Kayak and Camp the Ardeche, France

Spend 4 days exploring the Gorges de l’Ardèche. Weekend package complete with guide, camping and airport transfers. 2 days off work.

  • France
  • Nîmes-Arles-Camargue Airport, Nimes (FNI)

Experience the “Grand Canyon of Europe” atop a kayak. You’ll enjoy a weekend of sunshine surrounded by 300m-high limestone cliffs while you paddle, swim, jump and explore the hidden mysteries of the canyon with your guide. This epic, hassle-free weekend includes:

  • 2 days guided kayaking on the Ardèche River
  • 1 night camping in a Marabou tent in the canyon
  • 2 nights camping close to the Pont d’Arc
  • All kayaking and camping equipment, including hammocks
  • Professional, local, English-speaking guide
  • Airport transfers

Perfect for:
This is the ideal getaway if you’re seeking fun, sun, nature and adventure!

Need To Know

The following are not included in the trip price:

  • Meals
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance that covers kayaking
  • Tips for your guide (optional)

This trip will run with a minimum of 4 people, and a maximum of 10. Please note, if there are not 4 people booked the trip may be rearranged or cancelled.

Sure can! A lot of people do, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Our Epic Weekends are very social in nature and we’ve seen lots of new friendships born out of them. Expect a mix of solo travelers and very small groups of 2 or 3, all with a shared appreciation of escaping the city for the great outdoors to try something new and meet new people.

This is a great introduction to kayaking, so you don’t need any kayaking experience. Your guide will give you full instructions and a safety briefing at the start. There are ~30 small class II rapids along the way. Class II rapids are fun but not too technically challenging. You’ll just need an average level of fitness to handle ~32km of relaxed paddling over the course of two days.

You will be provided with single or double sit-on-top kayaks to maximize your comfort and security.

You’ll prepare your own food, so you’re free to cook whatever you like! The local supermarket carries everything you might need.

Summer temperatures are very comfortable for kayaking and camping. From April to August temperatures average 20-25 °C during the day but are often even higher. It does cool down at night, so you’ll want to pack a warm layer.

Remember, it all has to be worn, or fit in your 60 litre barrel… - T-shirt, shorts and swim suit (breathable, quick-drying ideally) - Fleece or sweater and dry clothes for evenings - Trainers (to wear on river) - Hiking shoes or sturdy sandals for exploring/evening - Water bottle - Camera - Sun protection (hat, sunglasses, sun block) - Waterproof jacket! (just in case) - Towel - Torch - Food

Optional: - Some money for ice creams - Wash bag (toothbrush etc) - Sleeping bag liner - Anti- Mosquito spray - String/strap to hold on glasses - Any other personal luxuries (e.g. book etc) - Gloves (cycling gloves can help to stop the paddle rubbing)

Start point?
You will be picked up at Nimes Airport. Your transfer will meet all flights scheduled to land by 12:10 or earlier. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Finish point?
You will be dropped off at Nimes Airport. You are free to book any flight that departs after 12:20. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Getting there and away?
Nimes Airport (FNI) is served by frequent, inexpensive flights. You can get any flight that suits you, but make sure they fit the times above to take advantage of the included transfers. We will contact you before you leave to check your arrival and departure plans.

For extra financial protection against unforeseen situations such as erupting Icelandic volcanoes, we recommend you book your flights using a credit card.

We’ve teamed up with the guys at World Nomads to offer insurance designed for adventurous travellers across 140 countries that includes overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. To get yours sorted, click here.

Location

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The Ardèche River is a 125km-long river in south-central France regarded as the Grand Canyon of Europe. Its amazing natural beauty is preserved under UNESCO World Heritage listing. The Ardèche River is flanked by spectacular 300m-high limestone cliffs. The narrow confines limit access to canoeing and kayaking for much of the canyon’s length.

The region gets pretty busy during the summer months but the trip dates offered here provide you with the opportunity to discover this amazing place without the usual crowds.

The highlight is the 32km section known as the Gorges Ardèche, home to the Pont d’Arc, a natural 60m stone arch that spans the river. There are also over 2000 caves in the gorge, and evidence of human habitation in some caves. Next to the Pont d’Arc is the Chauvet Cave which has amazing cave paintings which date back to 32-36,000 years. Wildlife in the canyon is varied and includes the Bonelli’s Eagle, wild boar, green lizards, Egyptian Vultures, wild goats and beaver to name a few.

Start point?
You will be picked up at Nimes Airport. Your transfer will meet all flights scheduled to land by 12:10 or earlier. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Finish point?
You will be dropped off at Nimes Airport. You are free to book any flight that departs after 12:20. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Getting there and away?
Nimes Airport (FNI) is served by frequent, inexpensive flights. You can get any flight that suits you, but make sure they fit the times above to take advantage of the included transfers. We will contact you before you leave to check your arrival and departure plans.

For extra financial protection against unforeseen situations such as erupting Icelandic volcanoes, we recommend you book your flights using a credit card.

What to Expect

Friday: Arrival and camping

Your host will meet you at Nimes airport. Transfer to your riverside campground (1,5 hours) on the edge of Vallon-Pont-d’Arc.

Pitch your tent, relax in the sun, wander down to the river, or explore the local town. Stock up for the weekend and prepare your dinner over the BBQ with your fellow companions for the weekend.

Saturday: Kayaking and camping

Pack your things and cook a tasty camp breakfast. Your local hosts will pick you up and transfer you to the river where your kayaks await.

Get familiar with the equipment and river safety, pack your barrels, and embark on your two day adventure!

Spend the morning paddling the river amid the beautiful canyon landscape. Navigate the first set of fun, splashy rapids, then pull onto shore for a picnic lunch by the Pont d’Arc (the largest natural arch in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage site).

After lunch you’ll continue deeper into the canyon, passing through more rapids, and your guide will also develop your paddling skills and provide you with interesting information about the gorge as you go.

In the evening you’ll arrive at the bivouac campsite in the gorge where you can cook a delicious BBQ dinner, then settle into your tent or your own hammock for a night in the nature reserve. There is an option here for you to walk up to the top of the gorge for spectacular views.

Sunday: Kayaking and Camping

Wake up in time to watch the sunrise with a mug of hot coffee, then fuel up for the day with breakfast.

Spend the whole day paddling down the canyon, navigating fun little rapids, and stopping at all the best swimming and jumping spots.

You’ll finish up in the late afternoon. Your hosts will drive you back to the campsite in Vallon-Pont-d’Arc. Pitch your tent, have a shower and enjoy your last night under French stars.

Monday: Departure?

Wake up, prepare your breakfast, then meet your host for your transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Note: This itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, weather conditions and forecasts, special events, etc.

Accommodation

Your first and last night will be spent camping at 4* International Camping in Vallon-Pont-d’Arc. The campground features private river access, a beautiful beach-like pool, toilets and showers, a small shop and a restaurant/ snack bar. The main town of Vallon-Pont-d’Arc is only a 10 min stroll over the bridge where there is a wide selection of shops, restaurants and cafes at your disposal.

For the second night you’ll stay in the Ardèche Gorge at the bivouac site which is managed by the Nature Reserve. You will be provided with tents but you also have the option of sleeping in a hammock under the stars if the night is clear. The bivouac site has toilets, drinking water and BBQ facilities.

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Dates & Prices

Prices include

  • Accommodation
  • Airport Transfers
  • Equipment
  • Guide
  • Local Transport

Please note: Flights are NOT included and must be purchased separately.

Sorry, no group trips are currently planned,
Special requirements? Get a quote for a custom trip

Sorry, no private trips are currently available for this product. Try a group trip or ask for a quote.


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