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Descente des Radeliers de la Durance

The Durance river rafters

 may 25 to 26, 2024

(dates and program to be confirmed) Program 2023 in the meantime :

'' A journey into the history of the Durance river rafters!
The Durance river rafters

Along the river, come and relive this historical re-enactment

Come one, come all to relive the 23rd historical re-enactment of the " rafts of memory". Step back in time at this not-to-be-missed event, where you'll be able to admire an unprecedented show at the heart of the history of the rafters.

In the past, the Durance River was used to transport wood all the way to the Mediterranean, a 260km journey. Until the end of the 19th century, these various boats transported the wood (larch, spruce, fir) used to supply both shipyards and construction sites in the major cities. The rafts were made of pieces of wood joined together by plant ties, otherwise known as "réortes". With the arrival and development of the railroads, this practice was gradually abandoned and this ancestral craft disappeared. In memory of these "freshwater sailors", a group of enthusiasts created theassociation "Les Radeliers de la Durance" to bear witness to this historically perilous trade.
Every year, the association organizes two days of commemoration, retracing the history of this activity that was once vital to trade in our valleys. The rafts, built identically to those of the period and with the same organization: oarsman and coxswain in period dress, take the place of the rafters and kayakers of the Durance!


May 29 to June 2
Raft assembly at the Argentière-la-Bessée and Saint-Clément sites.

June 3rd
9h00 Departure of rafts from Argentière-la-Bessée - 12h00 Arrival at Saint-Clément
Afternoon: finishing touches to the rafts for Sunday's descent, and time to chat with the rafters.

June 4th
2:00 pm Departure of the rafts from Saint-Clément - 4:30 pm: Arrival at Embrun (right bank of the lake).




Spots to admire the passage des Radeliers

  • Vague du Rabioux at Châteauroux-les-Alpes: a mythical spot for white-water sports enthusiasts and a freestyle mecca
  • Pont-neuf in Embrun
  • Embrun water level dam
'' I loved it. Thank you to the radeliers for this beautiful show
Isabelle Setrak

More information on the Durance rafters