Natural and refreshing Rouen
The natural heritage of Rouen and theSeine Valley is a pallet of colors as varied as it is refreshing. It is as much an invitation to contemplation as it is aplayground and discovery. Hikes, bikes along the Seine, horseback rides in the three forest areas, true green lungs of Rouen, which have received an exceptional national label… Here, we take time to breathe and escape to the gates of the city.
We all have in mind the image of a voluptuous Normandy with apple trees, cows and panier garni. A cliché? No, no, this Normandy does exist! So take a walk through the Parc régional des Boucles de la Seine normande and you’ll be captured by thebucolic setting of its landscapes. Take the Fruit Trail, lined with colorful orchards, and enjoy the apples and pears sold at the gate. Stop by alocal farm and discover the bounty of local produce. Treat yourself to an escapade in the marshes to encounter this environment, a true conservatory of biodiversity. This natural, generous and green Normandy is within reach.
How beautiful it is, winding between the quays of Rouen to slip into the Norman bocages that hem in country banks, between the coquettish village of La Bouille and the charming town of Duclair. The Seine is a living and complicit artery for all the inhabitants of Rouen and its valley. The various cruises offered by the Tourist Office allow you to fully discover it and glide along the water, among the friendly barges. Rouen also has a pleasure and wintering port that welcomes about 100 boats. Biking is another way to follow the water’s course. The developed trails of La Seine à Vélo take you on a hundred kilometers along the towpaths. We can even take the bacs, with his mount, to cross the river and prolong the pleasure.
Three state forests in Rouen hold the national label Forêt d’Exception. A recognition of the richness, protection and development of these massifs, true green lungs of the Norman capital. Wherever we are in Rouen, the forest is never far away, intimate to urban life. With its 25,000 ha of greenery, it makes Rouen the first urban area with a forest heart in France, covering a third of its territory! Stroll along its educational trails, discover its arboretum or its animal park. Experience the forest in sporting or artistic mode during the international land art event “Forêt monumentale” which presents XXL-sized sculptures in the heart of the forest of Roumare. You can also go hiking with a guide who will tell you about the history and legends associated with these natural areas.
Mountain biking circuit, archery, canoeing on the Seine or its tributaries such as the Austreberthe are all activities to be practiced in the middle of nature, with your lungs wide open! And to let off steam in a Norman setting, there’s nothing better than the multi-sport leisure centres, which know how to make the most of the natural heritage! In the hollow of the third meander of the Seine, north of Rouen, the leisure base of Jumièges allows you to take advantage of large green spaces and a supervised swimming area in July and August. On the other side, nestled in a loop south of the Norman capital, is the base de loisirs de Bédane that delights water sports enthusiasts. The base is labeled French Sailing School.
Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation and contemplation in one of the thirty-five gardens in Seine-Maritime, which ranks second greenest department in France! It is at the Jardin des Plantes de Rouen, a landscaped and botanical place with a wide variety of species and an unparalleled collection of orchids that colors explode. This is where Graines de jardin, France’s first entirely free festival of gardening enthusiasts, takes place. As you drive through the countryside, you’ll come across the jardin d’Angélique, the Agapanthe garden and, of course, the elegant Parc de Clères with its 1,200 semi-liberty animals, its castle and its flora, which covers 13 hectares of happiness.