river cruise france

River cruise in France: the 5 most beautiful destinations

Would you like to spend a special holiday and live a unique experience with your friends or your family? Why not let yourself be tempted by a river cruise in France? Considered one of the most beautiful countries in the world, France is the number one destination for river tourism in Europe with almost 8,000 kilometres of waterways including cultural, historical and gastronomic treasures. Far from the noise of cities, in the heart of nature, discover our 5 best destinations for sailing in France! Whether it's a weekend, several days or a week, you'll find the most beautiful riverside destinations along the river! 


1. The Lot and its magical setting 

Are you looking for a different and spectacular landscape for your river cruise in France? Set sail for a houseboat cruise in the Lot! The Lot is a wild and timeless valley between limestone cliffs and picturesque villages, which will offer you an ideal setting for a river holiday. Considered one of the most beautiful rivers in France, here you can enjoy breathtaking landscapes between green loops, 74 kilometres of rivers and 17 manual locks. The Lot is the ideal destination to discover the rich fauna and flora of the region: you may have the chance to see the otters playing along the banks! Lot River is also perfect for swimming. You can swim in the crystal clear waters, which are very pleasant during the hot season. A cruise on the Lot is also a gastronomic journey: among truffle foie gras, goose confit, Quercy melon, this cruise will also be a journey for your taste buds. Add to this the discovery of Cahors, the ancient city, the extraordinary spectacle of the cliffs of Bouziès or the unusual village of Luzech, essential stops for a cruise on the Lot

cliffs bouziès

2. The Canal du Midi, in the heart of a preserved heritage 

Considered the paradise of river holidays, flooded by the sun all year round, the Canal du Midi, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the most famous French canal. The Canal du Midi is surrounded by plane trees, cypresses, maritime pines and villages rich in history. With canal boat hire on Canal du Midi you can discover remarkable spots such as the Fonsérannes lock, the Malpas tunnel and the bridge over the Béziers canal. What would a river cruise in France be without a wine tasting? Located in the Languedoc wine region, the Canal du Midi is also an ideal destination for quality wines lovers. The Canal du Midi has a rich history and heritage that you will discover through its magnificent cathedrals, castles and medieval towns. As you may have understood, Canal du Midi is an essential destination for a river cruise in France

canal du midi houseboat

3. Burgundy / Loire / Nivernais and their postcard landscapes 

The Canal du Nivernais, the Canal latéral à la Loire and the Canal de la Bourgogne will allow you to discover the most beautiful regions to set sail on a cruise in France. Majestic castles, vineyards and medieval villages will accompany you during the trip. You will be fascinated by this destination where life flows peacefully in the heart of the magnificent valleys and where you can discover some of the best wines of the region, the ancient cathedrals and medieval villages. The region is ideal for long bike rides with friends or family, particularly on the Voie Verte cycle path, which stretches for 180 kilometres along the Canal du Nivernais. For landscape lovers, the unspoilt nature and rich fauna of the region will amaze you. Don't forget to look up to see one of the 180 species of birds that live along the waterways. 

briar canal bridge

4. Brittany, between traditions and legends 

Brittany is a magnificent region to explore for a river cruise in France. In fact, hiring a houseboat in Brittany will be an opportunity to spend a holiday in the heart of the green countryside dotted with forests, swamps, castles and picturesque villages. For your cruise in Brittany, you can opt for a bucolic getaway along the Canal de Nantes in Brest, where you can admire the magnificent Château de Josselin. You'll soon understand why Brittany is known as the "land of a thousand castles". Brittany is also the ideal destination for families: you can enjoy long bike rides with your family and enjoy delicious pancakes with salted butter and caramel. A gastronomic break that you can't help but try! 

houseboat josseline

5. Anjou and its sweet life 

Just 2.5 hours from Paris, the Anjou is a unique region offering yachtsmen more than 300 kilometres of navigable rivers entirely dedicated to river tourism. Anjou is the ideal destination for beginners. The preserved rivers of the Sarthe and Mayenne invite you to admire a rich heritage of castles, mills and picturesque villages. In the midst of perfectly preserved landscapes, you can make numerous stops and discover the city of Angers, a city rich in exceptional heritage. Whether you sail on the Mayenne, Sarthe or Oudon rivers, the locks of Anjou are all unique and particularly flowery

houseboat valley sarthe

Let yourself be tempted by a river cruise in France along the river, in the heart of the most beautiful destinations! Whether it's the Lot, the Canal du Midi, Burgundy/Loire and the Nivernais, Brittany or Anjou - going on a houseboat holiday means above all a change of perspective, forgetting stress, appreciating calm and serenity and rediscovering the pleasure of taking time. You will surely find the cruise that meets your expectations! 

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