Experiencing the thrills of whitewater river rapids or cruising along in peace and quiet on a lake in a small boat propelled only by your paddles. Canoeing and kayaking allow you to enjoy the water and your natural surroundings in some of the most primitive boats known to man. The two sports are somewhat different: kayaks are propelled by a double-bladed paddle, and canoes by a single-bladed one. In the past, canoers and kayakers practiced this sport in still waters that were easy to navigate. However, in recent years, stretches of rivers with rushing waters have become an increasingly popular venue for this sport. Rivers like the Noguera Pallaresa (best between spring and summer, during the thaw) and man-made watercourses like the Olympic canal of the Seu d’Urgell (where you can practice all year round) are perfect for whitewater canoeing and kayaking. Club Piragüisme Salt-Ter (in the district of Salt, Girona) offers an introductory whitewater navigation course every year. Catalonia also has first-rate facilities for canoeing and kayaking in calm waters. You can learn these sports on Banyoles lake (Girona) or the Olympic canal of Castelldefels (Barcelona) by contacting one of the clubs located in each venue, such as Club Natació Banyoles and Club Piragüisme Castelldefels.