With its 54 kilometres and 38 locks, the Canal de Briare is the oldest canal in France, as it was built under the patronage of Henry IV and put into operation during Louis XIII’s reign. Built with the aim of facilitating river trade between the Loire and Seine, it was the first European canal to connect the two river basins. Thanks to boat hire without license in Briare you can cruise on Canal de Briare and discover its incredible structures. On board your houseboat, you can explore the city of Briare and, 200 metres from your base, go cruising towards the famous bridge over the Canal de Briare, a splendid structure with a view of the Loire. In the heart of a green landscape, for example, you can go cruising from Briare to Rogny-les-Sept-Écluses, where the canal passes around the locks that are no longer in use. A houseboat cruise will surely fascinate you!
The bridge over the Canal de Briare
The point of interest of the Canal de Briare is the bridge! Designed by the famous Gustave Eiffel, the bridge over the Briare Canal is a real technical masterpiece: 662 metres long, 15 spans 40 metres long, 13,680 tonnes (30% heavier than the Eiffel Tower!) and more than 11 metres high above the river. Until 2003, the bridge over the Canal de Briare was the longest metal canal bridge in the world. Cruising on the bridge over the canal will offer you a unique experience. At an altitude of 11 meters you will have a wonderful view of the Loire and we recommend you to admire the sunset from this spot.
During your river cruise on the Canal de Briare, don't miss a stop at Rogny-les-Sept-Écluses and its historic monument. In fact, Rogny's seven locks are a true masterpiece of 17th century architecture, classified as a historical monument. The seven locks allowed boats to cross a hill more than 30 meters high: they were in use until 1880, but nowadays they are out of service. From the top of the locks you can admire a breathtaking view of Rogny and the Canal de Briare and from below you will be impressed by the size of the structure. During your stay in Rogny-les-Sept-Écluses, you will also enjoy an exceptional natural environment consisting of various waterways, hiking trails and fishing areas.
Your cruise on the Canal de Briare with friends or family will be an opportunity to sail on one of the oldest canals in France and admire exceptional works of art! Let yourself be carried along the water from one lock to another one.