About Burgundy: Nivernais & Loire

Unwind and delight in the scenic valleys of Nivernais & Loire

Stately châteaux, colorful gardens, flourishing vineyards, medieval villages and larger Roman towns create an idyllic landscape for boating in the Nivernais & Loire Valleys. Let yourself meander through beautiful valleys, take the bikes for a spin and enjoy some of the world-class wines these regions are famous for.

 

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Map showing where the Nivernais & Loire boating region is in France

The perfect boating region for...

Nivernais Loire Region map

 = Le Boat Base           = Canal           = Navigable river          = No navigation beyond this point

The perfect boating region for...

Wine Tasting

Wine corks in a box

Take a tour of the Chablis wine district in the Nivernais or the famous Sancerre vineyards of the Loire! Particular viticultural highlights include the vineyards of Tannay, the Domaine Bernaert wine cellars in Accolay and the Maison des Sancerre which provides a full breakdown on the 300 vineyards in the area.

History & Heritage

History and Heritage in Burgundy

The Nivernais & Loire region is famous for its ancient cathedral cities and medieval villages. See the Cathedral of St. Etienne in Sens and the Basilique du Sacre Coeur in Paray-le-Monial! The gardens of the Château du Pont Chevron in Ouzouer-sur-Trezee are also beautiful.

Nature Lovers

Heron

In the Nivernais & Loire, you'll find unspoilt countryside rich in wildlife. Colourful flowers grow wild on the banks. More than 180 species of birds call the waters home. Grey herons, kingfishers, wagtails and kites are amongst them. Trek in beautiful Vaudeurs, a bird-watcher's heaven.

Cycling

Cycling along canal

Bicycle tours are great just about everywhere in the Nivernais & Loire. The Voie Verte cycle path on the Canal du Nivernais runs for 180 kilometres (112 miles). It's well kept and very beautiful.

Gastronomy

Goats and Cheese

Fine restaurants can be found throughout the Nivernais & Loire, a Mecca for French gastronomy. La Madeleine, a 1-star Michelin-rated eatery in Sens, serves foie gras with blackcurrants. In Joigny, you'll find La Côte St. Jacques (2 stars from Michelin) with a superb view over the River Yonne.

Please note that the cruising season in Burgundy: Nivernais & Loire last from 1st April-31st October 2019, and then from 1st April-31st October 2020. 

Useful information

Download our region guide

We've produced a handy PDF guide for this region to give you an overview of all the stops and things to do along the waterway.

Download our region guide

At the heart of France you’ll find the spectacular regions of the Nivernais & Loire Valleys. Encompassing the waterways of the Canal du Nivernais, River Yonne and Canal Latéral à la Loire, cruising in these regions offers spectacular views, hilltop vineyards and charming towns and villages.

The Canal du Nivernais is often called France’s prettiest canal. At 174-kilometres (108-mile) the canal meanders through the valleys of Alnain, Aron and Yonne, and joins the River Yonne below Auxerre. Impressive aqueducts and the tunnels of La Collancelle are just two of the striking features that make this waterway landscape an unforgettable holiday destination.

Meanwhile, the lovely Canal Latéral à la Loire runs 169 kilometres (105 miles) along the bank of the Loire River, taking in the highly prized vineyards of Sancerre as well as the Roman town of Nevers with its mediaeval cathedral. The drop of the canal is gentle, easing you along at a leisurely pace.

Even before the canals, the Loire and Nivernais regions had a long history of using the waterways for transport. For centuries loggers in the Nivernais region felled trees and created manmade floods to float timber down small streams to bigger rivers, whilst on the Loire River, light barges braved the waterway, infamous for flooding and nasty shoals during summer’s low-water season. Built between the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the Canal du Nivernais and the Canal latéral à la Loire helped to turn the waterways into a more predictable and manageable asset. And the canals served as the premier arteries of industry in the Nivernais & Loire regions until the arrival of the railways.

The Canal du Nivernais is very easy to navigate and has no barge traffic. And, the Canal Latéral à la Loire is ideal for beginners. The Yonne River has current, but it is manageable except at times of flooding. The Yonne is sometimes muddy, which obscures shoals. Go slowly when approaching the quays to avoid going aground in shallow spots.

Take a look at our waterway and lock closures page to keep up to date with the cruising conditions across all of our regions.

There are 110 locks on the Canal du Nivernais and 47 locks on the Canal Latéral à la Loire. They are very well kept and each has a lock keeper. The awesome Sardy staircase near Lake Baye has 16 locks.

Opening hours: During the busy summer season locks are open 09:00-19:00 (7:00 p.m.). Locks are closed for lunch between 12:00-13:00 (1:00 p.m.).

Public holidays: Locks are open on most public holidays.

Lock Closure dates: Please be aware about the lock closure dates by local authorities. During that day(s), you won’t be able to go through the locks. For more details and questions, please contact our sales team.

All locks closed on: 1st May, 14th July & 1st November

Moorings are plentiful on the Canal du Nivernais, the Yonne River and the Canal Latéral à la Loire.

To find out how to get to each of our bases in this boating region, as well as what facilities and amenities are available at each base or nearby, click on the relevant base below:

  • Rental of the boat and its onboard equipment
  • A fully equipped kitchen
  • Towels and linen for all passengers
  • A boat handling demonstration prior to departure
  • Technical support
  • On-board maps and visitor information
  • Passage through locks
  • Optional vacation extras
  • Boat damage waiver
  • Running costs (diesel, gas, engine wear and tear) - charged by the engine hour (by the litre in Scotland).
  • Travel to and from the base(s)
  • Waterside services if you use them (i.e. moorings where a charge is applicable, pump-out if needed, water, etc)
  • Cancellation plan & any travel/personal insurance
  • Food and drink

Interactive map of Burgundy: Nivernais & Loire

Base pin  = Le Boat base     Point of interest pin  = Point of interest

Great to see...

Migennes is ideally situated at the head of the Canal de Bourgogne, the Rivers Yonne and Armançon. Here, you will walk with pleasure into the green public spaces, or along the flower-lined streets. Take time to see the pretty church, Christ-Roi.

Monéteau is a pretty town, of which the highlight is a 1913 bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel. You can also see the 12th century church and you can hear the chimes of Colbert Castle from the river.

Must see
Clock Tower in Auxerre
Auxerre is the largest city of the area, steeped in history and bustling with markets, shops and French pâtisseries. You will enjoy exploring the old winding streets with its traditional French timbered buildings, shopping, dining out and visiting the impressive cathedral and churches which dominate the skyline on your approach.
Welcome to Vincelles-Vincelottes, a pretty village worth visiting for its good restaurants downtown, particularly if you enjoy the tasty wine of the region. There are also a number of walking paths on the edge of town.

This picturesque medieval village has preserved its old streets, its wash house and wood framed houses. A remarkable church stands aside a walkway not far from the dungeon where, in the summer, exhibitions and visits are organised.

In this pretty little village, take time to visit the church from the twelfth century and the Tour of Meridian and its sundial. Have a walk downtown into the winding streets to discover the old wash basin that people used here decades ago. On the outskirts of town, the views along the verdant vineyards are a real treat to see.
Pregilbert is a quiet hamlet. Moor here, walk downtown and see the old Roman church on the outskirts of town. It's a perfect place for a peaceful walk.
Welcome to Mailly-Le-Château, a quiet and friendly town. Find the beautiful hiking paths on the outskirts of the town, especially La terasse, leading you to places with wonderful views over the valley.
Welcome to this peaceful and inviting village. In Chatel-Censoir, you will enjoy exploring the 15th century church, the natural landscapes all around, and the good restaurants.

16km southeast of Châtel-Censoir is the hill town of Vézelay. While it is necessary to get a short taxi journey to get there, it is well worth the trip. Vézelay has been crowned one of France’s most beautiful villages, and is home to the Basilica of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine. The basilica is listed a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered one of the great masterpieces of Burgundian art and architecture.

Must see
St Martin in Clamecy
Welcome to Clamecy, a beautiful and flower-filled city. Come here and discover sights like the pretty City Hall, or the gothic church Saint-Martin and its great tower. Take a walk as well to see the church Notre-Dame-De-Bethléem.
Tannay is a pretty little village that has existed for centuries. After it was destroyed during the 14th century, people decided to build fortifications around it and they can still be seen today.
Chatillon-en Bazois is the biggest town between Decize and Tannay. The Château de Chatillon, one of the oldest belonging to the Count of Nevers, dates from the 12th century and must have been an impressive fortress. Unfortunately, you can't visit inside. But it is still beautiful to see.
In Cercy-La-Tour, visit the old settlement situated on a rocky outcrop 201 meters above the valley. It offers good views over the valleys of the Aron, the Alène, Canne and the Nivernais Canal. Also check out the towers of the castle, dating from the 13th century. Downtown, the Saint-Roman church is one of the oldest in the region.

