The great river Loire is too large and wild for swimming but many of France’s most beautiful châteaux cluster along its smaller, more gentle tributaries. The charming river Cher flows among vineyards and orchards and is the setting for the exquisite, châteaux of Chenonceaux. It is popular with tourists in seasons but you can easily escape the crowds by approaching for free along the woodland path and swimming from sandy bays in the idyllic river pool which lies upstream. The perfect line of white Renaissance arches spans the river and provides a stunning backdrop reflected in the pool, especially at sunset. At the Chisseaux D40 road bridge follow the footpath 10 mins downstream along the left bank of river downstream (lat long: 47.3247, 1.0731). To the east are several other delightful swimming locations, such as the sandy riverside beaches at St-Aignan and quiet riverbanks of Chatillon-sur-Cher.
EXTRACT FROM: Wild Swimming France: discover the most beautiful rivers, lakes and waterfalls of France, by Daniel Start (May 2012) available from http://www.wildswimming.co.uk/france.html