• Les Rivières de l'Ouest is a new tourist brand bringing together the Maine, Sarthe, Mayenne and Oudon rivers.

  • The destination wants to establish itself as a French benchmark for river tourism.

They four offer no less than 283 km of connected waterways, making it the largest navigable basin in France.

Less known than the Canal du Midi or the Nantes-Brest canal, the Maine, Mayenne, Sarthe and Oudon rivers want to become a leading tourist destination and attract French and foreign visitors in search of

slow tourism


A new brand called Les Rivières de l'Ouest was launched on Tuesday, at the initiative of the departments of Maine-et-Loire, Mayenne and Sarthe.

Relying on a website and aggressive communication on social networks, the brand aims to raise awareness of this territory and its “river” assets.

“The term fluvestre designates both river activities (cruises, canoe trips, water sports, etc.) and land activities (cycling, visits, gastronomy, etc.).

This destination has all that to offer when you don't necessarily think of it when planning your vacation.

We want to trigger this desire”, explains Pauline Mourand, project manager for the Rivières de l'Ouest.

“Sailing on a river means taking your time, learning to slow down”

The strong point of these four rivers is obviously to be able to navigate them without a license, via an electric boat for rent by the day, or a houseboat for several days.

One hour of training is enough to learn the basics, including the passage of locks (67 in total).

“Sailing on the river means taking your time, learning to slow down.

With a boat you are far from the hustle and bustle and free to moor whenever you want.

This search for calm and disconnection responds well to a current trend among tourists.


Among the sites of visits positioned along the destination are the town of Angers and its heritage, Sablé-sur-Sarthe and its castle, the abbey of Solesmes, Le Mans, its old town and its 24 Hours museum, the Blue mine of Segré or Château-Gontier and its Refuge de l'Arche.

Without forgetting nature, changing, sometimes surprising.

“That's the big difference with channels.

There is a diversity of landscapes that have not been sculpted by man,” insists Pauline Mourand.

Served by four cycle routes, the Rivières de l'Ouest also have four houseboat companies and six rental bases.


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