Stroll through the pleasant Buffon Park, built around the remnants of Montbard Castle. In the park, the orangerie is today a museum dedicated to the famous naturalist, Buffon. The town is quiet, with a shopping street, two churches and a Fine Art Museum featuring local artists. 6km northeast of the city, don’t miss Fontenay Abbey, listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Founded in 1118, the beautiful abbey is one of the oldest Cistercian monasteries in Europe and is one of Burgundy’s key attractions.

Stop in Ancy-le-Franc to discover its astonishing Renaissance palace, built in the 16th century by the architect of François I. Admire its courtyard, the rich decoration of the apartments, the remarkable series of murals and stroll through the galleries. At the Tourist Office, you’ll find an exhibition about ancient porcelain. For a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape, climb the staircase that starts from behind the church and leads to the village heights.

Tanlay is a small charming village that is beautifully constructed in an old style. Come here to discover the architecture of the Castle of Tanlay, built in the seventeenth century. The abbey of Quincy is also a famous destination worth a visit.
Tonnerre means thunder in French. Come to this particular town and discover its history, such as the Hotel-Dieu, one of the biggest hospitals in the middle ages that still here. Enjoy the beautiful walking paths such as the Promenade du Pâtis.
Must see
Pralines from Montagirs
Montargis is one of the largest villages in the area. A typically French flower-lined village, with old timbered houses along the canal. Take the time to visit the impressive Sainte-Madelaine church, and the ruins of the great Castle of Montargis.

A great opportunity for a stopover, Saint-Florentin is a small fortress town dominated by its Gothic and Renaissance church. It is a peaceful place, filled with history, and visitors can stroll through its picturesque streets dating from the 16th century. Climb the gently sloping hill, stopping on the way to savour the delights of its markets, shops,restaurants and a charming garden. You can also walk to the priory, which offers a superb view of the old town. Above the roofs you’ll notice the 16th century church with its bell tower.

A beautiful and typical French city, Joigny is a really nice place to moor. Discover a town full of history with many beautiful buildings like the Château des Gondi. Joigny is also surrounded by vineyards, which offer wonderful countryside views.
Sens is one of the biggest towns in the area. With a rich past, Sens is very pleasant to visit, especially the downtown area which boasts old timbered houses and winding streets. The Cathedral, with its galleries underground, is also interesting.
Montereau-Fault-Yonne is a town rich in history. Discover the town where Jean sans Peur, one of the most important Burgundy Duc, was betrayed by the king. Take a walk in this interesting town and visit the church Notre-Dame-De-Saint-Loup. The town was also marked by its industrial faïence past, which is why you'll find a faïence museum in town.
Enter Saint-Mammès, a beautiful town surrounded by nature. Discover beautiful and preserved places like the Clos gardens or the Bois Prieur forest on the edge of town. It's a quiet and pretty place to moor.

This small medieval town was once heavily fortified and much remains today, including two gates that still stand strong at the two ends of the main street. Impressionist,Alfred Sisley, found this place ideal for changing colours and variations of light and many painters have since been attracted here. The “Point Sisley” allows you to discover some of the artist’s works. Then go to the Sucre d’Orge Museum, inside the Provencher Mill (1km from the mooring), which produces France’s oldest sweets, barley sugars, using the same secret recipe used for generations.

Although the town was burned down in 1358 during the Hundred Years War, it prospered in the centuries which followed. Nemours offers several buildings of interest, including the bridge which was built in 1804 and inaugurated by Pope Pius VII en-route to crown the emperor Napoleon. The chateau and the church in the town date back to the 12th century and are a joy to visit.
Rogny-les-sept-ecluses was a strategical point on the map back in the day. That's why King Henri IV decided to build a huge set of seven locks there to enable maritime trade. It worked for two centuries, but has now become a monument to the past that you may admire during your stop in this peaceful village.
Approaching Briare, you will cross the longest canal-bridge of Europe, built with the help of Gustave Eiffel. The church Saint-Etienne-de-Briare, built in the byzantine style, is a treat to visit and take time to walk along the old canal; the verdant banks are just gorgeous.
Enjoy the beautiful countryside all around Chatillon-sur-Loire, plus wander downtown and visit the beautiful church that dominates the city. You can try fishing in the river, or if you prefer a bike ride, there are several good cycle paths to explore.
Must see
Basket of Grapes
Sancerre offers a beautiful scenery with plentiful vineyards overlooking the Loire. In this lovely town, you will have the chance to visit the remains of the former Castle of Sancerre, which was destroyed by the King after a religious war.
La-Charité-su-Loire is a wonderful city with many ancient buildings. You will enjoy visiting the impressive Church Notre-Dame-de-la-Charité-sur-Loire as well as the well-preserved battlements on the outskirts of town. In the center, enjoy the unique view over the Loire on the Old Bridge.
Must see
Palais Ducal in Nevers

Nevers is one of the biggest cities in the area and it's full of history and sights to see. Come and discover vestiges of different periods, like the medieval Porte du Croux, the huge Cathedral Saint-Cyr, or the impressive Palais des Ducs that you may visit. It's a perfect place to discover a part of France's history and heritage.

A magnificent medieval fortress is the pride of this small village, though you can only admire it from the outside. If you feel the need for a contrast to the relaxing pace of the canals, from Chevenon, you can book a taxi and go to the Magny-Cours Race Circuit (12km from the mooring). This race track hosted the French F1 Grand Prix in 2008, and motor sports aficionados will love the museum with its exceptional collection of Formula 1 cars, a Formula 1 simulator and an outdoor go-kart track.

Situated at the junction of the Canal du Nivernais and the Canal Latéral à la Loire, and at the confluence of the Rivers Loire and the Aron, Decize is an interesting town to visit, and is full of history. Walk along the charming winding streets and discover the old fortified walls and the ruins of the Castle Decize. Visit the beautiful church Saint-Aré and marvel at the view over the Loire from the huge old bridge.
Gannay-sur-Loire was an important port of the Loire in days gone by. Here, you can see the 17th century houses in the village - the house called Bardets is listed for it's polychrome bricks. You can also visit the famous Poterie Boucard, which makes a range of goods including animal sculptures, pots and more.
The town of Dompierre is sited on a hill above the port. Although smal, it is attractively laid out with squares and avenues. A good place to have a drink on a terrace overlooking the canal.
Situated on the River Loire and at the confluence of the Arroux and the Bourbince, the town is closely associated with the river. Being at the junction of these navigable waterways, it has been an important trading town since the middle ages.
Paray-le-Monial is a pretty typical town, where you will enjoy having a walk across the winding streets, to discover the treasures of the village, like the basilica du Sacré-Coeur, or the impressive City Hall. The Place Lamartine is also a nice place to see.

If you book a two-week cruise from Decize, you will have time to take your boat to Roanne. There is an abundance of religious monuments here and the most beautiful of them is St. Étienne church, clad in gold and pink stones. Not far from the port, the St.

Itinerary suggestions

To help you get an idea of how far you can travel in the time you have, here's a selection of routes to and from our bases in this region. You dont have to stop at all the places listed or follow the route exactly. So long as you return your boat to your end base by the date you've booked - you're free to enjoy your cruise however you like. For a comfortable pace, allowing you time to regularly stop and explore, we'd recommend an average of 2 - 4 hours cruising each day.

 = Click the arrow icon on each route suggestion, to flip the 'card' and reveal more details.

The Ducal Palace in Nevers

The Nevers Short Break

Decize
Chevenon
Nevers
Decize

13 hr(s) of cruising

70km 16 locks 3 nights

The Nevers Short Break

Decize RETURN via Nevers

Decize RETURN via Nevers

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Overview

You’re in a valley of rivers and canals, and lush green hills and vineyards surround you. You’ve set off on the scenic Canal latéral à la Loire to see the Roman city of Nevers, a place where you can tour a palace, enjoy a fine meal and simply relax with friends. That’s what canal boat vacations in France are all about — good times, great food and memories to last a lifetime!

