And in the middle of Mond’Arverne flows a river…
Sometimes calm, sometimes unpredictable, the waters of the Allier weave their way through Auvergne as far as the Loire. And these waters leave a mosaic of landscapes in their wake, comprising beaches, small islands and cliffs. So get that swimwear on, step aboard your canoe and follow your guide!
Because it’s in your canoe that you’ll get most out of the natural gems and the peace provided by this river. After just a few strokes of your paddle, you’ll find it easy to master the little rapids of what is seen as “one of Europe’s last remaining wild rivers”. The calm parts will be an opportunity to watch the local fauna; maybe you’ll cross paths with a proud heron imperturbably watching its meal wriggling beneath the surface of the water. Or maybe, if you are patient (and very quiet), you’ll be lucky enough to spot an otter or a beaver! From time to time, you’ll pass a fisherman who, with a fluid, assured movement, is trying to deceive a salmon. And if you too are a keen fisherman, whether beginner or expert, you’ll just have to come back again with your own equipment for a spot of fishing yourself!
And when you get as far as Longues, remember that a few hundred years ago there was a harbour just beside you, and that the big boats known as sapinières used to pass by just in front of you, carrying coal, wine and local fruit to Paris. The Allier was once a huge meeting point for business.
At the end of your trip, you’ll be back to the sandy shoreline. With your feet in the water and beneath the lovely blue sky, this is when to spend a little more time enjoying the restful atmosphere exuded by this river.