Let yourself be carried away by the tranquil pace of the river, take a front-row seat to observe the wildlife, and switch off… The Loire Valley offers a wealth of opportunities for canoeing and kayaking on the Loire and its tributaries, all of which are well worth a visit. What’s on offer? Lush, green landscapes of pure beauty. Spend an afternoon with your family or friends, admire the sumptuous panoramic views from your canoe or kayak, and enjoy a moment of absolute peace and quiet! 


How about discovering the Loire châteaux from the river or its tributaries? Not only will you have the pleasure of paddling in complete tranquillity, but you will also be able to appreciate these majestic monuments while immersed in their surroundings. Special mention should be made of the view from below, which makes them look even more impressive! 

Now all you have to do is find the perfect outing, starting from one of the many water sports centres along the Loire, Indre or Cher rivers. They will open the doors to sumptuous châteaux: Chenonceau, Azay-le-Rideau, Chinon, Amboise and Chaumont-sur-Loire. Many routes are easily accessible for half-hour to half-day trips. You can also visit them by bike on the Loire à Vélo

An example? Head to the Saint-Dyé-sur-Loire water sports centre for a canoe or kayak trip in the heart of nature! You can choose from a range of trip lengths, from 5 to 30 kilometres. A trip from Saint-Dyé-sur-Loire to Chaumont-sur-Loire requires a total of 6 hours of paddling. The bucolic Azay-le-Rideau region also offers some superb circuits, as do Loches and Chenonceau

Une mère et son fils dans un canoë avec le chateau de Chaumont sur Loire au-dessus
D. Darrault – CRT Centre Val de Loire

On the practical side, all the equipment is provided by the canoe hire company. With family or friends, you can hire 2 or 3-seater canoes, or single-seater kayaks. Some hire companies also provide magnificent Canadian canoes for an even more authentic experience in the heart of the Loire Valley! Don’t panic if you’ve never paddled before, the river is calm and fairly flat. You can also choose to be accompanied by a guide. In all cases, lifejackets and footwear must be worn. 


C. Mouton – CRT Centre-Val de Loire
Deux couples qui font du canoë, ils se suivent

Continue your journey along the water and discover other river activities in the Loire Valley! For a unique experience, try the twilight descent organised by the Maison de Loire du Loir-et-Cher. A chance to discover the flora and fauna of the Loire in a whole new light! 

If you want to experience a magical moment with your children, opt for a trip on a flat-bottomed boat or a promenade boat. These traditional boats, typical of the Loire Valley, are ideal for short adventures with the family! They offer cruises on the Loire and Vienne rivers and guided walks with fishermen. Let yourself be carried away by the water lapping against the boat! 

D. Darrault – CRT Centre-Val de Loire
Un bateau naviguant au milieu du fleuve, les voiles sont levées

The sportier among you will enjoy hiring stand-up paddles. In the company of your partner or your children, take a stand-up cruise to discover the castles and beautiful villages that line the river. You can sometimes fit up to 8 people on the same board. It’s sure to be an unforgettable experience! 

French Wanderers
3 montgolfières, dont une dans le ciel, au bord de la Loire

Finally, after an extraordinary river experience in the heart of the Loire Valley, why not take to the skies? Hot-air ballooning is a breathtaking activity, allowing you to admire the most beautiful castles with your head in the clouds. Take to the skies near Tours, Blois or even Orléans

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