As a kayaking and canoeing destination, France has it all. From easy family paddling on shallow rivers, to white-water adventures in the mountains, to sea-kayaking: take your pick!
France is criss-crossed with rivers and canals, making it popular with kayakers at every level. You’ll find plenty to see and so along a river kayaking trip: idyllic countryside, riverside chateaux, sleepy villages, forests and river beaches. A France kayaking holiday is about more than just the sport: it’s an experience.
The Ardeche Gorge, with its famous natural bridge the Pont d’Arc, is one of France’s top destinations for river kayaking. Enjoy canyons and rapids, or stick to the easier stretches for a less challenging trip. The Upper Dordogne is another great choice, and is also easily accessible by beginners. Both destinations are ideal for those who want to combine a kayaking trip with other adventure sports, such as climbing and trekking.
For something more challenging, head to the mountains. You’ll find rocky, difficult descents through class 4 and 5 rapids, as well as easier sections for the less experienced. The Durance river has some classic, and difficult, runs, such as the Durance Gorge near L’Argentiere. The stretch near Mount Dauphin is good for beginners. The River Gyr is a favourite of many, but it’s one for the experts.
If you prefer to paddle on the sea, head to the Atlantic coast for challenge and adventure, and the Mediterranean for gentler kayaking. Brittany’s coastline is particularly good for exploring. It has plenty of bays, inlets and islands to make things interesting. The Gulf of Moribhan is a particular favourite. On the Mediterranean, you can kayak safely just about anywhere. Try the area around Marseille: easy kayaking around sandy bays and isolated creeks.
However you choose to do it, you’ll have plenty to remember from a France kayaking holiday.