Kayaking or canoeing in the South of France is the perfect activity for practically all ages. Whether floating down a dramatic river gorge, exploring the nooks and crannies of the azure coast, or simply paddling across a crystal-clear lake for a picnic on the other side – the South of France has some of the best canoeing in the world.


There are plenty of places across the South of France that rent out canoes, so you won’t have any trouble getting kitted out for the day. Canoeing is also an inexpensive activity – and offers a great alternative to waterparks or simply lying on a crowded beach all day long.    So, where are the best places to go canoeing in the South of France? Here are five great locations you should check out. 

Where to Go Canoeing in the South of France

1. Vallon-Pont-d’Arc


A gorgeous village in the Ardèche department in the South of France, Vallon-Pont-d’Arc is situated on the Ardèche river. The village is named after the huge natural limestone arch that straddles the water, the Pont d’Arc. This is one of the most scenic canoeing spots in France – if not the whole of Europe. You can pass under the Pont d’Arc in your canoe, marvelling at the magnificent natural landmark above.


Canoeing at Vallon Pont dArc

(Image source: pixabay.com)

2. Gorges du Verdon


The Gorges du Verdon (or Verdon Gorge) is a huge, 25 km (15.5 mi) long and up to 700 m (0.4 mi) deep river canyon located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azu region in the South of France. Known as the Grand Canyon of Europe, beautiful, turquoise waters snake through the landscape, and in the summer are warm enough to swim in.


Canoeing at Gorges Verdon

(Image source: pixabay.com)

3. Pont du Gard 


If you’re looking for some ancient man-made scenery, the Roman aqueduct bridge built in the first century AD known as the Pont du Gard is unmissable. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the bridge crosses the river Gardon near the town of Vers-Pont-du-Gard. An incredible construction, no mortar holds the stonework together – instead, the enormous stones themselves were all carved to slot perfectly into one another. A true wonder – and a beautiful place to go cannoning in the South of France.


Canoeing at Pont du Gord

(Image source: pixabay.com)

4. River Orb


Eventually flowing into the Mediterranean Sea at Valras-Plage, the River Orb first cuts 145 km (90 mi) through the Herault Department. There are many places along the River Orb to hire a canoe, load up a picnic, and while away an afternoon soaking up the sights. One particularly beautiful spot, however, is the village of Roquebrun in Languedoc – it is calm, scenic, and gloriously warm in the summer. 


5. Southern French Alps


So far, we’ve considered the quieter, scenic spots. If, however, you’re looking for some white water, the Southern French Alps region is for you. Rivers like the Durance, Bonne, Ubaye, Souloise, and Guil all offer some exciting, technically challenging rapids to navigate – certainly not for beginners. If you’re experienced, however, these rivers are all close enough together to tackle in a single (exhausting) day.


Canoeing in the South of France

(Image source: pixabay.com)

Charles Mackintosh South of France Property Surveyor

Canoeing in the South of France is, by turns, some of the most beautiful and exciting in the whole of Europe – the perfect holiday activity. If, however, you’re considering a permanent move to the region, you will of course need an experienced property surveyor to help you on your journey. Charles Mackintosh is at your service. With over 30 years’ experience living and operating in the region, Charles delivers reputed English language property advice and surveys for British buyers. Get in touch today.