The best bits :
- Wide open rivers and breathtaking landscapes.
- An abundance of castles visible from the water.
- Excellent towpath system adjacent to the river.
- No lock closures.
- Waterways designated for pleasure boating only.
The port of Laval is an ideal starting point for a canal boat holiday. It is surrounded by nature as well as being easy to get to – with the boat moorings located just one kilometre from the TGV train station.
Before you leave Laval we thoroughly recommend exploring the city. It is rich with art and history – must sees are the castle, the church of Notre-Dame d'Avesnières, the Saint Julien boat wash-house museum, and Lactopôle (the largest dairy museum in the world!).
The Nicols team will join you onboard your canal boat and show you the ropes, including helping you negotiate the first lock. Don’t worry though, no previous boating experience or licence is required to hire a Nicols canal barge.
Then the holiday begins! From here you’re then free to cruise along the river Mayenne (south) towards Angers and discover the abbey and famous cheese of Port du Salut, the prehistoric megalith monuments at Baronnière, the baths and Roman settlements at Entrammes or the ancient city of Château Gontier and its pretty half-timbered houses.
The Mayenne river is a wild and unspoilt waterway that is popular with fisherman and nature lovers. Crews can also take full advantage of the onboard bikes thanks to the excellent towpaths, a large part of which links up as part of the renowned Vélo Francette.
For crews looking for a more challenging adventure it is possible to head in the other direction (north) from Laval, towards Mayenne. This route has many locks to negotiate however the locals will tell you that it is worth the effort for the beautiful landscapes that can be enjoy in this more secret part of the river.
Need information about your destination? Remember to order your travel guide from Nicols before you leave!