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Undiscovered Alps
taking you off the tourist track
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White Water Rafting and Canoes

The Southern French Alps has the best white water rivers in France. Experience the rapids first hand in a raft or navigate your way down in an inflatable canoe. Fun, fun and more fun!

Adventure Factor
A thrilling roller coaster ride down alpine white water rapids!

Southern French Alps

Months Available
Age/Size Restrictions

Minimum age is 6 for white water rafting.  For inflatable kayaks 'airboats' on bigger water the minimum age is 12. Must be able to swim.

Skill Level

No previous experience is required for rafting - just listen carefully to the instructions!

The inflatable canoes require a bit more technique to be able to steer and control them but it is easy to pick up the basics to be able to enjoy a first descent!! 

) white water rafting on the Durance
white water rafting on the Durance
white water rafting on the Durance in france
Hot dog on the Durance in the Alps
White Water rafting
White Water rafting
Inflatable Canoes hot dogs
Inflatable Canoes hot dogs
Inflatable Canoes hot dogs
White water airboat
White water airboat
White Water rafting
White water inflatable kayak
White water descent
White water inflatable kayak
White Water Rafting and Inflatable Canoes
White water Rafting and Inflatable Canoes
White Water rafting
White water inflatable canoe hotdog
White water rafting
White water descent

White Water Rafting and Canoes

The Southern Alps is famous for it's white water with some of the best rivers in the Alps. People come from all over the world in the spring and summer to take advantage of the melting snow and enjoy the white water ride amongst the stunning mountain scenery.

There are several different ways to experience the big and bouncy alpine white water!


This is the most accessible for all and is usually in a group of between 4 - 8 people depending on the size of the raft. The idea is that you work together as a team to steer the raft down the rapids with instructions from the guide for when to put your paddle in, how to lean and generally make the most of the rapids.

The reality is that you bounce around sometimes where you want to go and sometimes not!! It's not unusual to go for a little swim alongside the raft - which is actually very pleasant on a hot day!

Inflatable two man canoes - 'hot dogs'

These are like white water canoes but inflatable so they are much more forgiving and stable and require much less refined skill! A bit like a long thin raft, you use the same principal of a canoe paddle to steer.

As you are that much closer to the water than in a raft the bumps feel bigger!

Inflatable one man kayaks - 'airboats'

These are like inflatable kayaks - nice, stable and forgiving for novices! The principle is the same as kayaking in that you steer with your hips and use a two ended kayak paddle to control and steer, but unlike kayaking which takes a serious investment of time to learn, it is accessible to all. It's the perfect way to experience white water and get close to the rapids.

Which one to choose?

This choice will largely depend on river levels when you are here and your previous experience and age.

River levels fluctuate quite radically throughout the day and over the season depending on the snow levels, the weather and the topography of the actual river itself. On a hot day the rivers will get progressivley bigger during the day! The peak season for big white water is May to mid July. After that it gets progressivley lower but sometimes high levels are maintained through to mid August!

If the rivers are low, then hotdogs and airboats would be a more fun than a raft. In high water, only people with previous experience or who are confident in water and reasonably sporty should go in airboats. It is possible for a family with children of different ages to have the younger children in a raft and older teenagers in hotdog or even airboats.

Our guides will make the decision depending on the conditions and the make up of your group. All our guides for the white water activities are fully qualified to French and European standards with local knowledge of the rivers. 

We are not just dependent on one river like some areas - we have a choice so if the levels are too low or too high in one we'll find you a more suitable river for your descent!

Our Points System

With all of our activity holidays and some of our sport specific holidays we include a number of activity points which you can exchange for the activities of your choice. We will then incorporate your choices into your holiday and create your tailor made itinerary.

Activity Point Options
  • 2 Points - White Water Descent in raft or hotdog - 1/2 day
    All Levels / Min Age 6
Other Options

We can arrange a full day white water expedition or even a two day rafting or inflatable canoe adventure in the Alps with a bivouac or camping overnight. This is suitable for groups of 12 or more.

Please ask us about this option when you enquire.

Holidays where you can do this activity

Ride the Alps Road Cycling (tailor made)
A tailor made road cycling trip taking in some of the famous Tour de France cols the Southern French Alps has to offer. With spectacular alpine scenery and 300 days of sunshine this holiday is a must for all cyclists. Perfect for small, independent groups.
Summer Multi Activity Holiday
A totally flexible, tailor made activity holiday in the French Alps. Choose from a range of activities and accommodation to create your week of fun and adventure in the sun. Perfect for families with teenagers and children!
Downhill Mountain Bike Week
Explore the best downhill tracks of the Southern French Alps using bike lifts and vehicle shuttles to get you to the cols and passes to start your descents with additional outdoor activities to add some extra adventure!
Discover the Alps Week
An all-inclusive week in some of the most beautiful places in the Southern French Alps. A private multilingual guide with local knowledge and a cosy bed&breakfast to get rested in. Cultural visits, good local food and a range of exhilarating activities make it the perfect discovery trip.
Road Cycling Holiday in the Alps
A week of road cycling heaven taking in some of the famous Tour de France cols. Perfect for cycling clubs and enthusiasts looking for a challenge.
Serre-Poncon MB Tour
A spectacular mountain biking ride starting at the source and finishing at a beautiful bay on the edge of one of Europe's largest man-made lakes, The Lac de Serre Poncon.
School Multi Activity Trip
An unforgettable, fun and challenging multi activity holiday in the Southern French Alps. Perfect for school, college and scout groups.
Summer Activity Weekend
A tailor made action packed activity weekend in the Alps. Perfect for stag and hen weekends, birthday celebrations or just a quick weekend away with friends.

All our family had a fabulous time and can highly recommend a holiday with Undiscovered Alps. The sun shone for the majority of our holiday, which is always a bonus when you are in the mountains, the activities were excellent and accommodation top notch. We only had time for a weeks stay, but wen...

Mandy Kenworthy
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