As you might imagine in an area so blessed with beautiful rivers, there is a wealth of choice available. You should choose between the Lot, Tarn or Aveyron. There are several companies offering canoeing – we suggest that you check what they offer and bear in mind the length of trip you want to do.
During the summer months when the rivers are slow flowing you may expect to comfortably cover 2 km per hour (you could probably do more if you are fit and don’t stop too much, but for young children and older folk this is a realistic estimate).
If you fancy a trip on a river, but don’t want to canoe, there are river trips available on the Lot from Fumel, Cahors or Bouziès.
Canoeing on the Lot River
The Lot River rises in Mont Lozère in the Cévennes mountains. As it approaches the point where it joins the Garonne, it slows down and meanders its way through superb scenic valleys and is overlooked by many delightful villages perchés. Canoes can be hired in many places including Albas and Puy L’Evêque. At Luzech there are also windsurfers and motor boats for hire.
Recommendation from one of our readers is to make sure you take more than a 2 hour trip from Luzech – the scenery is lovely, but you don’t get so far in two hours.
Canoeing and kayaking on the Tarn River
One of the most beautiful rivers in France, the Tarn stretches from gorges upstream of Millau past Montauban after which it merges with the Garonne. It is possible to canoe, kayak, or raft down this river although it is not recommended for beginners in its upper reaches.
Canoeing in the Aveyron Gorge
St Antonin Noble Val is a good place from which to start. Canoeing here is more challenging than many other rivers in the area. We would only recommend it for older children who have canoed before and who are good swimmers.
Canoeing on the Garonne
Head for Verdun-sur-Garonne where you will find a very pleasant canoeing company “Rand ‘Eau” by the riverside. They offer various lengths of excursion and it is worth booking ahead because they have fixed times at which they set out to take you up river to your start point. We recommend to allow about 2 hours to comfortably canoe the 7km course. This stretch of the Garonne is quite gentle in the summer although there are still a few very gentle rapids to negotiate. Probably not ideal for toddlers, but fine for children aged 5 upwards who are able to swim a short distance.
Here’s more information to make the most of your visit to Lot et Garonne: