Canoeing and Kayaking Holidays in Europe

Canoeing and kayaking holidays in Europe

Parcs, places, rivers and gorges where you can row your cares away!

Let’s get one thing cleared up straight away - in case you were (like we were once) afraid to ask. What’s the difference between a kayak and a canoe? We’re awfully glad you asked …

In a kayak, you’re seated and have a double-bladed paddle pulling the blade through the water on alternate sides to move forward. In a canoe, you usually kneel, and use a single-bladed paddle to propel the boat forward.

Got that? Good. What’s best? That’s really up to you.

Best regions for canoeing or kayaking holidays

Some of our destinations are especially great as a base for aquatic adventures. So take a look at just a few of our recommendations, and start planning a summer of ascents!

Canoeing and kayaking holidays in the Ardeche

The Ardèche is most famous for the wild river that runs through its limestone terrain, carving out spectacular gorges en route. Action packed and adrenaline-fuelled or peaceful and placid - whatever’s on your holiday wishlist, you can’t miss a paddle under the magnificent Pont d’Arc, a natural limestone bridge that spans the river near the head of the gorge.

Explore Ardèche ›
Canoeing and kayaking holidays in the Dordogne

The stunning Dordogne river snakes its way through some of France’s most sublime country, with its pretty sandstone villages, towering gorges and river beaches. Awarded a Unesco Biosphere Reserve for its outstanding setting and heritage, this is a wonderful spot to get on the water.

Explore The Dordogne ›
Canoeing and kayaking holidays in the Loire

They call the Loire France’s last ‘wild river’ and there are certainly stretches of the sublime river that feel wonderfully removed from the modern world. Well set up for kayak and canoe adventures, the Loire is a great choice for families who want to introduce children to the wonders of the sport for the first time.

Explore The Loire ›
Canoeing and kayaking holidays in Brittany

Whether kayaking around Brittany’s gnarled and cove-studded coast, or exploring the wide, beautiful river estuaries, this northern France region is a great option for more confident kayakers.

Explore Brittany ›
Canoeing and kayaking holidays in the French Riviera and Provence

Enjoy a sunny trip along the ‘Calanques’ - narrow, steep-walled Mediterranean inlets with shimmering aquamarine waters, and warm, inviting beaches. Take a tour along the coast with a guide and stop for lunch in a secret cove along the way.

Explore Riviera & Provence ›
Canoeing and kayaking holidays in Lake Garda

Can there be a more welcoming destination for those who love to mess about on the water? The Italian Lakes - especially Lake Garda and Lake Idro - offer easy access to placid, warm and crystal clear waters.

Explore Lake Garda & Lake Idro ›

Canoe and Kayak-friendly parcs selected by us

You can enjoy a kayak or canoe adventure either on parc, or close by. Many of our parcs alongside lakes, rivers and the coast offer lessons and craft hire, making it easy for you to take to the water.

On parc canoeing/kayaking:

* GE019: Organised excursions in nearby creeks, with minibus pickup from parc

** WM011: Kayak excursions along the coast arranged by the parc

Canoe hire nearby: