Canoeing in the Ardèche
The Ardèche, a canoeing paradise
The Ardèche is a dream territory for nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts and water sports enthusiasts, and is particularly well known for its canoeing spots.
If the descent of the gorges is of course mythical, many other sites can be discovered by canoe, during quiet strolls or white water rafting.
Canoeing is of course widespread on the Ardèche river, but also on the Chassezac, the Beaume, the Eyrieux or the Fontolière.
In high season, if you wish to navigate the Ardèche avoiding the tourist influx in the gorges, you can move away from the river by booking a canoe near the village of Assions or at Lanas, near the village of Vogüé.
In Les Vans, it is also possible to take advantage of the very calm expanse of the Chassezac waterway to paddle with the family or to learn to canoe before tackling the rapids of the Ardèche gorges.
Surrounded by high cliffs and greenery, the site is like the other canoeing spots in the Ardèche remarkable for its wilderness setting.
The sunny climate of the Ardèche is particularly favourable for water sports activities such as canoeing, which can be enjoyed very early in the season.
Which canoe descent of the Ardèche gorges to choose?
From Ruoms to Vallon Pont d’Arc via Balazuc, several departure points are available for canoeing down the Ardèche.
Hirers offer courses of different lengths and levels, accompanied, unaccompanied or semi-accompanied, to suit both beginners and experienced paddlers, families with children and sporty adults.
The small descents
Upstream from the Pont d’Arc, 6 km descents for about 2 hours of navigation, from Voguë to Balazuc or from Balazuc to Pradons. From Vallon Pont d’Arc, descents of 7 or 1h30 to 2h30, ideal if you are a beginner, if you are with your family or if you want to enjoy canoeing without getting too tired.
The classic descents
Descents of 12 to 14 km for about 2h30 to 3h30 on the water, i.e. half a day max, between Balazuc and Ruoms or from Vallon Pont d’Arc.
The big descents
Upstream of the Pont d’Arc, there are 20 km descents, for 5h30 or more of navigation, between Voguë and Ruoms.
With passage under the arch of Pont d’Arc, from Vallon Pont d’Arc, the entire nature reserve of the Ardèche gorges over 24 or 32 km during a whole day, to be reserved for the most athletic.
You can choose the same descents in a bivouac version, with a rhythm of 6 to 7 hours of navigation per day over two days, ideal if you are already at ease with canoeing and know your limits well.
Where to rent a canoe in the Ardèche near the camping?
27 minutes from Les Ranchisses, Argonautes offers a wide choice of routes from 6 to 19 km from Vogüé, and from 6 to 62 km (with bivouac) from Ruoms.
24 minutes from Les Ranchisses, Ardèche Aventure offers a choice of 3 courses of 4.2 km between Vogüé and Saint-Maurice, 13 km between Vogüé and Pradons, and 17 km between Vogüé and Ruoms.
26 minutes from Ranchisses, Easy River offers 7 canoe circuits in exceptional landscapes. The Gens cirque over 6 km, Balazuc-Vieil Audon over 14 km, Pont d’Arc over 12 km and over 43 km or 47 km with bivouac, Voguë-Ruoms upstream of the gorges over 18 km, and Voguë-Saint-Martin d’Ardèche over 61 km, i.e. 3 days with bivouac.
In Vallon Pont d’Arc, less than 40 minutes from Les Ranchisses, Aventure Canoës offers courses with passage under the Pont d’Arc from 10 euros. 5 formulas including the 8 km mini, the 13 km descent, the 24 km, the 32 km day trip and the 32 km with bivouac.