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Decize: Situated at the junction of the Canal du Nivernais and the Canal Latéral à la Loire, and at the confluence of the Rivers Loire and the Aron, Decize is an interesting town to visit, and is full of history. Walk along the charming winding streets and discover the old fortified walls and the ruins of the Castle Decize. Visit the beautiful church Saint-Aré and marvel at the view over the Loire from the huge old bridge.
  • Chevenon: A magnificent medieval fortress is the pride of this small village, though you can only admire it from the outside. If you feel the need for a contrast to the relaxing pace of the canals, from Chevenon, you can book a taxi and go to the Magny-Cours Race Circuit (12km from the mooring). This race track hosted the French F1 Grand Prix in 2008, and motor sports aficionados will love the museum with its exceptional collection of Formula 1 cars, a Formula 1 simulator and an outdoor go-kart track.
  • Nevers: Nevers is one of the biggest cities in the area and it's full of history and sights to see. Come and discover vestiges of different periods, like the medieval Porte du Croux, the huge Cathedral Saint-Cyr, or the impressive Palais des Ducs that you may visit. It's a perfect place to discover a part of France's history and heritage.

13 hr(s) of cruising

70km 16 locks 3 nights
Sancerre's famous vineyards

The Nevers and Sancerre Cruise

Decize
Chevenon
Nevers
La Charité sur Loire
Sancerre
Decize

32 hr(s) of cruising

179km 36 locks 7 nights

The Nevers and Sancerre Cruise

Decize RETURN via Sancerre

Decize RETURN via Sancerre

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Overview

Follow the Canal Latéral Loire from Decize to Sancerre. After stopping in the charming Roman city of Nevers and its famous Palais Ducal, cruise onwards past historic and picturesque villages and end up in the world famous vineyards of Sancerre. A grand, medieval hill town, Sancerre throngs with cafe's bistros and, of course, many wine-cellars to taste wine in. Cheers!

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Decize: Situated at the junction of the Canal du Nivernais and the Canal Latéral à la Loire, and at the confluence of the Rivers Loire and the Aron, Decize is an interesting town to visit, and is full of history. Walk along the charming winding streets and discover the old fortified walls and the ruins of the Castle Decize. Visit the beautiful church Saint-Aré and marvel at the view over the Loire from the huge old bridge.
  • Chevenon: A magnificent medieval fortress is the pride of this small village, though you can only admire it from the outside. If you feel the need for a contrast to the relaxing pace of the canals, from Chevenon, you can book a taxi and go to the Magny-Cours Race Circuit (12km from the mooring). This race track hosted the French F1 Grand Prix in 2008, and motor sports aficionados will love the museum with its exceptional collection of Formula 1 cars, a Formula 1 simulator and an outdoor go-kart track.
  • Nevers: Nevers is one of the biggest cities in the area and it's full of history and sights to see. Come and discover vestiges of different periods, like the medieval Porte du Croux, the huge Cathedral Saint-Cyr, or the impressive Palais des Ducs that you may visit. It's a perfect place to discover a part of France's history and heritage.
  • La Charité sur Loire: La-Charité-sur-Loire is a wonderful city with many ancient buildings. You will enjoy visiting the impressive Church Notre-Dame-de-la-Charité-sur-Loire as well as the well-preserved battlements on the outskirts of town. In the center, enjoy the unique view over the Loire on the Old Bridge.
  • Sancerre: Sancerre offers a beautiful scenery with plentiful vineyards overlooking the Loire. In this lovely town, you will have the chance to visit the remains of the former Castle of Sancerre, which was destroyed by the King after a religious war.

32 hr(s) of cruising

179km 36 locks 7 nights
Chatillon-en-Bazois lock station

The Decize Cruise

Decize
Cercy-La-Tour
Châtillon-en-Bazois
Decize

22 hr(s) of cruising

104km 42 locks 7 nights

The Decize Cruise

Decize RETURN via Chatillon-en-Bazois

Decize RETURN via Chatillon-en-Bazois

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Overview

Sauntering through the streets of Châtillon-en-Bazois, you point out the historic buildings to your friends. The town is postcard perfect, a highlight of your return cruise to and from Decize. Étang de Baye is just ahead, where you plan to kayak or jet ski in a magnificent lake setting, and then enjoy an evening of relaxation on your sundeck!

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Decize: Situated at the junction of the Canal du Nivernais and the Canal Latéral à la Loire, and at the confluence of the Rivers Loire and the Aron, Decize is an interesting town to visit, and is full of history. Walk along the charming winding streets and discover the old fortified walls and the ruins of the Castle Decize. Visit the beautiful church Saint-Aré and marvel at the view over the Loire from the huge old bridge.
  • Cercy-la-Tour: In Cercy-La-Tour, visit the old settlement situated on a rocky outcrop 201 meters above the valley. It offers good views over the valleys of the Aron, the Alène, Canne and the Nivernais Canal. Also check out the towers of the castle, dating from the 13th century. Downtown, the Saint-Roman church is one of the oldest in the region.
  • Châtillon-en-Bazois: Chatillon-en Bazois is the biggest town between Decize and Tannay. The Château de Chatillon, one of the oldest belonging to the Count of Nevers, dates from the 12th century and must have been an impressive fortress. Unfortunately, you can't visit inside. But it is still beautiful to see.

22 hr(s) of cruising

104km 42 locks 7 nights
Traditional French market

The Sacre Coeur Cruise

Decize
Gannay-sur-Loire
Dompierre-sur-Besbre
Digoin
Paray-le-Monial
Decize

30 hr(s) of cruising

163km 38 locks 7 nights

The Sacre Coeur Cruise

Decize RETURN via Paray-le-Monial

Decize RETURN via Paray-le-Monial

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Overview

The fish bite hard at lovely Digoin, a place so beautiful you’ve decided to linger for a while. That’s the beauty of canal boat vacations in France — you set the pace and decide what to do next. You’ve already sampled the delights of Decize, and now watersports and browsing through open-air markets in medieval towns tempt you too!

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Decize: Situated at the junction of the Canal du Nivernais and the Canal Latéral à la Loire, and at the confluence of the Rivers Loire and the Aron, Decize is an interesting town to visit, and is full of history. Walk along the charming winding streets and discover the old fortified walls and the ruins of the Castle Decize. Visit the beautiful church Saint-Aré and marvel at the view over the Loire from the huge old bridge.
  • Gannay-sur-Loire: Gannay-sur-Loire was an important port of the Loire in days gone by. Here, you can see the 17th century houses in the village - the house called Bardets is listed for it's polychrome bricks. You can also visit the famous Poterie Boucard, which makes a range of goods including animal sculptures, pots and more.
  • Dompierre-sur-Besbre: The town of Dompierre is sited on a hill above the port. Although small, it is attractively laid out with squares and avenues. A good place to have a drink on a terrace overlooking the canal.
  • Digoin: Situated on the River Loire and at the confluence of the Arroux and the Bourbince, the town is closely associated with the river. Being at the junction of these navigable waterways, it has been an important trading town since the middle ages.
  • Paray-le-Monial: Paray-le-Monial is a pretty typical town, where you will enjoy having a walk across the winding streets, to discover the treasures of the village, like the basilica du Sacré-Coeur, or the impressive City Hall. The Place Lamartine is also a nice place to see.

30 hr(s) of cruising

163km 38 locks 7 nights
Horizons cruising on the Loire

The Sacre Coeur Long Break

Decize
Gannay-sur-Loire
Dompierre-sur-Besbre
Digoin
Paray-le-Monial
Roanne
Decize

45 hr(s) of cruising

253km 54 locks 10 nights

The Sacre Coeur Long Break

Decize RETURN via Roanne

 Decize RETURN via Roanne

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Overview

Five-star French cuisine beckons on the Nivernais. Laid-back Decize and market towns like Gannay-sur-Loire lie along the way as you pass through rolling green hills. Heading south on the Canal de Roanne à Digoin takes you to the picturesque town of Roanne, which is well known for its plethora of first-class restaurants!

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Decize: Situated at the junction of the Canal du Nivernais and the Canal Latéral à la Loire, and at the confluence of the Rivers Loire and the Aron, Decize is an interesting town to visit, and is full of history. Walk along the charming winding streets and discover the old fortified walls and the ruins of the Castle Decize. Visit the beautiful church Saint-Aré and marvel at the view over the Loire from the huge old bridge.
  • Gannay-sur-Loire: Gannay-sur-Loire was an important port of the Loire in days gone by. Here, you can see the 17th century houses in the village - the house called Bardets is listed for it's polychrome bricks. You can also visit the famous Poterie Boucard, which makes a range of goods including animal sculptures, pots and more.
  • Dompierre-sur-Besbre: The town of Dompierre is sited on a hill above the port. Although small, it is attractively laid out with squares and avenues. A good place to have a drink on a terrace overlooking the canal.
  • Digoin: Situated on the River Loire and at the confluence of the Arroux and the Bourbince, the town is closely associated with the river. Being at the junction of these navigable waterways, it has been an important trading town since the middle ages.
  • Roanne: If you book a two-week cruise from Decize, you will have time to take your boat to Roanne. There is an abundance of religious monuments here and the most beautiful of them is St. Étienne church, clad in gold and pink stones.

