Nederlandse versieCanals in France

From the water


From the towpath


From alongside

I am fascinated by the canals in France. On many summer- holidays I drove  along such canals. The French canals are narrow and because of the great differences in height, they have many locks. By accident I came once nearby Lutzelbourg by the Canal de la Marne au Rhin. I found a boat lift there replacing 17 locks. But the old canal, out of use since 1969, is still there. My love for the French canals definitely arose over there.

The canal follows the capricious forms of the landscape and winds upwards along the slopes. At a lock I can often see the next lock already or at least expect it behind a curve. Sometimes the canal disappears suddenly in a mountain. At one side of the canal I can always walk easily because of the towpath. The ships used to be towed by horses, donkeys, little trains or ... by men.

The locks nowadays are often converted to automatic operation but the locks still have a lot of atmosphere. The greater part of the houses of the lockkeepers are still there in their full glory with faded stucco and roofing-tiles. Most of them are still occupied.  

In 2000 I navigated for the first time by myself on a French canal. I made my choice for the Canal du Midi. In 2001 we navigated on another part of the Canal du Midi. In 2002 we spent two weeks on the Canal de Bourgogne and in 2003 we made a trip on the Canal du Nivernais. The other canals In France I visited from the towpath. You can read about my experiences on  and along the water on this website.

In 2004 we made a trip on the Canal du Rh˘ne au Rhin.

If you have questions or remarks about this website, please send me an e-mail.

Mouringh van der Vinne

Lastly edited: 12 september 2007
Copyright: Mouringh van der Vinne
Canal des Ardennes Canal de Berry Canal de Bourgogne
Canal de Briare Canal du Centre (F) Canal d'Ille et Rance
Canal de la Haute-Sa˘ne Canal de Lalinde Canal latÚral Ó la Loire
Canal de la Marne au Rhin Canal de la Marne Ó la Sa˘ne Canal du Midi
Canal de Nantes Ó Brest Canal du Nivernais Canal du Nord
Canal du Rh˘ne au Rhin Sa˘ne Canal de la Sauldre
Canal de Saint-Quentin Canal de la Somme
Canal du Centre (B) Schwarzenberskř Kanßl (CZ) Shipyards Baasrode (B)