Watertravel & Waterside Destinations A cruising barge crosses the Loire on the famous pont canal as people enjoy coffee and chocolate at Chocolats et Chimères.

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Briare, Central France

Its famous bridge is a starting point for barge tours on the Canal Latéral à la Loire.

The cruises start by crossing the Loire via the famous 662.7-m / 2,154-ft steel and masonry Briare Aqueduct constructed in part by Gustave Eiffel. Completed in 1896, it was for many years the longest canal bridge in the world. Besides riding in a barge, another way to cross is to take a leisurely stroll and enjoy the view.

People stroll across the Loire on the aqueduct engineered by Gustave Eiffel, Briare, Central France.

Once across the canal bridge over the Loire, barges and other boats journey south on the Canal Latéral à la Loire. This route takes you by Châtillon-sur-Loire, Saint-Satur and Nevers, where one can view the preserved body of St. Bernadette. Following beyond Nevers, the route goes to Decize where it connects with the Canal du Nivernais en route to Auxerre.

Traveling in the opposite direction, away from the Loire, the Canal de Briare takes you past Rogny-les-sept-ecluses, Montargis, and Nemours, eventually joining the Yonne near Montereau. The Yonne flows into the Seine upriver from Paris.

Within easy driving distance of Briare are the communes of Gien, Sully-sur-Loire, and La Charité-sur-Loire to the north.

The aqueduct at Briare, Central France, was engineered by Gustave Eiffel.
Copyright © Don Douglas