Canals and Rivers in France

The French waterways are divided in 7 basins

Short description of the canals and rivers in France ordered by basin and waterway : distance, number of locks, lock dimensions, draught, height under the lowest bridge, and links to the pages where you can read more about our boating in France.

  1. West France (Charente, Bretagne and Loire)
  2. River Seine Basin
  3. North France (Nord and Picardie)
  4. North East France
  5. Centre and Burgundy (The Bourbonnais Route)
  6. River Saône and Rhône Basin
  7. Midi and South West France
 

1. West France (Charente, Bretagne and Loire)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7   Top
  distance locks  dimension  draught height
River Charente from Angoulême to Tonnay 137 km 21 31 x 6.5 0.8~2.3 3.4
River Charente-maritime fromTonnay to Fouras 29 km - - 6.8 24
Sèvre Niortaise from Niort to Marans 52 km 8 30 x 4.2 0.8~1.3 2.5
River Rance from Saint Malo to Lyvet 15 km 2 30 x 7.9 1.6 19
Canal d'Ille-et-Rance from Lyvet to Rennes 85 km 47 26.5 x 4.5 1.1 2.5
River Vilaine from Rennes to Arzal 132 km 13 25.8 x 4.2 1.2 3.2
River Erdre from Nantes to Nort-sur-Erdre 28 km 1 40 x 6.2 1.1 3.8
Canal de Nantes à Brest (east) from Quiheix to Pontivy 184 km 104 25.5 x 4.3 1.1 2.4
River Aff from Glénac to La Gacilly 6 km - - 1.1 2.4
Lac de Guerlédan          
River Blavet from Pontivy to Lorient 68 km 28 26 x 4.6 1.4 2.4
Canal de Nantes à Brest (west) from Landévennec to Goariva 120 km 46 25.7 x 3 1.1 2.5
Rade de Brest          
River Mayenne from Mayenne to Angers 122 km 45 30 x 5 1.1 2.1
River Oudon from Le Lion d'Angers to Segré 18 km 3 30 x 5 1.2 4.4
River Sarthe from Le Mans to Angers 131 km 20 30 x 5 0.9~1.2 3.9
River Maine          
River Loire from Bouchemaine to Nantes 85 km - - 1.5 4.5
River Loire-maritime from Nantes to Saint Nazaire 53 km - - 4.5 4.5

2. River Seine Basin

1 2 3 4 5 6 7   Top
  distance locks  dimension  draught height
River Seine (Petite amont) from Marcilly to Nogent-sur-Seine 19 km 4 38.5 x 5 1.1~1.4 3.1
River Seine (Petite aval) from Nogent-sur-Seine to Montereau 48 km 7 100 x 6 1.8 4.2
River Seine (Haute) from Paris Arsenal to Montereau - Port Bastille 98 km 8 180 x 11.4 2.8 5.5
Canal Saint-Martin from Paris la Villette to Paris Arsenal 4.5 km 9 41.7 x 7.8 1.9 4.2
Canal de l'Ourqc from Paris la Villette to Port-aux-Perches 108 km 10 58.8 x 3.2 1.4 2.5
River Seine (Basse) from Paris Arsenal to Rouen 242 km 6 180 x 11.4 3 6
River Seine-maritime from Rouen to the sea 105 km - - 4.5 4.5
Canal de Tancarville from Le Havre to Tancarville 25 km 2 185 x 27 3.5 7
Canal maritime de Caen from Caen to Ouistreham 14 km 1 180 x 18 8 30
River Oise from Conflans-Ste-Honorine to Janville (Compiègne) 104 km 7 180 x 11.4 2.5 5.2
Canal latéral à l'Oise from Janville (Compiègne) to Chauny 34 km 4 38.5 x 5.6 2.2 3.5
Canal de l'Oise à l'Aisne from Abbecourt to Bourg-St-Comin 48 km 13 38.5 x 5 2 3.5
Aisne canalisée from Compiègne to Celles-sur-Aisne 57 km 7 45.3 x 7.8 2 3.7
Canal latéral à l'Aisne from Celles-sur-Aisne to Vieux-lès-Asfeld 51 km 8 38.5 x 5 1.8 3.5
Canal de l'Aisne à la Marne from Berry-au-Bac to Condé sur Marne 58 km 24 38.5 x 5 1.8 3.5
Canal latéral à la Marne from Epernay to Vitry-le-François 66 km 15 38.5 x 5 1.8 3.5
River Marne from Epernay to Charenton 182 km 18 45 x 7.6 1.8 4.1

