© Matthieu Simoulin -Verdon Pictures

Special white water FAQ

Everything you always wanted to know about white water

Whitewater essentials
  • 1/ Where to do white water activities ?

    In Castellane, a white water paradise, about fifty companies will offer you descents of the Verdon Gorges starting from the village. In the Haut-Verdon, at the source of the Verdon, you can experience the thrill of the mountains!

    The Verdon is not the only one ! Direction the Gorges de Daluis or Entrevaux for a trip down to the Var.

    The choice of the sector belongs to the white water companies according to the water level and the weather conditions. Contact them!

  • 2/ What are the differences between white water activities?

    First, it is necessary to distinguish between activities that are carried out with a boat: rafting, canoeing or packraft, and those that are carried out without one: aquarando, hydrospeed, canyoning and floating

    WITH BOAT

    • Rafting is done on a boat with several people (up to 8 people). The guide stays with you in the boat to steer it.
    • Canoeing is done on a boat that can accommodate one to two people. This is a more sporting and technical activity than rafting, and you will be in control of your own boat. The guide will accompany you on his own boat.
    • The packraft, which is an ultra-light kayak, is reserved for sportsmen and is done once in the summer. Alone or with a partner, you will have your own boat accompanied by a guide, who will be in his own boat.

    WITHOUT A BOAT

    • The aqua trek is practiced in a group under a guide’s supervision. This activity, which consists of floating in the water, combines walking, swimming and jumping for those who wish to do so.
    • Canyoning is a combination of several activities; slides, abseiling, jumps, swimming and sometimes even a zip line. It is practiced in a group and accompanied by a guide.
    • Floating, which is similar to aqua hiking, is done when water is released and therefore with a greater flow.
    • Hydrospeed consists of gliding on the water with the help of a foam board and fins. This activity is done in a group and with a guide.

    As a reminder, some activities can be done with and without water releases. Do not hesitate to consult the question “When can you do white water activities?

  • 3/ When can you do white water activities?

    White water activities are carried out according to the sectors, the activities and the climatic conditions.

    In Castellane, the Verdon depends on the release of water from the Chaudanne dam, without which it is impossible to navigate. Consequently, rafting, canoeing, hydrospeed, paddling, floating and packrafting will not be possible every day. In the summer, the dam usually releases water twice a week.

    Aqua Rando is only possible when there are no water releases.

    Canyoning, on the other hand, can be done every day.

    In the Haut-Verdon and the Var river, it is possible to practice every day, but it depends on the weather. In summer, due to lack of water, some activities such as rafting and canoeing may not be possible. However, other activities can be offered.

    Do not hesitate to contact our tourist offices or the activity providers to find out about water days and conditions.

  • 4/ How much does a white water activity cost?

    As a general rule, prices start at €35 and go up to €80. Don’t hesitate to ask for information from the providers. 

White water conditions
  • 5/Can water activities be carried out with children?

    Yes, it is possible to practice white water activities (rafting, aqua trekking, canyoning) on certain courses from 6 years old. 
    Please contact the activity providers for more information.

  • 6/ We come out of season (April / October), can we do white water activities?

    The season starts in April! Although all the companies are not yet open, you can book your activity. The major water releases will be reserved for sportsmen and thrill seekers!

    It is still possible in October, as several companies are open until 31 October.

    Our recommendation: choose the months of May and June

  • 7/ Is it possible to kayak down part of the Verdon and leave it in another place?

    No, it is not possible to rent a boat on the Verdon and leave it in another place. 

  • 8/ Can I go down the Verdon Gorges in a canoe?

    No, canoeing is only possible on the lakes of Castillon and Sainte-Croix. However, on the river, the white water companies offer a canoeing route to the entrance of the Gorges du Verdon (Point Sublime).

     

    The complete descent by canoe or kayak to the Pont de Galetas is offered by one company exclusively once during the season. The Grand Canyon expedition is reserved for sportsmen and women who already have a good kayaking technique.

  • 9/ Can I go down the Gorges in my own boat?

    The practice of white water activities in the Gorges du Verdon is regulated. Swimming is forbidden and because of the presence of syphons, it is strongly recommended that you are supervised by a state-qualified guide.

    To get an idea of the complexity of the river, we invite you to watch this video made by world champion kayaker Nouria Newman