Top 5 Rivers in France for Hydrospeed

Hydrospeed, an adrenaline-filled whitewater board sport, offers a great way to get back to nature. This sport offers a more immersive experience than whitewater rafting, as you are in these choppy, challenging waters, rather than on them. This exciting experience is great shared with friends or family. Practiced in stunning natural landscapes, France has some fantastic rivers for trying hydrospeed.

This physically demanding activity offers thrills like no other, as you propel yourself around natural obstacles and over waves and pools, following the route led by your experienced instructor. So put on your padded wetsuit, grab your helmet and hydrospeed board and head out on one of these top 5 rivers in France.

The Durance River

Located in the south-east of France, this beautiful river runs through the Ecrins National Park. The Durance River offers an 11km whitewater course to propel, swim and maneuver your way down. This river boasts an exciting mixture of calm areas to float down and relax, whilst taking in the stunning scenery of this region, and grade III rapids to test your hydrospeed skills. This whitewater course ends in the bright blue waters of the stunning artificial lake, Serre-Ponçon, a great family-friendly destination, known for its water sports.

The Durance River is a paradise for whitewater activities, with rapids from grade II to grade IV/V, so there’s a spot for every whitewater enthusiast to test their skills. The Ecrins National Park, which the river runs through, is one of France’s 10 National Parks, located just south of the city of Grenoble, a stunning area home to snow-capped mountain peaks, green valleys and glaciers.

Check out our hydrospeed activities on the Durance River.

The Aude River

Head to the Aude River, a haven for hydrospeed lovers, located at the heart of a region known for its stunning natural beauty, east of the Pyrénées Ariégeoises and north of the Pyrénées Catalanes. This river, in the middle of all this natural splendour, and leading to the Mediterranean Sea, boasts glorious gorges and turbulent waters, best enjoyed by hydrospeed. Offering participants a number of natural obstacles, this fun, family activity – suitable in this location for children over 12 years old, is a great holiday experience and great sport to try as a group.

Try up to grade IV whitewater on this thrilling river, learning techniques crucial to the sport and to maximising safety – such as duck diving and eskimo rolls. This stunning river in the south of France, offers hydrospeed enthusiasts incredible views of the Pyrenean foothills and boasts spectacular views of the mysterious rugged landscape of the Gorges de Saint-Georges.

Take a look at our hydrospeed activities on the Aude River.

Explore rafting activities on the Aude River as well!

hydrospeed france

The Cure and the Chalaux Rivers

The Cure river and the Chalaux river, which meet in the Lac du Crescent in the heart of the Morvan Regional Natural Park, are two great spots for trying the thrilling sport of hydrospeed. The Morvan Regional Natural Park, these rivers’ home, is a thickly-forested area with stunning lakes and woodland, an area thriving with wildlife and waterfalls; this is both a natural paradise and a paradise for this sport. These rivers are a hotspot for whitewater sports such as tubing, rafting and kayaking… but even better for the more intense, immersive sport of hydrospeed.

The Chalaux is a small, fast flowing river offering one main itinerary, a 7-8km descent from the village of Plainefas to the village of Chalaux, just before the river flows into the Lac du Crescent. This thrilling route offers class II-IV rapids and alternates between challenging sections and more relaxing ones. This river is a very technical river, which provides a lot of thrills, as you slalom between rocks in the current. This great hydrospeed location can be reached by car from Paris, at only around a 2 hours’ drive, making it a great spot to visit as part of a trip to the big city or as a weekend get away from the hustle and bustle.

Take a look at our hydrospeed activities on the Cure and Chalaux Rivers.

Check out rafting adventures on the Cure and Chalaux Rivers too!

hydrospeed france

Roya River

This 60km long river offers a number of great stretches of whitewater. Located at the heart of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, the Roya  offers great intermediate routes for those who’ve tried, practiced and love the sport of hydrospeed. For great beginner’s options, head to the Breil-sur-Roya section of the river – also a great spot for canyoning. Head to the Roya Gorges for a 2 hour long descent featuring narrow rapids, small jumps, challenging waves and all-round fun!

Hydrospeed your way through the stunning steep gorges of the area, past rocky scenery and successfully navigate the Roya’s fast-action rapids. This river, in the south-east of France, easily accessible from the beautiful Côte d’Azur city of Nice, is perfect to head to for sunshine and wild whitewater courses. 

Explore our hydrospeed activities on the Roya River.

Heading to this area, why not check out our canyoning activities near Breil-sur-Roya.

hydrospeed france

The Herault River

This river is a perfect spot for both hydrospeed and its sister sport of tubing, with great rapids to traverse, rocky channels to navigate and fast-flowing waters for the ultimate adrenaline rush. This 6km course will put your new found technical skills to the test, with rapids, waterfalls, steep passages and strong currents to test your endurance and give you the ultimate whitewater thrill.

Head to the Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert section of this river for great hydrospeed, as well as opportunities for hiking and via ferrata – check out our via ferrata activity in Herault. This stunning area is known for its caves, caverns and incredible medieval village and is a must-visit not only to experience this thrilling sport but to visit the gorgeous historic town of Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert. Just 40km north-west of the city of Montpellier, this is the perfect spot near the country’s south coast for hydrospeed experiences, in the stunning surroundings of the Occitanie region.

Take a look at our hydrospeed activity on the Hérault River.


To learn more about this exhilarating sport, check out our complete guide to hydrospeed.

Read our whitewater articles, for information about other whitewater activities such as rafting and canoeing. 

Check out all our hydrospeed activities.