3. North France (Nord and Picardie)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7   Top
  distance locks  dimension  draught height
Canal de la Somme from Saint-Valéry to Péronne 122 km 19 38.5 x 5 1.8 3.5
Canal du Nord from Pont-l'Evêque to Arleux 95 km 19 91 x 5.7 2.2 3.7
Canal de Saint-Quentin from Chauny to Cambrai 92 km 35 38.5 x 5.6 2.2 3.5
River Scarpe (supérieure) from Arras to Douai 29 km 11 38.5 x 5 2.2 3.7
River Scarpe (inférieure) from Douai to Montagne-du-Nord 36 km 6 38.5 x 5 1.6 3.7
River Lys from Aire-sur-la-Lys to Halluin 65 km 8 38.5 x 5 1.8 3.5
Canal de Calais from Aa to Calais 30 km 3 38.5 x 5 1.8 3.5
River Aa from Sea to Watten 22 km 1 38.5 x 5 1.8 4.4
Canal de Bergues from Bergues to Dunkerque 8 km - - 1.8 3.5
Canal de Bourbourg from Dunkerque to Aa 19 km 3 38.5 x 5 1.8 3.5
Canal de Béthune 1 km - -    
Canal Dunkerque-Escaut from Dunkerque to Montagne-du-Nord 187 km 14 140 x 12 2 4.5
Canal de la Deûle from Beauvin to Deûlémont 35 km 3 90 x 5.7 2.3 3.7
River Escaut (Schelde) from Cambrai to Bassin Rond 13 km 5 38.5 x 5.6 2.2 3.5
Canal de la Sambre à l'Oise from Fargniers to Landrecies 71 km 38 38.5 x 5 1.8 3.5
River Sambre from Landrecies to Jeumont 54 km 9 38.5 x 5 1.8 3.5
Wallonia Belgium          
Canal Nimy-Blaton-Péronnes from Péronnes to Nimy 39 km 2 86 x 12 2.5 4.9
Canal Blaton-Ath from Blaton to Ath 22.5 km 21 41 x 5 1.8 3.6
Canal Charleroi-Bruxelles from Charleroi to Bussels 68 km 11 81 x 10 2.2 4.5
Canal historique du Centre from Thieu to Houdeng 7 km 0 40 x 5.2 1.9 3.7
Canal Charleroi-Bruxelles (Branche de Bellecourt) - - - - -
River Sambre (Haute) from Erquelines to Namur 87 km 17 40 x 5 2.2 3.7
River Meuse (Belgium) from Givet to Lixhe 128 km 13 100 x 12 2.2 5.2
Canal Harcourt-Visé from Harcourt to Visé 1 km 1 55 x 7.5 1.9 5.3

4. North East France

1 2 3 4 5 6 7   Top
  distance locks  dimension  draught height
Canal de la Marne au Rhin (west) from Vitry-le-François to Toul 132 km 97 38.5 x 5 1.8 3.5
Canal de la Marne au Rhin (east) from Frouard to Strasbourg 159 km 57 38.5 x 5 2.1 3.5
Canal du Rhône au Rhin (north) from Strasbourg to Rhinau 31 km 10 38.5 x 5 2.2 3.5
River Rhin from Lauterbourg to Huningue 184 km 10 180 x 22.8 3 6.7
Embranchement de Colmar from Breisach to Colmar 23 km 3 38.5 x 5 1.8 3.5
Canal du Rhône au Rhin (south) from Kembs Niffer to St-Symphorien 237 km 114 38.5 x 5 1.8 3.5
Embranchement de Belfort from Etupes to Botans 10 km 5 38.5 x 5 1.8 3.5
Canal des Ardennes from Pont-à-Bar to Vieux-lès-Asfeld 86 km 43 38.5 x 5 1.8 3.5
Canal de la Meuse from Givet to Troussey 272 km 59 38.5 x 5 1.8 3.5
Canal de la Sarre from Gondrexange to Sarreguemines 65 km 29 38.5 x 5 1.8 3.5
River Moselle from Apach to Neuves-Maisons 152 km 15 176 x 12 2.5 5.8
Canal des Vosges from Neuves-Maisons to Corre 122 km 93 38.5 x 5 1.8 3.5
River Saône (Petite) from Corre to Saint-Symphorien 159 km 22 38.5 x 5 1.8 3.5
Canal entre Champagne et Bourgogne from Vitry-le-François to Heuilley-sur-Saône 224 km 114 38.5 x 5 1.8 3.4

5. Centre and Burgundy (The Bourbonnais Route)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7   Top
  distance locks  dimension  draught height

