Riverside holidays for families and couples


There’s nothing quite like messing about on the river … whether you want to escape the hustle and bustle of ordinary life, or enjoy an active adventure on the waterfront.

Riverside holidays mean easy days, full of fun and adventure for the whole family.

Dive in and cool off along the Loire, bait your line and cast off in the Auvergne, or launch your kayak and drift off along a sunny stretch of the Dordogne.

Find your place by the river

We’ve sunny riverside holidays to explore in Spain and Italy, too - and while not technically a river, the delightful Canal du Midi in Languedoc offers an abundance of opportunities to take to the water or to cycle alongside it, under the shade of the mighty plantane trees.

Riverside beaches offer the perfect opportunity to stretch out and relax, with a splash about with your little ones, or a wild swim in a sunny lagoon. Without the crashing surf of the sea, often rivers are the perfect location to build your kids’ confidence on the water.

Swimming & Sunbathing Possibilities:


Swimming, and fishing ...

along the banks of the Dordogne, at Le Port de Limeuil, Dordogne.


Diving into ...

the sun-warmed waters of the Loire, at Tours. From Domaine de la Brèche, Loire.


Stretching out ...

in the sun, on the beaches of the blue lagoons at Les Ranchisses, Ardeche.

Whether by canoe, kayak, rowing boat or pedalo, rivers offer a gentle highway into sublime countryside and secret bathing spots. Take a lesson - plenty of parcs offer them - or simply cast off on your own up-river adventure.

Canoeing & Kayaking Possibilities:


Taking the oars ...

on a river safari from Ty-Nadan campsite in Brittany.


Canoe back in time ...

along the River Vézère whose grottoes hide prehistoric cave paintings. Close to Le Port de Limeuil, Dordogne.


Holding your breath ...

as you glide beneath the mighty limestone gorges of the Dordogne, from Le Moulin de Paulhiac.

Imagine a picture-perfect French village, or a captivating Italian town and chances are - a river runs through it. We’ve plenty of parcs where a stroll along the waterfront takes you to your new favourite bistro, or a family-run auberge serving terrific local produce.

Lunches at Leisure Possibilities:


Enjoy morning croissants ...

aside the glinting Dordogne, as it snakes past Beynac-et-Cazenac, near Le Capeyrou.


Grab and go ...

at a waterside café in sporty Bénodet before hitting the surf! Near La Pointe St-Gilles, Brittany.


Find your perfect Guinguette ...

a summer cafe with music - along the riverbank, from Le Paradis, Dordogne.

... or horse-riding... whatever mode of transport you prefer, you don’t have to get wet to enjoy a day along the river. So you can meander your way along the length of your local river at a pace that suits your mood perfectly!

Cycling & Strolling Possibilities:


Hiking the hills ...

 and valleys carved out by the dramatic Chassezac river system, near Le Ranc Davaine, Auvergne.


Cantering through ...

the wonderful countryside of the Luberon. There’s a horse riding centre at Les Rives du Luberon, Riviera.


Cycling to ...

the sparkling Mediterranean, from the riverside parc of Riu, Sant Pere Pescador, Costa Brava.


Great riverside regions

More inspiration from our travel experts