While the world rushes by, rivers take their time and following them shows you places you’d otherwise miss...
Since the dawn of time landscapes have been shaped by the countless streams and rivers flowing through them en-route to the sea, and in Poitou-Charentes the evidence is all around you. Following watercourses is always entertaining, and while taking to the water is all part of the holiday fun, you can also embark on your own voyage of discovery by bike, car or even on foot.
Roads, lanes and footpaths enable you to follow water courses for long stretches, and allow you to keep an eye on everything happening on the water. And, if by chance your route should part company with the river for a while, you’ll still have all the other charms of the countryside around you to remind you that you really are in deepest (and greenest) France. We’ll take a look at some of the wealth of possibilities around the region, wherever you happen to be based.
Feel like taking to the water?
Leave the car behind and see even more of the river by hiring a river cruiser (pénichette). If you want to do it in style, self-drive boat-hire points include Angoulême, Cognac, Jarnac, Port d’Envaux and Sireuil. You won’t need a licence, and cruisers feature comfortable onboard living accommodation for weekends or longer explorations – you’ll have around 170km of waterway to explore, between Angoulême and Rochefort. Or if you simply feel like getting an introduc- tory taste of life on the water, you can hire by the day or half-day.
www.randonneefluviale.fr – enjoy an accompanied river trip in Jarnac or steer yourself by hiring a boat or canoe from Fléac, near Angoulême.
www.intercroisieres.com/uk - self-drive river cruising on the Charente from Sireuil, W of Angoulême.
www.lesbateauxrouges.com - hire a self-drive electric boat from Angoulême.