cruise the beautiful French waterways...
sample fine regional cuisine...
enjoy the sunshine on the Canal du Midi...
Find your perfect boating holiday in France today. Use our live availability search of over 120 self-drive French hire boats from a choice of 5 bases. Reserve online at direct prices or call our boating team on 01252 796400.
Boating Holidays in France
Take time to discover regional delicacies and fine wine whilst on your boating holiday in France. You'll find locally grown products at weekly street markets in many villages and towns. All our hire bases have English speakers and you'll receive a warm welcome and full tuition on arrival.
Locks: Most locks are either manned by lock keepers or are automatic. Many of the locks are open during the day (please check opening hours) but close at lunchtime. All locks are closed on 1st May and 14th July.
Grocery shopping: Please remember to take some cash with you on your French boating holiday as some shops cannot accept payment by card. The currency in France is the Euro.
Fishing: You'll need to purchase a licence to fish.
The region is only 2.5 hours from Paris by car and boasts a network of 300km clear water rivers which are solely used for leisure and tourism. Ideal for beginners, there aren't many locks there are lock keepers to give you a helping hand.
There's something for everyone here; historic castles, abbeys, local annual festivals, numerous waterfront villages, and excellent gastronomy. Nature lovers will enjoy hiking through There's even an option to combine your boating holiday with golf
Grez-Neuville (L'Oudon). Closest airports: Paris-Orly, Nantes Atlantique
Sablé sur Sarthe (La Sarthe). Closest airports: Paris Charles de Gaulle, Paris-Orly, Nantes Atlantique
Laval (La Mayenne). Closest airports: Rennes
Canal de Bourgogne & Canal du Nivernais
The Canal de Bourgogne connects the Seine Valley at Laroche with the Saône Valley at St-Jean-de-Losne, covering a total distance of 242 km. Leaving the Seine Valley, the canal follows the path of the River Armançon, meandering through lush countryside, passing many historic towns and Chateaux before it reaches the heart of Burgundy.
The Canal du Nivernais links the Loire Valley to the Seine Valley. A beautiful canal full of charm, the Canal du Nivernais has excellent restaurants serving regional cuisine and fine wine. From Vermenton, cruising options include the medieval city of Auxerre via the River Yonne. The main sites in Auxerre include the Cathedral of St. Étienne and the Abbey of Saint-Germain.
St Florentin (Bourgogne). Vermenton (Nivernais). Closest airport: Paris airports.
One way hire: A one way hire option is available between St Florentin and Vermenton. Should you choose one way hire, the direction will be confirmed two weeks before departure. Car / driver transfer can be arranged.
Canal de Garonne & Canal du Midi
Dating back to the 19th Century, the Canal de Garonne starts at Castets-en-Dorthe and meets the Canal du Midi at Toulouse. The base at Meilhan is close to Bordeaux, the capital of the Aquitaine region of France. The world's major wine industry capital, wine production in Bordeaux dates back to the 8th century. The canal has lots of straight sections that pass through pretty countryside as well as plenty of historic towns and villages.
The sun-kissed Canal du Midi in Southern France is perhaps the most famous canal in the World. Together with the Canal de Garonne, the Canal du Midi links the Atlantic Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, together with the historic fortified city of Carcassonne, a superb example of a fortified medieval town. The bases at Capestang and Le Somail are located on 'Le Grand Bief', a 54km lock free pound that runs between Argens and Beziers through the heart of the Minervois wine region.
Meilhan (Garonne). Closest airports: Bergerac or Bordeaux and Toulouse.
Capestang (Midi). Le Somail (Midi). Closest airports: Perpignan or Carcassonne or Béziers or Montpellier and Toulouse.
Prefer a boating holiday in the UK? An interactive map of the UK inland waterways is available here.