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Water Sports in the Languedoc-Roussillon

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The Languedoc-Roussillon has much to offer visitors including a plethora of water sport activities almost all year round. There really is something for everyone, whether it’s cruising gently on the Canal du Midi, or sport fishing. Or maybe you would like to try your hand at something more exciting like paddle boarding, paragliding, windsurfing, scuba diving, sailing, white water rafting, kayaking, canyon-ing or kite-surfing.

Gruissan and the Massif de la Clape are windsurfing paradises. Every April the beautiful coastal region around Leucate hosts a week long International Windsurfing and Kitesurfing championship. The display of talent is awe inspiring, with tricks and turns in the air and a carnival-style festival on the land this is an annual event not to be missed.

kite-surfing-in-franceWhilst I am not known for my sporty prowess, I have tried most things and failed miserably, often breaking bones in my attempt, and this year I tried my hand at kite surfing. This is not just any old kite on a string from a kids toy store, no, this is a full on proper sail kite.

I nervously put my life into the hands of the extremely patient instructors and by the end of my two day course I was ‘piloting’ the kite. Despite drinking half of the Med and achieving an all-over exfoliation being dragged across the sand, I was hooked and signed up for more lessons. It’s not cheap but it is an immense amount of fun and you get a great sense of achievement.  This part of the Languedoc is known for its windy Tramontane (although it’s never windy when you need it).  I was assured many a time by the experts that after learning here I could kite surf anywhere. Check out the school at www.snkite.com.

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There is plenty on offer for those who want something gentler such as taking a canoe out on the lagoon alongside the beach. For those who prefer to watch there is a lovely chilled out rustic bar and café. Actually with the hammock and bean bags available it can be quite difficult to tear one’s self away!

I also tried my hand at kayaking, canoeing and white water rafting. There are some stunning gorges in this part of the world and there is no better way to cool off than splashing in a few slightly, but not really, scary rapids. Messing about on the river is a cathartic and dreamy way to spend a day. Stop off for picnics at stunning spots only reachable by boat, jump in to the water for a cool off, spot the otters and dragonflies and then get ready to approach a rapid full steam ahead.

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Check out the River Orb in the Herault: www.canoeroquebrun.com, there is a pleasant restaurant and bar at the end of your voyage where you can compare capsizes; explore further towards the Midi-Pyrenees on the River Aude near Limoux.  www.canoelimoux.fr

Perfect for your Bucket List of things to do in Languedoc Roussillon…

For white water rafting try: outdoorpyrenees

Honor Marks runs the Maison de La Roche in Languedoc-Roussillon

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