Upper Loire, Canal de Briare
Montargis – Briare – Châtillon-sur-Loire.
Sail with us on the oldest summit level canal in Europe, connecting the Loire and Seine valleys. In this region, known as the Gâtinais or “Garden of Paris”, the passing countryside of open fields, the picturesque winding waterways and the succession of classic French villages never cease to amaze you on this relaxing and bucolic barge cruise.
- Day 1. Montargis: Welcome on board. The second largest city of the Loiret department, after Orleans, is also known as the “Venice of the Gatinais”. The town is criss-crossed with small canals with 131 bridges and an abundance of flowers.
- Day 2. Montbouy: On the first cruising day, your luxury hotelship Johanna brings you to Montbouy. This picturesque village, nested on the left bank of the Briare canal, is full of history. Many remains from antiquity are visible, such as a Gallo-Roman amphitheater that could seat 6000 spectators.
- Day 3. Rogny-les-7-Ecluses: Today we sail up 8 locks of the canal to Rogny-les-7-ecluses. This beautiful village is named after the staircase of 7 locks that were in use from 1642 till 1887 on the original canal. The old lock staircase and other remains of this old canal can still be found in the area. Afternoon visit to the 16th Century Château of St.-Fargeau.
- Day 4. Ouzouer-sur-Trézee / La Gazonne: On our route we moore near the Gazonnne lock to visit the lakes in the neighbourhood. These lakes feed water to the summit pound of the canal. Visit the French style gardens of the Pont-Chevron castle with mosaics dating from the roman era.
- Day 5. Briare: Morning canal cruise to Briare, our last stop before crossing the famous canal bridge over the Loire river. Briare is a former medieval place. It developed during the reign of Henry IV who started the construction of the canal of “Loyre en Seine” in 1604. Afternoon visit to Gien with the faience factory and museum.
- Day 6. Châtillon-sur-Loire: Today we cross the 662m long aqueduct over the Loire river to moor at Châtillon-sur-Loire. Visit the nearby Mantelot lock where the cargo barges used to cross the wild Loire river before the canal bridge was build. Afternoon excursion to Sancerre.
- Day 7. Châtillon-sur-Loire: Farewell after breakfast.
This Upper Loire cruise can be combined with the Upper Seine cruise as a 14 day Seine-Loire cruise.