45 hr(s) of cruising

253km 54 locks 10 nights
Wine tasting in Tannay

The Nivernais Châteaux Cruise

Decize
Cercy-La-Tour
Châtillon-en-Bazois
Tannay

27 hr(s) of cruising

99km 70 locks 7 nights

The Nivernais Châteaux Cruise

Decize to Tannay ONEWAY

Decize to Tannay ONEWAY

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Overview

A big reason you chose canal boat vacations in France was the fine wine, an indulgence of a mighty passion of yours! When approaching pretty Tannay, known for its vineyards and wine cellars, you anticipate the pleasure of opening a bottle of Muscadet, or perhaps a Pouilly-Fumé? The woodlands, meadows, and hills put you in the right relaxed mood!

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Decize: Situated at the junction of the Canal du Nivernais and the Canal Latéral à la Loire, and at the confluence of the Rivers Loire and the Aron, Decize is an interesting town to visit, and is full of history. Walk along the charming winding streets and discover the old fortified walls and the ruins of the Castle Decize. Visit the beautiful church Saint-Aré and marvel at the view over the Loire from the huge old bridge.
  • Cercy-la-Tour: In Cercy-La-Tour, visit the old settlement situated on a rocky outcrop 201 meters above the valley. It offers good views over the valleys of the Aron, the Alène, Canne and the Nivernais Canal. Also check out the towers of the castle, dating from the 13th century. Downtown, the Saint-Roman church is one of the oldest in the region.
  • Châtillon-en-Bazois: Chatillon-en Bazois is the biggest town between Decize and Tannay. The Château de Chatillon, one of the oldest belonging to the Count of Nevers, dates from the 12th century and must have been an impressive fortress. Unfortunately, you can't visit inside. But it is still beautiful to see.
  • Tannay: Tannay is a pretty little village that has existed for centuries. After it was destroyed during the 14th century, people decided to build fortifications around it and they can still be seen today.

27 hr(s) of cruising

99km 70 locks 7 nights
Traditional vineyards in Sancerre

The Sancerre Short Break

Châtillon-sur-Loire
Sancerre
Châtillon-sur-Loire

12 hr(s) of cruising

70km 12 locks 3 nights

The Sancerre Short Break

Châtillon-sur-Loire RETURN via Sancerre

Châtillon-sur-Loire RETURN via Sancerre

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Overview

The Sancerre wine region in the Loire Valley is famous for its beauty and fine wines — Sancerre, Vouvray and Muscadet, to name three. Leaving the shops and cafés of Châtillon-sur-Loire behind, you begin your canal boat vacations in France with a trip to the medieval village of Sancerre. You’re excited about the upcoming vineyard tours, and you can’t wait for the tasting!

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Châtillon-sur-Loire: Enjoy the beautiful countryside all around Chatillon-sur-Loire, plus wander downtown and visit the beautiful church that dominates the city. You can try fishing in the river, or if you prefer a bike ride, there are several good cycle paths to explore.
  • Sancerre: Sancerre offers a beautiful scenery with plentiful vineyards overlooking the Loire. In this lovely town, you will have the chance to visit the remains of the former Castle of Sancerre, which was destroyed by the King after a religious war.

12 hr(s) of cruising

70km 12 locks 3 nights
A beautiful day for cruising in the Loire

The Sancerre and Faïence Cruise

Châtillon-sur-Loire
Sancerre
La Charité sur Loire
Nevers
Châtillon-sur-Loire

34 hr(s) of cruising

184km 40 locks 7 nights

The Sancerre and Faïence Cruise

Châtillon-sur-Loire RETURN via Sancerre & Nevers

Châtillon-sur-Loire RETURN via Sancerre & Nevers

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Overview

The Canal latéral à la Loire runs through the beautiful Loire Valley, which is amongst the best wine-producing regions in France. You can’t resist stopping in Sancerre to see Maison des Sancerre and learn how the world’s finest wines are produced! French canal vacations inspire you to explore with your bicycles, or to spend time in busy waterfront cities like Nevers.

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Châtillon-sur-Loire: Enjoy the beautiful countryside all around Chatillon-sur-Loire, plus wander downtown and visit the beautiful church that dominates the city. You can try fishing in the river, or if you prefer a bike ride, there are several good cycle paths to explore.
  • Sancerre: Sancerre offers a beautiful scenery with plentiful vineyards overlooking the Loire. In this lovely town, you will have the chance to visit the remains of the former Castle of Sancerre, which was destroyed by the King after a religious war.
  • La Charité-sur-Loire: La-Charité-sur-Loire is a wonderful city with many ancient buildings. You will enjoy visiting the impressive Church Notre-Dame-de-la-Charité-sur-Loire as well as the well-preserved battlements on the outskirts of town. In the center, enjoy the unique view over the Loire on the Old Bridge.
  • Nevers: Nevers is one of the biggest cities in the area and it's full of history and sights to see. Come and discover vestiges of different periods, like the medieval Porte du Croux, the huge Cathedral Saint-Cyr, or the impressive Palais des Ducs that you may visit. It's a perfect place to discover a part of France's history and heritage.

34 hr(s) of cruising

184km 40 locks 7 nights
The famous Briare aqueduct

The Heritage Cruise

Châtillon-sur-Loire
Briare
Rogny-les-Sept-Ecluses
Montargis
Châtillon-sur-Loire

29 hr(s) of cruising

124km 60 locks 7 nights

The Heritage Cruise

Châtillon-sur-Loire RETURN via Montargis

Châtillon-sur-Loire RETURN via Montargis

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Overview

Set off down the scenic Canal latéral à la Loire from Châtillon-sur-Loire for the historic villages of Briare and Montargis. Pass under stately bridges and marvel at the rolling green countryside. Experience Europe’s longest aqueduct near Briare, a true wonder of engineering and a highlight of your cruise in the Loire Valley!

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Châtillon-sur-Loire: Enjoy the beautiful countryside all around Chatillon-sur-Loire, plus wander downtown and visit the beautiful church that dominates the city. You can try fishing in the river, or if you prefer a bike ride, there are several good cycle paths to explore.
  • Briare: Approaching Briare, you will cross the longest canal-bridge of Europe, built with the help of Gustave Eiffel. The church Saint-Etienne-de-Briare, built in the byzantine style, is a treat to visit and take time to walk along the old canal; the verdant banks are just gorgeous.
  • Rogny-les-Sept-Écluses: Rogny-les-sept-ecluses was a strategical point on the map back in the day. That's why King Henri IV decided to build a huge set of seven locks there to enable maritime trade. It worked for two centuries, but has now become a monument to the past that you may admire during your stop in this peaceful village.
  • Montargis: Montargis is one of the largest villages in the area. A typically French flower-lined village, with old timbered houses along the canal. Take the time to visit the impressive Sainte-Madelaine church, and the ruins of the great Castle of Montargis.

29 hr(s) of cruising

124km 60 locks 7 nights
Traditional French cafe

The Castles and Cathedrals Long Break

Châtillon-sur-Loire
Briare
Rogny-les-Sept-Ecluses
Montargis
Nemours
Moret-sur-Loing
Saint-Mammès
Montereau-Fault-Yonne
Sens
Joigny
Migennes

44 hr(s) of cruising

223km 69 locks 10 nights

The Castles and Cathedrals Long Break

Châtillon-sur-Loire to Migennes via Montargis & Sens ONEWAY

Chatillon-sur-Loire to Migennes via Montargis & Sens

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Overview

Before you travel south on your French canal vacations, the chic town of Montargis with its shops and restaurants beckons to the north. You indulge, and you’re glad you did! In the coming days, you pass through hilltop medieval towns with impressive châteaux, famous wine regions, Gothic cities, a major lakeside resort with watersports and some of the prettiest countryside in France!

