Image
Image
Ile MoulinSart, Fillé-sur-Sarthe

Things to do on land

Composants

Visit a castle, meet craftspeople, stroll through a wooded park, go for a walk, a bike-ride, or horseback-ride along the riverbank: beautiful sights await you on the banks of the Rivers of Western France. Take some time to taste the local products at a bar, or dine alfresco before going to sleep in a lockkeeper’s cottage or on a camping site on the river’s edge.

Image
Image
 Château du Plessis-Bourré

Make a stopover in the heart of the Rivers of Western France to explore the rich heritage and symbolic places of the Sarthe, Mayenne, and Anjou regions.

Image
Image
La Vélobuissonnière, Allonnes

There are three major cycle routes along the Rivers of Western France: the “Vélo Francette” in Mayenne, the “Vallée du Loir à Vélo” (“Loir Valley by Bike”) in Anjou, and the “Vélobuissonnière” in Sarthe. These interconnected cycle routes offer some wonderful getaways on the waterfront. The "Vélo Francette" The 600km (370mi) long cycle route Vélo Francette runs between the English Channel and the Atlantic, from Ouistreham to La Rochelle. It spans the Rivers of Western France for 135km (84mi) linking Mayenne with Angers following the river’s course. The route is easily identifiable by the “Vélo Francette” logo and its national identifier “V43”, which you will also find on the cycling signposts.

Image
Image
Port de l’Ile Saint Aubin, Angers

Make the most of your stay on the Rivers of Western France by tasting the delicious local products on the waterfront. If it’s a freshly cooked meal you’re after, it only remains for you to choose from among the many bars, bistros, unusual restaurants or gastro-pubs.  Outdoor bars As soon as the first rays of sunshine appear, the many charming bars open their terraces along the Rivers of Western France. Here, you will be able to have a pleasant drink or an alfresco meal. During the evening, enjoy an open-air concert by the warm glow of light garlands.  On the riverbanks of the Mayenne near Angers, visit the bar on the island of Saint-Aubin by ferry for a relaxing, bucolic moment. A little further to the North, the “Cabane du chat qui pêche” (“the hut of the fishing cat”) offers an ideal spot for relaxing with the whole family and observing nature. The Guinguette de Montflours plays host to countless festive events: open-air concerts, cabarets, theatre, or themed culinary evenings. There are even tango classes, equestrian shows, or piano concerts on the water! On the banks of the river Sarthe you will find that the Guingette des Tanneries in Le Mans is a great place to have a drink in the sun on a lounger, or to share some rillettes on a checked tablecloth. Unusual and trendy restaurants In Angers, head to the “Cale de la Savatte” to have lunch or dinner at one of the trendy restaurants on the quays of the river Maine. Try out Mamie Fada, a chic gastro-pub located in a house that is typical for the region. Perhaps you would like something a little more upscale? The restaurant La Réserve with its rooftop terrace above “Le Quai” theatre offers stunning views of Angers right next to the castle and the old town. Along the valley of the river Sarthe, in the pretty village of Avoise, travel back in time at the restaurant Le Triporteur. Here, you will be served a traditional cuisine on beautiful old plates. Alternatively, you can order a healthy packed meal to take with you on a hike. At the heart of the town centre in Mayenne, La Carotte offers organic, local, modern food including seasonal salads that are fresh and colourful! You can also come here for a drink, to snack on tapas, and listen to a concert on the riverbank. Dinner at the lockkeeper's house On the banks of the river Mayenne, some ancient lockkeepers’ cottages have been converted into restaurants with a typical, authentically local atmosphere right on the riverbank! In Grez-Neuville, savour a refined cuisine with unexpected flavours at the restaurant L’Écluse. Here, the chef highlights local products for flavours that bring together earth, sea, and river.  The café restaurant Le Beyel in the village of Origné takes its summer residency at the lock of “La Benâtre”. The chef creates wonderful little homemade dishes, but also tapas, starter plates for sharing and gourmet desserts.    

Image
Image
Maison éclusière, Origné

Would you like to stay as close to the water as possible? Whether it be camping, a lockkeeper’s house, a mill, or lodgings that are out of the ordinary: enjoy the charm of holidays right by the water!  Go camping on the banks of the river Camping sites located along the riverbanks boast green surroundings that are ideal for a family holiday. Tents on stilts, chalets that resemble wood cabins, bungalows, or vintage caravans: you will have plenty to choose from when it comes to outdoor accommodation. If you’re on a cycling tour along the towpath, the camping sites labelled “Accueil Vélo” offer the perfect accommodation to discover the landscapes of the Rivers of Western France at your own pace. Some tent villages offer activities on the nearby water in collaboration with leisure bases.   

Image
Image
Parcé-sur-Sarthe

From charming market towns to picturesque villages, discover the banks of the rivers Mayenne, Oudon, Maine, and Sarthe on foot. Castles, abbeys, watermills, and lockkeeper’s houses line the towpaths of the Rivers of Western France. Explore the Mayenne Valley  To follow the course of the Mayenne, get on the old towpath which snakes its way along the river. In days of old, it served as passage for men and horses to tow boats from the riverbank. One of the most beautiful Green Lanes of France A towpath turned hiking trail extends over 85km (53mi) from Daon to Mayenne and is accessible to walkers, cyclists, and horseback-riders alike. It counts among the most beautiful Green Lanes of France. Along the well-maintained trail, information panels tell the story of riverboating, the architectural heritage (lockkeepers’ houses, mills) as well as flora and fauna.  

Map