Where to base your canal boat in the Loire Valley

The Nivernais Canal is reputed to be one of France’s prettiest and the Loire provides gentle cruising with few locks. Loire canal boat holidays offer spectacular views, hilltop vineyards and charming towns and villages making it the perfect destination for a boating holiday. Choose from one of our four bases in the Loire Valley to start your adventure.

Our canal boat bases in Loire Valley

There are a number of bases in the Loire Valleys so there are plenty of options for your boating holidays with Le Boat. Choose to depart from one base and return your boat to another or return it to the same place that you departed from.

Nivernais Loire Region map

Châtillon-sur-Loire

Traditional vineyards in Sancerre

If you like wine then Châtillon-sur-Loire is the best place to start your boating holiday in the Loire Valley. The vineyards of Sancerre are a six hour cruise away where you can enjoy a wine tasting tour. The base of Châtillon-sur-Loire is just over a two hour drive from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport and approximately five hours from Calais. There are plenty of amenities in the local area of Châtillon-sur-Loire for you to stock up before your cruise. 

Decize

Decize - Nivernais Loire

Further south of Châtillon-sur-Loire, Decize is around a three and a half hour drive from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. Departing from this base in the Loire Valley and it puts you in the best place to explore the southern-most part of the region where you’ll find towns full of historic abbeys, cathedrals and museums. 

Tannay

Tannay - Nivernais Loire

Just a three hour drive from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, Tannay base in the Loire Valley is ideally located to explore the best of everything. You will be rewarded with amazing views and spectacular countryside. Head just under twelve hours south and you will find the large lake at Baye where you can discover stunning wildlife and take a dip in the water.

Migennes

Migennes - Nivernais-Loire

Migennes is the perfect base to start your boating holiday if you are looking for peace and tranquillity. With three direction to head in, Migennes base gives you the flexibility and freedom to explore the region at your own pace. This base in the Loire Valley is the closest to Paris and can be reached in under two and a half hours.  

All of Le Boat’s bases in the Loire Valley are perfect to depart from to explore what the region has to offer. As you depart your chosen base, you will find a number of mooring points along the way many of which are in local towns and villages.

Extras offered in our bases

To make your Nivernais boating holiday relaxing and more comfortable, we offer a wide range of optional extras for you to purchase before your cruise.

Practical Extras

Our Silver and Gold bundles are a great addition to your booking and include our most popular extras – so you can relax in peace of mind that we have it covered. The bundles include useful extras such as prepaid engine hours, collision damage waiver and end of boat cleaning. 

 

In addition to our great value bundles, you can also purchase all of our extras individually from groceries, early boarding or late checkout, to barbeques and gift baskets. These extra touches help make your boating holiday a trip to remember. 

 

Activity Extras

Our boating holidays allow you to discover your chosen destination at your own pace, which is why we offer you bikes to hire as an optional extra. All of our boating regions have fantastic cycle routes allowing you to discover pretty towns and country villages. Use your hire bike to pick up grocercies or visit a local market.

More about Loire Valley

All of Le Boat’s bases in the Loire Valley are perfect to depart from to explore what the region has on offer. As you depart your chosen base, you will find a number of mooring points along the way many of which are in local towns and villages.

What to do around the Loire Valley river

Nivernais Loire

Monéteau is a pretty town of which the highlight is the 1913 bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel. You can also see the 12th century church and you can hear the chimes of Calbert Castle from the river. 

The little village of Gurgy, is great for your first overnight stop if heading south from Migennes. It is pleasant and secure with a well-tended path you can easily cycle along or stretch your legs.

Cravant is a picturesque medieval village, which has preserved its old streets, its washhouse and wood framed houses. A remarkable church stands aside a walkway not far from the dungeon where, in the summer, exhibitions and visits are organised. The best thing about this mooring point is Les Lilas des deux Ponts a restaurant just 100m away.

Whether you arrive from the north or the south, the navigation towards the port of Châtillon-en-Bazois is spectacular. The town’s castle stands on a rocky outcrop overlooking the canal, giving a glimpse into its historical past. Erected in the 10th century, the fortress belonged to the Court of Nevers and while it is now a hotel, tours are available in July and August.

 

Where to visit around the Loire Valley river

Where to visit around the Loire Valley

A great opportunity for a stopover, Saint-Florentin is a small fortress town dominated by its Gothic and Renaissance church. It is a peaceful place, filled with history, and visitors can stroll through its picturesque streets dating from the 16th century. Climb the gently sloping hill, stopping on the way to savour the delights of its markets, shops, restaurants and a charming garden. You can also walk to the priory, which offers a superb view of the old town. Above the roofs you’ll notice the 16th century church with its bell tower. Finally, at the end of a long day you can refresh yourself with a dip in the river at the Armançon campsite.

Saint-Mammès has one of the biggest inland ports of the French waterways and wandering in and out of its alleyways or onto the quays, you’ll discover anchors, boat lamps, weather vanes and barges that all attest to the central role the waterways play in this town’s daily life. In the summer, you might be lucky enough to watch the locals engage in river jousting where participants, standing on the stern of opposing boats, try to knock each other into the water

These are just a few ideas of places to visit during your boating holiday in the Loire Valley but there are many more to explore. Download our region guide for more information on the Nivernais Loire.

Book your Loire canal boat holidays today.