River Yonne from Montereau to Auxerre - 2004/09-1, 2004/09-2, 2005/07

108 km 26 94 x 8.1 1.8 4.4

Canal du Nivernais from Auxerre to Decize - 2005/08

174 km 110 30 x 5 1.2 2.7

Canal de Bourgogne from Migennes to St-Jean-de-Losne - 2004/09-3, 2004/10

242 km 189 38.5 x 5 1.5 2.7
Canal de Roanne à Digoin from Digoin to Roanne 56 km 10 39.5 x 5.1 1.8 3.5
The Bourbonnais Route from River Saône to River Seine          

Canal du Centre from Chalon-sur-Saone to Digoin - 2005/05

112 km 61 39.5 x 5.1 1.8 3.5

Canal lateral a la Loire from Digoin to Briare - 2005/06-1

196 km 37 38.5 x 5.1 1.8 3.5

Canal de Briare from Briare to Montargis - 2005/06-1

54 km 32 38.5 x 5.2 1.8 3.5

Canal du Loing from Montargis to Saint-Mammès - 2005/06-1

50 km 19 38.5 x 5.1 1.8 3.5

6. River Saône and Rhône Basin

1 2 3 4 5 6 7   Top
  distance locks  dimension  draught height
River Doubs from Pontoux to Verdun-sur-le-Doubs 6 km - - 1.8 6.5
River Saône from Saint-Symphorien to Lyon - 2005/09 213 km 5 185 x 12 1.8~3 6
River Seille from La-Truchère to Louans 39 km 4 30 x 5 1.3 3.5
River Rhône from Lyon to Port-Saint-Louis - 2005/09 - 2005/10 310 km 13 190 x 12 3 6.3
Petit Rhône from Arles to Saint-Gilles Lock 58 km - - 2.2 4.7
Embranchement de Beaucaire from Beaucaire to Saint-Gilles 29 km 1 80 x 12 1.8 4.1
Canal du Rhône à Sète from Saint-Gilles to Sète - 2005/10, 2007/08-1, 2007/08-2 72 km 1 195 x 12 2.2 5

7. Midi and South West France

1 2 3 4 5 6 7   Top
  distance locks  dimension  draught height
Etang de Thau from Sète to Les-Onglous (Marseillan)
2005/10, 2007/05, 2007/06-2, 2007/08-1, 2009/07
20 km - - 2.2 4.5

River Vidourle at Grau du Roi. Attention, river is silted up in parts - 2007/08-2

* * * ??? *

River Lez from Canal du Rhone a Sete to Montpellier - 2007/08-2

30 km * * * *
River Hérault from Bessan to Grau-d'Agde - 2007/07-1 12 km 1 40 x 5.6 1.5 4.1
Canal du Midi from Etang de Thau to Toulouse - 2005/10, 2006/04-2, 2006/05, 2006/06, 2006/10, 2007/05, 2007/06-2, 2007/07-1 2007/09, 2008/04, 2009/04, 2009/05-2, 2009/06, 2009/07 240 km 64 30 x 5.4 1.5 3.3
Canal de la Robine from Port la Robine to Port la Nouvelle - 2007/06-2, 2007/07-1, 2007/07-2 36 km 13 40 x 5.8 1.5 3.3
Canal de Montech from Montech to Montauban - 2008/10 11 km 9 30 x 6 1.8 3.6
Canal de Garonne from Toulouse to Castets-en-Dorthe - 2006/07, 2006/09, 2006/10, 2008/04, 2008/05, 2008/06, 2008/08, 2008/09, 2009/08-1, 2009/09-2 193 km 53 40 x 6 1.8 3.6
River Garonne from Castets-en-Dorthe to Bec-d'Ambès 83 km - - 3 4.5

River Garonne from Moissac Lock (we did ±5 km down-stream) - 2008/08

* * * * *

River Tarn from Moissac to Albi (we did ±8 km up-stream) - 2008/08, 2008/09, 2009/10

147 km 31 no locks * *
River Gironde from Bec-d'Ambès to Royan 66 km - - 4.5 4.5
River Dordogne from Bec-d'Ambès to Castillon-la-Bataille 78 km - - 1~3 4.5
River Baïse from Valence-sur-Baïse to Saint-Léger - 2006/08-1, 2010/08 63 km 21 30 x 4.2 1~1.5 3
River Lot (upper) from Luzech to Larnagol - 2008/07-3 74 km 17 30 x 5 1 3.7
River Lot (lower) from Nicole to Les-Ondes - 2008/07-1 75 km 8 27.5 x 5.2 1.2 3
Les Gaves réunis from Bec-des-Graves to Peyrehorade 8 km - - 1.6 5
River Adour from Dax to Anglet 66 km - - 0.8~1.6 3.1

back to top

Sources : VNF | Fluvial Magazine | Navicarte France
All maps designed by : Bourgogne web design