Southern France River Trip: May and June 2012

The "Pont d'arc" on the Ardèche River

Richard Carrier, a guide who runs some of our Chilean Lakes District kayaking and rafting trips, is a native of southern France. Richard moved to Puerto Varas, Chile in 1998, but every year he returns to his homeland during the river season to run trips that go down three well-known French rivers: the Ardèche, the Allier and the Drôme.

Paddling the Ardèche is extremely popular, and this trip allows participants to experience an amazing river just before the peak season and the large crowds.

The itinerary begins and ends in Marseilles, giving trip participants a chance to get a healthy dose of Mediterranean sun. With a combination of southern French hospitality, scenic rivers, limestone cliffs, fine wines,  great food, and overnights in farmhouses and small inns, this trip is ideal for river enthusiasts who would like to experience Provençal French culture.

This trip includes 6 days of paddling in canoes, 2 days of hiking, and visits to villages and wine country.

Highlights of the trip include:

  • The “Pont d’Arc” on the Ardèche: an impressive natural limestone arch
  • Paddling on the Drôme river in the Alps
  • Hiking and/ or swimming in the Calanques, amazing limestone cliffs along the Mediterranean near Marseilles
  • A visit to “Châteauneuf du Pape,” one of the best wine regions in the Rhône valley
  • Historic French villages
  • The mountains in the Massif Central of Auvergne
  • French food
  • Overnights in small inns and authentic farmhouses

Sainte Marie des Chazes chapel on the Allier River

We recommend that participants with extra time schedule visits to some of the area’s cities after their trip: Aix-en-Provence, Avignon, Nîmes and Nice are all within a few hours of Marseilles.

The full itinerary can be viewed on our website.

Price: $3095 per person for select dates in May and early June 2012. 12-day itinerary begins and ends in Marseilles. Contact us for more information.

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