River Ardeche, France
Posted by geroberts
Set out from the town of Vallon Pont d'Arc (so called after the spectacular limestone arch that spans the river) for a 30 kilometre paddle in an open-top Canadian canoe that will take you through the Ardeche gorges, awesome 300 metre high limestone cliffs punctuated by pebble beaches and rock shelves for picnicking. Canoes and kayaks can be rented from dozens of river companies, make sure to rent helmets and PFDs (especially for children) as the trip will take you through two short sets of rapids although nothing that cannot be walked around. You can also rent 'river barrels' to store camping equipment, food and spare clothing.
The scenery is magical and the air thick with the scent of wild rosemary and lavender. The gorge is also home to some astonishing cave systems some of which contain the Neolithic footprints of cave dwellers (although their location remains a secret). Look carefully and you'll spot the occasional copper pipe jutting from the cliff face from which gushes icy cold spring water, perfect for refilling water bottles. The river gets busy in summer and although park rangers restrict the amount of people making the descent, it's best appreciated when quiet, before or after the French holidays. Your trip will end at the Mediaeval town of Saint-Martin-d'Ardèche where you can reward yourself with some great ice-cream of the Monsieur Whippy variety.www.aventure-canoes.fr
________________________________________________________________Rver Herault, south of France
Posted by swalker
We love camping at Domaine D'anglas in the Herault Gorge, 20km from the French Mediterranean coast. You camp among trees by the side of the river Herault and can sunbathe and swim yards from the tent. The campsite is also an organic vineyard, and in the evening we buy chilled fresh rose on tap to take back and drink by the river. Kayaks can be hired from many operators around nearby Granges; even in August we have not needed to book more than a day ahead for this. The grade two river flows gently through a scenic gorge, past a medieval village and a ruined mill; a few rapids make sure you don't relax too much. If you bring your own kayaks and experience, you can have the picturesque five km of narrow, white gorge ending at the Pont du Diable almost to yourself. All of the grade four drops were easily inspected and portaged when we paddled this section at low, summer levels. The Pont du Diable, an 11th century bridge, is an excellent swimming spot and next to Saint Guilhem le Desert - a world Heritage Site and one of the most beautiful medieval villages in Europe.www.camping-anglas.com/
Nearest Station/Airport 45 mins in Montpelier
________________________________________________________________River Danube, Europe
Posted by nogoodnamesleft
For a kayaking holiday, the Tour International Danubien is one of the most amazing kayak or canoe trips in the world. It goes from Ingolstadt all the way to the Black Sea, but you can join for short stages if you don't have the three months it takes for the whole trip. Lovely warm water, fantastic people (both fellow paddlers and locals), interesting cultures, nice beaches and a fascinating history of the event itself are all part of the attraction. The difficulty of the kayaking is not great, although you need a fair amount of endurance. And you have to get up pretty early in the morning every day in order to make a start on your journey. All kinds of people do it, including some family groups.www.tour-international-danubien.org/
Posted by LucyRM
This canoe ride is really exhilarating. A fantastic feature of Slovakia's Pieniny National Park is the 10km-long gorge. Canoes and traditional rafts (called plt') sail past narrow limestone cliffs and get up quite a speed. Rafters dressed in traditional Goral (the local mountain people) costume give talks on the surrounding sights, flora and fauna. The Polish peak of Trzy Korony (Three Crowns) looms like chunks of white Toblerone. En route there is plenty of opportunity to marvel at the local flora and fauna in spectacular, unspoilt and relatively undiscovered scenery. A gem.
Rafts and canoes usually set off from near Cerveny Klastor (Red Monastery), a fascinating museum in itself.www.rafting-pieniny.sk
________________________________________________________________Osta Stugby, Sweden
Posted by ABielinski
Färnebofjärdens National Park in Sweden is a fantastic place for family canoeing. It sits on the Dalälven River at the conjunction of Västmanland, Dalarna and Gävleborg counties. The park covers an area of 10,100 hectares, of which 4,110 hectares consist of water – lake or stream. The rest is a mixture of broadleaved and coniferous woodland and mire. Because of its geographical position in Sweden it has one of the highest diversities of bird species in the country and elk (moose), beaver, otter, bear and lynx are also found here.
We visited in July 2006 and stayed at Osta Stugby – the ‘camp’ consists of 40 modern cabins nestled among trees close to the waterside. The cabins were large and comfortable - three bedrooms and a combined kitchen and living room, and well equipped with a shower, bathroom, refrigerator and a stove with an oven. Each cabin had a little terrace area and there is space for parking a car. The beach by the camp was brilliant – very shallow water for the most part so very safe for our children then aged two and six. There are loads of places to discover by canoe and plenty of places to put a canoe into the water.
We took our own canoe but you can hire canoes from the camp, as well as small motor boats and bikes. The shop on the site was very small, but had most basics and there were plenty of villages around with larger shops for stocking up with food etc.
I understand that there are several cabins in the National Park for rent as well now. For more information contact naturum, 0291-47 10 40.
We would have visited again, but DFDS unfortunately closed the direct route from Newcastle to Sweden, followed by the Norway route.
Östa Stugby, S-740 45 Tärnsjö, Sweden
tel: +46-292 - 430 04, fax: +46-292 - 431 37,
e-mail: email@example.com, URL: www.stugby.com
________________________________________________________________Patara Bay, Turkey
Posted by SydneyKidney
It was the most perfect canoe ever - the owners of St Nicholas Pension, Patara take you and your canoes up into the mountainous interior and drop you off to the spend the whole day canoeing back down to the stunning coast with beautiful sand dunes and ruins (it's where Father Christmas was born by the way!) The owners also meet you for a picnic lunch half-way down. There's mountain backdrop scenery, turtles, martins swooping into riverbank nests and some not too hair-raising white-water bits. A friend and I went some years ago and still rave about.
The following website has everything - info about St.Nicholas Pension, excursions and how to get there - www.stnicholaspensionpatara.com
________________________________________________________________River Spey, Scotland
Descend the Spey from Loch Insh to the sea at Spey bay over 4 days. Canoes can be hired from Loch Insh watersports www.lochinsh.com and other companies. The river environment is unspoilt wilderness crossed by a succession of beautifully engineered bridges and occasionally touching a granite distillery town. The Spey starts slow and easy at Loch Insh and becomes faster and more challenging towards the sea. There is a chance to hone your skills before hitting the ‘Washing Machine’ (grade 2) on day 3 or the multiple grade 1 rapids on day 4. We wild camped at various semi official sites. There are rights of access to canoes on the Spey thanks to the historical transport of timber. Fishermen are tolerant and generally friendly. www.speydescent.com
The Spean Valley, Scotland
Posted by sonicslice
Àite Cruinnichidh is a hostel on the outskirts of Roy Bridge in the Spean Valley, a short drive out of Fort William.
It's a fantastic kayaking destination for people who are more adventurous. Tere are a large number of fantastic white water rivers nearby at a range of grades from 2/3 upwards. The Roy, the Upper Spean and the Arkaig are almost on the doorstep. For those in need of an introduction there are a number of guiding companies who operate locally and if the weather is not right for kayaking there are a host of other activities in the area to entertain you.
The hostel is family run and the owners are always welcoming. They have fantastic drying facilities – very important for a kayaking holiday - and a good knowledge of the area. It also sports a sauna, which is a great way to unwind of an evening.
Starting at £12 a night, if you are looking for a cheap base for a fantastic white water kayaking holiday then this a great place to start, either for a small or larger group of people.www.highland-hostel.co.uk/
Train Station: Roy Bridge
Phone: 01397 712315