Whether you want to indulge in some “serious” sporting activities or just want a gentle walk or bike ride to exercise off a good lunch, there is plenty to choose from.
Hiking & Mountain Biking
There are more than 120km of marked walking and cycling routes in this area suitable for all abilities. The Roc d’Enfer at Lathus is an Area of Outstanding Beauty due to the variety of wildlife and flora and has been protected since 1991. To the north of Montmorillon, just across the border in Indre et Loire, the National Parc de la Brenne also has many routes to discover the countryside on foot or by bicycle.
Cycle hire can be arranged on your behalf with BikeHireDirect who will deliver bikes to the gites and collect them at the end of your stay. Please click on the link at the bottom of the page for more details.
Although the coast at La Rochelle is a couple of hours away, you can still enjoy a swim outdoors on a warm day. The riverbanks at Lathus and Queaux and the large lake at Chaillac all have sandy beaches. The swimming pool in Montmorillon has an indoor pool and in July and August the outside pool is also open.
Swimming pools – addresses & opening hours
Lake at Chaillac
There are many opportunities for fishing on the Vienne and Gartempe rivers and local grade “A” trout streams. There are also a number of well-stocked fishing ponds. Carp fishing is especially prevalent here but there is also trout, roach, perch etc. Courses are available to learn more about fishing techniques but you can also fish independently if you obtain a “Carte de Peche Vacances”, a low cost fishing license.
Organised Activities (some may be seasonal)
The local Centre de Plein Air outdoor activity centre runs half-day and full day activities led by qualified staff. The centre provides all equipment required. Below are just a few examples of what they can offer but please visit the CPA website for more details.
Please contact us if you would like information on a particular activity or if you would like us to pre-book anything for you.
There are waterskiing, sailing and windsurfing centres at Isle Jourdain and the Centre de Plein Air has a private lake near Lathus used for these activities.
Beginners can start out on the calm waters of the local lake or the quieter parts of the Gartempe River (Lathus). More experienced guests can join an excursion down the river.
The Climbing School is based at the Roc-d’Enfer, a huge outcrop which dominates the Gartempe River. There are climbs suitable for all ages from 4 years up.
There are two riding centres nearby at Lathus and Montmorillon. Treks can also be arranged with other centres in the area such as the Vallée des Cerfs at Luchapt and Défi Planèt’ near Poitiers.
For the more adventurous…
Since 1989 strict rules and regulations have been implemented by the Interior and Sports Ministry and bungee jumping is no longer just for crazy thrill seekers. The nearest centre is at L’Isle Jourdain where jumps are from the viaduct 50 metres above the Vienne River.
A network of runways on farms permit flyers to explore the countryside by flying from farm to farm. HORN ULM in Montmorillon offers a 30 minute trial flight with an instructor to discover what it is like to fly a microlight or take a scenic flight along the Gartempe valley flying over some of the castles in the area.
The Val de Vienne circuit at Le Vigeant is one of the best in the country. There are open days throughout the year as well as organised racing events.
Remember your tree-climbing days? You can rediscover your childhood amongst the trees of the Thuré at Aven’thuré (near Chatellerault) or at the Défi Planèt’ (near Poitiers). You climb from tree to tree with the help of platform systems, swinging bridges, rope swings and zip wires all under the watchful eyes of trained professionals. Courses are graded according to difficulty – you can start on the very easy one for young children and go all the way up to the treetop high courses for the more adventurous.