All along the Mediterranean coast, from Perpignan to Nice there are fabulous spots for sea kayak expeditions and day trips, but what if you are trying to avoid the beach and the crowds this summer?
Here are a few ideas for kayaking in and around Toulouse and away from the seaside.
As far as the law goes you can take your own kayak or SUP or any non motorised vessel on pretty much any body of water which is not private. We bought a blow up kayak for 169 euros at Décathlon and it has already paid off. It is probably the only ‘boat’ I will ever own 🛶 😂 !
The Garonne is wide and wonderful but it is very shallow at the moment due to the heatwave we are all enjoying this summer. I am not sure that everyone is enjoying the heat actually but it is a lot more fun if you can get out on the water. There is a spot to rent kayaks just next to the “big wheel”, a giant ferris wheel at Port Viguerie next to Racine ephemeral café 7 Pl. Bernard Lange.
If you fancy a trip on the Canal du midi you can rent a kayak at OphildelO.
Visit www.ophildelo.fr and find Philippe at the Port Technique de Ramonville. 0614999121.
South of Toulouse
The zone de la Réserve Naturelle Régionale Confluence Garonne-Ariège where the two rivers meet is also a good spot to get out on the water.
Granhota offer kayak and canoe rentals both in metro Toulouse (SUP as well) and at the nature base at Clermont-le-Fort.
Canoë Kayak Toulouse organise afterwork excursions on Tuesdays and Thursdays and on Saturdays as well as learning excursions for children over 7 years old during the summer.
Way south of Toulouse
Lake Cavayère Aude on the south side of Carcassonne
Also known as Carcassonne beach, the lake is very close to the medieval city. Lake Cavayère and the leisure area spreads 40 hectares with beautiful mediterranean vegetation. It’s a great place to walk and picnic, swim kayak or paddle. It has a waterskiing area , volleyball court and treetop adventure park. There is also a water slide park for kids. There is quite a bit of shade here too which is a major bonus at the moment. I have never heard so many cicadas singing, it was hard to believe we were not on the cote d’Azur.
West of Toulouse
Lac de la Ramée
This lake, not far from the city is in a fairly large park with tennis courts, where you can run walk and usually play on the lake. You can take your own kayak or rent a boat for a few hours.
Swimming is permitted during “La Ramée Plage” in July and August. There has been a wee outbreak of toxic algae recently but it should be safe again soon.
Way north of Toulouse
Canoë and kayak at Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val
This is a truly beautiful spot about an hour and 20 minutes from Toulouse.
The Gorge de l’Aveyron, not far from Montauban, at Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val offers a few options to rent kayaks such as : les Pieds dans l’eau, and Evasion Canoë https://www.location-canoe-kayak-82.com It is doable as a day trip and very pretty with lots of things to see and do apart from kayaking.
Heading east (north east through the Lauragais)
Lac st Ferreol
At the foot of the Black Mountains near the fortified town of Revel the Saint-Ferréol lake is located in an unspoiled forested area 67 hectares in size. The lake was conceived by Pierre-Paul Riquet, the architect of the Canal du Midi, with the aim of being the main water reservoir of the Canal. The waters of the lake are perfect for sports and leisure activities like windsurfing, swimming, pedalos canoeing or SUP. There are a couple of restaurants, notably restaurant le 20, but you can also picnic. The market at Revel is fantastic and well worth a visit.
Needless to say, if you venture south towards the Pyrenees there are many more lakes to explore!
Did you know….
It may be all the rage these days but this activity goes way back.
The earliest known archaeological evidence of a canoe was unearthed at the tomb of a Sumerian king near the Euphrates River, believed to be about 6000 years old.
Native peoples of South and North America used canoes as a mode of transport, for fishing and in battle. Eskimos used a similar kayak. The original canoes and kayaks were propelled through the water by single-bladed paddles, usually made out of wood.
In the 19th century, British barrister John MacGregor studied the ancient kayaks, and then designed a similar boat which he took to the rivers and lakes of Europe’s wilderness. He went on to found the Royal Canoe Club, with the first canoe regatta held in 1866.
I hope that you have enjoyed this post about kayaking in and around the pink city. Follow me to keep up with me on my travels around Occitanie.
Enjoy your summer, stay fit and healthy!