Canoeing and kayaking in Spain by our DMC Partner, Destination Spain


If you're looking for the perfect combination of tourism, sport, fun and nature, why not go canoeing in some of the most beautiful landscapes in Spain? You can choose between paddling down inland rivers, in areas near the coast or in reservoirs where you're guaranteed to enjoy total oneness with your natural surroundings. An adventure-packed journey of discovery to a whole host of unique places.

WHY SPAIN Spain offers a wide variety of rivers, reservoirs and lakes where you can go canoeing or kayaking. You can enjoy this sport both inland and along the almost 8,000 kilometers of Spain's coastline, while you explore its unique and beautifully conserved landscapes. Thanks to the extensive network of waterways to be found throughout Spain, you'll be able to descend rivers, enjoy a quiet outing on a lake, challenge yourself by navigating white waters, or make your way to various unique and secluded sites and locations. You'll find a large number of navigable areas suitable for all levels, either for those wanting to try the sport for the first time, and for those looking to improve their technique. What's more, Spain has marine reserves and specialized companies that will supply you with all the equipment you need and advise you on the best routes.

BEST TIMES OF THE YEAR The best months to go canoeing in Spain are in spring and summer, the time of the rains and the thaw when the river flows are at their maximum. Some rivers in the north are also navigable in autumn and winter thanks to the abundant rainfall they receive at this time of year.

AREAS In Spain you'll find a wide variety of rivers with fast-flowing rapids and others with calmer waters that are ideal for making a whole range of different types of outings. Or if you prefer coastal waters, you can also navigate in the open sea. White waters are among the most exciting and surprising canoeing experiences. Thrill-seekers will find some of the most famous rapids in the area of the Pyrenees, like the ones on the Noguera Pallaresa River. If on the other hand you prefer to enjoy a leisurely cruise and do a little sightseeing, we suggest choosing a route along a river with calmer waters. These rivers allow you to paddle considerable distances without encountering any significant obstacles and are perfect for people wanting to start out in this sport.

Some of the best-known navigable rivers and areas in Spain are: Ulla river (Galicia): alternates rapids with stretches of calm waters. Bidasoa (Navarra): a short route amid spectacular landscapes. Alto Tajo (Guadalajara): 100 kilometers of unspoilt river with numerous navigable stretches and one area with white waters. Declared a Nature Reserve. Gállego River (Aragón): it has a very consistent flow, and canoeing is possible almost all year round. Northern Spain: you can make canoeing descents on the upper stretch of the Ebro river, and on the Navia and Eo rivers. Central Spain: come and explore the Embalse del Burguillo reservoir, the Tiétar river (Avila), the Tormes river (Salamanca) and the gorges of the Hoces del Río Duratón Nature Reserve Hoces del Río Duratón Nature Reserve (Segovia).

One of the best-known activities in Spain is the descent of the Sella river, which has been declared a Festivity of International Tourist Interest. Each year on the first Saturday in August, these beautiful green landscapes become the destination chosen by hordes of canoeists from Spain and all over the world. This fun-filled competition takes place over 20 kilometers and attracts thousands of visitors. For the rest of the year, you can enjoy the descent with any of the companies located along the course of the river.

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