The South of France is the ideal destination for a perfect kayaking holiday, as our intrepid traveller Robert Ince explains.
or those wanting a holiday with a difference, why not opt for one where you can marry the best of both types of foreign break; the relaxing beach holiday with an action-packed adventure holiday. The advantage of a kayaking holiday is that you have the best of both worlds, taking it as easy or as fast-paced as you like, all the while taking in beautiful surroundings. Relax, see the sights, keep fit, sunbathe, be amongst nature, and have plenty of fun; all at the same time. For those embarking on their first adventure holiday there are many options to choose from. For those heading to the South of France there are a number of packages ideal for those wanting the perfect kayaking adventure holiday.
the descent of the Gorge is completed, you’ll have time for a detour of some local sights or even a trip to the ropes course or caves. 2. Kayaking in St Tropez Enjoy a millionaire-style adventure holiday in sunny St. Tropez but for an accessible and affordable price. With Adventure St. Tropez, you can wile away the hours kayaking on the sun-kissed Mediterranean Sea in the exclusive Cote d’Azur or around Port Grimaud, the French version of Venice. You’ll stay in the Marina among the famous and the glamorous, and receive tuition by the very best of guides. Also on offer is a variety of other activities from wakeboarding and jet-skiing to snorkelling in the Azur Sea.
1. The Ardèche The Ardèche region in South East France has some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. Located in the region of Rhône-Alpes Tauriers, it also has some of the best rapids for kayaking in Europe. As such, the Ardèche has become a no.1 favourite place for kayak enthusiasts from around the world. Evasion Travel do a 3 night break to Vallon Pont d Arc. Their Ardeche Classic Break operates from April to October and promises a breathtaking adventure through the ‘Grand Canyon of Europe’ with its 2 day descent of the Ardeche Gorge with great rapids, beaches and camping at Bivovac. As
3. Kayaking the Alps (for beginners) Whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate, spend your days in Ecrins National Park drifting on the pellucid waters of tranquil mountain lakes where you’ll learn the basics, before getting the blood flowing tackling the adrenalin-pumping excitement of harsher rapids of stunning alpine rivers amidst dramatic mountain scenery. All kayak instructors are fully qualified and experienced to French and European standards. In their safe hands they will guide you through this progressive week long course, from the gentle stuff to the thrills and spills of a slalom course to practice ferry
gliding, breaking in and out, surfing and possibly mastering a few new tricks. There is also a free day where you will be able to choose from a range of other activities like canyoning, mountain-biking and rockclimbing. Operated by Undiscovered Alps, this is ideal for individuals looking to join a group. You can choose accommodation from hotel, Bed and Breakfast or camping. 4. Kayaking the Alps (for intermediates) For those with a little more experience, this is the ideal intermediate course. You’ll begin with an intensive white water skills session on the grade II/ III slalom course on the Drac in order to guage your level so the instructors can put together a programme to suit you and push
you to your potential. This holiday is a great way to explore the rivers of the Southern Alps in all their glory while having fun. Unlike the busier Briancon/Embrun area, you won’t be fighting for space with numerous other paddlers or rafters for the best play spots. Knowing that not everyone wishes to be thrown in at the deep end and pushed beyond their comfort zones, The Ardeche Adventures has designed a holiday that suits paddlers of all ages, from novice to intermediate, who want to develop their moving water skills and experience a kayak descent of both the Ardeche Gorge and the Chassezac River. The Kayak Clinic will suits paddlers who want to progress their skills along with enjoying the natural beauty and wonder of the Ardeche, with good food
and great company. The river levels are a comfortable grade 2 to 3 maximum, with some great safe play spots and a variety of rapids and flow. With a pool available to develop your roll, It’s the perfect environment to learn at your own pace. All packages run from early September to the end of May; this is the out of season period for the region and as a result you can expect tourist-free roads and rivers as well as high water. It also gives you the advantage of cheaper off-season travel. The Kayak Clinic package offers six nights accommodation with all Kayaking equipment and instruction plus transfers from Nimes. The kayak clinics generally run from Monday to Friday, with arrival Sunday and departure Saturday.
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Ideas for kayaking holidays in France