Sailing on the Sorgue: Where? When? How?

Want to sail on the Sorgue at L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, Fontaine-de-Vaucluse and Le Thor? First, familiarise yourself with the regulations in the prefectural decree of 28/05/2019.

Are all types of floating devices allowed? NO

Apart from rescue and maintenance boats, only canoes, kayaks, jousting boats, paddle sports and 'Nègo-chin' boats are allowed.

Can you swim in the river? YES and NO

Municipal by-laws prohibit swimming in most municipalities. If you do decide to swim, you do so at your own risk and you must be respectful of private property and the natural surroundings.

Can you sail all year round and at any time of day? NO*

Sailing on the Sorgue is permitted at different times of the day and the year depending on the specific activity:

15 May – 30 June, 9.30 am to 6 pm: canoes, kayaks and other paddle sports

1 July – 31 August, 9.30 am to 6 pm: canoeing/kayaking only

1 September – 15 October,** 9.30 am to 6 pm: canoeing/kayaking and other paddle sports

* Certain categories of river-users are not subject to the
above regulations.
** Except for the third Friday, Saturday and Sunday in September
(closure of the fishing season)

Is there a minimum flow requirement to sail on the river? YES

The river is off limits if the flow is less than or equal to 4 m³/s for two consecutive days. For more information, see (code V6155020)

Can you access the river from anywhere along its course? NO

The Sorgue is not government owned: the banks and half of the river bed belong to the waterfront owners. Access to the banks and the river's entrances and exits is restricted to areas in the public domain (e.g. roads and other public spaces).

The Sharing of Water at L

The Sorgues Basin Network

The Sorgue first splits into two upstream of L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue at a place called Partage des Eaux (which means 'watershed' in English). It then spreads out from two main arms – the Sorgue de Velleron and the Sorgue de L'Isle – forming the Sorgues Basin. These then split again into several dozen more arms of the Sorgue, each with a different name: Sorgue de Monclar, Sorgue du Pont de la Sable, Sorgue du Travers, Sorgue du Moulin-Joseph, Sorgue de la Low, Sorgue des Moulins... They all flow into the Sorgues Plain (between L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and Avignon). The main arms join back together again and flow into the Ouvèze at Bédarrides. The Canal de Vaucluse, the third main arm of the Sorgue flows towards Avignon. It enters the town alongside the Rue des Teinturiers and subsequently flows into the Rhône.

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