Enjoy a boat trip on the beautiful River Erdre, from the Île de Versailles in Nantes to Sucé-sur-Erdre, discovering the rich architectural heritage of the many châteaux that line the river banks. Prefer to just enjoy the countryside? Explore the Plaine de Mazerolles marshes from our base in Sucé-sur-Erdre.
Discovering the River Erdre châteaux by boat
What is there to see on the River Erdre? Everyone has heard of the Loire Valley and its famous “châteaux”, but the River Erdre (“France’s most beautiful river”, in the words of King Francis 1st) is not far behind. The river is lined with many fine châteaux dating back several centuries:
- The Château de l’Eraudière was the 16th century summer residence of the bishops of Nantes and a seminary for future catholic priests; the facade seen from the river dates from the 18th century.
- The Château de la Desnerie has been a listed monument since 1985 and the château, belonging to the Sesmaisons family, is mentioned in the records as early as 1371!
- The grounds and buildings of the Château de la Chantrerie: now a public park much appreciated by the inhabitants of Nantes; this former farming estate has been in the hands of the Blon, Lévesque, Normand and Drouin families. It was purchased by the City of Nantes in 1972. The grounds were opened to the public in 1979 and now house the Veterinary College. Many of the other buildings and parts of the estate (the villa, the pavilions, part of the grounds, the chapel and the orangery have been listed as historic monuments since 1997.
- The Château de la Gascherie is a privately-owned château dating back to the 15th century and restored in the 19th; it played a role during the Second World War, when the German occupying army built several bunkers in the 250-acre grounds of the castle.
- The Château de Nay and Château la Couronnerie are separated by the River Erdre and by a forest and face each other across the river: the first was built in the 19th century and boasts a dovecote, a chapel and a private tower.
Exploring the Plaine de Mazerolles marshes by boat
Lying to the north of Nantes, the Plaine de Mazerolles reveals many treasures. It is part of the Erdre marshes and an ideal place to explore by boat for an idea of the full extent of its beauty. Our silent electric boats mean that you will not disturb the birds and animals that inhabit the marshes.
The Plaine de Mazerolles marshes are three kilometers long and one kilometer wide and situated on a migration route. This makes them an ideal resting place and refuge for many bird species throughout the year. They include over 3,000 teal, mallards, northern shovelers, common pochards, tufted ducks, and waders such as snipes and pee-wits. Sixty or so different species can be found in the Plaine de Mazerolles marshes.
This very active wildlife thrives in a rich and diverse ecosystem. As you explore the Plaine de Mazerolles by boat, you will also come across many varieties of plants, with over 200 different plant species, 11 of which are protected, and sphagnum moss peat bogs that are home to many different insects, all essential to the preservation of a delicate ecological balance.
Organizing a boat trip on the River Erdre
To discover the river’s treasures as a twosome, with family or with friends, you can choose between two starting points: our Île de Versailles electric boat hire base in Nantes, or the one in Sucé-sur-Erdre.
You can also make your trip on the River Erdre even more enjoyable with your picnic, in case you feel hungry during your cruise. We have two boats specially equipped with tables: the “Sensas” and the “Most” models, for greater comfort on board.
We also organize team-building activities in Nantes with our River Erdre nautical rally!