In the Roannais, the Loire shows its character. From South to North, we follow its rise in undulations. Perched on its rocky peak, the Château de la Roche imposes its presence, dominating this river that is said to be "wild". Impetuous, the Loire has hollowed out impressive gorges and displays its meanders in the heart of steep-sided relief and steep forests.

Vue aérienne de la Loire et de Roanne
Aerial view of the Loire and Roanne © Guillaume Masseron / RT

The banks of the Loire in Roanne

Opened in April 2021, the facilities on the banks of the Loire in Roanne are a delight for Roanne residents and tourists. After several years of recovery work, the transformation is spectacular. A real estate project has even emerged with an architecture designed to integrate into the landscape. A stone's throw from the city center, these banks of the Loire are a real breath of fresh air.

Les bords de loire aménagées à Roanne
The banks of the Loire developed in Roanne © Emmanuel Demont

Bas-ports, spaces for games, leisure and relaxation

Water games, slides, sports fields delight children, teenagers and adults. A relaxation area has been entirely fitted out in wood with armchairs and deckchairs facing the river. A unique opportunity in the heart of the city to relax while contemplating the Loire and the Coteau bridge. In addition, a footpath has been created to connect to the path along the Renaison.

Upper part, games for children, park and place to walk

Two wooden kiosks have been created with a view of the longest river in France. One will soon host a common catering area between L'atelier Locavore and Pâtisserie Clarissou. The other is dedicated to the city of Roanne for events and exhibitions.

Adapted to all ages, games for children have been installed on a 160-meter line. And to refresh young and old, a water mirror has been installed on the ground.

For your walks, consider taking the wooden footbridge that spans the Renaison and connects the banks of the Loire to the towpath.

The Loire, spectacular sites

Le Pêt d'Âne

The Pêt d'Ane

1 hour from Lyon, near the village of Vézelin-sur-Loire, the Pêt d'Âne site allows you to admire the largest bend in the Loire. This exceptional panorama makes it a must-see in Roannais.

The castle of Roche

When, at the bend of a meander, you find yourself face to face with a castle straight out of the water! On its rocky peak, the castle of la Roche dominates the valley since the XNUMXthe century and plunges us into a fairy tale. A former watchtower, the castle became a summer residence before being bought back and opened to visitors.

Souls of valiant knights and noble princesses, here is a setting that meets your imagination. Whatever the age, we come out charmed by this magical place. A theatrical visit and 2 escape games are also offered to discover all the secrets of the castle and its inhabitants. Romantic at will, the site is sublimated at the hour when the sun passes behind the gorges: bathed in this light, the landscape is unique!

Vue aérienne de Saint-Jean-Saint-Maurice-sur-Loire


Located at the bend of a meander, Saint-Jean-Saint-Maurice-sur-Loire makes the Loire pass by before your eyes. This village still preserves today many testimonies of past history. You will walk through the alleys and discover the church with its XNUMXth century paintingse century (including the superb representation of Saint Jacques de Compostela), the keep and the other XNUMXth century residencese century in the heart of this village of character.

Vue aérienne du lac de Villerest

Lake Villerest

Over the kilometers, the Loire calms down and takes its ease at Lake Villerest. This true haven of freshness delights young and old every summer; but we also like to walk there when the fall colors come to set the banks ablaze. Many activities are offered along the water and the reputation of the lake is well established on the fishing side. Predators, including pikeperch, are legion. To relax or have fun with your family, games and slides await you.

Activities on the Loire

  • Canoe-kayak trip

Finally, what better way to tame a river and understand its full character than to navigate it: several bases in Cordelle (closed for works in 2023), Villerest and Briennon allow you to rent canoes-kayaks, boats, pedal boats or even oars. A fun moment, sometimes sporty but always soothing.

  • Hiking on the banks of the Loire

On the bank side, the belvederes follow one another and make the panorama accessible to all. Just put on good shoes and take your guidebook for a short hike.

  • Fly over the Loire

The longest river in France, drew the Roannais since you are here in the Gorges de la Loire. Seen from the sky, gentle meanders follow one another and the slopes covered with forests join the deep valley: it is the spectacle of nature!

The panorama is breathtaking whether you observe it after a walk in the forest or from the sky during a microlight flight.

  • Fishing in the Loire

Crossing the territory from South to North, everywhere in Roannais, the Loire remembers you: you are inevitably tempted to approach it to enjoy the river and its surroundings. On the river side, zander and pike are here in their kingdom but are easily disturbed by fishing enthusiasts.

L'avis de Frédérique

Frederique's opinion

For me, the Loire is a source of inspiration and wonder. Installed alone at the edge of the water with a book, I always take great pleasure in relaxing and contemplating this wild river. With the children, I embark on the Train de la Loire to help them discover the history of the river and the panoramas with the belvederes that overlook it. And when I need to stretch my legs, I go for a hike with the topographical guide of the Gorges de la Loire.

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