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Châtillon-sur-Loire: Enjoy the beautiful countryside all around Chatillon-sur-Loire, plus wander downtown and visit the beautiful church that dominates the city. You can try fishing in the river, or if you prefer a bike ride, there are several good cycle paths to explore.
  • Briare: Approaching Briare, you will cross the longest canal-bridge of Europe, built with the help of Gustave Eiffel. The church Saint-Etienne-de-Briare, built in the byzantine style, is a treat to visit and take time to walk along the old canal; the verdant banks are just gorgeous.
  • Rogny-les-Sept-Écluses: Rogny-les-sept-ecluses was a strategical point on the map back in the day. That's why King Henri IV decided to build a huge set of seven locks there to enable maritime trade. It worked for two centuries, but has now become a monument to the past that you may admire during your stop in this peaceful village.
  • Montargis: Montargis is one of the largest villages in the area. A typically French flower-lined village, with old timbered houses along the canal. Take the time to visit the impressive Sainte-Madelaine church, and the ruins of the great Castle of Montargis.
  • Nemours: Although the town was burned down in 1358 during the Hundred Years War, it prospered in the centuries which followed. Nemours offers several buildings of interest, including the bridge which was built in 1804 and inaugurated by Pope Pius VII en-route to crown the emperor Napoleon. The chateau and the church in the town date back to the 12th century and are a joy to visit.
  • Moret-sur-Loing: This small medieval town was once heavily fortified and much remains today, including two gates that still stand strong at the two ends of the main street. Impressionist, Alfred Sisley, found this place ideal for changing colours and variations of light and many painters have since been attracted here. The “Point Sisley” allows you to discover some of the artist’s works. Then go to the Sucre d’Orge Museum, inside the Provencher Mill (1km from the mooring), which produces France’s oldest sweets, barley sugars, using the same secret recipe used for generations.
  • Saint-Mammès: Enter Saint-Mammès, a beautiful town surrounded by nature. Discover beautiful and preserved places like the Clos gardens or the Bois Prieur forest on the edge of town. It's a quiet and pretty place to moor.
  • Montereau-Fault-Yonne: Montereau-Fault-Yonne is a town rich in history. Discover the town where Jean sans Peur, one of the most important Burgundy Duc, was betrayed by the king. Take a walk in this interesting town and visit the church Notre-Dame-De-Saint-Loup. The town was also marked by its industrial faïence past, which is why you'll find a faïence museum in town.
  • Sens: Sens is one of the biggest towns in the area. With a rich past, Sens is very pleasant to visit, especially the downtown area which boasts old timbered houses and winding streets. The Cathedral, with its galleries underground, is also interesting.
  • Joigny: A beautiful and typical French city, Joigny is a really nice place to moor. Discover a town full of history with many beautiful buildings like the Château des Gondi. Joigny is also surrounded by vineyards, which offer wonderful countryside views.
  • Migennes: Migennes is ideally situated at the head of the Canal de Bourgogne, the Rivers Yonne and Armançon. Here, you will walk with pleasure into the green public spaces, or along the flower-lined streets. Take time to see the pretty church, Christ-Roi.

 

44 hr(s) of cruising

223km 69 locks 10 nights
Wine and nibbles in Sancerre's historic streets

The Sparkling Cruise

Châtillon-sur-Loire
Sancerre
La Charité sur Loire
Nevers
Decize

23 hr(s) of cruising

130km 28 locks 7 nights

The Sparkling Cruise

Châtillon-sur-Loire to Decize via Nevers ONEWAY

Châtillon-sur-Loire to Decize via Nevers ONEWAY

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Overview

Vineyard tours and wine tasting are a favourite pastime in the Loire Valley, making French canal vacations almost essential to best see the historic sites. Pretty towns and larger cities like beautiful Montargis beckon. Vibrant and packed with superior restaurants and fascinating museums, the towns offer the best of both worlds on the Canal latéral à la Loire.

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Châtillon-sur-Loire: Enjoy the beautiful countryside all around Chatillon-sur-Loire, plus wander downtown and visit the beautiful church that dominates the city. You can try fishing in the river, or if you prefer a bike ride, there are several good cycle paths to explore.
  • Sancerre: Sancerre offers a beautiful scenery with plentiful vineyards overlooking the Loire. In this lovely town, you will have the chance to visit the remains of the former Castle of Sancerre, which was destroyed by the King after a religious war.
  • La Charité-sur-Loire: La-Charité-su-Loire is a wonderful city with many ancient buildings. You will enjoy visiting the impressive Church Notre-Dame-de-la-Charité-sur-Loire as well as the well-preserved battlements on the outskirts of town. In the center, enjoy the unique view over the Loire on the Old Bridge.
  • Nevers: Nevers is one of the biggest cities in the area and it's full of history and sights to see. Come and discover vestiges of different periods, like the medieval Porte du Croux, the huge Cathedral Saint-Cyr, or the impressive Palais des Ducs that you may visit. It's a perfect place to discover a part of France's history and heritage.
  • Decize: Situated at the junction of the Canal du Nivernais and the Canal Latéral à la Loire, and at the confluence of the Rivers Loire and the Aron, Decize is an interesting town to visit, and is full of history. Walk along the charming winding streets and discover the old fortified walls and the ruins of the Castle Decize. Visit the beautiful church Saint-Aré and marvel at the view over the Loire from the huge old bridge.

23 hr(s) of cruising

130km 28 locks 7 nights
Colorful timbered housed in Auxerre

The Chablis Long Break

Migennes
Joigny
Monéteau
Gurgy
Auxerre
Vincelles-Vincelottes
Cravant
Vermenton
Pregilbert
Mailly-le-Château
Châtel-Censoir
Vézelay
Clamecy
Migennes

43 hr(s) of cruising

191km 86 locks 10 nights

The Chablis Long Break

Migennes RETURN via Joigny & Clamecy

Migennes-RETURN-via-Joigny-&-Clamecy

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Overview

The time passes too quickly even though the pace of travel whilst enjoying canal boat vacations in France is leisurely. The vineyards of the famous Chablis wine region invite you to sample fine wines, and you do! You love the scenes and sounds of the Gothic cities of Migennes and Auxerre, and the market in medieval Joigny inspires you to buy local produce and a baguette!

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Migennes: Migennes is ideally situated at the head of the Canal de Bourgogne, the Rivers Yonne and Armançon. Here, you will walk with pleasure into the green public spaces, or along the flower-lined streets. Take time to see the pretty church, Christ-Roi.
  • Joigny: A beautiful and typical French city, Joigny is a really nice place to moor. Discover a town full of history with many beautiful buildings like the Château des Gondi. Joigny is also surrounded by vineyards, which offer wonderful countryside views.
  • Monéteau: Monéteau is a pretty town, of which the highlight is a 1913 bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel. You can also see the 12th century church and you can hear the chimes of Colbert Castle from the river.
  • Auxerre: Auxerre is the largest city of the area, steeped in history and bustling with markets, shops and French pâtisseries. You will enjoy exploring the old winding streets with its traditional French timbered buildings, shopping, dining out and visiting the impressive cathedral and churches which dominate the skyline on your approach.
  • Vincelles: Welcome to Vincelles-Vincelottes, a pretty village worth visiting for its good restaurants downtown, particularly if you enjoy the tasty wine of the region. There are also a number of walking paths on the edge of town.
  • Cravant: This picturesque medieval village has preserved its old streets, its wash house and wood framed houses. A remarkable church stands aside a walkway not far from the dungeon where, in the summer, exhibitions and visits are organised.
  • Prégilbert: Pregilbert is a quiet hamlet. Moor here, walk downtown and see the old Roman church on the outskirts of town. It's a perfect place for a peaceful walk.
  • Mailly-le-Château: Welcome to Mailly-Le-Château, a quiet and friendly town. Find the beautiful hiking paths on the outskirts of the town, especially La terasse, leading you to places with wonderful views over the valley.
  • Châtel-Censoir: Welcome to this peaceful and inviting village. In Chatel-Censoir, you will enjoy exploring the 15th century church, the natural landscapes all around, and the good restaurants.
  • Vézelay: 16km southeast of Châtel-Censoir is the hill town of Vézelay. While it is necessary to get a short taxi journey to get there, it is well worth the trip. Vézelay has been crowned one of France’s most beautiful villages, and is home to the Basilica of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine. The basilica is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered one of the great masterpieces of Burgundian art and architecture.
  • Clamecy: Welcome to Clamecy, a beautiful and flower-filled city. Come here and discover sights like the pretty City Hall, or the gothic church Saint-Martin and its great tower. Take a walk as well to see the church Notre-Dame-De-Bethléem. 

