2 Canoe descents of the Ardèche, upstream of the GorgesCanoeing in the Ardèche: The must-do activity for an unforgettable memory.

I found the best offer for canoeing: a little structure, with a family approach, they’re real pros, and it’s a Super Formula!

To discover or just for pleasure, this outdoor activity is adapted to all profiles: rooky or experienced, alone or double, with family or in group!

Let yourself seduce by this part of the river, upstream of the Gorges de l’Ardèche, away from the crowdy touristics flows of Vallon Pont d’Arc, in the wild and preserved nature, reveiling all the fauna and flora of this biodiversity.

Maybe you will have the chance during your descent to observe the grey heron chasing his prey in the water, a falcon or a Bonelli eagle hovering in the sky, or even tease a trout or a carp with your peddle!

You will also enjoy the magnificent view of the medieval village Balazuc, classified as ‘most beautiful village of France’.

You are navigating on your own, free from all stress (no time pressure): you can stop whenever you want to take a swim or to enjoy the beautiful wild beaches underway, have a picnic or take some pictures, before you peddle back at ease to the beach, where you parked your car.

For your security, the practice of canoeing is regulated by law in the Ardèche (eg. under 7 yrs old and during fluds it’s forbidden). The water levels are being managed by different dams upstream so there’s enough water for nautical sports during summer. Of course, mother nature is ruling and you’ll have fluctuating water levels all along the season (April-September), depending on the weather.

In order to have a better preparation for your trip, we kindly advise you to reserve your activity in advance.

Discover the 2 trips

Isla Cool Douce proposes two descents, accessible for the whole family
(requirement: 7 years old AND being able to swim):

The “Cool Douce” descent

8 km 2-3 h
Canoeing on the Ardèche

The Cool Douce: 8 km / 2-3h
(from Balazuc to Chauzon)

“The Sportive” descent

12 km 3-4 h
Canoeing on the Ardèche - The Sportive

The Sportive: 12 km / 3-4h
(from Lanas to Chauzon)

The departure is per Landrover Defender, navigating back to the beach of Isla Cool Douce, located in the meander of the river Ardèche juste before the Cirque de Gens, offering you a wonderful view on the limestone cliffs.

With organisation and our equipment we are able to deal with large groups and we can handle simultaneous departures.

The adventure starts at Isla

We meet at the nautic base Isla Cool Douce in Chauzon. Our professional team will take care of you in your native language (our team manages Dutch, English, German, Spanish and French of course). Parking spots are available in the park for your comfort.

Landrover Defender transport: an exclusivity!

Land Rover ride from Isla Cool Douce to our pier

You will be taken to your departure for your descent in a 4×4.

We have a whole fleet of Landrover Defenders at your disposal.

This is the start of your adventure: in groups of 8 people and your driver, you will pass by scrubland and vineyards of the Ardèche, in order to get to your departure zone.

A unique southern landscape will reveil itself to you.

The Isla Formula = Canoe descent + Recreational park + a free drink: Unique in the Ardèche!

A good plan
Enjoy the beach and the acitivities before or after your canoe trip.

During summer, we offer the possibility for the little ones (-7yrs old) to enjoy themselves on a canoe (accompanied by an adult) on the watersurface in front of the lifeguards, while they’re waiting for the rest of the group descending the Ardèche.

Top of the billA well deserved free drink after your descent!

Upstream descent: the mini Gorges de l’Ardèche

The two proposed trips offer you a wide diversity of landscapes: the medieval village of Balazuc, 2 bridges (Balazuc and Pradons), a few easy rapids, and a passage in the forest that will remind you of a mangrove!

A changing pace, a lot of variety and playful, this is how you will discover the mini Gorges. It can be done on half a day of for the whole day. Take your picnic with you and enjoy the swimming spots and the wonderful landscapes.

Top of the bill2 descents with great variety
just long enough but not too long (ther are no long strokes)!

Our strong points

Canoeing is a family activity. Can be done without extra training (a good physical condition and being able to swim are sufficient)

A good dose of adventure, happiness and adrenaline on an « easy » trip.

Land Rover ride from Isla Cool Douce to our pier

Top of the billNice and easy back to the beach:
leave your canoe to our team and enjoy the beach, take a free fresh drink thanks to the Isla formula!
No boring waiting on a rock for the bus to take you back. You’re in paradise.

The material

Our canoes are « sit on top » models.

You can navigate alone in a kayak or in a double canoe for 2 or 3 spots. (for your comfort, the third person has to be under 10 years and not too heavy in order to avoid overweight in the canoe)

Each one of you gets a peddle and a waterproof container (50L) for your personnal belongings.

Please take the essential with you in order to avoid overweight.

For your security, we have helmets at your disposal (not obliged).

Wearing a life jacket is mandatory, you may be controlled during your descent.

The team

Advice of the team

In order to fully enjoy this experience, we recommend to depart in the morning (9.30 or 11 am), take a picnic with you, take your time to feel and enjoy the river.

A practical guide: « For a successful Canoe trip »

  • 1

    Navigate safely: for your security wear your life jacket. The river moves and may surprise you!

  • 2

    Wear the right shoes: Closed shoes that are tight to your feet like sport shoes, water shoes, sandales. Leave your slippers at the beach.

  • 3

    Protect yourself against the sun: essential: a sun hat or cap and sun cream (a 30 or 50 is advised). Don’t underestimate the reflection on the water and think about protecting your legs and thighs.

  • 4
    Water, always water: foresee 1 L per person.
    You’ll find drinks at the bar.
    Think about a little snack or picnic.
    There is no floating snackbar on the river. But you can take advantage of our restaurant when you return (until 6 pm).
  • 5

    See that you can change clothing: A towel or a T-shirt will prevent you from having cold.

  • 6

    Careful for your glasses: always ask for a small cord to tie your glasses to your life jacket. This will save you the trouble from losing your glasses in a rapid.

  • 7

    Phones and Cameras: Taking your phone with you may be handy to stay in touch with the base when you’re in trouble or when you’re late at arrival. In order to immortalize your best memories, we will hand you a plastic bag to protect your material in the waterproof container. You still are responsable for your own material.

  • 8

    Our friends the dogs: Dogs are allowed for the descent and the transport with the Defenders. Please control if they’re not afraid of water and if they’re able to swim. She/He doesn’t need to be attached in the canoe but we don’t supply life jackets. On your arrival at the beach, for security and hygienic reasons, you can’t release the dog running free in the park.

  • 9

    Parking: accessible and free outside of the season. During summer, July and August, the parking is guarded and costs 5€ per car (not obliged).