is ideal for countryside and water sports.
There are 3 areas to St Pardoux, Santrop which offers swimming and leisure activities including childrens play areas, picnic areas and a bar restaurant. Chabannes with it's nautical centre is aimed at sailing and windsurfing activities and Freaudor specialising in water-skiing.
Lac Pardoux is not far from Bellac, St Junien or Limoges if you fancy combining a few hours leisure with a visit to one of these larger towns
The great rivers of South West France are ideal for a leisurely canoe between villages and enjoying the stunning surrounding scenery.
If you are exploring the Limousin then the town of Aixe sur Vienne, close to Limoges, offers canoe boat hire. For tourists in the Dordogne region, the beautiful town of Brantome has a number of canoe and kayak hire centres along the river Dronne.
Situated on the borders of the Haute Vienne and Creuse departments of Limousin, Vassiviere is one of the largest lakes in France covering over 1,000 hectares. Lac de Vassiviere boasts over 45km of shoreline, 6 man-made beaches and a harbour. This huge lake offers just about every water-sport imaginable ~ wind-surfing, canoeing or kayaking, pedaloes, jet-skis, fishing boats.
For the land lover there are numerous nature and activity centres, horse-riding, volleyball or for something different take a hike on a donkey.
To round off a great day out boat trips are available from the harbour to the unique 75 hectare Isle de Vassiviere, this great lakes own island, which has a small chateau now an International art centre, a bar-restaurant, picnic areas and a sculpture park.