Fun Things to Do On and Along the Rivers, in Angers

People cycling along the Maine River

Ready to explore the rivers of Angers ?


The capital of Anjou revolves around water. Whether you are looking for waterside drinks or trails to hike, the rivers of Angers have fabulous experiences to offer, whatever the season or time of day. Want some inspiration ? Read on...

1. Festoon lights and cocktails your thing ?  

Get into the “guinguette” spirit at a riverside café !

When the sun starts to set behind the castle, it’s time to throw on some sandals, jump on your bike and pedal along the Maine to meet with friends on one of the city’s terraces. For a festive atmosphere on the water’s edge, head to a “guinguette”. When the warm days arrive, there’s no better place to get your evening off to a pleasant start.

What’s on the menu ? Expect a great stress-free night out with a vast choice of local delicacies to savour and the chance to improvise a few dance moves between the tables. Pure Angevin good living guaranteed.

Although most guinguettes are only open in spring and summer, some, like Port Thibault, Le Kiviv and Port Albert, are open all year round.

2. Prefer a picnic blanket and a bottle of rosé ?

Lunch at the water's edge

With the Mayenne, Maine, Sarthe and Loir, you’ll have no difficulty finding a cool spot for a picnic alongside a river in Angers. As soon as spring returns, the riverbanks offer a real moment of tranquillity and are easily accessible by bike or on foot. Add a bit of sunshine, a glass of rosé and a few treats picked up from the market and you have yourself the perfect picnic.

Not sure where to spread your picnic blanket ? Ready to take notes ? Here we reveal you our favourite spots.


Here on the banks of the Mayenne, you have a lovely shaded picnic area with picnic tables, a river view, and plenty of space for kids to run around. And if you’re still hungry, the riverside café La Cabane du Chat qui Pêche isn’t far away.

Parc des Sablières in Écouflant

The Sablières park is a fun place with its leisure park, lake, beach and woods. You can make use of the picnic tables or spread your rug beneath the shade of the trees.


In Briollay, you’ll find no less than three different picnic areas, near the Loir and the Sarthe rivers. Relax by the waterside, before launching yourself into a grand boules tournament.

Treat yourself to a restaurant cruise !

When sightseeing meets gastronomy on the rivers of Angers, you have a fabulous restaurant cruise. Enjoy a wonderful sensory journey for both the eyes and the taste buds while sailing along the Loire, Mayenne or the Maine.

All this can be yours when you book a meal aboard Bateau l’Hirondelle. The cruise boat company offers refined meal cruises showcasing local produce.

Want some festive holiday fun ? The traditional flat-bottomed boat company Atoue Loire sets sail from Cale de La Savatte every Tuesday at 7.30 pm for a party cruise on the river. With tapas and mojitos on the water, you have a winning cocktail !

3.Want some active riverside fun ?

Ideas for hiking or cycling beside the water

Get to know Angers’ rivers with one of our four suggested hikes or bike rides :

1 - Marcillé plateau to the towpath

Distance: 13.6 km
Time: 3 hours 30 mins
Difficulty: 2/5
What we love most on this route : The bucolic little port of Pruillé

More about hiking map 

2 - From Plessis-Bourré Castle to the Basses Vallées Angevines

Distance: 25.4 km
Time: 6 hours 20 mins
Difficulty: 2/5
What we love most on this route : The educational marsh in Briollay

More about hiking map 

3 - The Sarthe towpath and the Sablières park

Distance: 8 km
Time: 2 hours 20 mins
Difficulty: 2/5
What we love most on this route : The natural surroundings of Sablières park

More about hiking map 

4 - Between the Mayenne and the meadows of the Basses Vallées Angevines

Distance: 16.5 km
Time: 1 hour 30 mins
Difficulty: 2/5
What we love most on this route : The 34-metre-long Montreuil-Belfroy lock

More about hiking map 

An original kitesurfing spot

If you’re a watersports fan, did you know that you can kitesurf on the river Loire ? If you’ve never seen kitesurfing before, imagine an enormous kite pulling a surfboard along. Add the rush that you get from the wind and the speed, the stunning light of the “Royal river” for backdrop and you have a magical experience.

Paddle along together

Angers’ rivers are a great source of things to do and sensations to experience, as a couple, with friends or with all the family. For more information on activities like canoeing or paddleboarding, contact the Club Nautique d’Écouflant or Bouchemaine.

4. Prefer to take things nice and slow ?  

An alternative way to see the Loire

What better than going back in time on a traditional “gabarre” river boat ? As the passing scenery lulls you, let Alex and Théo of Terre et Loire tell you the history of the area. They are real experts and have many anecdotes to share. Or if you prefer seeing historical sites while you sail, opt for a river cruise with Atoue Loire.

Like to take your time ? Got nowhere to be in a hurry ?

Then electric boats and barges are definitely for you. These extremely comfortable, quiet and relaxing vessels will ensure you a tranquil trip in the natural surroundings of the river. You’ll experience the laid-back Angers lifestyle at its purest ! To find out more, contact La Halte Nautique du Bac or Anjou Navigation.

All things to do on the water in Angers