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Boating in France

France’s waterways count some 8,500 kilometres, making France the ideal boating destination for many pleasure boaters. A country rich in various beautiful and often unique areas, which you can explore at your leisure from the water.

Want to get away from it all or go on a boating holiday, with a rental or your own boat? Get on board with the Waterkaarten app and discover France safely and well prepared.


Popular regions for the best boating trips



West-France: Marais Poitevin

‘La Venise Verte’, or ‘Green Venice’, is how the marshy centre of the Marais Poitevin is also known. Located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, Marais Poitevin is the country’s second largest wetland area – after the Camargue, located in the south on France’s Mediterranean coast.

Lovers of flora and fauna can explore at their hearts’ content in this protected nature reserve, which is home to some 250 species of birds, 40 species of fish and 80 species of butterflies.

Not surprisingly, this extraordinary landscape, covering around 1120 km2, attracts many visitors from France and abroad every year. And did you know that the area was declared an interregional park in 1979?



North-France: Alsace

When boating in France, many people think of the Vosges and Alsace, and with good reason. If you opt for a boating holiday in this region loved by young and old alike, an exciting journey full of charm, culture and natural highlights awaits you.

The country’s northernmost wine region is traversed by two canals that will take you to historic towns and picturesque villages. For instance, cruise the 289-kilometre-long Marne-Rhine Canal to scenic Strasbourg with its Notre-Dame, the historic La Petite France district and monumental palaces.

Enjoy the beautiful nature of Lorraine, the lovely flower villages along the many wine routes and the excellent cuisine of Alsace!



Mid-France: Burgundy

Want to get away from it all by boat? In that case, Burgundy is the perfect destination for a relaxing time away. The region, known worldwide for its exquisite wines and cuisine, has plenty to enjoy for both local and international boating enthusiasts.

Burgundy is characterised by over 1,000 kilometres of waterways, which take you past (protected) nature and sights in cities such as Auxerre, Dijon and Nevers. And how about the many lakes of natural park Morvan, whose diversity truly offers something for everyone?



More boating in France:

  • Brittany
  • Charente
  • Canal du Midi
  • Canal du Rhône in Sète
  • The Seine and Paris


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