France - - Normandy -

Coastal: Brit­tany

Brit­tany is a pop­u­lar sea kayak­ing des­ti­na­tion for good rea­son thanks to its rugged coast­line pep­pered with his­tor­i­cal forts and cas­tles, pris­tine beaches and di­verse wildlife. The Pink Gran­ite coast to the east of Roscoff is a par­tic­u­larly ap­peal­ing, and rel­a­tively gen­tle, area for pad­dling.

Lake: South­ern French Alps

Lac du Sautet is about one hour’s drive south of Greno­ble, with one of its two long fin­gers stretch­ing into the Écrins na­tional park and the other feed­ing into the dra­matic Souloise canyons. The turquoise lake is flanked by tow­er­ing moun­tains and makes a safe, fam­ily-friendly and scenic spot for pad­dling, with kayaks avail­able to rent.

River: the Dor­dogne gorges

Pad­dling down the River Dor­dogne in south-western France is one of life’s sim­ple plea­sures, as it is gen­er­ally tran­quil, with just the oc­ca­sional mini-rapid in spring. The 170-kilo­me­tre stretch from Ar­gen­tat to Mauzac-et-grand-cas­tang is prime pad­dling ter­ri­tory, al­low­ing canoeists of all abil­i­ties to pass châteaux and hon­ey­coloured vil­lages such as La Roque-gageac ( pic­tured above), stop­ping at lit­tle beaches for pic­nics and swims along the way.

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