Book just the two-day 32km Ardeche river trip.

In Brief...

If you’ve already organised your accommodation, you may just want to book the Ardeche river trip on its own. Therefore, we have two options in this case: Guided and Unguided.

Here at Experience Ardeche we specialise in two-day guided river trips. We believe this is the best way to get the most out of the Ardeche Gorge and all it has to offer. Not only will your guide ensure your safety throughout the trip, but they will also show you hidden gems within the Gorge throughout the two days: underground caves, ancient ruins, spring water outlets and rock jumps, to name a few. Our guides have been living and breathing the Gorge for the past twenty years. We’re all very passionate about sharing this knowledge and experience with others. So, please feel free to quiz your guide on the history of the Gorge or it’s wildlife. We’re there to make your river trip as fun and as interesting as we possibly can.

However, we recognise that some clients prefer to do the river trip without a guide (usually clients with previous paddling experience and/or experience of the Gorge). Therefore, we offer a two-day unguided trip too.

If you would like to include accommodation with your booking, please see our “Gorge Getaway” short break, our 7 night River Package, or contact us with your Bespoke requirements.

2 DAY / 1 NIGHT
APRIL – SEPTEMBER
SUITABLE FOR:
suitable for couples
Couples
suitable for families (7yrs+)
Family
suitable for groups
Groups

For groups of 8+, or to create a bespoke booking, please get in touch with your requirements

More Information...

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What’s Included

UNGUIDED river trip

All river equipment for both days
Includes: sit-on-top kayaks (singles or doubles), paddles, buoyancy aids & waterproof barrels
Option to include overnight bivouac tickets if required (national park fees)
Option to include camping equipment for the overnight camp (bivouac)

For unguided river trips the minimum age is 12yrs old

GUIDED river trip

All river equipment for both days
Includes: sit-on-top kayaks (singles or doubles), paddles, buoyancy aids & waterproof barrels
Bivouac tickets included (national park fees)
Camping equipment for the overnight camp
Includes: tents (based on 2 sharing), sleeping bags, self-inflating ground mats
Photos from your river trip (provided FREE of charge)
Small group sizes (max 10 per trip)

For guided river trips the minimum age is 7yrs old

What’s NOT Included

Travel to/from the Ardeche
Food & drink
Transport to activity locations

The Ardeche is a Grade 2 river. The trip itself covers 32km – a perfect balance of fun rapids (30 in total) and peaceful flat sections. The top section of the river (where your trip begins) takes you from Vallon down towards the world famous Pont d’Arc (the largest natural arch in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site). The next 24km take you through the Gorges de l’Ardeche nature reserve with spectacular 1000ft cliffs towering above you. The trip finishes in the pretty town of St. Martin de l’Ardeche, where you’ll be collected and driven back to Vallon.

The river trip is best experienced over two days and accompanied by one of our experienced guides. We want you to relax, have fun and enjoy the spectacular environment without worrying about equipment, timings or tricky looking rapids. Our highly qualified guides are there to ensure your safety as well as your enjoyment throughout the trip and will help you to get the most from your experience. If you’re unsure about whether or not to include the guide, we have created a “Why have a guide?” page to help you decide.

Select an option below for more details

The 2 day GUIDED river trip - min age 7yrs

This fully immersive experience is the perfect introduction to white water, allowing you to enjoy all the river has to offer at a relaxed and leisurely pace.

Day 1

We meet at 10.30am in Vallon Pont d’Arc on day one of the river trip. After a brief introduction, you’re straight into your boat and onto the river. We begin by spending some time on the flat water practicing paddling techniques and generally familiarising ourselves with the boat.  We then make our way along the river towards the Pont d’Arc, playing on a few fun rapids as we go. Generally we stop for lunch at around 1pm on a small beach near the Pont d’Arc – it’s the perfect spot to relax, take in the scenery and watch fellow paddlers negotiate the rapids (it’s better than television, we promise you!).

In the afternoon we continue our journey into the Gorge. In the summer months, your guide will get the timings just right so that you’re away from the crowds as much as possible. As a result this enables you to experience having the Gorge all to yourself – it’s quite an amazing feeling. We typically arrive at the bivouac site – in the heart of the nature reserve – by around 6pm. After putting up tents we will gather at the BBQ to wind down, cook some food and enjoy the spectacular night sky (seriously, the sky is BIG in the Ardèche!) and hopefully catch sight of the wild boar as they do their rounds.

Day 2

On the second day, after breakfast, we continue our journey through the Gorge. We will navigate the remaining rapids, stopping for some rock jumps or cave explorations whenever you feel the urge! After the river trip, we will be taken by bus back to the starting point, arriving in Vallon by around 6.30pm.

Your guide will be with you for the entire trip and is there to help you whatever your level or previous experience. Whether it’s your first time in a kayak or whether you’re a seasoned paddler, your safety and enjoyment is our primary concern. We’ll do everything we can to ensure your experience of the Ardeche is one that you’ll remember with a smile for years to come.

The 2 day UNGUIDED river trip - min age 12yrs

With unguided river trips, you go directly to the reception of the canoe hire company where your booking information will be ready and waiting for you. The canoe company will give you your equipment, provide a short briefing and then send you on your way. You will be responsible for your own safety during the descent. It is also your responsibility to ensure that you arrive at the correct bivouac site (if you are camping overnight) and reach the end of the river by the required time in order to catch the return coach.

