Canal 2010 AIRE-SUR-LA-LYS © Photo Carl - Office de Tourisme de la Région de Saint-Omer (9)Canal 2010 AIRE-SUR-LA-LYS © Photo Carl - Office de Tourisme de la Région de Saint-Omer (9)
©Canal 2010 AIRE-SUR-LA-LYS © Photo Carl - Office de Tourisme de la Région de Saint-Omer (9)|Tourisme en Pays de Saint-Omer

Aire-sur-la-Lys marina

River tourism is all the rage these days, as you let yourself be carried along by the waves and watch the most beautiful landscapes go by from the comfort of your own boat. From Burgundy to the legendary Canal du Midi, visitors in search of a new experience are recharging their batteries on the water. Aire-sur-la-Lys, a city of water and historic river crossroads, has joined this trend with the creation of a brand new river port, ready to welcome visitors from the four corners of the globe.


Between commerce and slow tourism

Appearing in France in the 70s, river tourism fits in perfectly with “slow tourism” and naturally combines with other nature activities. It has to be said that France is Europe’s leading navigable network, with 8500 km of waterways, so it seemed only natural that the Belle du Pas-de-Calais, Aire-sur-la-Lys, should be part of it.

Moreover, between river tourism and Aire, there’s a long history that has enabled the economic development of the Airoise town. Indeed, thanks to its geographical location, the bassin des 4 faces is Aire’s river crossroads between the Canal de Neuffossé (towards Saint-Omer, the port of Arques), the Canal d’Aire (towards Béthune, La Bassée and the Deûle), the canalized and navigable Lys, (towards Haverskerque, Armentières and Deûlémont) and the Lys intra-muros, a watercourse rising in Lisbourg (62).

In the past, it enabled trading boats to turn around and sail in the desired direction. Appearing as early as the 1745 relief plan, the basin was a commercial crossroads that made Aire-sur-la-Lys a drapery town of great importance in the area.

The river port

A unique way to discover the Belle du Pas-de-Calais

In 2023, the river port undergoes a facelift and returns to its primary vocation: navigation. Boats, Dutch launches, barques, pénichettes, (up to 18m) will be able to stop over for a stay or moor up on site and make it their home port.

Designed to accommodate around forty boats, visiting yachtsmen will be able to enjoy all the comforts of the facility: water, electricity and even Wi-Fi connection. The Harbour Master’s Office will be a quiet place to meet and socialize, punctuated by entertainment during the summer period.

From summer 2023

A place to discover or rediscover

It’s a very pleasant place to enjoy river activities: bike rides along the Halage and EuroVéloroute 5 or hiking. Furthermore, just a few steps away, Aire-sur-la-Lys town center and its historical heritage is a real treasure: the belfry with its pretty bretèche, the imposing collegiate church and the charming town hall.

It’s also the perfect opportunity to sample culinary specialties such as the renowned andouille d’Aire or mastelle, an absolutely succulent orange blossom cookie. On foot, by bike or by boat, a place to discover or rediscover from summer 2023.



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