The Rhône: river, frontier and path
With its 812km long, the Rhône is one of the biggest rivers in Europe. It has its source in Switzerland, in the Saint-Gothard massif at 2209m of altitude (Glacier du Rhône). After crossing over the Valais, it flows into the Léman Lake. It is born again in Geneva, before entering a few kilometers later in the French territory to continue its course on more than 522km to finally throw itself in the Mediterranean sea.
The « Haut-Rhône » is named after the part of the river located between Geneva and Lyon. The main tributaries of the Haut-Rhône on our territory are the Usses and the Fier.
The history of our territory, more particularly of Seyssel, is intimately linked to this river and to the fluvial trade that represented a very important economic activity until the 19th century. Our territory was based on the Rhône as a communication tool and as a vector of economic development. The legacy of the old roman port of Condate and those of the inland water shipping (La Seysselande boat) give evidence to that. Until 1860, it was a frontier between France and the Piémont-Sardaigne Kingdom. The arrival of the railway at that time, the rise of the road transport as well as hydroelectric developments such as dams have put an end to this golden age of inland waterway transport on the Haut-Rhône.
For the last twenty years, territories are trying to be once again open on the Rhône, thanks to its touristic valorization. Up to this day, important investments were executed to give back the Rhône the appeal it deserves. Since 2009, with the opening of the Anglefort and Virignin locks, the Haut-Rhône is once again navigable on more than 60km. It is possible to rejoin from Seyssel, the Bourget Lake by the Savière Canal.
Throughout our rides in a sapine (traditional wooden boat), we invite you to (re)discover the history of this seafaring.
Then, let yourselve be tempted and get on board the Seyssel to discover the Rhône like you have never seen it. History, nature, fauna and flora will be in your ride.
We remind that swimming in the Rhône is strictly forbidden and dangerous. Areas are arranged at your disposal for you to enjoy the pleasures of the nautical activities.