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canal du nivernais

Discovering Canal du Nivernais on boat

The 174-metre-long Canal du Nivernais with 116 locks offers yachtsmen many treasures. In a preserved natural environment, this canal is considered one of the most beautiful in France and Europe. Don't wait any longer and discover the Canal du Nivernais by boat. Sail along the canal and discover villages, castles, plains, hills, forests and rivers. With boat rental on the Canal du Nivernais you will have the opportunity to discover a bucolic environment with your family or friends. 


The Canal du Nivernais by boat 

A true oasis of peace, the Canal du Nivernais is now reserved exclusively for yachting. In the heart of nature and an exceptional heritage, let yourself be tempted by renting a boat without license. In fact, as for most canals in France, you don't need a boat license to rent a houseboat. Discovering the Canal du Nivernais by boat is an opportunity accessible to everyone: you can benefit from training at your base of departure to enjoy your stay in the most serene way possible. 


If this is your first experience of river navigation, it is important to know that the manoeuvre on board a houseboat is simple as the maximum speed cannot exceed 12 km/h. The other important point of inland navigation is the passage of locks that allow the houseboat to cross the irregularities. There are 166 locks on the Canal du Nivernais, but don't worry, most locks in Burgundy are automatic. As for the other locks, you can cross them with the help of the guardians, also called eclusiers. The passage of the locks is an experience that you will not forget during your river cruise. 


River navigation is a real adventure that will allow you to live according to the rhythm of water and nature. Whether it is a family holiday, a holiday with friends or a romantic holiday, you can find the houseboat that suits you best thanks to our consultants. Thanks to a real houseboat, the navigation will give you time to admire unique landscapes of great beauty. Discovering the Canal du Nivernais by boat will give you the freedom to stop where and when you want. Take the time to enjoy this experience and let yourself be carried away in the heart of nature. Exploring the canal by boat is also an experience during which you can interact with other yachtsmen or even with the lock keepers. 

swans canal du nivernais

Our favourite places 

Sailing along one of the most beautiful canals in France you can discover its many treasures. In fact, the Canal du Nivernais is full of places rich in history and tradition. We will reveal our favourites. 

  • Decize, the historic island: set on a rocky island and located just three hours from Paris, Decize, also called the "city of water" is the ideal destination to escape the major tourist cities. Between nature and heritage, renting a houseboat in Decize will allow you to enjoy the calm and authentic environment of this island where life flows quietly. After leaving your boat at the port of La Jonction, take a walk on the circuit of ramparts, discover the Promenade des Halles, a long road lined with superb plane trees and limes. You will discover many authentic places during your visit to this magnificent city.

  • The Sardy les Epiry scale: this alignment of 16 locks over 4 kilometres offers an absolutely incredible landscape. A source of inspiration for many artists, the "Saydy les Epiry scale" is a relaxing place that will enchant you. In this place where cars do not circulate, between the water and the forest, you will meet the lock keepers who pass from one lock to another to allow the passage of boats and many hikers who come here to enjoy this particular atmosphere. A unique experience to live with friends or family!

  • The vaults and tunnels of the Collancelle: the construction of the canal in the 18th century required major improvements, in particular the fact that it was necessary to cross Mount Collancelle. They dag three consecutive tunnels for this purpose. Your discovery of the Canal du Nivernais by boat will be marked by this timeless adventure, amidst lush vegetation in this place also known as "the petite amazonie". It will take about two hours to cross this unique structure. 

cana du Nivernais

Renting a houseboat in Burgundy you can immerse yourself in a green environment, among wild landscapes, lands rich in vineyards and charming villages. When you discover Canal du Nivernais take the time to explore the nature that surrounds you. Whether it's a weekend or a longer stay, you'll fall under the spell of France's most beautiful canal and its treasures.

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