Discover The Beauty of French Canal Holidays

French Canal Holidays - Paris

Experience the magic of French canal holidays and sail through stunning waterways that feel straight out of a postcard. It’s a must-do for every adventurer!

French Canal Holidays Best Destinations

Burgundy (La Bourgogne)

Located in the heart of France, the region of Burgundy is renowned for its rich history, breathtaking scenery, and world-class wines. With its network of picturesque canals, Burgundy offers a unique opportunity to explore this stunning region slowly. Canal tours are a popular way to discover the beauty of Burgundy and experience the region’s culture, cuisine, and natural wonders. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a family adventure, a canal holiday in Burgundy is the perfect way to relax, unwind, and discover one of the most beautiful regions in France.

Burgundy French Canals for boat holidays

  • Franche-Comté: Navigating the Doubs canal allows you to travel through large meadows, forests, villages and admire beautiful limestone cliffs at Allenjoie. Franche-Comté offers you its gastronomic wonders (Jura region), heritage (toy museum, Peugeot museum) and nature (areas to fish, swimming and superb views)!
  • Saône: Departing from Pontailler sur Saone, you have a large choice of routes – the Saone, the ‘Petite Saone’, the River Doubs, the Burgundy Canal or the Canal de la Marne à la Saone.
    Cruise through the vineyards of this region, famous for its wines and fine foods. Enjoy the countryside and wildlife along the way.
  • Bresse Bourguignonne – Seille: Set off from Louhans, famous for its farmers market, and cruise through the vineyards along the beautiful River Seille, a tributary of the River Saone, past halftimbered houses and through a wildlife reserve. The Bresse Bourguignonne area is famous for its chickens ‘poulets de bresse’. For wine enthusiasts – you can cruise as far as the well-known Macon or Santenay vineyards.
  • South Burgundy: Situated in the heart of the Charolais region, Digoin is a central starting point for your cruise. The town is at the junction of three canals, the Canal from Roanne to Digoin, or quiet canal, the Canal du Centre, taking you through Paray le Monial and vineyards, and the Canal Lateral à la Loire, which runs through historical towns such as Decize or Nevers.
  • Val de Loire – South Nivernais: Cruise along the Nivernais canal, departing from Chatillon en Bazois, through valleys, past hills, forests and castles. The town of Decize, once a rocky island in the middle of the Loire River, has gastronomy, nature and culture. Sail to Nevers and the Sancerre vineyards and enjoy the charming countryside of this region.
  • Nivernais – Morvan: The Nivernais Canal is probably one of the most beautiful in France.
    You will cross the well preserved nature of the Morvan natural park, as you cruise along this canal steeped in history and tradition. The canal was built at the end of the 18th century to aid the floating of timber from the Morvan forests to Paris.
  • Loiret – Sologne: From Briare southwards, you will cruise on the famous canal bridge built at the end of the 19th century by Gustave Eiffel. You will then reach Sancerre and taste the famous white wine and the noless-famous goat cheese « crottin de Chavignol ». To the north, on the Canal de Briare, you will reach first Rogny, known for its 7 locks and then Montagis, known as the « little Venice » of Gâtinais, thanks to its canals and rivers which cut across the region. You will then cruise on the canal du Loing.

The South Of France (Le Sud)

  • Canal du Midi: A world heritage site, listed by UNESCO, its oval locks and arched bridges have remained unchanged over the centuries. Enjoy cruising, walking or cycling in the warm Mediterranean weather, throughthe flowers and trees, stopping off atlocal restaurants or monuments. There is something for everyone, history, gastronomy, wine and sunshine!
  • Aquitaine: To visit the colourful region of Gascony – land of d’Artagnan, an area rich in history – cruise along the Baïse or the Canal lateral à la Garonne. Taste the traditional dishes typical of this region and buy local produce at the traditional markets. Enjoy the local history and monuments along the way.
  • Camargue: The Camargue is a region of many facets. Enjoy the sunny Mediterranean beaches, or the typical fishing ports and historical towns. For nature lovers the Camargue is a haven for wildlife – flamingos, wild horses, black bulls… And for lovers of good food and wine, try the seafood restaurants and taste the ‘Muscat de Frontignan’ or ‘Noilly Prat’ aperitifs. If you wish to try out real maritime cruising, cross the Etang de Thau and visit the friendly harbours on the way.


Cruise along the Charente River, past Renaissance castles and Romanesque churches, to the Atlantic. There are plenty of distilleries if you wish to taste the famous regional brandies – Cognac and Pineau. The Charente region is known for being one of the sunniest in France, after the south!

5 good reasons to visit Charente

  1. Fishermen’s paradise
  2. Shaded waterways
  3. No time constraints, you can browse all day, you work the locks!
  4. Swimming
  5. Saintes: real conservatory of Romanesque art in the open air, and on the road to Compostelle

Alsace – Lorraine

Cruise through the European capital city of Strasbourg, past the hop fields and countryside of Alsace, through the Niderwillertunnels, or take the famous Arzwiller boat lift. There are many cycle routes and footpaths along the canals. Why not visit the picturesque town of Saverne, or stop off to see local craftsmen at work (glass blowing, porcelain, crystal sculptors)

6 Reasons to explore the Alsace-Lorraine boat rout

  1. Discover Strasbourg, European capital
  2. The Arzviller boat lift, unique in Europe
  3. The famous Alsatian specialties, washed down with the no less famous wines
  4. A rich historical heritage
  5. Hochfelden and its last independent French brewery
  6. Sainte Croix zoo


Ardennes (in Celtic deep forest) is a natural and wooded region with a wide variety of plants, animals and birds. Enjoy the pure fresh air as you cruise through local villages steeped in history. Gourmets will not be left out with regional specialties to taste – ‘tarte au sucre’, ‘boudin blanc’ or ‘salade au lard’ not to mention local beers and of course champagne!


A different way to visit Brittany – by boat – and discover its countryside, architecture, beautiful villages and historical sites, stopping off to visit markets, museums or local craft studios along the way. For gourmets, taste the local cider, lobster or fish dishes, and of course traditional ‘crepes bretonnes’.

In conclusion, France offers the most spectacular French canal holidays in the world. From the picturesque canals of Burgundy to the stunning scenery of the Canal du Midi, there is something for every traveler looking to explore the waterways of this beautiful country. Whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway, a family adventure, or a solo trip of self-discovery, a canal boat holiday in France is an unforgettable experience. So why not start planning your next adventure today and discover the magic of one of these must-visit destinations on a French canal boat holiday?