By boat

The Sarthe Valley offers you the possibility to sleep on the water! A calm holiday awaits you aboard a fully equipped boat for a 2 to 7 day cruise.




The Captain’s Advice

If you rent a houseboat for a weekend, you could for instance, go from Sablé-sur-Sarthe to Malicorne-sur-Sarthe or from Châteauneuf-sur-Sarthe to Sable-sur-Sarthe (plan for about 10 hours of river travel).
If you happen to have a week free, you could enjoy a cruise leaving from Sablé, travel upstream to Fillé, and then travel back downstream to Châteauneuf (plan for about 30 hours or river travel).
Whichever option you choose, you’ll never run out of interesting stopovers to see for the length of your trip. The Sarthe is lined with many picturesque sites, tourist sites, hiking trails, meal stops, and all of the other attractions that a cruise on the Sarthe has to offer.

 Cast off !


Many specialised guides recommend the Sarthe for its especially peaceful boating experience as well as its rich natural and historical heritage. Te Sarthe is an easily accessible river even for beginners due to the fact that it has very few locks. The Sarthe unfurls into 130 km of navigable waterways perfect for a slow, thoroughly enjoyable cruise down the river marked by watermills, flowered locks, small villages and gourmet restaurants.
There's no need for a permit or licence to become a ship's captain and take command of your own comfortable houseboat perfect for cruises of two to seven days. You can expect gentle guidance as soon as you leave port, and through each lock so that all that's left to do is follow a few simple boating rules (found below) in order to become the best captain ever.


For more information on the hire of houseboats please see the page : Hire of houseboats



Shuttleboats between Angers and Cheffes-sur-Sarthe



Leaving from Angers, the boat La Fauvette (12 places + 12 bikes) will take you to Cheffes-sur-Sarthe. Choose your return by shuttle or by bike. For more information, contact : Angers Loire Tourisme - 02 41 23 50 00 




A Fisherman ‘s Paradise


The Sarthe and its tributaries (The Hisine, the Vègre and the Gée) are reputed for the quality and the variety of their fish populations. 




© P. Cadiou



Many other sites are adapted specifically for fishing, of which some offer specially equipped floating docks to permit use by persons with reduced mobility.




 River Fishing / Angling



The Sarthe is home to many carnivorous species of fish : pike, zander, perch, and white fish such as : bleak,roach, red eye , bream, carp, tench, chub, and gudgeon.All of the public areas of the Sarthe are classified as night carp fishing areas. The glane brown bullhead, has been reintroduced into the Sarthe river for some time and its nature guarantees that it will put up a strong fight. The black bass can also be found but more seldomly inlakes or ponds.




Row, row, row your boat...




Whatever your purposes, whether with friends or family, you can find all sorts of boats appropriate for your needs,





 perfect for a day of pleasure boating or picnicking...




From trade to pleasure boating drifting down the River Sarthe…
Like many rivers, the River Sarthe has been used since the middle Ages for river navigation by small water craft. It is navigable for 133 kilometers, from Le Mans to its confluence with the Mayenne River. The Sarthe connected the Altantic Ocean to the agricultural regions of Normandy, the Maine and Central Brittany by way of the Loire River.
Trade by waterway reached its true height in the 16th century. The river was populated by numerous barges transporting coal, grain, wood, hemp, marble, wine, and tuffeau limestone.
Trade was first carried out by the use of winches to tow flat boats (gabarres) through mill lanes.









In the 19th century, twenty one-stage locks were constructed in the Sarthe River to improve navigability. A tow path for horse-drawn craft was created along the shoreline. Many small villages that we still find today turned toward this new means of transportation. Steam vessels wre used for travel. By about 1930, diesel-powered barges were preferred as a means of transportations.
In the years that followed, the development of railways brought on the progressive decline of commercial river navigation which disappeared definitively in the early 1970’s. But after lying forgotten for a short period, the Sarthe is turning the tables : it has become the site of another flourishing activity by lending its charms to pleasure boaters and holiday-makers.