France » Canal du Centre | Canal of France
The most southern stretch of the “Capetians Route” from Paris to Lyon
Canal du Centre | Canal of France: Characteristics & Overview
Rating of waterway
|Length of waterway:||112 km|
|Number of locks:||61|
|Lock dimensions:||38.50 x 5.08|
|Max. depth:||1.80||Max. headroom:||3.50|
|Degree of difficulty:||For beginners (many locks)|
|Requirements:||No license asked for hired boats|
|Character of waterway:||no rating|
|Profile of waterway:||Commercial traffic and tourism|
Waterway has access to:Canal de Roanne à Digoin | French Canal
Canal latéral à la Loire | French Canal
River Saône, Auxonne to Lyon | France
Coming from the Canal lateral à la Loire you cross the Loire in the Aqueduct of Digoin and find your-self afterwards in the Canal du Centre. It leads first passed the Charolais, crosses then the industrial and former mining centres of Le Creusot and Monceau les Mines and later, passing the big viticulture’s of the Côte d’Or a bit southerly, you get to Chalon sur Saône, meaning you are on the Sâone. The canal makes a lot of turns passing an almost untouched countryside. The museum at Blanzy is the only place referring to the former coal mining in this area. The towns of Paray le Monial, Chagny and Chalon will make everybody happy.
Advantages: Beautiful, rural countryside, the canal is well looked after, hardly any
Disadvantages: The surrounding of Monceau is a bit industrial and in the curvy part you have to look out for the big hotel ships. In dry years it can be closed at the beginning of October already.
Houseboat Hire in France, Canal du Centre
Locaboat Holidays, St. Lèger sur Dheune
Les Canalous, Digoin
Digoin is with its famous canal bridge over the Loire one of the most interesting places. The town itself is rather nice too. Then Paray le Monial with its Basilique du Sacre Coeur is expecting you. It is one of the most popular places of pilgrimage in France. For us “other” tourists a beautiful landing-place was built. Afterwards it gets very curvy through charming surroundings and pasture-grounds and finally, shortly before Montceau one can’t avoid the industrial part of this town. However, the port of Montceau les Mines is very comfortable and invites you to stay for a while. You might want to go on after one night since the town is very busy. The next place, the rather nice little town Blanzy offers a mining museum but only reduced possibilities for a rest. After the summit level a delightful surprise is awaiting all lovers of locks, the 7 locks of Montchanin, a canal museum in an old Peniche is there too. The valley of the Deune is our next tract and at its end a rest at Remigny, the neighboring village of Santenay, is planned. We are right at the border of one of the most famous wine producing regions of the world. After a never ending right turn we reach the very well developed port of Chagny, an old tile producing town. But there is more offered than brick and tiles. In direct neighborhood lie well known wine villages like Santenay, Puligny-Montrachet, Meursault and so on. The canal leads into the Saône, and the beautiful and very well looked after port for tourists of Chalon sur Saône and the town itself invites us to stay for 2 or more days.