Saint-Nicolas-de-la-Grave: The ornithological reserve of the leisure center

Saint-Nicolas-de-la-Grave
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If you like to observe the flora and fauna that surrounds you and / or if you like water-related activities, do not hesitate to spend a day at the Saint-Nicolas-de-la-Grave leisure center (fr). It is located a few kilometers from the village. It is an atypical place since it is here that the Tarn and the Garonne meet. This junction of two rivers is called a confluence. It is also an ornithological reserve where several species of birds settle, migrate, and nest.

The leisure center welcomes you for a stroll, or a moment of relaxation, but also for a stay. Just before the entrance, barely further than the visitors car park, is a 2* campsite. This place can become the starting point for pretty daily walks in charming and authentic villages such as Auvillar, Moissac, Lauzerte or Valence d'Agen to name a few!


Saint-Nicolas-de-la-Grave: The ornithological reserve of the leisure center

Welcome to the Tarn and Garonne leisure center!

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The ornithological observation trail

The ornithological observatory is truly a must-see for all those who love animals, especially birds, and who want to observe them in their natural habitat. But, first of all, make sure at the reception of the leisure center that it is open, in order to avoid any frustration and disappointment. Once in front of the pontoons, head to the right and follow the path.


Saint-Nicolas-de-la-Grave: The ornithological reserve of the leisure center

Head to the ornithological observatory!

Saint-Nicolas-de-la-Grave: The ornithological reserve of the leisure center
Saint-Nicolas-de-la-Grave: The ornithological reserve of the leisure center  Saint-Nicolas-de-la-Grave: The ornithological reserve of the leisure center

Stop and admire this unique landscape


Interpretive panels are installed along your walk. They invite you to learn about the flora and fauna that have taken up residence in this privileged and favorable environment.


Saint-Nicolas-de-la-Grave: The ornithological reserve of the leisure center
Saint-Nicolas-de-la-Grave: The ornithological reserve of the leisure center  Saint-Nicolas-de-la-Grave: The ornithological reserve of the leisure center

Thanks to the panels, learn a lot about the surrounding flora and fauna


The ornithological fauna of this nature reserve is the richest, in terms of a variety of species, in the Midi-Pyrénées region. Once you arrive at the observatory, a volunteer welcomes you to share his passion and knowledge with you. There is always something going on, you won't be disappointed with your visit! The volunteers of the Association of the Society of Natural Sciences of Tarn-et-Garonne (SNTG) provide you with several terrestrial spotting scopes. They are full of comments and stories about the species you are going to have the chance to observe.


Saint-Nicolas-de-la-Grave: The ornithological reserve of the leisure center  Saint-Nicolas-de-la-Grave: The ornithological reserve of the leisure center
Saint-Nicolas-de-la-Grave: The ornithological reserve of the leisure center

Observe, question, learn, contemplate, discover...

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Panels with sketches of several varieties of birds hang on the walls. They serve as visual cues to better understand the differences between males, females, juveniles, and between species that sometimes seem close to us, but which are not at all when we look more closely! Friendliness, good humor and sharing are the key words of this exceptional place.


Saint-Nicolas-de-la-Grave: The ornithological reserve of the leisure center

Volunteers often use these displays to illustrate their point


The good idea Read our article on Moissac a few kilometers away (fr).


Aquatic and nautical activities

The leisure center also offers a multitude of aquatic and nautical activities. While some will go and enjoy the swimming pool with family or friends to cool off, swim, dive or wade, others will engage in more sporting activities. Indeed, on the leisure base it is possible to practice sailing, windsurfing or canoeing. To do this, go to the boat rental stand, near the pontoons. Thus, you can enjoy the joys of skiing on a body of water that extends over 400 ha.


Saint-Nicolas-de-la-Grave: The ornithological reserve of the leisure center

Here the boats are rented

Saint-Nicolas-de-la-Grave: The ornithological reserve of the leisure center  Saint-Nicolas-de-la-Grave: The ornithological reserve of the leisure center
Saint-Nicolas-de-la-Grave: The ornithological reserve of the leisure center

Boats and canoes share the peaceful waters of this place

Useful information

Parking, entry to the leisure center and the various trails, as well as the observatory are free. Only the access to the swimming pool and the rental of boats are paying.  

To swim, you will have to pay an entrance fee of € 3 per person for the swimming pool. Indeed, it is forbidden to bathe in the body of water.

On the other hand, pergolas with picnic tables are available to you, as well as parasols to be able to sit in the shade as soon as the sunny days arrive and in case of hot weather. In addition, a snack bar offers ice creams, drinks, and fast food to eat on the spot, or to take away.


Saint-Nicolas-de-la-Grave: The ornithological reserve of the leisure center

Take advantage of the facilities and take the shade as soon as the heat is felt

Saint-Nicolas-de-la-Grave: The ornithological reserve of the leisure center

Peckish? Head to the snack bar!

The good idea Continue your visit to the region towards Auvillar, read our report! (fr)


Between walk, shade, sun, bird watching, thrill and splash in the swimming pool, this place has all the necessary assets to seduce you and so that you have a good time as a couple, with family, or with friends.


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Article and photos prepared by Charline Prod'Homme for the Guide Tarn Aveyron


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