43 hr(s) of cruising

191km 86 locks 10 nights
Relaxing on the Loire

The Yonne Short Break

Migennes
Joigny
Sens
Migennes

16 hr(s) of cruising

94km 20 locks 3 nights

The Yonne Short Break

Migennes RETURN via Sens

Migennes RETURN via Sens

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Overview

River cruises in France all differ. In the heart of Nivernais on the River Yonne, you’re happy you found the best of the region! You spend time exploring the Gothic cathedral city of Migennes, and then you travel slowly north, passing small villages with picturesque waterfronts. You decide to go cycling before topping off Nivernais boating in France with a visit to the historic city of Sens.

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation 

  • Migennes: Migennes is ideally situated at the head of the Canal de Bourgogne, the Rivers Yonne and Armançon. Here, you will walk with pleasure into the green public spaces, or along the flower-lined streets. Take time to see the pretty church, Christ-Roi.
  • Joigny: A beautiful and typical French city, Joigny is a really nice place to moor. Discover a town full of history with many beautiful buildings like the Château des Gondi. Joigny is also surrounded by vineyards, which offer wonderful countryside views.
  • Sens: Sens is one of the biggest towns in the area. With a rich past, Sens is very pleasant to visit, especially the downtown area which boasts old timbered houses and winding streets. The Cathedral, with its galleries underground, is also interesting.

16 hr(s) of cruising

94km 20 locks 3 nights
Deckchairs in the Abbey Saint-Germain

The Auxerre Short Break

Migennes
Monéteau
Auxerre
Migennes

11 hr(s) of cruising

48km 20 locks 3 nights

The Auxerre Short Break

Migennes RETURN via Auxerre

Migennes RETURN via Auxerre

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Overview

From the vantage point of your sundeck, it feels like you’re in the midst of a French Impressionist painting. You’re tied up in pretty Gurgy, sipping Vouvray wine and savouring Crottin de Chavignol goats' cheese with friends. Part of Nivernais boating in France entails doing practically nothing at all, but later you’ll take the bikes out for exploring.

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Migennes: Migennes is ideally situated at the head of the Canal de Bourgogne, the Rivers Yonne and Armançon. Here, you will walk with pleasure into the green public spaces, or along the flower-lined streets. Take time to see the pretty church, Christ-Roi.
  • Monéteau: Monéteau is a pretty town, of which the highlight is a 1913 bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel. You can also see the 12th century church and you can hear the chimes of Colbert Castle from the river.
  • Auxerre: Auxerre is the largest city of the area, steeped in history and bustling with markets, shops and French pâtisseries. You will enjoy exploring the old winding streets with its traditional French timbered buildings, shopping, dining out and visiting the impressive cathedral and churches which dominate the skyline on your approach.

11 hr(s) of cruising

48km 20 locks 3 nights
Fontenay Abbey in Montbard

The Burgundy Châteaux Cruise

Migennes
Saint-Florentin
Tonnerre
Tanlay
Ancy-le-Franc
Montbard
Migennes

32 hr(s) of cruising

146km 64 locks 7 nights

The Burgundy Châteaux Cruise

Migennes RETURN via Ancy-le-Franc

Migennes RETURN via Ancy-le-Franc

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Overview

Sparkling blue waterways cut through beautiful hillside vineyards and stands of ancient beech trees, linking together like the threads of life itself. You’re on the magnificent Canal de Bourgogne en route to Tanlay. The châteaux loom from distant shores, vestiges of aristocratic days, and they inspire you to pull over to experience the best of canal boat vacations in France.

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Migennes: Migennes is ideally situated at the head of the Canal de Bourgogne, the Rivers Yonne and Armançon. Here, you will walk with pleasure into the green public spaces, or along the flower-lined streets. Take time to see the pretty church, Christ-Roi.
  • St-Florentin: A great opportunity for a stopover, Saint-Florentin is a small fortress town dominated by its Gothic and Renaissance church. It is a peaceful place, filled with history, and visitors can stroll through its picturesque streets dating from the 16th century. Climb the gently sloping hill, stopping on the way to savour the delights of its markets, shops, restaurants and a charming garden. You can also walk to the priory, which offers a superb view of the old town. Above the roofs you’ll notice the 16th century church with its bell tower.
  • Tonnerre: Tonnerre means thunder in French. Come to this particular town and discover its history, such as the Hotel-Dieu, one of the biggest hospitals in the middle ages that still here. Enjoy the beautiful walking paths such as the Promenade du Pâtis.
  • Tanlay: Tanlay is a small charming village that is beautifully constructed in an old style. Come here to discover the architecture of the Castle of Tanlay, built in the seventeenth century. The abbey of Quincy is also a famous destination worth a visit.
  • Ancy-le-Franc: Stop in Ancy-le-Franc to discover its astonishing Renaissance palace, built in the 16th century by the architect of François I. Admire its courtyard, the rich decoration of the apartments, the remarkable series of murals and stroll through the galleries. At the Tourist Office, you’ll find an exhibition about ancient porcelain. For a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape, climb the staircase that starts from behind the church and leads to the village heights.
  • Montbard: Stroll through the pleasant Buffon Park, built around the remnants of Montbard Castle. In the park, the orangerie is today a museum dedicated to the famous naturalist, Buffon. The town is quiet, with a shopping street, two churches and a Fine Art Museum featuring local artists. 6km northeast of the city, don’t miss Fontenay Abbey, listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Founded in 1118, the beautiful abbey is one of the oldest Cistercian monasteries in Europe and is one of Burgundy’s key attractions.

32 hr(s) of cruising

146km 64 locks 7 nights
Wine tasting in Burgundy

The Two Rivers Cruise

Migennes
Joigny
Monéteau
Auxerre
Saint-Florentin
Tonnerre
Tanlay
Gurgy
Migennes

38 hr(s) of cruising

174km 72 locks 10 nights

The Two Rivers Cruise

Migennes RETURN via Joigny, Auxerre & Tanlay

Migennes RETURN via Joigny, Auxerre & Tanlay

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Overview

Travelling on canal boat vacations in France has always intrigued you, and now that you’re aboard in the heart of Nivernais you know this unique experience appeals to your very soul. Beautiful Migennes impresses you as a truly inspiring cathedral city, and the lovely village of Joigny tempts you with its medieval market. When you see a château, and there are many, you stop for a visit!

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Migennes: Migennes is ideally situated at the head of the Canal de Bourgogne, the Rivers Yonne and Armançon. Here, you will walk with pleasure into the green public spaces, or along the flower-lined streets. Take time to see the pretty church, Christ-Roi.
  • Joigny: A beautiful and typical French city, Joigny is a really nice place to moor. Discover a town full of history with many beautiful buildings like the Château des Gondi. Joigny is also surrounded by vineyards, which offer wonderful countryside views.
  • Monéteau: Monéteau is a pretty town, of which the highlight is a 1913 bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel. You can also see the 12th century church and you can hear the chimes of Colbert Castle from the river.
  • Auxerre: Auxerre is the largest city of the area, steeped in history and bustling with markets, shops and French pâtisseries. You will enjoy exploring the old winding streets with its traditional French timbered buildings, shopping, dining out and visiting the impressive cathedral and churches which dominate the skyline on your approach.
  • St-Florentin: A great opportunity for a stopover, Saint-Florentin is a small fortress town dominated by its Gothic and Renaissance church. It is a peaceful place, filled with history, and visitors can stroll through its picturesque streets dating from the 16th century. Climb the gently sloping hill, stopping on the way to savour the delights of its markets, shops, restaurants and a charming garden. You can also walk to the priory, which offers a superb view of the old town. Above the roofs you’ll notice the 16th century church with its bell tower.
  • Tonnerre: Tonnerre means thunder in French. Come to this particular town and discover its history, such as the Hotel-Dieu, one of the biggest hospitals in the middle ages that is still there. Enjoy the beautiful walking paths such as the Promenade du Pâtis.
  • Tanlay: Tanlay is a small charming village that is beautifully constructed in an old style. Come here to discover the architecture of the Castle of Tanlay, built in the seventeenth century. The abbey of Quincy is also a famous destination worth a visit.

38 hr(s) of cruising

174km 72 locks 10 nights
Classic French restaurant in Vézelay

The Great Wines and Castles Long Break

Migennes
Monéteau
Auxerre
Vincelles-Vincelottes
Pregilbert
Mailly-le-Château
Châtel-Censoir
Clamecy
Tannay
Cravant
Vézelay
Migennes

48 hr(s) of cruising

208km 98 locks 14 nights

The Great Wines and Castles Long Break

Migennes RETURN via Tannay

Migennes RETURN via Tannay

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Overview

You enjoy travelling as much or as little as you want, tying up the boat to see open-air markets, browse in shops or explore museums. Bicycling, trekking and fishing are all popular pursuits on canal boat vacations in France. Linger in beautiful towns such as Tannay, Chitry-les-Mines and 17th-century Corbigny. Explore the castles and châteaux, and enjoy fine wines at vineyards.

