We tested for you: the canoeing trip down the river La Palue in Léon

Published on 09/11/2022

Are you planning to go canoeing in the Landes during your holidays? The team of the campsite Le Vieux Port has tested for you the descent of "La Palue" by canoe, to the lake of Léon. Let us take you on a little adventure in the heart of the Landes forest!

A 100% natural water activity to escape, refresh and have fun

If you are more of a sports holiday enthusiast, the Landes is an ideal destination for canoeing. On lakes, rivers or in the sea, the department is full of places geared towards a more sporting practice or a gentle initiation with an instructor.

For our (very first) time, we chose to test the activity on "La Palue", a small wild river which feeds the lake of Léon, 15 km from the campsite Le Vieux Port, in the heart of the Landes forest. With a shallow depth, La Palue is accessible to all. Perfect for families with young children. The area is known for its preserved flora and fauna and is also a protected natural area, classified as Natura 2000.

Let's go for a wild expedition in the meanders of the Landes forest!

We meet in Saint-Michel-Escalus where the Canoe Land water sports base is located. After a short briefing during which our instructor Marilou explains to us how to use the paddles, the basic manoeuvres to steer our boat and the safety instructions, we put on our life jackets and slip into our 4-seater canoe.

We set off on a two-hour raid down an eight-kilometre-long course in the silence of the gallery forest. Very quickly, we imagine ourselves as adventurers braving the Amazonian forest. The river, narrow and winding, is lined with dense and humid vegetation, where cork oaks, alders, willows, wild acacias and many other trees with tortuous shapes are packed. We often have to duck our heads to avoid the low branches. If we don't have machetes, we use our paddles to protect ourselves.

All along the route, we have fun slaloming between the sandbanks, tree trunks and other natural obstacles that spice up the ride. The landscape, both bucolic and relaxing, makes us forget everything, even paddling! This is an opportunity to take a closer look at what is going on around us. We see a host of small animals passing by: swarms of blue dragonflies, fish, water turtles, ducks, but also red squirrels and even a rare grey heron.

In two strokes of the paddle, our guide takes the time to reveal some of the little secrets of the wild fauna and flora that populate the banks of the river. We progress quietly, at our own pace, not losing a single minute of the aquatic life that flows peacefully before our eyes. At the end of this aquatic hike full of emotions and sensations, we arrive at the Léon lake. Great! We finish a little wet, but happy with this adventure which we will keep a superb memory.

Next time, we will go on a treasure hunt, still in a canoe, on the lake of Port d'Albret, around the deserted island of Vieux Boucau. We already know that we won't be bored for a second. We'll be sure to give you a briefing on this too ;)


  • Canoë Land, route de Castets 40550, Saint Michel Escalus (20 km from the campsite Le Vieux Port)
  • Outings organised from April to November (booking recommended)
  • Bring a change of clothes and closed shoes.
  • Prices: 16 € / adult, 11 € / child under 12, family package (2 adults and 2 children): 50 €

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