Saint Valery sur Somme_ Pirogue de mer avec Mathieu Cornu ©CRTC Hauts-de-France - Vincent ColinSaint Valery sur Somme_ pirogue de mer avec Mathieu Cornu ©CRTC Hauts-de-France - Vincent Colin
©Saint Valery sur Somme, pirogue de mer avec Mathieu Cornu|CRTC Hauts-de-France - Vincent Colin

Canoeing in the Bay of Somme

Unusual, fun and (a little bit) sporty

Unusual but incredibly well suited to the surroundings, the Hawaiian canoe is a must-do in the Bay of Somme. It’s a great sporty experience between friends.

The canoe darts quickly between sandbanks and seabirds, its bow pointing towards the sky. Contrary to popular opinion, a canoe is stable and impossible to tip over once aboard. The canoes of the Bay of Somme can welcome up to 12 people, meaning there are 11 other people who can row for you!

Northern France _ Bay of Somme _ Pirogue _ Mathieu Cornu © Mathieu FarcyNorthern France _ Bay of Somme _ Pirogue _ Mathieu Cornu © Mathieu Farcy
©Northern France, Bay of Somme, Pirogue, Mathieu Cornu| Mathieu Farcy

Sail on one of the most beautiful bays in the world…

At the back of this 12-metre-long vessel, Mathieu Cornu, an essential guide for these sea-bound adventures, confides: “Make a few strokes of the oars and you find yourself in the middle of the bay, a place where civilisation is just a whisper”. Leaving at just the right time, the ebbing tide takes you on a conveyer belt to the middle of the sands, fringed by the green of the salt marshes. Arriving at the small port of Le Hourdel, the water all around you transforms into an immense shimmering lake, and between the clouds a well-placed burst of sunshine turns a sandbank the colour of ivory.

…and meet the seals while a tidal wave rises up through the channel

“I am sure that the colours and the sounds talk to each other,” continues Mathieu. “This wild place really captures your attention– it takes hold of your senses, your ears, your eyes and your nostrils. It transforms you into a new person: someone more patient, more tolerant and of good character!” A breeze – or a “ch’dion”, as it is known locally – whips up. It’s a breath of wind that announces the arrival or the rising tide. The bay fills quickly. With a strong coefficient, a tidal wave rises up through the channel and the Somme seals appear close to the boat. It’s time to head back to the pier – grab your paddles! You feel a healthy sense of tiredness upon your return, but this is quickly forgotten as you share a drink with friends at the beach bar, your feet in the sand as you gaze out to the horizon.

Local's tip

Denise Paes CosmeDenise Paes Cosme
Head to the Buvette de la Plage, a small restaurant on the Saint-Valery-sur-Somme beach

 

After a walk along the docks or on the way back from a stroll through the streets of the medieval town, enjoy a break with friends on the terrace and admire the stunning view over the bay. As the sun goes down, evening drinks take on a whole new dimension.

Denise Paes Cosme Tourism Office advisor, Expert in outdoor activities in the Somme bay
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Useful Info

Address

Quai Lejoille

F-80230 SAINT-VALERY-SUR-SOMME

Contact

Tel : + 33 0(3) 22 60 93 50

www.tourisme-baiedesomme.fr

Address

Quai Jeanne d’Arc

F-80230 SAINT-VALERY-SUR-SOMME

Contact

Tel. : + 33 (0)6 18 42 71 16

www.baiedesomme-zerocarbone.org

Address

23 rue de la Ferté

F-80230 SAINT-VALERY-SUR-SOMME

Contact

Tel : +33 (0)3 22 60 08 44

www.kayak-somme.com

Address

16 quai Jules Verne

F-80230 SAINT-VALERY-SUR-SOMME

Contact

Tel : +33 (0)6 71 78 22 37

www.canoekayak-baiedesomme.fr