Anjou/The Loire Valley: A region rich in history
300 km of navigable waterways
The rivers Mayenne, Sarth and Oudon offer you 300km of waterways to discover as you sail along. You can traverse tree lined hills and explore the rich past of the region’s villages
Navigation on the River Mayenne :
A wild river stretching over 200km, the river Mayenne attracts all those who love nature and desire to adventure and discover. You can cruise along this tranquil river, and relish the winding and green waterway where the carp hide from the fisherman.
If you have any questions about the region while cruising along, don’t hesitate to ask the local lock keepers, after all they have many stories about the region. They can offer the best advice and help bring the area to life for you!
It is possible that the lock keeper is not always present at the lock, hence in these cases it is up to you and your crew to operate the lock. Nothing couldbe easier than this manoeuvre as it is very simple as long as you take your time and do it calmly with the help of your crew someone has to be captain after all or why not take turns in captaining and add an element of competition you will be surprised to find how quickly you become adept . It will definitely leave you with excellent memories of your cruise!
Navigation on the River Oudon:
The river Oudon commences in the Maine hills, near Rennes. It meanders tranquilly over a distance of 80km bringing water to the cities of Craon and Segré before joining up the the river Mayenne at the town of Lion d’Angers. It is possible to sail from the pleasure port of Segré to the Mayenne, a navigation of only 18 kilometres, which makes it one of the smallest, navigable rivers in France. Its 3 locks are stunning and contrast well with the wild and savage scenery of the river. But be careful! There is nowhere to stop to take aboard supplies or water between Segré and Lion d’Angers, so make sure you have everything you need before setting out! The locks are all manuel, however they each are manned by a lock keeper, making your cruise a carefree experince The river Oudon will take you on a wild ride into the heart of nature…
Navigation on the River Sarthe :
With a length of 285km, the river Sarthe is a long river which offers plenty of different options to explore it’s wildlife and lush greenery. This still river is interspersed with splendid, floral locks which are operated by hand by the lock keepers who live on the spot and who will be able to advise you the best sights about the region. Travelling down this river you will come across friendly villages, castles, churches and many more surprises which are hidden behind every meandering bend of this hidden gem of a waterway…
The Locks The locks are one of the biggest attractions on the Mayenne river region. Each lock has its own charm and characteristic: the grocery lock, restaurant lock, the photo exhibition lock and even… the bakery lock with an explanation of how bread was produced in the ancient times! And of course, it is impossible to forget the local taverns of the area who offer delicious, local cuisine at great prices!
The Pommeau, the local aperitif This aperitif is made by mixing two third of apple must (non fermented juice) and one third of cider brandy which is at least 2 years old. The alcohol content of the cider brandy prevents the fermentation of the juice, which gives the alcohol a sweeter taste. The Pommeau acquires its amber colour and scent after being in contact with the wood in the barrel within which it ages for several months.
The Abbey of Port du Salut in Entrammes Situated on the banks of the river Mayenne, at the site of an ancient Gallo-Roman campsite, the Abbey of Port du Salut has housed a community of Cistercian-Trappists since 1815. You can participate in the monastery’s practices in the 13th century church. Upon entering the abbey you are able to procure certain products which are created within the monastery and other communities, as well as religious books and objects. THE VISIT IS FREE.
The Towpaths Witnesses to intense, commercial activity, the towpaths are marked heavily by the past, in particular by the past of the sailors who, with the help of their horses, towed their boats along the river.
Nowadays, the towpaths are a great place to meet new people: specifically those of man and the environment surrounding him. The 85km of towpaths from the town of Mayenne have been recently restored, creating endless possibilities for beautiful walks or cycling.
The Refuge de l’Arche, a refuge for injured animals Founded 40 years ago with an animal that was collected on the roadside by a group of friends. Since then, the Refuge has opened its doors to all injured animals brought in or those who have become troublesome for their owners.
An exceptional site in the region, this refuge welcomes over 100 000 visitors per year.
Its founder, Christian Huchedé, has made this family garden into a real haven of 14 hectares, where he and his team strive to give love and tenderness to those animals who have never received it.
The National Stud of the Lion d’Angers The town of Lion d’Angers is almost entirely devoted to the breeding of horses. Founded on the confluence of the river Mayenne and the river Oudon, the Briand Island stud houses a certain number of “cracks”, the champion racehorses who have come to enjoy a happy retirement while assuming an important role in the reproduction. It is possible to visit the majority of the facilities, and the racecourse extends just to the Port of Oudon
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