An unusual day that combines canoeing and hiking along the Seine, in the magnificent landscapes of the limestone hills bordering the river between Vétheuil and La Roche-Guyon, to discover the landscape from all angles.
We put on good hiking shoes, comfortable clothes, we prepared the sandwiches, and by car, direction Vétheuil to begin the 10 km round trip to Haute Isle. 🚣
All in the Seine!
Saturday, April 23 at 9.30 (it stings a little!) At the Canoseine pier.
The day starts with a bang! After greeting the others who have signed up as us, our guide checks out Julien Forecastexplains trip and assign material to participants.
The time is right to choose the paddle:
🛶 Mono-pagaj (our choice): a handle to hold it and a single blade at the end to paddle. It requires more physical effort, but allows you not to get wet!
🛶 Double-paddle : has two blades, one at each end. It is more comfortable and easier to use, but the movements are less controlled, the water tends to run off along the oars (convenient in summer to cool off)
We put the canoes in the water and set off with Marie (a sportswoman unlike me), on the small arm of the Seine, where the big boats can not sail, … with the power of our small arms! 💪
Although the canoes have several seats, the advantage of this type of day is that we can participate alone. Either we get attached to a partner or we take the canoe with our supervisor.
Freshwater sailors 🌊
We take a few breaks when our guide Julien invites us to observe the environment around us: the river, the plants, the animals, the rocks, the villages and of course Vexin’s special conditions.
The navigation is very comfortable, in current direction, the effort is therefore not insurmountable, far from it. that the setting is enchanting and the calm atmospherethere is a show soothing side, we let ourselves be won by the rhythm of our veins in the water and the sounds that listen to the sound of the water and the surrounding nature. 🦢
Personally, I really enjoyed discovering the landscapes differently, over the water. It is an original way to visit and interest people while testing an activity that we are not necessarily used to practicing every day!
After 1h15 canoeing, (I did not see the time go!), We put the canoes in the truck, and it’s time for the lunch break: picnic at the Seine in Haute-Isle, a friendly moment with the whole group, where we discuss our impressions and get to know each other. 🥪
4 km on foot wears you … 🥾
On the way to the hike!
Our guide Julien suggests we go through GR2, marked hiking trail, which follows the top of the hill, passes over cliff height and provides an impressive view of the surrounding countryside. FYI, GR2 “Along the Seine” runs from Le Havre to Dijon (860 km), of course the section from Haute-Isle to Vétheuil is only a small section (4 km exactly).
We start the ascent on a small street lined with the beautiful houses of the village of Haute-Isle. The path that we follow climbs significantly, that’s true, but the game is worth it, because at the top the view is fantastic.
We are in the Côteaux de Seine National Nature Reserve, a protected area since 2009. The specific vegetation that grows on this calcareous soil, close to the Mediterranean ecosystems, has been studied and preserved there, as well as the animals that live there. Also, some trails this season are closed to leave one quiet zone intended for the conservation of fauna and flora.
Advice : If you want to access certain troglodyte spaces, they are open from July to March!
as a holiday
Justine – Val d’Oise tourism
It is quite incredible to walk in a nature reserve and have both such landscapes and picturesque villages just 1 hour from Paris. It is not for nothing that some painters have chosen to settle here!
Focus on a nugget of course: a Neolithic limestone cavity
What could be better than cooling off in one beautiful cave in the middle of nature? An intriguing place full of stories buried in a sedimentary rock typical of Vexin, the Chérence stenwhich was used to build great monuments!
Julien, our guide, talks better about it than us … ⛰️
Vétheuil, artist village
Back in Vétheuil, we discover the very strong and still very present cultural aspect.
The village, known for being the residence of Claude Monet for almost 3 years, has inspired more than 150 paintings.
There are also other artist houses, especially Joan Mitchell and Abel Lauvray …
In addition, you can consider reproductions of works painted on the motif through the Chemin des Peintres, a route designed to follow in their footsteps. 👣