The canals of Burgundy

Waterways and great scenery

From wood floating to ceramics transport, the canals of Burgundy are a vibrant symbol of man-made history. You don't need to be a seasoned sailor to enjoy a trip along the 1,000 kilometres of this canal network that is unique in France. In a cabin boat, on foot or by bike – explore Burgundy and its many landscapes at your own pace!

A history of trade

Built between the 17th and 19th centuries, Burgundy's canals came up against competition from the railways. Today they bear witness to the history of the “regions” through which they pass.

The canal du Nivernais was used to transport wood from the Morvan towards Paris. In Clamecy you can find out more about the famous “wood floaters”.

Right up to the middle of the 20th century, generations of bargees earned their living on the canal de Bourgogne, canal de la Marne à la Saône, canal du Centre and canal de la Loire.

Lock keepers, boatmen, inn keepers, port workers, millers, boat haulers and horse breeders... Not all of these historic river trades have disappeared. If you are keen to find out more, the place to go is Saint-Jean-de-Losne, on the banks of the Saône. Every June they hold the "Pardon des Mariniers" to celebrate traditional waterway trades.

A variety of scenery at the water's edge

From villages to châteaux, through wooded valleys and farmland, the canals lead on to rivers, large and small.

A river cruise is never dull! Between Louhans and the Saône flows a charming little river called the Seille.

On foot, by boat or by bike

Whether you hire a cabin boat for a weekend or a week, you are in for a few surprises: at Pouilly-en-Auxois, for example, a 3 kilometre tunnel runs between the Seine and Rhône basins..

You can also go along the 'voie verte' and the cycle route... another way of exploring Burgundy's canals, with family or friends!.

Office de Tourisme Rives de Saône - BIT de Saint-Jean-de-Losne
Esplanade des itinérances - quai Lafayette - 21170 - SAINT-JEAN-DE-LOSNE -
03 80 37 15 70
Clamecy Haut Nivernais Tourisme - Office de Tourisme de Clamecy
7-9 rue du Grand-Marché - 58500 - CLAMECY -
03 86 27 02 51
03 86 27 02 51
Office de Tourisme de Pouilly-en-Auxois**
Le Colombier - 21320 - POUILLY-EN-AUXOIS -
03 80 90 74 24
  • Le tour de Bourgogne à vélo
    Les itinéraires du Tour de Bourgogne à vélo® suivent le cours de nombreuses voies navigables. Tout au long du parcours, ce label vous garantit des hébergements proposant des services et équipements adaptés aux besoins du cyclotouriste. Un site internet munis d'un bon carnet d'adresses vous permet de bien organiser votre séjour.
    Read more
  • Vidéo : Le Canal du Nivernais
    Vidéo de France Télévision diffusée pendant le journal télévisé.
    Read more
  • Vidéo TF1 : les voies navigables de Bourgogne
    Le Canal de Bourgogne
    Read more
  • Itinéraire numérique des canaux de Bourgogne
    Publié par le Conseil régional de Bourgogne
    Read more

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