The rivers in Nouvelle-Aquitaine provide a great opportunity for boating, canoeing / kayaking and fishing. A visit to the river beaches in Nouvelle-Aquitaine is a great day out for all of the family. The two rivers closest to Les Hiboux are the River Dronne and the Charente River.
River Dronne – Beaches at Aubeterre-sur-Dronne (30km) and Saint-Aulaye (35km)
There is an excellent river beach on the River Dronne at the picturesque town of Aubeterre-sur-Dronne. From the 15th July to the 20th August swimming is supervised. There is a café onsite for refreshments. Canoeing / kayaking are available (see the canoeing / kayaking section). There is a playground for children. You can fish from the beach - mostly you will find zander, trout and carp in the area. (You will need a fishing permit which is available from the grocery shop ‘Vival’, in Aubeterre).
There is another very pretty river beach at Saint-Aulaye. The river beach has water slides that are open during July and August from 3pm until 6pm. There is also a café and children’s play area.
Charente River – Boat Trip from Saint-Simon (50km)
A great way to see the Charente River is on a boat trip. From the village of Saint-Simon (50km) west of Angouleme, you can enjoy the scenery of the river from aboard a gabarre - a traditional boat once used to carry goods up and down the Charente. The most famous cargo carried by the gabarres was local cognac, which was transported down from the warehouses of the Charente to be loaded onto ships at the mouth of the river, from where it would be taken to destinations such as London or St Petersburg. From late April or early May until October you can take a trip on the River Charente aboard ‘La Renaissance’, a replica of an 18th century gabarre (most of the originals have long since vanished, either broken up for firewood or in a few cases used in the construction of local houses). The trip takes just up to 90 minutes (it depends slightly on how busy the lock is) and gives passengers a chance to experience going through a lock, admire the countryside, and see the wildlife. There is also onboard commentary (in French) from a guide. Tickets are bought at the Maison des Gabarriers. The full adult ticket price of around €6.25 covers admission to the museum plus the boat trip. Tickets for one or the other cost €3.50. Tickets covering both for children and concessions are €4.