Canoeing on the River Cèze
Description: The River Cèze is excellent for canoeing with young children as it is normally quite gentle during the summer months. The only problem is that if the summer is very dry you are likely to find that you will have to drag the canoe over some of the rapids as the level becomes rather low. This can get very annoying after a while!
Location: Depending on the state of the river you should be able to hire a canoe in St Ambroix. Try here: www.ceze-canoe.com.
General Info: These are the kind of canoe hire companies where you canoe to a pick up point and then get driven back to the starting point with your canoes in tow.
Our recommendations: Start early in the day so you don’t have to rush. You can take a picnic in the watertight barrels provided. There is a picturesque setting about halfway, where you can easily pull the canoes ashore and either have your picnic, or enjoy a meal in Le Moulinet (a converted water mill) opposite. It is possible for non-canoers to drive and meet you here.
For the children: For younger children this will prove an excellent day out. Take the swimming costumes because there are plenty of places where one can swim, especially beside Le Moulinet.
A very pleasant day out, although hard work at times!
Canoeing on the River Ardèche
Description: You need to be fairly competent in a canoe to go on this river as it has a reasonable current, even in the summer.
Location: Driving down the D290 from Vallon Pont D’Arc you will find a number of canoe hire companies on the right hand side.
General Information: Try looking at www.aventure-canoes.fr, www.ardeche-canoe.com or www.ardeche.com/en/canoeing/index.php. These sites also have information on other water-based activities like water canyoning.
In winter it becomes a torrent! The canoe companies should advise on the state of the river before you depart.
Our recommendations: For older children, or if you have younger children in with adults, this river is really much to be preferred to the Cèze as the scenery is more dramatic and the flow of the river makes progress easier. But outside the peak season it may be too challenging other than for experienced canoers.
Canoeing on the River Gardon
Description: While white water rafting is possible, it tends to be an early spring activity as this is when the river levels are much higher and the flow of water greater. During the long, hot summers the river levels lower considerably making canoeing/kayaking much more suitable/safe for families. routes etc… The most popular route is to meander the 8km stretch downriver from Collias to the World Heritage site of the Pont du Gard – a truly spectacular way to arrive at this awesome site!
Location: The nearest river to Uzès is the Gardon which is very popular with canoe/kayak enthusiasts. Most families opt to hire canoes at Collias.
General Information: www.canoe-france.com/gardon (it is in English as well). This gives information on possible routes etc….
Our recommendations: Take a picnic and make your way gently down, stopping for a swim (take care with young children) or to explore from time to time. There is a canoe rental place that offers trips especially for families in canoes with space for 2 adults and 2 children. There details are here.
Other canoeing possibilities in the south (eg on the Petit Rhone and on into the Camargue and its beaches) can be found at this website: www.canoe-france.com.
Here’s more information to make the most of your visit to the Provence:
- Attractions in Provence:
- Other Activities: