La Roche-sur-Yon is the capital of the Vendée, chosen by Napoleon I in 1804....
In the Mayenne , the ‘chemin de halage’, a former towpath is a testament to the history of transport by river. 85kms long, you can travel this path on foot, bike or horseback following in the steps of mariners and the horses that pulled their barges.
For nature lovers there is an abundance of flora and fauna. Explore beautiful landscapes with a myriad of trees and wild flowers. Colourful birds, deer and other wildlife inhabit the banks and in the water you’ll see fish and even eels as ‘painted’ dragonflies shimmer above the surface. From time to time, in a flash of silver, a dragonfly will disappear leaving a trail of bubbles – a quick snack for a hungry fish.
Golf , canoeing. boating and jet-skiing are just some of the activities along the route. Culture lovers will adore the châteaux , mills and churches many of which you can visit. There are more than a dozen châteaux and manor houses along the way. The three main towns in the Mayenne are perfect cultural stops. Mayenne is a town dating back to the Middles Ages, with an impressive castle. Laval is the ‘capital’ of the Mayenne region and its castle houses the ‘Gallery of Art Naïf’. The most southerly town, Château-Gontier, is worth a visit to see the convent des Ursulines and the Saint-Jean-Baptiste church, one of the best examples of Roman architecture in the region.
Further information about Le Chemin de Halage on the Mayenne tourist board website