Sail up the Sarthe with your canal boat for a week of river navigation. During your stops, discover charming cities, castles, mills and the sumptuous abbey of Solesmes. Don’t miss Malicorne and its pottery. This boating holiday will also take you to Le Mans and its unmissable Cité Plantagenêt – the historic medieval centre. Are you ready for a trip into history?
The rental of your Nicols boat from the base of Sablé-sur-Sarthe in Anjou is the ideal place to discover this beautiful calm and nonchalant river that is the Sarthe. Its low number of locks will seduce the novice for a first cruise in all serenity.
Sablé-sur-Sarthe: Castle park, guided tour of the ancient town centre, The museum of the flying man, art gallery of the Chateau de Villeneuve, ‘Espace Henri Royer’ with Picnic area, Playground, Mini golf, Pool and jetty.
Solesmes: Abbaye Saint-Pierre de Solesmes + Gregorian songs, Chapelle Notre Dame du Nid
Juigné sur Sarthe: Wrought-iron craft
Avoise: Guided tour of the village, Château Dobert (15th & 18th century, Le manoir de la Perrine de Cry (manor house), medieval village of Asnières sur Vègre - small characterful estate and mosaic garden,4 km from Avoise)
Parcé-sur-Sarthe: Small charcterful estate, possible guided tour, Tower Saint-Pierre, Notre-Dame Saint-Joseph chapel, View of Château Pechesseul
Malicorne: ‘Musee de la faienceum’ ceramic museum, ‘Malicorne Espace Faience’ earthenware fun and interactive museum, Chateau def Malicorne, guided tour of the village
Noyen: Outdoor amphitheatre, hiking trail at Maison de la Rando (5 km from Noyen)
Fercé-sur-sarthe: Hike on the ‘Boucle des 3 cantons’ (Loop of three townships) discover chapels and Chateau de Vauloge (15th & 17th century)
Chemiré-le-Gaudin/ Port de St Benoît: Riverside hiking route, Eglise d'Athenay (church)
La Suze-sur-sarthe : Château à La Suze-sur-Sarthe (the ancient fortress of the twelfth century), health trail in spruce woods, gardens of Château de Villaines at Louplandes
Fillé-sur-Sarthe: Contemporary arts centre, 6km hike - loop of the canal, fishing course, Moulin Cyprien windmill
Spay: Domaine du Houssay: 40hectare park with mini golf, orienteering course, bike rental, canoes and swimming (summer), ‘Spaycific zoo’ (4 km), church
Le Mans: Cité Plantagenê- medieval centre sheltered by a Roman wall and featuring with twenty hectares of cobbled streets, inhabited by half-timbered houses, Renaissance hotels and overhung by the half-Romanesque, half-Gothic.Saint- cathédrale Saint-Julien. In July or August, La Nuit des Chimères sees buildings beautifully illuminated at night.
When you’ve explored Le Mans, head back to where you will return your canal boat to the Nicols base. Your boating holiday may be over but you will leave full of smiles and memories from your voyage of discovery in Anjou.
Holiday reviews from Sablé-sur-Sarthe
Excellent navigation tips
The base is very well located and the Nicols team gave us excellent sailing advice before departure. We saw more than 20 kingfishers during our cruise, never had to queue with other boats and loved the historic centre of Le Mans.
Derek, Macclesfield (England)