We do not recommend this option for people with limited river experience or with children, especially during off-peak season when the water levels are higher. Remember, the Ardeche is a Grade 2 river consisting of 30 rapids so there are some inherent dangers/risks associated with it.

Bivouac included: (16km+16km)

You can start your trip whenever you like, from 8:30am onwards. After passing the Pont d’Arc (a great place to stop for some lunch), you will head into the Gorge. You should aim to arrive at the bivouac site by around 6pm. You should aim to arrive at the bivouac site by around 6pm.  After pulling the boats onto the beach, walk through to the main camping area and settle in for the evening. The bivouac site has a barbecue area where you can prepare your food. There are also basic shower and toilet facilities.

The second day will take about the same amount of time as the first. You should aim to leave the bivouac site by around 10-10:30am. We recommend that you reach the nudist beach (Plage des Templiers/ Cathedral Rock) by lunchtime to avoid having to rush the last section of the river. You must arrive at the finish point between 4pm and 5pm. There will be a bus waiting for you to take you back to Vallon. The transfer takes around one hour.

Bivouac NOT included: (8km+24km)

With this option, the river trip will need to be broken down into an 8km day and a 24km day. The 8km trip is really a half-day activity and includes three rapids and the Pont d’Arc. It takes around two hours to paddle 8km. However, you will have up to four hours to spend on the river, so we recommend you make the most of this time – perhaps have a picnic by the Pont d’Arc, or just relax and enjoy the scenery.

You can start the 8km trip anytime before 3pm. When you arrive at the canoe hire company they will tell you what time you need to reach the finish point. This is where the coach/minibus will be waiting to take you back to Vallon.

The 24km day is very different and includes around 23 rapids and requires approximately six hours of paddling time to complete. You will need to start this day by 9am so as to give yourself time to enjoy the river, have lunch and go for a couple of swims. You will need to reach the end of the river by 4-5pm, where you will be collected and taken back to Vallon. The transfer time is approximately one hour.

Please note the 24km trip may be a bit too demanding for some during the summer months (July/August) when water level is low and the temperature is high.

The boats

The boats we use are sit-on-top kayaks and are available in singles or doubles. They are well designed to help protect you on the rapids and greatly reduce any chance of entrapment. The specific design of the boats allows the waterproof barrel to be securely attached and the boats are self-emptying should you capsize. Buoyancy aids, helmets (if requested), paddles, 55l barrels (1 per person) and boats are all included in the price.

We can also provide guided trips in traditional open canoes but some prior canoeing experience is required. Please contact us to check availability as we have a limited number of boats.

The overnight 'bivouac' camp

To really enhance your river trip experience, nothing beats sleeping under the stars surrounded by the sights and sounds of the Gorge. Don’t worry though, although quite basic, the bivouac site does have facilities such as toilets, showers, a BBQ site (with charcoal provided) and access to drinking water.

Camping equipment is included with GUIDED river trips and can be added to your booking with UNGUIDED trips, if required. Your camping equipment will be given to you on arrival for the river trip. It will need to go in the waterproof barrels provided along with anything else you wish to take with you (spare clothes, food etc.).

*Please note that alcohol is not allowed at the bivouac site
*Wild camping is strictly prohibited and enforced with heavy fines

Ardeche river map

Ardeche river map

*Please note that alcohol is not allowed at the bivouac site
*Wild camping is strictly prohibited and enforced by the SGGA with heavy fines

River Trip start location

This is the location of the starting place for our river trips. There is a large, secure car park where you can leave your vehicle for both days whilst on the river. You will be returned here after your trip.

To view prices, please select the option required during low or high season.

April / May / June / September

UNGUIDED river trip

£60 per person

Optional extras:
Bivouac tickets £10 per person
2 person tent £20 per tent
Hammock £5 per hammock
Sleeping bags £5 per bag
Self-inflating ground mats £5 per mat

GUIDED river trip

£145 per person

Includes:
Bivouac tickets
All camping equipment required
Photos from your river trip

July / August

UNGUIDED river trip

£70 per person

Optional extras:
Bivouac tickets £10 per person
2 person tent £20 per tent
Hammock £5 per hammock
Sleeping bags £5 per bag
Self-inflating ground mats £5 per mat

GUIDED river trip

£155 per person

Includes:
Bivouac tickets
All camping equipment required
Photos from your river trip

ITINERARY - River Trip Only

Day 1

arrival, river trip, overnight camp* (*optional for unguided trips)

Day 2

river trip, departure

Select Your 2 Day River Trip...

...to CHECK AVAILABILITY and BOOK your holiday online

Please note:  We recommend that clients with children, and those with limited experience, join one of our GUIDED river trips

For groups of 8+, or if you want to create a bespoke booking, please get in touch with your requirements

Other holiday options

SHORT BREAKS

Our short breaks include the 2 day guided river trip with overnight camp plus as many nights accommodation as required

RIVER PACKAGE

Our River Package include 7 nights accommodation plus the 2 day guided river trip with overnight camp

COURSES & TRAINING

We have a 5 day Ardeche canoe expedition and a 3 day canoe development course currently available