France » River Rhône | France

River Rhone, a French waterway from Burgundy to the Mediterranean Sea

River Rhône | France: Characteristics & Overview

Rating of waterway

Length of waterway: 310 km
Number of locks: 12
Lock dimensions: 190.00 x 11.40
Max. depth: 3.00
Max. headroom: 6.00
Degree of difficulty: Some experience is an advantage
Requirements: Charter license essential
Character of waterway: with urban surroundings, old waterway, to be rediscovered
Profile of waterway: Commercial traffic and tourism
Facilities groundside: Sufficiant

Weitere Informationen

Waterway has access to:

Canal du Rhône à Sète | Canal of France
River Petit Rhône / Canal Arles - Port de Bouc | France
River Saône, Auxonne to Lyon | France
Mediterranean Sea

River Rhone
it is a bit a French river too, even though, like the Rhine and a lot of others, it has its spring in Switzerland. It springs at the Rhone glacier at the Gotthard massif and is called “Rotten” first. Then, the Rhone flows into the Lake of Geneva and leaves it in direction of France as Rhône. Its entire length is an impressive 812 km. But, really navigable it becomes after the confluence with the Saône in Lyon only. But then!!
There are no boat hirers around here, the engine capacities would not be sufficient for this stream. It has a very strong current and there is always the danger of high water in very short time (it collects the waters of the Vosges, the Jura, the Valais (Switzerland) and of the Savoy. Another danger is the Mistral. This wind from the north-northwest can stop any forthcoming with medium engine power.
The Rhône is a very beautiful river and the only connection on water to the canal system of the Midi, but it is no river for beginners and none for boats with weak engines.
Boating holidays in the middle of the wine yards of Côte du Rhône
Advantages: A beautiful river, varied surroundings, a trip from the Alps to the Sea.
Disadvantages: No river for beginners, therefore no boat hirers, a lot of Cargo traffic and not many ports for leisure boats. The river is not very romantic anymore since the banks and surroundings did not get enough consideration when it was made navigable (canalized).
A river for experienced skippers with well motorized boats.

A dream! We start a few kilometers away of the Rhônes Alpes, pass the region of Côtes du Rhône and Chateauneuf, and then leave the mountains of the Ardèche on our right and the Provence on the left before arriving, after Arles, at the Camargue. At Port-Saint-Louis only the sea-lock stops us from continuing into the Mediterranean Sea. On our journey, we meet big towns like Lyon, Vienne, Tournon, Valance, Avignon and Arles, all of them with a splendid past but also small, idyllic towns and wine producing villages. For the contrast more or less pleasing industrial zones are not missing either.

Wine and Dine
A large variety is given. From the rural meals of the Rhône-Alpes, the recipes with wine of the Côtes du Rhône to the very special offers of the Provence and the Mediterranean cooking of the Camargue from Arles to the Mediterranean Sea, something for every taste.
As far as wine is concerned, there is Côtes du Rhône first, then Châteauneuf du Pape. These are then, after Arles, replaced by the Côtes de Ventou on the right hand side of the Rhône, whereas on your left, the wines of Languedoc-Roussillon increase. Or, do you prefer a Pastis?!