Châlons-en-Champagne at water level

Châlons-en-Champagne was known as Châlons-sur-Marne until 1997. This little historic fact serves to remind us that water is absolutely everywhere in the Champagne-Ardenne prefecture.

The town is built on a network of canals and rivers, the main ones being the Marne and its lateral canal, the Mau and the Nau. The Mau and the Nau rivers form the frame to an original tour, in an electric motor boat. A perfectly smooth trip on which to discover the town’s architecture and scenery, all its charms revealed to you. As you move along the water, you soon start to see how the beautiful town of Châlons got its nickname, “the Venice of Champagne”. Steered by a pilot-guide, you’ll come across the old and elegant Sainte-Marie convent, with its characteristic chequered walls of white limestone and red brick, and the Archers’ bridge, a fortified structure dating back to the time of Henri IV, where you’ll notice the bartizan attached at its centre.

Some of the bridges have evocative names: Pont des Mariniers (“Sailors’ Bridge”), Pont de la Petite Poissonnerie (“Bridge of the Little Fish Shop”), and even the mysterious Pont de Putte-Savate…

Passing under the town through the tunnel of the Pont de Vaux bridge brings its share of sensations, on a trip that lasts about 40 minutes, and runs from April to October. The boats can carry up to 12 people. Embark at

Quai des Arts, in front of the Tourist Office

Pass the lock in a canoe

Great contemplators can let themselves be carried away on an electric boat, while sportier visitors can opt to take an active role in their journey by paddling through the aquatic maze.

Every weekend in July and August, the Tourist Office, in association with a local club, will allow you to embark on a 10-seater canoe.

The discovery canoe tour of the historical centre of the town follows the course of the Mau and the Nau, rivers with a view over the Saint-Martin canal and the canal lateral to the Marne as an added bonus. Climax of the adventure: passing through the lock. Passengers can be dropped off at the cove of the Grand Jard garden to picnic or continue their journey on foot. Option of renting a two-seater canoe for a romantic escapade in the Venice of Champagne.