Spend a whole week exploring the rivers and rapids of the Southern French Alps, and improve your kayaking skills on this Intermediate White Water Kayaking trip. The region is renowned worldwide for its white water, with kayakers from all over the globe coming here to get a taste of some alpine adventure! Against the dramatic background of impressive mountainous scenery, you’ll spend the week paddling through clear alpine waters in the sunshine, surrounded by like-minded paddlers and with expert instructors on hand to help you improve and reach your full kayaking potential.
Your week begins with an intensive session on a slalom course, followed by some relatively easy grade II-III rapids on the Drac River. This gentle start is the perfect chance for you to brush up on your paddling skills, and dust away any kayaking cobwebs! After your first session, your instructor will plan an itinerary that suits your abilities, and also makes the most of all the different local rivers and the best ‘play spots’. You’ll enjoy five days of fun and exhilarating white water kayaking (three half days and two full days), and can expect to paddle the Drac, Severaisse, Ubaye, Durance and perhaps even La Bonne. This trip is a great way to explore the rivers of the Southern Alps, and also to drink in the stunning alpine scenery that surrounds you!
(Please note that the itinerary listed below is an example, and may be adapted depending on conditions and the groups' needs.)
It’s widely accepted that kayaking, along with canoeing, is a fairly low-impact activity in terms of the natural environment. However, Undiscovered Alps still recognise that it’s vital that they (and all paddlers in general) are aware of their responsibility in ensuring that alpine and river habitats are protected and preserved. One of the main potential impacts of kayaking is riverbank erosion at ‘get in’ and ‘get out’ points. To try and mitigate this potentially negative impact of their operations, Undiscovered Alps coordinate set put-ins and put-outs with other companies operating in the area, to minimise any erosion at one particular localised point.
As well as protecting the natural environment, Undiscovered Alps strives to support local communities too. The company only uses local kayaking and rafting companies to run their courses, to ensure that any money brought into the area from outside stays within the local community. Similarly, all of their chosen accommodations are locally owned and run; this helps to make sure that the benefits of tourism are felt in the destination community itself. Agriculture is another key industry in this area of the Alps, and Undiscovered Alps works closely with the Tourist Office to ensure that tourism doesn’t negatively impact local agricultural practices.
Arrival: After you’ve settled in to your accommodation, Undiscovered Alps’ staff will meet you to go over the itinerary and answer any questions you might have. Later, you can get to know the rest of your group over a drink, or spend some time exploring Ancelle.
Intensive skills session: Head to the nearby grade II-III slalom course, where you’ll practice your kayaking skills. Play in the stoppers, surf, do tricks and work on your strokes – this will help your instructor to get an idea of your skill level, and plan the rest of the week accordingly. It’s also a great chance for you to clear away any kayaking cobwebs!
The River Drac: The main river of the Champsaur Valley, the River Drac is generally a grade II-III river, but can get up to grade IV in high water. In normal conditions, the descent is long and fairly straightforward, with some easy rollercoaster paddling and the occasional stopper to play on. This wide valley is surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery, making it the perfect place to get a taste of alpine paddling.
The Severaisse River: This fast alpine river drains many of the glaciers of the Ecrins National Park and, although relatively small, keeps its levels through to August. Depending on whether you want to stick to grade III rapids, or challenge yourself with some grade IV rapids, there are different options for ‘get ins’ and ‘get outs’. Your instructor will help you decide, based on your ability, what’s right for you. Whichever you choose, you’ll be rewarded with some spectacular alpine scenery, with huge mountains towering all around you.
High Ropes Adventure: Take a break from kayaking, and try something totally different, on a High Ropes Adventure Course! Although not compulsory, this activity is a fun way to challenge yourself on your day off from kayaking. Enjoy a morning of fun in the treetops or, if this activity just isn’t for you, why not go for a leisurely stroll around the village?
The Durance River: One of France’s classic white-water rivers, the Durance has the highest volume of any river in the country. Its waters descend from the highest peaks in the Southern Alps, with wave after wave winding through an open valley. A dream for kayakers of all levels (there are several choices of sections, from grade II-V), this river is also home to one of Europe’s most famous play spots, the Rabioux!
Ubaye, Guil or La Bonne: As you come towards the end of your kayaking adventure, both you and your guides will have a very good idea of your abilities. They’ll advise you which river is best for you to choose, and end your week on a real high! Options range from the nearby Drac Blanc (grade III+) and the Soulloise (grade IV-V) to the Bonne (grade III-V) and the Guil (grade III-V), a bit further afield!
Return home: Your week of kayaking in the French Alps is over, so bid the rivers and mountains a fond ‘bientot’ – until next time!
- The rate shown is a guide 'from' price per person (based on the camping option with two sharing a pitch)
- Other accommodation options (including a hotel upgrade) are available, with the price depending on accommodation choice
- Click 'Ask a Question' up above to speak to the operator directly about this tour's availability, accommodation options, departure dates and rates
- Extra activities (including canyoning, rock climbing and more) can be added on during free afternoons or mornings
- It's also possible to extend your stay - just click 'Ask a Question' for your tailor-made quote!
- 7 nights accommodation in a choice of half board in a hotel or camping accommodation
- 5 white water kayaking sessions on a variety of rivers with fully qualified and experienced kayak instructors
- All equipment (kayaks, paddles, wetsuits, helmets, buoyancy aids). You can bring your own if you prefer.
- 1 high ropes adventure - a chance to dry out on your kayak free day and test your head for heights in the trees!
- Transport to and from the kayaking sessions and high ropes adventure
- Anything else not mentioned in inclusions