Béarn des gaves: 100% nature sport holidays

Navarrenx
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Having a few days’ holiday in the Béarn des Gaves? It is the perfect occasion for a bowl of fresh air. Air? Yes, but not only that, because here the most beautiful playgrounds are the « gaves », a world from Gascony origin meaning river… I made a stopover in Navarrenx, a beautiful city where the tumultuous and splendid Gave d’Oloron flows. Come with me for a raft ride and launch yourself from the top of the trees, over the river on a zip line! Ready?

Rafting, an exalting white waters activity

After putting a life jacket and a helmet on and taking a paddle, you are now all equipped to go rafting. This white water activity (or rather sport) is practiced on an inflatable raft with several people on board. Nicolas Chapart, from Rafting 64 is an expert in these fun activities: rafting, canoe, kayak …  Nicolas is very familiar with the Gave d’Oloron, and a perfect guide. I am not really used to Mountain Rivers… That’s not a problem though, I just have to listen to the orientation briefing, we are not going to go down the rapids at full speed nor are we planning to be capsized by torrents of water. We are just going to have fun and… do sport!

La base de Rafting 64, sous le Pont de Navarrenx

Rafting 64 headquarter, under the Pont de Navarrenx

Suivez le briefing de votre guide du jour !

Follow the briefing of your guide of the day!

Le magnifique Pont de Navarrenx et Nicolas au premier plan !

The beautiful Pont de Navarrenx and Nicolas in the foreground!

Et c’est parti !

Let’s go!

Votre guide utilise de grandes rames pour faire la direction principale

Your guide uses a large paddle to steer.

Your guide for the day shows you how to use the paddle, it is not really complicated: front to back to go forward, the contrary to go backwards and we follow the instructions of the leader who steers, standing up in the raft with a big paddle. We went under the beautiful Navarrenx Bridge (Rafting 64 is located under the piers) and off we go. We are not alone, it is summer and several rafts with each a guide on board, are following each other. Few canoes join us, a kayak and a « hot dog » (a manoeuvrable inflatable kayak that’s great fun). We went for a half-day of sport, with the added benefit of a BBQ on the beach (yum, I am already hungry!!).

Les premiers remous !

The first swirls!

Tout va bien, on s’amuse !

All ok and having fun!

Coucou !

Hi there!

We alternate between rapids and calmer sections where you can watch the fauna and flora: looking at the ruins of an old mill, and there! A heron! Ohhh an otter!! This morning, there is even a picture-post card mist on the top of the water … it is magical … You will notice that on my photos, the water is a bit brown as there was a storm on the day before. In general the water is a rather emerald green colour!

La jolie brume du matin

Beautiful morning mist

Un autre pont, au loin

Another bridge, in the distance

Une petite pause sur les galets

A little break on the beach stones


The banks are getting closer, we can see small waves in the distance, here comes our first rapid! Let’s row! Left, right, coordinated and with a smile! Ohhhhhhhhhh a wave sprays us, the water is refreshing, and we had fun! We carry on like this on more than 20 kilometres, the time flies past as we are having a lot of fun. After a small break, playing in the water and making sculptures with the pebbles, we leave again for another hour of paddling up to a beach where a delicious BBQ is waiting for us. Sausages, cutlets, rice salad, crisps and…local wine for the adults! Aperitif, some great moments and a nap in the canoes for some… That is what I call holidays! For the dessert, we enjoy a Basque cake (we are not far from the Basque Country), which goes perfectly with the coffee.

Accostage

Docking

C’est l’heure de l’apéro et de se restaurer !

Aperitif and food time!

Un BBQ sur la plage, ça ne se refuse pas

How could you possibly say no to a beach BBQ?!

Plutôt saucisses ou côtelettes ?

Do you prefer sausages or cutlets?

Une petite sieste avant de repartir ?

A little nap before going back?

Treeclimbing with zipline above the gave (river)


In the afternoon, I do not go back on a canoe. Check the Rafting 64 offers on (Discovery, Adventure or first ride). Several activities are available and you can also choose some « duo activities », for the day.

 

Nicolas also rents the BIG SUP (Large Stand Up Paddle boards) as well asnormal Paddle boards and mini rafts.

To get dry, I decide to do some tree climbing. Few kilometres away, in the heart of the forest, a Paintball and Archery Tag playground (paintball with bows is funny…) is overlooked by a tree trail.

Du matériel facile à utiliser

Equipment easy to use

Et c’est parti !

Let’s go!

For tree climbing, we put on a helmet, a harness and after an orientation on the use of the carabiners and the zipline, off we go. With my friend, we climb higher and higher until we see the river under our feet. Monkey bridge, net, stairs … what I prefer, are the ziplines and I am spoiled as there are so many on the trail. Some run beside the Gave d’Oloron and I can see come canoes passing, hi there! Others cross the river directly! Thrills guaranteed, as the crossing is long and really fun. The arrival at the platform is slow enough for you to look back and admire your achievement. 

Un jeu d’équilibre

A balance game

Le filet pas si évident que ça ...

The net is not as easy as you may think...

Tyrolienne voisine de la rivière

Zipline over / along the river

Élancez-vous au dessus du Gave d’Oloron !

Launch yourself above the Gave d’Oloron!

Coucou !

Hi there!

Further informations 

  • Rafting 64 offers activities for groups. Do you want to organise a great hen or stag party for your friends? It is the perfect occasion! The companies can improve their team building by organising a sport and challenge day. For schools, activities can be adapted to all ages.
  • During the summer, we recommend you either to phone or book online on the Rafting 64 website to guaranty a place in a canoe or a raft, especially if you are coming with your family.
  • Check the Rafting 64 Facebook page
  • Check the form Rafting 64 on the Guide du Béarn Pyrénées
  • Béarn des Gaves on the Guide du Béarn Pyrénées

 

Do not forget to book on our Facebook page , to be remain informed!


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