The gorges of the Ardèche in Southern France, known as the Grand Canyon of Europe, provide the spectacular backdrop to your Family Adventure Holiday and the ultimate high octane family experience.
The Ardèche Adventure holiday week is centred around the kayak descent of the Ardèche river to the famous Pont-d’Arc. The descent takes two days during which our instructors will take care of you the whole way, helping you wrestle with rapids, encourage you to throw yourselves from rock jumps and swim through caves. One night is spent at a bivouac site deep in the heart of the gorge where you will sleep under the stars
An Ardèche adventure holiday to remember
Our Ardèche family holiday takes place on the famous 35 km Ardèche River in the south of France, surrounded by stunning scenery and a beautiful limestone gorge. Activities include kayaking, climbing and abseiling in the Chassezac River, weasling and high ropes. All activities are led by our experienced Ardèche adventure team, who have worked in the area for over 25 years. They will build your confidence and ensure safety without compromising the thrills. The highlight of the holiday is a 2-day kayak descent (including overnight bivouac) navigating the rapids to Pont-d’Arc, a spectacular natural limestone arch carved out by the Ardèche River, which is 34 meters tall and 59 meters wide. It is a really memorable experience for families to share together.
With a limited number of families per week, this trip provides you with the opportunity to bond as a family and to form friendships with like-minded families. And it’s not all high energy and adrenaline, there is also time to wind-down each day, with afternoons spent on different beaches within the local area where you can relax as a family and the children can play.
This thrilling family holiday includes seven nights self-catering accommodation in a mobile home with five days of activities including the kayak river descent and overnight bivouac. Alternatively, you can join the activity programme, including kayak descent and overnight bivouac, but organise your own accommodation.
You will need a car to drive to the site where the activities will take place.
Campsite Le Pont de Maisonneuve
Families booked on the original seven-day holiday programme stay in self-catering mobile homes at the Campsite Le Pont de Maisonneuve, a lovely 3* campsite located near the villages of Beaulieu and Berrias-Casteljau, on the edge of the river Le Chassezac.
Each mobile home is comfortably equipped with two bedrooms; one with a double bed and the other with twin beds, a simple kitchen, coffee machine, fridge, bathroom, wooden terrace and parking for your car. Larger mobile are available, please ask for more details.
The campsite provides everything you need including a grocery store, cafe, bar, BBQ areas, wi-fi, swimming pool, playground and an evening entertainment programme.
Note that you will have to organise your own accommodation on the five-day activity-only programme.
The Ardèche Expedition adventure holiday week is centred around the kayak and canoe descent of the Ardèche river through the famous Pont-d’Arc. The descent takes two days during which our instructors will take care of you, helping you wrestle with rapids, encourage you to throw yourselves from rock jumps and swim through caves. One night is spent at a bivouac site deep in the heart of the gorge where you will drift off to sleep counting shooting stars.
Our activities programme, includes a day climbing and abseiling in the limestone cliffs of the Chassezac gorge, the two-day descent of the gorge with overnight bivi, a visit to the caves at Aven d’Orgnac and to finish the week a day at the high ropes course up in the pine forests of Villefort.
Although we are happy to keep you occupied from dusk till dawn, our programme is not compulsory. There are plenty of other options such as bike tours, canyoning, and horse-riding to name but a few and there are many interesting places to visit if you wish to take some time out with your family.
Two-day kayak river descent
The highlight of the week is the amazing two-day descent by kayak and canoe through the Ardeche Gorge. It is here that you’ll really begin to appreciate the magnitude and beauty of the Ardeche. As well as negotiating the many rapids along the way, you’ll have time to swim and have lunch on the river's edge. All under the watchful eyes of our experienced and qualified instructors who will help you to navigate your journey down the river.
Climbing and abseiling
During you’re week you will be climbing and abseiling in the Chassezac Gorge, enjoying the challenges posed by its limestone cliffs. There is an abundance of bouldering spots, allowing you to climb at your own pace. We welcome anyone from novice to intermediate, with all courses involving an introduction to sports climbing, bouldering and single pitch routes. All equipment and instruction is provided.
You’ll spend a whole day at the high ropes course in Villefort. This is a fantastic day of zip lines and high rope challenges, where you can fly through trees safe in the knowledge that you and your kids are harnessed and in the hands of professionals. See if you can get through all five courses and keep up with the kids!
Full safety equipment is provided and our instructors are always on hand to make sure you stick to the strict safety requirements. With courses of varying levels there is always something to challenge everyone!
Weaselling is a fun outdoor activity for people of all ages and fitness levels. It requires participants to negotiate a rocky outdoor course – going over, under and even through natural obstacles – before they make it to the finish. It takes place at the climbing site at chasse gorge any equipment if needed will be provided.
Aven d’Orgnac cave
Discovered in 1935, Aven d’Orgnac is home to gigantic underground chambers with majestic crystal formations. Labelled “Grand Site de France” it is one of the most studied underground sites in France and is a world reference for the study of subterranean climatology.
Address: Camping Le Point de Maisonneuve, 07460 Beaulieu, Ardeche, France.
Our Ardeche Programme is a self-drive adventure holiday that requires you to drive to most activities and so you will need your own car.
Many of our families opt to self-drive via a ferry channel crossing or Eurotunnel. Calais to Beaulieu is approximately 950 km and will take approximately 9 hours to drive. The nearest airports are Nimes or Marseille.
Self-drive with channel crossing
From Calais, we are 640 miles (using the French autoroutes, approximately 9 hours drive).
There are a number of operators to choose from, duration, cost and comfort are all factors you may want to consider so our advice is to contact operators directly to find the right option for you.
This holiday is managed by Adventure Ardeche who will contact you directly regarding your booking. We have been working with Adventure Ardeche for many years and so we know that our families are safe in their hands.
2020 Holiday weeks 18 - 25 July / 25 July - 1 August / 1 - 8 August / 8 - 15 August / 15 - 22 August / 22 - 29 August
Price per person (activities and accommodation)
Family of 4 in mobile home
Under occupancy charges for smaller families:
Family of 3
Total family price + £150
Family of 2
Total family price + £200
Price per person (activities only)
5-day activity programme only (no accommodation)
The seven-day holiday programme includes five days of activities staying in self-catering accommodation:
Seven nights staying in a family mobile home in 3* campsite on a self-catering basis
Five-day activity programme instructed by qualified sports instructors which include climbing, abseiling, weasling, high ropes and Aven d'Orgnac cave excursion
Two-day river descent including overnight bivouac, tent and camping mat.
Picnic lunches provided on the activity days
BBQ and breakfast provided on the kayak decent and overnight bivouac
Safety equipment and professional instruction included
You can also choose the activity programme detailed above without accommodation. Or, you can choose just to participate in the two-day kayak descent and overnight bivouac - no other accommodation or activities included.
Fully comprehensive travel insurance at £25 per person
Extras to budget for
Travel to the Ardèche, channel crossing and tolls
Ardèche Adventure - Holiday gallery
Adult price based on full board & activities for family of 4
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Leave a few details for our holiday expert Lisa so we can start planning your family adventure!