What is White Water Kayaking?

Pure white water kayaking in a hard shell kayak is a skilled sport that requires several years of experience to be able to paddle the big bouncy white water rapids of mountain rivers.

It is also a sport that has evolved over the years with different styles of kayak for slalom, play boating, river expeditions and different skill levels.

However, kayaking holidays span a large spectrum of the sport and there are many ways for people of all abilities to experience the fabulous roller coaster rides of the alpine white water!

Kayaking Holidays for Families:

For active families without any white water kayaking experience, it is possible to do a beginner white water kayaking holiday which can be tailored to your family where you can learn the basics.

Or, if you have some kayaking skills on flat water and want to make the jump to white water, you can join our White Water Kayaking in the Alps Week for Grade II to III paddlers.

Or, if you are not yet sure that kayaking is for you, you can try a days kayaking as a one off activity on a summer activity holiday.

These family friendly kayaking adventures use sit on top kayaks on the lakes and rivers in the area. A kayak tour down a gentle white water river is a great family adventure to try.

Sit on top kayaks are a lot more stable than traditional white water kayaks so are perfectly suitable for beginners to enjoy the sensations of a river descent with confidence!

Kayaking Holidays for Experienced or Beginner White Water Paddlers

We have a range of kayaking holidays for beginners, where you can learn the basics of navigating white water though to intermediate trips for experienced paddlers who want to explore the best rapids and play spots in their chosen destination with a local kayaking guide.

For ready made groups from 4 people upwards we can tailor make a beginners white water trip or intermediate kayaking trip in the Alps.

If you want to join a group of paddlers at your level we also have white water kayaking courses with fixed departure dates for different levels.

Check out our White Water Kayaking in the Alps for Grade II to III paddlers and our White Water Kayaking in the Alps for Grade III to IV paddlers.

We can also include guided kayaking day tours and trips for all levels of kayakers as part of a summer activity holiday,. This is a great option for mixed groups who want to do a range of activities as well as kayaking.

White Water Thrills with no Skills

If you are looking for a fun white water sensation without having to spend a lot of time learning kayaking skills, then rafting, inflatable canoeing, hydrospeed and airboats are all great alternatives to white water kayaking and accessible for all levels.

You can have a look at our summer activity holidays which offer all these activities or ask us to tailor make you a trip.

White Water River Grades:

All rivers are graded according to their difficulty. Grading on any river can change depending on the water level and local conditions.

Grade 1: Easy - moving water with occasional small rapids.

Grade 2: Moderate - small rapids with regular waves. Some manouvering required.

Grade 3: Difficult - rapids with irregular waves and hazards that need avoiding. More difficult manouvering required.

Grade 4: Very Difficult - Large rapids that require careful manouvering. Continous, powerful, confused water makes route finding difficult. Should be able to roll.

Grade 5: Extremely difficult - long and violent rapids with severe hazards. Precise manouvering is critical. Rolling needs to be 100%.

Grade 6: Nearly Impossible - considerable risk to life in the event of a mishap.


Do you need previous experience to participate in a white water kayaking holiday?

White water kayaking is a skilled sport and not something you can pick up on a one off activity. We have courses for beginners and improver courses and guided trips for experienced paddlers. If you are looking for a one off kayaking adventure, then you should check out our summer multi activity holiday where river kayaking on sit on top kayaks is a really popular activity.

Do you provide equipment and what boats do you have?

We provide equipment with all our white water kayaking trips and courses. However experienced paddlers often bring their own boats and kit. We have a wide range of boats that we use and will ask you what boat you usually paddle to try to find the best match. However we cannot guarantee the exact same make.

When is the best time of year for white water kayaking in the Alps?

In the Alps, the rivers are fed by melting snow and glaciers so spring and early summer are the best seasons for good water levels. At the end of the summer the river levels drop but there are still rivers that are possible.