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If you’re planning to spend your next holiday in France, then perhaps you will want to add something new to your itinerary. Besides the sightseeing, rich culture, art museum tours, and the deliciously delectable French cuisine, there truly is a lot more in store for you here - and if you’re the type who enjoys aqua sports and exciting activities, then you’re in for a treat.

1 - Where to go for sun, sand, and surf

When speaking about the finest beaches in France, people will immediately mention the world-famous French Riviera, or the Côte d'Azur, located along the southern region of the country. Extending westward from the eastern commune of Menton to St. Tropez near the southern tip, the French Riviera is a 115 kilometer stretch of nothing but sun, sand, surf, and of course, fun.

Along this idyllic coastline are great destinations for jet skiing, paragliding, waterskiing, and more. In the communes of Mandelieu-la-Napoule, Cannes, and Theoule-sur-Mer the northern Mediterranean waters become a haven for aqua daredevils. Also, this may be good chance for you to try extreme sports like kite surfing, wakeboarding, or high-speed boating. You can find facilities that will teach you the basics, and even rent out the equipment you need.

Have you got a flair for surfing? Beyond the French Riviera, you can also travel to the southwestern coast of France, along the swells of the Atlantic Ocean. The region of Aquitaine is known as a world-class venue for international surfing events, particularly in the areas of Biarritz and Lacanau. So grab your boards and ride the waves, but be careful not to wipeout!

2 - Dive into a world of undersea wonder

There is more to the beauty of France than meets the eye. Beyond the sandy dunes and beneath the crystal waters lies a breathtaking sight. Scuba diving and snorkeling are among the most popular aqua activities on the coast. Immerse yourself into a world of wonder as you drink in the summer fun along the French Riviera. Among the best dive spots in this coastline are in Antibes, Nice, Saint Maxime, and Saint Raphael, to name a few. Get to view marine life as you’ve never seen before.

You’ll be in for another treat as you go diving in the warm Mediterranean waters in the southeastern coast of France. Besides meeting colorful marine species and stunning coral reefs, you can also see numerous undersea wrecks. Experience history like never before as you view centuries-old cargo ships, submarines, and war vessels hidden in the depths. Some examples: the Rubis, a WWII submarine in St. Tropez; a 1900 French warship called the Espingole in Cavalaire Bay; and the Togo, a WWI vessel which was built in Scotland in the 1880’s.

If these aqua sports are something new to you, then don’t worry. There are lots of facilities that offer scuba diving lessons, snorkeling and diving gear rentals, boat rides, as well as guided tours of the best dive areas. Whether you enjoy scuba diving as a passion, or are interested to give it a try, you can satisfy your appetite for deep-sea adventure here!

 
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3 - Canoeing and nature tripping

Just when you thought the beach is the only place to have your fill of water adventure, think again. Take a tour inland to the department of Dordogne in southwest France and visit the famous Dordogne River. This waterway travels westward from the Auvergne Mountains towards Gironde, an estuary along the Atlantic coast.

Rent a canoe or a kayak and paddle along the serene waters of the Dordogne River. Nestled beneath stone cliffs and amongst lush greenery are several nature trails for biking and hiking. There are also many hotels, inns, and camp sites for families who want to spend their holidays closer to nature. The villages along the river are also well-known for their vineyards, orchards, and fertile farmlands, perfect for sightseeing and gastronomy. Other activities you can take pleasure in are boating, sailing, rafting, and waterskiing.

In the Languedoc-Roussillon region in southern France lies another haven for canoeing and boating enthusiasts. The famous Rhone River has several tributaries that span the area, all of which offer a treat for tourists and nature lovers. Among the rivers you might want to visit are the Ceze, the Gardon, and the Herault, with each one offering its own rustic charm.

4 - Raging waters equals great adventures

If you want your boat ride to have a little more action, then brace yourself for some awesome white water rapids along France’s famous wild rivers. Among the most notable one is the Ubaye River, whose name is derived from the valley it flows through. This breathtaking river originates high from the French Alps, then takes a 70 kilometer course down to the Serre-Poncon Lake, an large artificial body of water in southeast portion of the country. Rent a solo kayak or brave the white waters as a group with an experienced river guide. Besides the action-packed currents of the Ubaye River, visitors can also enjoy the scenery, and even set up camps along the river beds.

Another excellent venue for adventurous and raging waters is the Ardeche River, in the south central region of France. Not only are there exciting bends along this river, but there are also beautiful limestone cliffs and gorges that surround it. One of the most notable landmarks on the Ardeche is the Pont d’Arc, a beautiful arch naturally carved into the limestone cliff.

5 - Reel in the catch of the day - fishing in France

Besides enjoying a fun boat ride, what else will be a great activity along France’s wondrous rivers? Angling or sport fishing is one of the most favored pastimes of locals and tourists alike. And with the innate richness of France’s lakes and rivers, one does not have to go far to reel in a great catch!

Carp is said to be the most popular type of sport fish in France, where fish weighing 30 to 40 pounds are not rare. The lakes in the west central region, such as the Etang de Villaine and Etang de Beynac are teeming with this type of fish. Various travel and tours companies offer fishing holidays for anglers who want to take a break from it all and relax in the tranquil lake waters.

Summary

As you can see, France has lots of opportunities for adventurers to satisfy their craving for action. Whether you like extreme aqua sports, or relaxing boat tours along the country’s beautiful rivers and lakes, you will find those and more. So next time you book a tour to France, make sure to pack your sun block and swimming gear. Tons of adventures await you!

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