South of Lyon near the Monts d'Ardeche Regional Nature Park you'll find a 30 km stretch of winding river known as the Gorges de l'Ardeche. For kayak enthusiasts, this is an immensely popular adventure. For seclusion enthusiasts, not so much. Spend a sunny summer day paddling through the 300 m (984 ft) limestone cliffs that rise on either side of the river bank, though, and you'll understand why. This kind of accessible beauty tends to attract a crowd.
Known more for its scenic vistas than for any intense rapids, a trip down the Ardeche Gorge is an easy, natural getaway for kayakers of any skill level. A highlight of the trip down river is the massive 60 m (197 ft) Pont d'Arc, a natural stone bridge that crosses the river and makes for a perfect, if now somewhat cliche, photo opportunity.
Location:Monts d'Ardeche Regional Nature Park, 200 km (124 miles) south of Lyon, France
Note:The park is also home to a variety of other adventure opportunities, including hiking, camping and canyoning down natural water slides. Check out our link for suggestions on things to experience while there.