Watertravel & Waterside Destinations
The skyline of the commune of Auxerre in north-central France is dominated by the Cathédrale Saint-Étienne d'Auxerre.
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The skyline of the commune of Auxerre in north-central France is dominated by the Cathédrale Saint-Étienne d'Auxerre.

Auxerre

At Auxerre, the traveler has two route choices for both cruising barges and self-drive boats.

First, there is the Yonne, a river of 292 kilometers (181 miles) that flows into the Seine at Montereau-Fault-Yonne. The headwaters are in the Departement of Nièvre near the commune of Château Chinon. From Clemency northward the river is sufficiently deep for cruising barges, so from Auxerre they can to either north toward Paris and eventually Normandy, or south toward Clemency. From there southward the Canal du Nivernais is the only option, and taking it boat and ship traffic can join with the Canal Latéral à la Loire in the direction of Briare. The Canal du Nivernais ends at Auxerre, so all traffic northward is on the Yonne.

Cruises from Auxerre southward follow the canal route through the Yonne countryside past small villages and communes (as towns are known in France). Bailly is famous for its wine cellars located in caves, and others of note along the way are Irancy, Cravant, Mailly-la-Ville, Mailly-le-Château, Châtel-Censoir and Coulanges-sur-Yonne. Pictured below are the Rochers du Saussois, 50 meter (164') -high limestone cliffs, which are very popular with rock climbers.

The Nivernais route involves a significant rise in elevation and thus lots of locks. Nearing the summit, there are 28 in a stretch of only 12 kilometers, literally a lock every 400 meters or so.

The Tourist Office of Auxerrois is located at 1 and 2 quai de la République on the banks of the Yonne river (in the same place as the regional tourist office for Yonne), with an additional location in the town center on rue des Fourbisseurs d’Epées. Tourist information on the cultural, historic and natural heritage of Auxerre is provided in French, German and English. A variety of other services include currency exchange, ticket sales, lodging, rentals of electric boats and bicycles, wine tasting tours, etc.

There are a half dozen offices of LaPoste in Auxerre, with the central one located at 11 rue des Hospitaliers.

Rochers du Saussois (photo), a series of 50 metre-high limestone cliffs beside the Yonne.

Central France

Barge tours

Self-drive boats

Auxerre

Briare

La Charité-sur-Loire

Nevers

Apremont-sur-Allier

Sully-sur-Loire

Gien

Châteaux

Countryside

Normandy Coast

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