A little history ... beautiful rivers

Vienne, Gartempe, Creuse - all aboard to discover our rivers!

La Vienne, la Creuse et leurs principaux affluents – le Clain et l’Envigne, la Gartempe et l’Anglin - sillonnent Grand Châtellerault. Des plus petites, libres et sauvages, aux plus importantes, majestueuses et parfois rebelles, elles ont donné naissance à un art de vivre et à un patrimoine unique. Rives et berges, grèves et lavoirs, bacs et ponts, barrages et moulins jalonnent leur cours. Autrefois, la vie des cours d’eau était rythmée par les flottages de bois, les transports de pierre meulières, de matières premières ou transformées… Les confluences « les becs des deux eaux », les îles et presqu’îles, les méandres et circonvolutions sont autant de lieux magnifiques et évocateurs du cours de ces eaux – pour la plupart venant du Massif Central et de ses contreforts – qui par l’intermédiaire de la Creuse puis de la Vienne partent dans la Loire avant de rejoindre l’Océan.

The Vienne and the Creuse with their main tributaries, the Clain and the Envigne, the Gartempe and the Anglin wind their way across the Grand Châtellerault area. Small, free flowing and wild...larger, majestic and sometimes rebellious, they are the root of the area’s lifestyle and unique heritage. Banks, embankments, washhouses, ferries and bridges, dams and mills are scattered along the way. In the past, the tempo of life was set by floating wood, the transport of mill stones, raw products and other goods... The magnificent confluences, islands and peninsulas, meanderings and circumvolutions are constant reminders of the omnipresent rivers, mostly flowing from the foothills of the Massif Central to go via the Creuse, then the Vienne, into the Loire river before joining the ocean.

Discover the Châtellerault area from the water


Today you can explore the area, our heritage, landscapes, flora and fauna from a new perspective, seen from the water. Large and narrow valleys, gently sloping banks and steep cliffs, bent trees leaning from the banks, castles, mills, bridges... You may also cross paths with beavers and their cousins, the coypus, or with eels and salmon, herons and kingfishers, water spiders and dragonflies, yellow buttercups and water lilies, weeping willows and poplars. Ideal for enjoying the calm and serenity of preserved natural areas, the rivers are more or less marked by man’s activity, and some even more challenging to cross. The rivers’ courses are varied, suitable either for simply wandering or for more sporty activities, alone, with your family or friends, with a guide or without.

For more sporty itineraries with canoes and kayaks: the Anglin, Vienne, Creuse and Gartempe. The more reflective and cultural: on barges with a cabin leaving from the Manu in Châtellerault, or more freely with total peace of mind at the helm of an electric boat from the small port of Cenon-sur-Vienne.