Who has never dreamed of sailing along the water and to the rhythm of the locks on the canals of France? Finally, let yourself be charmed by the discovery of rural France at only 6 km / h.
Llong-time lovers are thrilled on the canals of France. Make way for disconnection, reading and lazing around. On the canals, stress and speed have no place. The days pass peacefully across the plains and valleys. Only the passage of locks disturb the tranquility of the passengers. France has the largest network of inland waterways in Europe. We are therefore offering you today an overview of the canals in our regions, to be discovered as soon as the confinement is over.
The Canal du Midi
From Toulouse to the Mediterranean, the Canal du Midi is an exceptional work of art. It was indeed the largest construction site of the XNUMXth century, orchestrated by its designer Pierre-Paul Riquet, under the control of Colbert and Louis XIV. Throughout this peaceful and shaded canal, the typical villages, the charming residences and the enchanting landscapes make the happiness of sailors. It is also the busiest of all the canals in France.
The Ourq canal
In the Parisian basin, the Ourq canal connects Mareuil-sur-Ourq to the Villette basin in Paris. The Canal de l'Ourq, the Canal Saint-Denis, the Bassin de la Villette and the Canal Saint-Martin thus constitute the 130 kilometers of the Parisian canal network. Very popular with fishermen and cyclists, the canal offers city dwellers a break of serenity and greeneryaway from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The Nantes-Brest canal
Built at the request of Napoleon Bonaparte, the Nantes-Brest canal opened a shipping lane within Brittany. It used to allow the transport of goods throughout the region. The towpaths have now become places for walking or cycling. They promise hours of change of scenery in the heart of a preserved and welcoming nature.
The side canal at the Garonne
Continue with the side canal at the Garonne connecting Toulouse to Castets-en-Dorthe near Bordeaux. It was built in the XNUMXth century as an extension of the Canal du Midi. The set of two channels then form the Canal des Deux-Mers connecting the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. About sixty locks, seven canal bridges and the Montech water slope make this structure a jewel of French heritage.
The Briare canal
The Briare canal is one of the oldest canals in France. It has the double peculiarity of connecting the Loire and the Seine and to be the first “sharing reach canal”, the prototype of all modern canals. The 54-kilometer route is punctuated by 38 locks across the Loing and Trézée valleys.
The Marne-Rhine-East Canal
Almost 400 kilometers long and with 178 locks the Marne-Rhine canal, is also connected to the Seine by the lateral canal of the Marne. Several remarkable structures line this canal. The inclined plane of Saint-Mouis-Arzvileer, the three tunnels, the canal bridges and the high-fall lock of Réchicourt-le-Château are particularly popular with sailors.
The Nivernais canal
The Nivernais canal for its part, links the Loire basin to that of the Yonne. Its two aqueduct bridges, its four double-lock locks, and its three long tunnels have made this charming canal famous. It still remains today, the second busiest canal in France.
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