Kayak and Camp the Ardeche Weekend

4 day, 3 night weekend exploring the Gorges de l’Ardèche. Includes guide, 3 nights camping, equipment and pick up at end. 2 days off work.

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REF: 08872

Kayak and Camp the Ardeche Weekend

4 day, 3 night weekend exploring the Gorges de l’Ardèche. Includes guide, 3 nights camping, equipment and pick up at end. 2 days off work.

  • France
  • July—September

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

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

What to Expect

Friday: Arrival and camping

Arrive at the riverside campsite close to the village of Vallon-Pont-d’Arc, pitch your tent and then relax in the sun, wander down to the river, or explore the local town. Stock up for the weekend at the local supermarket 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, 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 famous 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 as you go. 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 a bivouac site in the middle of the gorge where you can cook a delicious BBQ dinner, then settle into your tent or your own hammock for a night under the stars.

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 then drive you back to the campsite in Vallon-Pont-d’Arc. Pitch your tent, have a shower and enjoy your last night under a French stars.

Monday:

Wake up, prepare your breakfast and wrap things up. From there you can choose to drive back to the city and fly home, or extend your adventure with another night in France. Either way, you’ll end the weekend knowing you made the absolute most of it.

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 on the edge of 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.

Dates & Prices

Prices include

  • Accommodation
  • Equipment
  • Guide
  • Local Transport

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

Large group? Make a private booking
Special requirements? Get a quote for a custom trip

If you can't find a private trip that suits you, try a group trip or ask for a quote.

Optional Extras

Make your life easy. Once you have reserved your space, your host can help you arrange the extras you’ll need. Here are some guide prices which can be confirmed with you during booking.

Local camp site or hotel Payable Before Departure
4* Camping £25.00 Per Person, Per Night
3* Hotel £55.00 Per Person, Per Night
Airport Pick-up & Drop-off Payable Before Departure
Nimes Airport (FNI) Transfer £100.00

Trip Photos

Location

View map

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 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?
Your host will meet you on arrival at the campground in Vallon-Pont-d’Arc. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Finish point?
Your host will drop you off at the campground in Vallon-Pont-d’Arc on the evening of the third day. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Getting there and away?
You can fly into Nimes Airport (FNI), Montpellier Airport (MPL), Marseille Airport (MRS) or Avignon Airport (AVN). All airports are served by regular, inexpensive flights, including nonstop flights from London on easyJet. If you don’t like flying, catch a train (TGV) from London St Pancras to Avignon.

There’s no public transportation from either airport to Vallon-Pont-d’Arc. Rental cars are available from EUR 12/day and offer you the best flexibility. Your host 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are not included in the trip price:

  • Travel to/from Vallon-Pont-d’Arc
  • Meals
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance that covers kayaking
  • Tips for your guide (optional)

This trip will run with a minimum of 2 people, and a maximum of 10. Please note, without 2 people, the trip may not go ahead.

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
- Swimsuit and towel
- Sun protection (hat, sunglasses, sun block)
- Waterproof jacket! (just in case)
- Torch
- Food

Optional:
- Some money for ice creams
- Towel
- 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)

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