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Migennes: Migennes is ideally situated at the head of the Canal de Bourgogne, the Rivers Yonne and Armançon. Here, you will walk with pleasure into the green public spaces, or along the flower-lined streets. Take time to see the pretty church, Christ-Roi.
  • Monéteau: Monéteau is a pretty town, of which the highlight is a 1913 bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel. You can also see the 12th century church and you can hear the chimes of Colbert Castle from the river.
  • Auxerre: Auxerre is the largest city of the area, steeped in history and bustling with markets, shops and French pâtisseries. You will enjoy exploring the old winding streets with its traditional French timbered buildings, shopping, dining out and visiting the impressive cathedral and churches which dominate the skyline on your approach.
  • Vincelles: Welcome to Vincelles-Vincelottes, a pretty village worth visiting for its good restaurants downtown, particularly if you enjoy the tasty wine of the region. There are also a number of walking paths on the edge of town.
  • Cravant: This picturesque medieval village has preserved its old streets, its wash house and wood framed houses. A remarkable church stands aside a walkway not far from the dungeon where, in the summer, exhibitions and visits are organised.
  • Prégilbert: Pregilbert is a quiet hamlet. Moor here, walk downtown and see the old Roman church on the outskirts of town. It's a perfect place for a peaceful walk.
  • Mailly-le-Château: Welcome to Mailly-Le-Château, a quiet and friendly town. Find the beautiful hiking paths on the outskirts of the town, especially La terasse, leading you to places with wonderful views over the valley.
  • Châtel-Censoir: Welcome to this peaceful and inviting village. In Chatel-Censoir, you will enjoy exploring the 15th century church, the natural landscapes all around, and the good restaurants.
  • Vézelay: 16km southeast of Châtel-Censoir is the hill town of Vézelay. While it is necessary to get a short taxi journey to get there, it is well worth the trip. Vézelay has been crowned one of France’s most beautiful villages, and is home to the Basilica of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine. The basilica is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered one of the great masterpieces of Burgundian art and architecture.
  • Clamecy: Welcome to Clamecy, a beautiful and flower-filled city. Come here and discover sights like the pretty City Hall, or the gothic church Saint-Martin and its great tower. Take a walk as well to see the church Notre-Dame-De-Bethléem.
  • Tannay: Tannay is a pretty little village that has existed for centuries. After it was destroyed during the 14th century, people decided to build fortifications around it and they can still be seen today.

48 hr(s) of cruising

208km 98 locks 14 nights
Blowing bubbles on the deck

The Classic Nivernais Cruise

Migennes
Monéteau
Auxerre
Vincelles-Vincelottes
Cravant
Vermenton
Pregilbert
Mailly-le-Château
Châtel-Censoir
Vézelay
Clamecy
Tannay

26 hr(s) of cruising

115km 48 locks 7 nights

The Classic Nivernais Cruise

Migennes to Tannay via Vermenton ONEWAY

Migennes to Tannay via Vermenton ONEWAY

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Overview

You'll start your cruise in the town of Migennes - ideally situated at the head of the Canal de Bourgogne, the Rivers Yonne and Armançon. From here you'll cruise through perfect French countryside to the pretty village of Tannay via Vermenton with its charming church and fortress ruins. Tannay itself dominates the surrounding landscape with an array of towers that protrude over the rooftops - once a fortified village, only the village gates these days remain.

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Migennes: Migennes is ideally situated at the head of the Canal de Bourgogne, the Rivers Yonne and Armançon. Here, you will walk with pleasure into the green public spaces, or along the flower-lined streets. Take time to see the pretty church, Christ-Roi.
  • Monéteau: Monéteau is a pretty town, of which the highlight is a 1913 bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel. You can also see the 12th century church and you can hear the chimes of Colbert Castle from the river.
  • Auxerre: Auxerre is the largest city of the area, steeped in history and bustling with markets, shops and French pâtisseries. You will enjoy exploring the old winding streets with its traditional French timbered buildings, shopping, dining out and visiting the impressive cathedral and churches which dominate the skyline on your approach.
  • Vincelles: Welcome to Vincelles-Vincelottes, a pretty village worth visiting for its good restaurants downtown, particularly if you enjoy the tasty wine of the region. There are also a number of walking paths on the edge of town.
  • Cravant: This picturesque medieval village has preserved its old streets, its wash house and wood framed houses. A remarkable church stands aside a walkway not far from the dungeon where, in the summer, exhibitions and visits are organised.
  • Vermenton: In this pretty little village, take time to visit the church from the twelfth century and the Tour of Meridian and its sundial. Have a walk downtown into the winding streets to discover the old wash basin that people used here decades ago. On the outskirts of town, the views along the verdant vineyards are a real treat to see.
  • Prégilbert: Pregilbert is a quiet hamlet. Moor here, walk downtown and see the old Roman church on the outskirts of town. It's a perfect place for a peaceful walk.
  • Mailly-le-Château: Welcome to Mailly-Le-Château, a quiet and friendly town. Find the beautiful hiking paths on the outskirts of the town, especially La terasse, leading you to places with wonderful views over the valley.
  • Châtel-Censoir: Welcome to this peaceful and inviting village. In Chatel-Censoir, you will enjoy exploring the 15th century church, the natural landscapes all around, and the good restaurants.
  • Vézelay: 16km southeast of Châtel-Censoir is the hill town of Vézelay. While it is necessary to get a short taxi journey to get there, it is well worth the trip. Vézelay has been crowned one of France’s most beautiful villages, and is home to the Basilica of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine. The basilica is listed a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered one of the great masterpieces of Burgundian art and architecture.
  • Clamecy: Welcome to Clamecy, a beautiful and flower-filled city. Come here and discover sights like the pretty City Hall, or the gothic church Saint-Martin and its great tower. Take a walk as well to see the church Notre-Dame-De-Bethléem.
  • Tannay: Tannay is a pretty little village that has existed for centuries. After it was destroyed during the 14th century, people decided to build fortifications around it and they can still be seen today.

26 hr(s) of cruising

115km 48 locks 7 nights
Vineyards in the Nivernais Loire valley

The Chablis Cruise

Migennes
Joigny
Monéteau
Auxerre
Vincelles-Vincelottes
Cravant
Pregilbert
Mailly-le-Château
Châtel-Censoir
Migennes

32 hr(s) of cruising

134km 64 locks 7 nights

The Chablis Cruise

Migennes RETURN via Châtel Censoir

Migennes RETURN via Châtel Censoir

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Overview

Fine local wines and regional delicacies — foie gras, spicy sausages, and handcrafted chocolates, to name a few — make for sensory delights! You’re looking forward to a tour of Chablis vineyards and wine tasting, but bustling Auxerre tempts you too! Along the way, you sightsee ashore on flat towpaths ideal for cycling.

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Migennes: Migennes is ideally situated at the head of the Canal de Bourgogne, the Rivers Yonne and Armançon. Here, you will walk with pleasure into the green public spaces, or along the flower-lined streets. Take time to see the pretty church, Christ-Roi.
  • Monéteau: Monéteau is a pretty town, of which the highlight is a 1913 bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel. You can also see the 12th century church and you can hear the chimes of Colbert Castle from the river.
  • Auxerre: Auxerre is the largest city of the area, steeped in history and bustling with markets, shops and French pâtisseries. You will enjoy exploring the old winding streets with its traditional French timbered buildings, shopping, dining out and visiting the impressive cathedral and churches which dominate the skyline on your approach.
  • Vincelles: Welcome to Vincelles-Vincelottes, a pretty village worth visiting for its good restaurants downtown, particularly if you enjoy the tasty wine of the region. There are also a number of walking paths on the edge of town.
  • Cravant: This picturesque medieval village has preserved its old streets, its wash house and wood framed houses. A remarkable church stands aside a walkway not far from the dungeon where, in the summer, exhibitions and visits are organised.
  • Prégilbert: Pregilbert is a quiet hamlet. Moor here, walk downtown and see the old Roman church on the outskirts of town. It's a perfect place for a peaceful walk.
  • Mailly-le-Château: Welcome to Mailly-Le-Château, a quiet and friendly town. Find the beautiful hiking paths on the outskirts of the town, especially La terasse, leading you to places with wonderful views over the valley.
  • Châtel-Censoir: Welcome to this peaceful and inviting village. In Chatel-Censoir, you will enjoy exploring the 15th century church, the natural landscapes all around, and the good restaurants.
  • Migennes: Migennes is ideally situated at the head of the Canal de Bourgogne, the Rivers Yonne and Armançon. Here, you will walk with pleasure into the green public spaces, or along the flower-lined streets. Take time to see the pretty church, Christ-Roi.

