Canoeing and sports in Arriondas
With two rivers (the Sella and the Piloma) Arriondas is perfect for shallow water canoeing and at least 3 separate companies (and probably many more) operate canoe rental from the outskirts of the town. Two of them in particular on a very large scale.
The larger canoe companies rent out not just the canoes, but wet suits, special canisters to hold dry clothes and food and they also include basic canoe training. The canoes are nearly all for two persons. The size and organisation of some of these companies has to be seen to be believed.
If you think that these canoe services are on a small scale, or only for the experts, be prepared for a surprise, some of these companies can rent several hundred canoes at a time and most launch the “initially” unsuspecting canoeist down a short chute and in to the river with a splash an normally a great deal of excitement.
Although we have yet to try out this particular sport, those who do all appear to be having a great and danger free time and by the end of July there are chartered coaches dropping off the “would be” canoeists every few minutes. In the peak month of August there will be thousands of sometimes serious, but more usually novice, canoeists on the rivers around Arriondas as the sport takes hold and the tourists arrive. The age range covered appears to extend from children to those of more advanced years and most have never been in a canoe before.
The canoes themselves are plastic and buoyant and life jackets are supplied, although from what we could tell the water depth rarely exceeded a couple of feet. Indeed on some occasions the canoeists have to get out of the boats and carry them across particularly shallow stretches of the river (and this was in July 2007 after record rainfalls).
Other sports in Arriondas
In addition to the canoeing, Arriondas also has a reputation as a center for renting quad bikes and also caving. A quick drive around the town soon shows up the companies offering these and other outdoor experiences and it is always worth comparing one company’s prices with anothers. Quad bikes can be hired by the hour or the day and caving trips are usually supervised and include minibus travel to and from the venue. You can also hire any necessary clothing or equipment from the organisation offering the trip.
For those wanting a more leisurely form of recreation, fresh water salmon fishing is popular when in season. This does require you to ensure that, in addition to your equipment, you also have a suitable fishing permit provided by the company whose rods and equipment you rent. Avoiding peak canoeing periods is obviously of great assistance to the success of the catch.
Arriondas is a great activity centre and it is geared up to and ideal for all ages, but if your interests are more leisurely, or just want to take in the sights, then it may be a town for you to avoid between the months of July and August.