Going down the Ariège in an inflatable canoe: dream or hassle?

The Ariège is a magnificent river which offers spectacular landscapes. Descending its waters in an inflatable canoe may seem like an idyllic experience. However, it is important to be wary of potential dangers, including the risk of punctures and difficulties returning .

Risks of puncture

Inflatable canoes, especially the lower priced ones sold for a few hundred euros in large retailers, are very sensitive to punctures. The Ariège River is strewn with rocks and branches, which can easily pierce the bottom of the canoe. A puncture in the middle of the torrent can quickly turn into a nightmare, especially if you are not equipped to repair it. You will have to prefer a high-end inflatable canoe such as gumotex , the price of which is often above 1000 euros.


If you escape the puncture you will not escape the butt tap, in fact the Ariège is strewn with large and small stones and the bottom of the inflatables being rarely rigid this can prove very unpleasant. It is the same for headwinds where you will quickly realize that the lack of rigidity of these boats offers wind resistance which can become a real hassle.

Don't forget that the torrent is a natural environment and that the Ariège is littered with hydraulic power stations , do not set off on an adventure before making sure you are safe on the stretch of river where you are going to navigate.

Return hassle

  • Parking at two different points (departure and arrival) is often a headache and requires two vehicles.
  • Public transport is rare and does not serve the starting and finishing points of the routes.
  • Hitchhiking can be a solution, but it is not guaranteed, especially wet with an inflatable canoe and paddles on your back.

In conclusion

Tips for a safe descent

Briefing before the descent at Ariège évasion

For a safe, economical (around twenty euros per person including return shuttle) and pleasant experience, opt for a professional canoe base:

  • Rental of rigid canoes : more resistant to punctures and more maneuverable than inflatable canoes.
  • Standard and comfortable life jackets
  • Navigation advice : a professional will brief you on the dangers of the river and give you the best advice for navigating safely.
  • Return shuttle : no more stress of returning, the canoe base takes care of everything!

In summary, to fully enjoy your descent of the Ariège by canoe, trust a professional canoe base. You will live an unforgettable experience in complete safety.

Here is a professional canoe rental base in Ariège:

Do not hesitate to contact them for more information and book your descent .

So, what are you waiting for? Let yourself be tempted by a descent of the Ariège by canoe, but do it in complete safety!