32 hr(s) of cruising

134km 64 locks 7 nights
Auxerre city on the river

The Auxerre Cruise

Tannay
Clamecy
Châtel-Censoir
Mailly-le-Château
Pregilbert
Cravant
Vincelles-Vincelottes
Auxerre
Tannay

37 hr(s) of cruising

158km 78 locks 7 nights

The Auxerre Cruise

Tannay RETURN via Auxerre

Tannay RETURN via Auxerre

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Overview

Originally the Yonne River was known as the "Wine Route". This wonderfull cruise will drive you to the heart of Auxerre, a charming medieval town with its wood walled houses and its famous Cathedral Saint Etienne. Enjoy the local specialities and wines in amazing sourrounded landscapes.

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Tannay: Tannay is a pretty little village that has existed for centuries. After it was destroyed during the 14th century, people decided to build fortifications around it and they can still be seen today.
  • Clamecy: Welcome to Clamecy, a beautiful and flower-filled city. Come here and discover sights like the pretty City Hall, or the gothic church Saint-Martin and its great tower. Take a walk as well to see the church Notre-Dame-De-Bethléem.
  • Châtel-Censoir: Welcome to this peaceful and inviting village. In Chatel-Censoir, you will enjoy exploring the 15th century church, the natural landscapes all around, and the good restaurants.
  • Mailly-le-Château: Welcome to Mailly-Le-Château, a quiet and friendly town. Find the beautiful hiking paths on the outskirts of the town, especially La terasse, leading you to places with wonderful views over the valley.
  • Prégilbert: Pregilbert is a quiet hamlet. Moor here, walk downtown and see the old Roman church on the outskirts of town. It's a perfect place for a peaceful walk.
  • Cravant: This picturesque medieval village has preserved its old streets, its wash house and wood framed houses. A remarkable church stands aside a walkway not far from the dungeon where, in the summer, exhibitions and visits are organised.
  • Vincelles: Welcome to Vincelles-Vincelottes, a pretty village worth visiting for its good restaurants downtown, particularly if you enjoy the tasty wine of the region. There are also a number of walking paths on the edge of town.
  • Auxerre: Auxerre is the largest city of the area, steeped in history and bustling with markets, shops and French pâtisseries. You will enjoy exploring the old winding streets with its traditional French timbered buildings, shopping, dining out and visiting the impressive cathedral and churches which dominate the skyline on your approach.

37 hr(s) of cruising

158km 78 locks 7 nights
A kingfisher catching fish in the river

The Nivernais Short Break

Tannay
Clamecy
Vézelay
Châtel-Censoir
Tannay

17 hr(s) of cruising

74km 34 locks 4 nights

The Nivernais Short Break

Tannay RETURN via Châtel Censoir

Tannay RETURN via Châtel Censoir

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Overview

Cruise from the former fortified village of Tannay along the gently meandering Canal du Nivernais to the villages of Corbigny and Châtel Censoir. Along the way you'll enjoy the picturesque streets of Clamecy, with its half-timbered houses and Gothic church. When you arrive at Châtel Censoir you'll find a town that bustles on market day and is peaceful in the afternoon, enjoy the Romanesque architecture of the church and discover hidden vantage points with spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Tannay: Tannay is a pretty little village that has existed for centuries. After it was destroyed during the 14th century, people decided to build fortifications around it and they can still be seen today.
  • Clamecy: Welcome to Clamecy, a beautiful and flower-filled city. Come here and discover sights like the pretty City Hall, or the gothic church Saint-Martin and its great tower. Take a walk as well to see the church Notre-Dame-De-Bethléem.
  • Vézelay: 16km southeast of Châtel-Censoir is the hill town of Vézelay. While it is necessary to get a short taxi journey to get there, it is well worth the trip. Vézelay has been crowned one of France’s most beautiful villages, and is home to the Basilica of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine. The basilica is listed a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered one of the great masterpieces of Burgundian art and architecture.
  • Châtel-Censoir: Welcome to this peaceful and inviting village. In Chatel-Censoir, you will enjoy exploring the 15th century church, the natural landscapes all around, and the good restaurants.

17 hr(s) of cruising

74km 34 locks 4 nights

Our Feefo reviews

Feefo is an independent and impartial review service that requests reviews directly from those who have been on a Le Boat vacation. Below you can read what our past customers think about their Le Boat experience, and trust that what you read is unfiltered, unedited and uncensored.

Added on 21 September 2019

Nick Haylock said

Very well organised, friendly and efficient administrative procedures pre and post booking. Friendly and efficient staff on site. Good level of useful information and links provided prior to the holiday. VERY professional. A very nice section of river and canal, with interesting towns and villages en-route.
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Migennes - Tannay
Continentale
Added on 15 September 2019

Marcus Peake said

Did cruise from Migennes to Tannay in mid September 2019. Le Boat delivered in all respects - a well appointed boat, good instruction and friendly and helpful service. They also offered support on the way, should we have needed it, but it wasn't necessary. The boat didn't miss a beat and we were delighted with it. Well done! We were spoiled by great weather, but the route we chose was also a contributor - spectacular villages and picture-perfect countryside. Tannay was hard to get out of (back to Paris) on a Sunday, so if I did this route again I'd probably go the other way, or try for a Saturday to Saturday itinerary. One or two of our stops had little in the way of food or restaurants, even though the LeBoat guide suggested they did - be aware that smaller villages seem to be in decline...they are pretty, but not well stocked! Highlights were Auxerre (only go to the old part of town) and Clemacy. Locks were great fun to keep you active and get to meet fellow travellers. All in all a wonderful experience.
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Migennes - Tannay
Magnifique
Added on 14 September 2019

James Hilyard said

The boat when we recived it was dirty on the outside and all the drains were blocked with leaves and other trash. the area was great. the only thing bad wad the shortage of water for the canals due to the lack of rain.
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Thank you for providing us with your feedback on your trip. We are so glad to know you loved your destination and our Horizon model boats! Although, we are sorry that you were disappointed with the standard of cleanliness of your boat. In view of your comments, we have forwarded your feedback to our Base team and have asked them to watch more closely for falling leaves that might potentially clog the deck drainage.
Tannay - Migennes
Horizon 1
Added on 11 September 2019

Terry Spencer said

The cruise between Migennes and Tannay was outstanding. Beautiful scenery and charming towns and villages abound. Le Boat made this easy to do and they provided extra service for us at both the beginning and end of our trip. Beautiful countryside, charming villages, historical towns, and wine tasting; It was all there sliding by us at a wonderfully slow pace.
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Migennes - Tannay
Royal Mystique A
Added on 11 September 2019

Maris Zvejnieks said

We have used LeBoat before and the service was very good. Other than a couple of glitches everything went as expected and we all enjoyed the cruise. Beautiful area and we enjoyed it thoroughly
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Migennes - Tannay
Vision 4
Added on 11 September 2019

Hanlie Potgieter said

Great experience! Friendly people....well organised! Best way to see a country and relax as well!
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Châtillon-sur-Loire - Decize
Horizon 2
Added on 07 September 2019

John Smith said

The reception was excellent. The boats are clean and tidy. Absolutely no problems experienced. Best information received beforehand
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Châtillon-sur-Loire - Decize
Corvette B
Added on 04 September 2019

Helen Godfrey said

From the minute we landed at Le Boat office at Laroche-Migenne until the minute we handed over the keys and signed everything off we had a wonderful experience from all the staff. Just a few minor hiccups regarding the bikes but that was rectified swiftly. The instructions we received from Dominique on how to drive the boat were thorough and he was very knowledgeable and patient. Alise In the office was wonderful as well, very welcoming and caring. 5 women in a boat ...an amazing holiday ...loved every minute of it and learnt so much about boating.
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Migennes - Migennes
Elegance
Added on 04 September 2019

Simon Smart said

Great on arrival at Migennes. Great telephone service from Tannay when we had problem with bow thruster cutting out engine. No-one in Tannay office when we arrived on day before due to return boat. But checkout at Tannay prompt and efficient Great boat, and a great journey.
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Migennes - Tannay
Mystique
Added on 28 August 2019

David Dunbabin said

Prompt delivery of good product with excellent staff service at all levels. Great location on a beautiful waterway
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Tannay - Migennes
Mystique