France is a wonderful location for watersports of all kinds, blessed as the country is with inland lakes, beautiful waterways, seawater lakes, sheltered coves and open coastal waters. No wonder water sports are so popular in France – which means that plenty of equipment, fellow enthusiasts and instructors are on hand to enrich your activities. You can hire anything from a windsurfing board to a sailing dinghy and catamarans, with lessons available for groups, schools or individuals all year round. And France’s Atlantic coast is world famous for surfing, offering some of the very best in Europe, and surf competitions are held annually.
Stay in one of our self-catering or B&B country houses as a really relaxing base and let our property owners organise your water skiing, using their local knowledge and contacts. If you are an experienced skier with your own equipment, you’ll just need a local boat with sufficient power, a skilled driver and a vigilant spotter. You could also take the opportunity to improve your starts or slalom technique or progress to mono skiing. If you want to learn the basics from a deep water start to balance and rope controls, then talk to our property owners about local instruction at all levels.
France has many lakes and miles of coastal water suitable for water skiing. Southern locations have the advantage of warm water, especially as the summer progresses, and in most areas you’ll be surrounded by beautiful coastal scenery or lake shores. Few locations are far from a town, so you can water ski by day and enjoy local French food, wine and entertainment by night.
Would you love to get in 30 lengths of the pool before breakfast? Want the children to learn to swim in quiet, safe surroundings? Like a romantic rural hideaway with a plunge pool in your garden? Fancy a winter break with indoor swimming complex? Need a holiday just relaxing by your own private pool with barbecue and full outdoor dining? Our French holidays can offer all this and more. Many of our properties have their own private swimming pools for the exclusive use of guests, including everything from our period country houses to rustic bijou cottages.
Many of our holiday properties are close to the French coast. When you want a change of scene from the pool and garden, you have the option to swim and sunbathe on sandy beaches that stretch for miles or discover secret rocky coves where you can plunge into the sea. Have a chat with our property owners about your swimming holiday plans, including instruction for both children and adults.
Yachts and Catamarans
France also boasts an almost endless choice of marinas and harbours where you can hire yachts and catamarans for anything from a few hours, to a few days sailing. A great opportunity to get a taste for the sport and feel the wind in your hair. Our French holiday properties are the perfect answer for independent travellers who want their own base and the freedom to take to the waters.
Stay in a luxurious country chateau oozing character and charm and enjoy kayaking as part of an adventure holiday in France. Get a buzz of excitement as you shoot those foaming rapids in a dramatic gorge; feel your mind and body soothed as you gently paddle through meadows and timeless villages. Kayaking can be easier than canoeing because a kayak has a closed cockpit and two bladed paddle and kayakers sit in a seat on the bottom of the boat with their legs extended in front of them.
This holiday activity offers fun and great sport for the whole family. Tailor your trips to your own needs by choosing to go kayaking for the occasional hour or for an all-day expedition. It’s a great way to see some of the beautiful rivers and waterways of France with a sense of freedom. Contact our property owners now for full details including safety and equipment requirements.
White Water Rafting
Charging down the rapids in an inflatable boat not only gives you a buzz, it's a different way to enjoy beautiful scenery that you'll never see from paths or roadways. It may look challenging, but rafting can be enjoyed even by first-timers as outings are set at different levels of difficulty, from 1, which is easy, to 5, which is very difficult. The raft holds between 3 – 6 people and is manned by an experienced rafter.
France is host to many famous rivers against which you can pit your skills. The River Lot is a family favourite; in the main it flows broad and gentle, but rest assured it does have moments of turbulence. The Ardeche is another popular choice that promises breathtaking scenes as well as a few knuckle-biting moments. Or, if it’s adventure you want, you could choose the Ubaye River. The Ubaye River is one of the most attractive rivers of the Alps, 80km in length, and flows under the Mediterranean sun in a wild valley. The advance run will see you flying down a fantastic canyon through thrilling steep rapids. Several of our properties in France are ideally situated close to white water rafting rivers and facilities.
Surfing Holidays in France
Most people would like to give surfing a go – and many more can now experience this fantastic sport due to advances in equipment and teaching methods. Seawater temperatures in south west France are ideal, with an average of 25°C during the summer months. The sea temperature remains above 18°C into late October and doesn't fall lower than 12°C for the coldest winter months. This means summer is board shorts and sun cream and a shorty wetsuit can be worn in autumn.
A surfing holiday is great for families (children should be over 5 years old) or groups of friends learning together. Stories can be swapped around the dinner table after the spills and thrills of a day’s surfing at one of a choice of beaches. Over 50 beaches exist on the stretch of coast from Biscarrosse in the North of Landes to Hendaye in the South of Basque country adjoining Spain, not including all those secret spots that the locals try to keep to themselves!
If you like the sound of any of our sports holidays, talk to our friendly owners for more details who will be happy to answer questions and give you more information.