Cruising the canal du Nivernais: From Migennes to Tannay


Looking for an easy boat cruise in France near Paris? The Canal du Nivernais which lies at the Gate of French Burgundy, offers an easy cruise that is just a 3 hour train ride from the capital city. This boating route is scenic, has amazing towns and plenty of stops to refresh yourself for a swim in the hot summer months. Read on to find out where the best stops are to visit and explore!

With just 7 days on a one-way trip there’s plenty to see on a barge on the Nivernais. Starting off in Migennes, you will begin on the Saone River as you make your way down to the much older Nivernais waterway. The best thing about this stop is that Migennes is just 3 minutes away from the station and you can see the boat base on arrival.


There’s not much to do or see in peaceful Migennes. We arrived later and so opted to relax and stock up on much needed supplies at the big supermarket behind the base office. We got groceries, cleaning supplies and of plenty of wine and bubbly to celebrate.


Auxerre is ultimately the highlight stop of your trip.

We decided to spend the day and overnight in Auxerre. Auxerre has all the major shops, restaurants and sights to enjoy. It also has a big train station. Auxerre is one of those beautiful old towns that look like it comes straight of a fairytale. With wooden facades lining winding cobble-stoned streets, a beautiful ancient medieval clock and church.

We were in a heatwave, and after asking the tourist info centre on the locations of the pools, we hopped on our bikes and pedalled to the municipal pools. The pools are located along the river bed, with a fresh breeze coming over as you dry off after a swim.

We ate at a restaurant the evening and I dared to try the famous escargot. If you are looking for wine tasting, you can arrange for a tour inland to take you to the Chablis wine farms.




Our next stop was Cravant, a small farming village with beautiful scenery along the way. It was the only stop after barging non-stop the whole day after Auxerre. There were many other boaters who helped us moor on the banks. We just stocked up on supplies.


Chatel –Censoir

Chatel-Censoir was another big moorings space but was also located near a clean river for swimming in.   If you are interested in exploring this area, you can always arrange with the town tourist info for a shuttle or car rental to visit the town of Vezelay, which also form part of the Holy pilgrimage route as the relics of Mary Magdalene are believed to be buried there.


Clemency was an absolute delight. After 2 nights in the countryside, we were happy to visit a bustling medieval town, topped with ramparts and turrets. Naturally, we went looking for the local swimming pool which was open on that scorching day. They have big super markets and amazing bakeries. The town square had live music playing and the streets were alive with locals enjoying the hot evenings.


 Tannay is the last stop on this 7 day journey. It was only a few hours away from Clamency and we spent the evening there before handing our boat in.

Cruising the Nivernais

From Tannay we arranged a taxi to pick us up from the base to drop us off at the station in Clamency. From there we headed straight to Paris in just over 3 hours…to think the same route by boat took us 7 days! It’s a beautiful region and definitely offers a quiet and relaxed holiday in the Burgundy countryside.


Are you ready to cruise the Nivernais in Burgundy?