In southern France the late summer is a wonderful period and offers plenty of opportunities for activities for which the high season may be too hot. Take for example kayaking or canoeing. In July and August it is not always pleasant in the full sun on the water. In September and October the temperature is wonderful to go canoeing or kayaking and enjoying a day on the water. Kayaking is an incredibly popular sport which is often practiced by the local population.
The nice thing is that everyone can do it; you don't need to have any experience. Canoeing and kayaking is a relaxing way to view nature from a different perspective. Although it can be very strenuous, it is also soothing to paddle over a river or at sea and enjoy the silence and the environment. Both for the trained canoeist or kayaker and for families with children it is a fun, exciting activity!
What is the difference between canoeing and kayaking? A canoe is steered with a single-bladed paddle or sting paddle, a kayak with a double-bladed paddle. To speed kayak, you have to exert pressure on both arms, not just on the arm that is in the water. Another difference between a canoe and a kayak is that the deck of the canoe is open and the deck of the kayak is completely closed, with the exception of the seat opening. Most companies where they rent out kayaks and canoes are open until October. The next two locations are really worth a day on the water.
Lac St. Croix is a nice place for canoeing or kayaking. The lake was formed in 1975 by placing a dam in the river Verdon. The azure lake, of which only this color is already worth a visit, has sandy beaches and on this spot the river Verdon is so quiet that you can paddle hundreds of meters without danger. A good place to rent a canoe or kayak is at the town of Moustiers Sainte-Marie, the place where the Verdon is located in Lac St. Croix. If you want to go on the water with children then do it here; the current is not strong and the kids can also swim in the lake or the river.
If you like more action then the Verdon River is the place to go for you. This is located on the other side of Lac St. Croix. A spectacle of steep rocks, winding paths and clear blue water attracts many interested people. There are parts on the Verdon where you can paddle carefree, but those are only short pieces. Most of the water can not be reached by a canoe or kayak due to the danger. The Verdon is not a water where you can quietly paddle and enjoy the environment... It is for the most part whitewater and thus very dangerous. So if you're looking for some excitement, this is the place to be!
If you really want to make a trip you will soon pass difficult passages that are only suitable for the very experienced wild water kayaker. From the town of Castellane, guided trips are organized for which you can register. A very sporty and exciting company, but an experience never to be forgotten!
Perhaps the best way to discover the Lerins islands (St. Marguerite and St. Hoorat) just off the coast of Cannes! There are several companies on the mainland that rent a canoe or kayak with which you can sail to one of the islands in about an hour. The islands themselves are fun to visit. There are many bays for swimming and sunbathing and nice places to picnic or to keep a siesta under the pine trees. Then you paddle back and look back on a great day. This trip is also fun to do with older children.
It goes without saying that canoeing or kayaking around Cap d'Antibes is also one of our favorite activities. Depending on the weather conditions you leave from the west side (Juan les Pins) or the east side (Antibes). After a trip of 2 hours you reach the other side of Cap 'd'Antibes. You paddle along the famous 'chemin des Douaniers' and discover the diversity of Mediterranean trees in and around the impressive gardens of the capital villas or castles.
High limestone cliffs and the presence of waves hitting the edge of the rocks and causing waves, give an adventurous touch to your trip on the water. There are countless natural bays for resting, swimming and enjoying a well-deserved picnic. Are you sporty and do you like an adventurous venture, don't forget to rent a canoe or kayak during your holiday in the south of France for an unforgettable experience!