Watertravel & Waterside Destinations
The Central France commune of La Charité-sur-Loire is reflected in the river, placid at the moment.
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The Central France commune of La Charité-sur-Loire is reflected in the river — placid at the moment.

La Charité-sur-Loire

We spent several days at La Charité-sur-Loire, one of our favorite locations in the Upper Loire region.

With a population of around 5,400, Charité is large enough to offer a full range of restaurants and shopping, but still small enough to be relatively free of the congestion of a larger city such as Nevers.

Archway leading to La Nef, or The Nave, in La Charité-sur-Loire, Central France.

Settlement began with the establishment of a fortified Cluniac priory in the year 1059, now in a picturesque state of ruin and enjoying a commanding view of the town, river and surrounding region.

Like Nevers and Dieppe, la Charité-sur-Loire is an important stop for pilgrims on the way to Santiago de Compostela. There is lodging available for pilgrims inside the monastery near the Porterie, with single bunk beds, a kitchenette, shower, toilets and heating. The maximum length of stay is one night. For information, contact: Office de tourisme de La Charité-sur-Loire.

The church Sainte-Croix-Notre-Dame is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, part of the Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France.

Those who expect an ongoing active night-club scene would find the city disappointing, although there is a well-stocked Irish pub for an afternoon stout or draft beer. Also, there are seasonal events such as a blues festival and a piano festival, so if you time it right, Charité can offer a lot of entertainment.

One thing we liked about  the choice of Charité as a place to stay is its central location relative to the other towns and attractions in the region. Going upriver on the highway, it's only 24 km (14 mi) from Nevers and 30 km (18 mi) from the beautiful village of Apremont-sur-Allier

Head in the other direction, and it’s 56 km (33 mi) to Briare. The bridge shown in the photo above and at the top of the main Central France page is the N151 road leading to Bourges (51km or about 30 mi.)

A neighborhood street in la Charité-sur-Loire, Central France

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