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A beginner's guide to canyoning

February 21, 2018

In the first in our series of watersports blogs we explore the increasingly popular sport of canyoning.

What is it?
Also known as gorge walking in the UK and canyoneering in the US, this activity involves travelling through canyons using a variety of techniques like scrambling, climbing, jumping, abseiling and swimming. See our video to get an idea:

 

It looks scary/exciting/fun/terrifying! (delete as appropriate)
While it may seem like an extreme sport (and often is), there are canyoning routes for all levels, from beginners and children to more advanced, technical routes where a certain amount of experience is required.

What equipment do I need?
Equipment is generally provided so don’t worry! Your canyoning guides will provide wetsuits, helmets and all technical equipment. All you need to bring is a swimming costume, a pair of trainers that you don’t mind getting wet and a sense of adventure! (groan…) Waterproof sunscreen is also often a good idea, as you will be outside for at least 3 hours.

Is it safe?
NEVER attempt this on your own. Research the company you will be going with and check that their guides are qualified and experienced. Please be aware that once you start the route you cannot go back and there are rarely exits until the end, so if you have a fear of heights or any medical condition that might cause a problem then this sport is probably not for you.

Gulp…anything else I should know??
Only that this is a really fun activity, a great way of seeing some spectacular scenery that you probably wouldn’t be able to see otherwise and is even suitable for children from around 8-10 years upwards. You will feel a real sense of accomplishment once you finish your first canyoning route, trust me!

Where can I try it?
This is an increasingly popular activity around the world, and there are lots of places around the UK and Europe where you can try it. We offer a Multiactivity holiday on Lake Garda that includes one canyoning activity (where the above video was filmed!), a Multiactivity holiday in Slovenia on Lake Bled and also a Luxury active holiday in Madeira that includes an optional canyoning excursion.
This activity is great for groups, be they stag/hen parties or corporate breaks, as it is a great bonding experience. Families with older children will love it.

Any questions on this or suggestions for future blog topics? Let us know in the comments below or contact us.

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