What could be more pleasant than walking along the banks of the Seine? Saint Germain Boucles de Seine boasts no less than 10 towns and villages dotted along the towpath. Historically, cargo-filled barges were were attached to a rope and towed from the bank by people or horses. Today, the towns and villages, the département and the interdepartmental association Axe Seine, are working together to restore the towpath along its entire length, from Paris to Normandy.
From Sartrouville beach to the Machine of Marly… lost treasures.
Did you know that around 1930, the Seine quayside at Sartrouville, between Rue Henri Dunant and Rue Jean Nicolle, had a beach approximately 70 metres long, with beach huts, a diving board and even a swimming instructor?! This modest “beach resort” was home to a swimming club: “Les Tritons”, created in 1931 by Emile Bazin. The beach opened to the public every year on 15 June. It hosted sporting events between various clubs of the region, attracting crowds who enjoyed strolling on the banks of the Seine. Nowadays, there is just one small beach at Parc Corbière in Le Pecq… And bathing is prohibited in the Seine because of the river traffic.
The Machine of Marly located on the Seine at Bougival was destroyed in 1968 but still arouses the curiosity of visitors, some of whom are disappointed to learn that it no longer exists! An entire room is devoted to the Machine at the Musée-Promenade of Marly-le-Roi-Louveciennes. There are also some structures still standing, including the remarkable aqueduct of Louveciennes with its 36 majestic arches and 643-metre length. The Machine of Marly then, naturally features in your exploration of the Seine and its history!
A passion for barges and boats?
Forty or so boat-houses are moored in the town of Port-Marly. For example, there is a hundred-year-old former working barge, the Fledermaus, which has been converted into an annex of the Grevin museum! At Sartrouville, the barge La Talente houses Smart Paddle, a company proposing an original co-working space and facilities for seminars or private functions…
In Chatou, on Ile des Impressionnistes, the Fournaise museum boasts a collection that is unique in Europe, of Belle-Epoque boats restored over the years by the association Sequana.
Finally, you can try your hand at the Port-Marly Rowing Club, the Cercle de Voile des Boucles de la Seine at Montesson, or the Yacht Club at Le Pecq!
Our towpath favourites
- The Paris-London Avenue Verte between Chatou and Maisons-Laffitte;
- Parc de la Mairie at Carrières-sur-Seine;
- Chatou dam;
- Fournaise Hamlet at Chatou;
- Footbridge leading to the island and Parc de la Loge at Port-Marly;
- The Suez Eau France site “La Coulée Verte” between Le Pecq and Croissy-sur-Seine;
- The hotel-boats moored at Le Pecq port;
- Parc Corbière at Le Pecq;
- The “little arm of the Seine” at Mesnil-le-Roi;
- The departmental park of the Montesson loop;
- The 3 kilometres of towpath at Montesson, whether walking or cycling!