10 Amazing Places for Kayaking in France

Kayaking in France

Kayaking is a perfect way to explore different places that you cannot reach, typically using a car or any other form of transport. This popular sport has gained massive popularity across Europe and one of the best destinations to go kayaking in France. France has multiple kayaking destinations, and you can visit these top places. Besides, they do offer not only kayaking but also other watersports and fishing. The exquisite mountainous scenery and beautiful clear lake water make it a perfect spot for adventure and relaxation. The southern part of France is famous for rafting and kayaking, and you can find unique places where you can water raft or kayak. It is popular to see many tourists visiting France for kayaking because of its versatility and rich natural environment. 

There are a lot of things that you can learn in France when you visit the country. The natural landmarks and amazing coastlines make it a perfect destination for canoeing and kayaking. Whether you are going to kayak for the first time or you are an experienced kayaker, there are certain features that you should consider for you to have a fantastic trip.   

You first need to understand the category of water that you want to go kayaking, the season, and your goals for your vacation. Water levels vary throughout the year depending on the prevailing season. In addition, the temperatures fluctuate as well, and this can be pretty challenging to 

What to consider when going kayaking in France


It is very important that you choose a location where you can get more places to enjoy your kayaking activities. Choose a route that is suitable for your vacation objectives. It is also vital that you consider the local guidelines on the safety and the timing of your kayaking. It is always good to go kayaking in numbers; this way, it provides a better safety net if you experience difficulty while kayaking in a problematic location. It is not recommended for anyone to go kayaking in unfamiliar territory alone. 

Further reading: Majestic lakes of France

Select the perfect tidal window

When it comes to kayaking, everything is tied to the tidal window. You cannot go kayaking if you do not understand the tidal windows in your location. Knowing this is important because it will determine whether you will paddle along with the current or against the current. It is better to have all the necessary information about the tidal window to prepare adequately for your kayaking. 


One of the main challenges that many people face is rigid and follow their plans to the latter even if it is working against them. The most important thing that you can learn during your trip is to be flexible. Weather changes and restrictions are some of the things that you should consider, and in case any of those changes, then it would be prudent for you to change as well.

Prepare the right accommodation

If you are going to kayak in France, you must find the right place to use it as a central location. When you are well prepared, you will enjoy your time in France. Some shops rent kayaking equipment, and you can rent them if you do not carry your equipment.

You can choose the coastal locations, which will make your travel more accessible as you get to the most beautiful kayaking locations in the region. Kayaking is an excellent experience, and you can explore the islands and natural coastal rivers. Here are some of the top destinations that you should visit and kayak in France. 

Lochrist White Water Centre

This is one of the best locations to go kayaking because it is strategically positioned on standing stones and rocks. When you kayak in this location, you can navigate the waters down the course and raise back up again using the conveyor belt.

It is a perfect destination that you can learn kayaking as well as explore the best scenery.

Kayak at The Serre Poncon Lake

Serre Poncon Lake

This is one of the largest manmade lakes in the western France and it a perfect destination where you can enjoy kayaking activities.

The beautiful turquoise waters and over eighty kilometers of shoreline and coves and creeks with an exceptional mountain backdrop make it a perfect location to kayak. Besides, you can enjoy other water sporting activities.

Lake St. Croix 

This is located in southern France, and it is an ideal location where you can go enjoy canoeing and kayaking. The lake was formed in the 70s, and the azure color makes it a perfect place where you can relax and unwind.

The sandy beaches and a quiet turquoise lake mean that you can paddle around the lake without significant risk. You can rent a kayak, and if you want to go swimming, then this lake is the right place. 

Lake du Sautet

This lake is situated in northern France, and it an artificial lake with deep blue water and a dramatic mountain backdrop. It is less commercialized, which means that you can have more fun around the lake than in any other region. You can cover half of the lake in a single day.

There is a famous gorge, and you can kayak through the impressive cliffs and enjoy the height drop. Let your imagination run free and explore the region with outstanding natural features, and kayaking in this place is something that you have to do when you visit France.

Kayak at The Gardon

This river is one of the best kayaking locations as it runs through amazing landscapes and scenery. You are in close contact with nature, and you can kayak in this location with ease.

There is less human traffic, and therefore wildlife thrives in this location. The cascading rapids make your kayaking experience more thrilling, and you can pass through rocks and boulders as you go along the river. 

The Dordogne


The Dordogne is a famous river for canoeing and kayaking. It runs through Beynac, Agent, Quercy, and lastly, Perigord. There are cliffs and gorges along the river, and you can kayak over fifty meters inside the caves in the river. The river has a rich history because it was helpful during the wars in this region.

The length of the river means that you can kayak for more kilometers without any significant risk. This place is more popular with families, and if you want your family to enjoy it, this is the perfect location. You can break your trip and explore the fantastic river beaches along the main river.

The Ardeche

This river is located Ardeche region in France, and it is famous for its exquisite gorges along the river before its endpoint. The canyon covers a distance of twenty-six kilometers, and there is so much that you can experience in this area. Along the river, you will find rapids that will spice up your experience as the trip is really adventurous, and you should take great care.

You can choose a time when the number of people in the area is not large. There are plenty of places along the way where you can break and enjoy a meal as you continue with your exploration activities. You can handle the descent within a day. However, you should ensure that you begin early. 

Kayak at Brittany’s Coastline 

Brittany’s Coastline 

Brittany’s coastline has numerous spots where you can enjoy kayaking and canoeing regions where you can have the time of your life around the region. Take your time to explore what a fantastic country France is as you get to check the beast coastline in Europe. You must check the tidal range. Along this coastline, there is an expanse of water that you can kayak.

Apart from this, there are beautiful islands that you can explore and see how wonderful nature is, the tide in this location can reach eight knots. This is a high tidal force, which means you need to be a solid kayaker to go through such areas.

Kayaking in River Tarn

River Tarn is one of the famous locations for kayaking because it provides a thrilling experience to explore the massifs and gorges that line up the river. The most scenic locations are from Les Vignes to Ste-Enimie. There are medieval buildings beneath the abbey, and you can check out the history of the region as you continue with your kayaking trip.

There are villages and hamlets along the river, and you can take a break from kayaking and replenish your supplies or get some food. Tarn region is best if you want to kayak as well as see wildlife.                                                                                     


The Bordeaux region is not only for wines and football. This location is also a perfect place to and kayak. You have an opportunity to kayak in the most pristine areas as you enjoy the wine tasting activities popular there. The rivers in Bordeaux are usually calm, and you can avoid the rapids if you do not want to try anything complicated.

p.s. If you are staying in Bordeaux, don’t forget to explore the stunning beaches around Bordeaux. Plenty of amazing things to do there.

You can hire a kayak in one of the shops around the area. There are usually wine tasting tours, and you can join a tour and kayak at the same time.

Have you tried kayaking in France? What’s your favorite place? Share your thoughts below.

Aurimas Bio

Hi there! I’m Aurimas, a man behind Go Look Explore. I’m passionate about hiking, exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations, and everything outdoors related. Let’s connect.