Canoe Isnor 2022 CLAIRMARAIS (5) © Tourism in Saint-OmerCanoe Isnor 2022 CLAIRMARAIS (5) © Tourism in Saint-Omer
©Canoe Isnor 2022 CLAIRMARAIS (5) © Tourism in Saint-Omer|Tourisme en Pays de Saint-Omer

Rent a canoe or kayak

Discover the Audomarois marshes in a different way

With its 170 kilometers of navigable waterways,the Audomarois marsh is an incredible playground for all canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts. A little corner of paradise itself, shaped and maintained by man since the Middle Ages. Listed as a UNESCO “Man and Biosphere” world reserve, you’ll encounter herons, coots, great crested grebes, sheep and other inhabitants as you cruise along the water. Pack your kayak, paddles and lifejackets, and we’ll tell you all about it, including our secret spots for a really fun ride.

To begin with, the landing stages

Before you launch yourself into the water without falling in, we advise you to bring along the marsh nautical chart, which you’ll find at several sales outlets including the Tourist Office or Maison du Marais, essential for finding your way around during navigation, but also for locating the nine public piers.

These departure points are specially fitted out for launching, generally wooden pontoons flush with the water. As the marsh is as vast as the city of Lille, you’ll have a choice between the eastern marsh, a market-garden section with pretty vegetable gardens, and the western marsh, with its Flemish longshes and heronries. Depending on which you choose, the landscape is a little different, but the pleasure of slaloming between the watergangs remains the same wherever you go.

A leisurely stroll

Although the locals are more accustomed to coming across bacôves, the flat-bottomed boats emblematic of the marsh, kayakers are on a roll. It has to be said that they’re even more practical and easier to access than motorboats, as some passages are too narrow or shallow for them. Here, you’ll glide across small waterways and venture into watergangs, giving you a real sense of freedom and adventure!

France's twelfth biosphere reserve

The best part of kayaking is observing the flora and fauna. Classified by Unesco as “France’s twelfth biosphere reserve”, this wetland contains a third of France’s aquatic flora, and also gives you the chance to spot one of the 240 species of birds.

Grab your binoculars and if you’re lucky, you’ll spot a kingfisher with its bright blue and orange plumage. As the Romelaëre Reserve is closed to navigation, head to the Reninghe or Lansberghe for a slightly more secret spot.



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