No less than six rivers flow through the area, creating breathtaking landscapes. You will be astounded by the rich natural heritage and the harmony it brings to the heart of Angers. Angers is also home to Europe’s first horticultural theme park, Terra Botanica, where you will find an incredible world of plants to explore.
ANGERS, A LAND WHERE RIVERS MEET
With the Loire, the Mayenne, the Authion, the Sarthe and the Loir rivers, not forgetting the Maine, Angers is resolutely a land of water. It doesn’t take long to realise the influence of these rivers on the history, châteaux and vineyards of the area. Make sure you give yourself time to discover the pristine scenery of the Basses Vallées Angevines, which are magical in every season. You might see a kingfisher soaring over a bank of white sand or stumble across a field of snake’s heads, an unusual inverted sort of tulip. Nature lovers are guaranteed to fall under the spell of this part of the Loire Valley UNESCO World Heritage site.
GET OUT ON THE WATER
Rivers, of course, means kayaking, water sports and swimming areas galore, as well as many more fun activities for the sports loving visitor. Or if you prefer to stay well above the water and enjoy the views, you can opt for one of a wide range of river cruises (drinks cruise, lunch cruise, concert cruise...). What could be nicer on a summer’s evening than gliding along the Maine while sipping a well chilled glass of Rosé de Loire? And for those wanting to unwind and get back to basics, a rejuvenating stroll around Saint-Aubin island should do the trick.
CYCLING ALONG THE LOIRE
There are plenty of cycle paths along the various river banks including the banks of the Loire. The most well known one is the Loire à Vélo route which is 800 km long! Simply climb on your bikes and explore the paths that run between Angers’ outstanding sights. You might also like to pedal along the paths of the Vélo Francette route, stopping off in a bucolic spot for some picnic fun or perhaps even a spot of fishing. And if you wish to explore the vineyards, the Layon Aubance and Loire Aubance routes are ideal for you. Another option by bike is to follow the route along the Authion through the peaceful river valley, which is a renowned cradle of plant life. Don’t forget to stop at the Loire Odyssée visitor centre where all the secrets of the river will be revealed.
AN AUTHENTIC RIVER EXPERIENCE
To enjoy the water in the traditional Angevine way, board an old-fashioned fisherman’s boat (toue de Loire) or river barge (gabare). These authentic wooden vessels with their sails and lines will transport you along the quiet waters with a gentle breeze in your hair. You’ll leave modern life behind for a moment amid distinctive surroundings where time stands still. It’ll be just you and nature. To make the moment last a little longer, drop into a riverside café, or guinguette in French, where a relaxed laid-back atmosphere will make you feel at home. It might be the chance to try some of Angers’ specialities or sample local freshwater fish.