The Most Popular River in France: Ranking the Country's Beloved Waterway

Choose the river you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Sep 21, 2023 10:34
Discover the charm and allure of France's finest rivers through our exclusive ranking of "What is the most popular river in France?" at StrawPoll. As a haven for thousands of polls and rankings, we invite you to join fellow river enthusiasts and cast your vote for your favorite French waterway. From the romantic Seine to the majestic Loire, the enchanting Rhône to the picturesque Dordogne, each river has its unique charm that captures the essence of France. Don't miss the opportunity to have your voice heard, and if you think there's a hidden gem we've missed, feel free to suggest it. Dive into this exciting journey through France's most iconic rivers and let the currents of beauty and history sweep you away!

What Is the Most Popular River in France? (September 2023)

  1. 1
    83
    votes
    The Seine River
    Clicsouris · CC BY-SA 3.0

    The Seine River

    Natural
    The Seine is the most famous river in France, flowing through Paris and featuring many famous landmarks along its banks. It is also a major transportation and commercial waterway.
    Description
    The Seine River is one of the most famous rivers in France, stretching approximately 777 kilometers through Northern France. It flows through the beautiful city of Paris, dividing it into the Left Bank and the Right Bank.
    • Length: 777 kilometers
    • Location: Northern France
    • Cities: Paris, Rouen, Le Havre
    • Average discharge: 540 cubic meters per second
    • Tributaries: Marne, Oise, Eure, Yonne
  2. 2
    31
    votes
    The Loire is the longest river in France and is renowned for its scenic beauty and numerous historic castles and châteaux.
    Description
    The Loire River is the longest river in France, stretching over 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) and flowing through 12 departments. It is known for its scenic beauty, diverse landscapes, and rich cultural heritage. The river has been an important trade route since ancient times and continues to be a popular destination for boating and river cruises. The Loire Valley, through which the river flows, is a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its historic châteaux, vineyards, and picturesque towns.
    • Length: 1,012 kilometers (629 miles)
    • Flow: Varies between 900 and 1,200 cubic meters per second
    • Source: Mont Gerbier de Jonc, near Le Puy-en-Velay
    • Mouth: Atlantic Ocean, near Saint-Nazaire
    • Departments: 12
  3. 3
    19
    votes
    The Garonne is the third longest river in France and flows through several major cities, including Toulouse and Bordeaux. It is also a popular destination for river cruises.
    Description
    The Garonne River is one of the most popular rivers in France. It is located in the southwestern part of the country and runs through several important cities, including Toulouse and Bordeaux. The river stretches for approximately 602 kilometers from its source in the Spanish Pyrenees to its mouth at the Gironde Estuary. The Garonne River plays a crucial role in the economy and transportation of the region, supporting activities such as tourism, trade, and navigation. It is also a significant natural resource, providing water for irrigation and hydroelectric power generation.
    • Length: 602 kilometers
    • Source: Spanish Pyrenees
    • Mouth: Gironde Estuary
    • Location: Southwestern France
    • Important Cities: Toulouse, Bordeaux
  4. 4
    12
    votes
    The Rhône is the second longest river in France and flows through several major cities, including Lyon and Avignon. It is also a major transportation and commercial waterway.
    Description
    The Rhône River is one of the most popular rivers in France. It is a major waterway in Western Europe that flows through Switzerland and France, emptying into the Mediterranean Sea. The river is known for its scenic beauty, historical significance, and role in agriculture and transportation. Its length of approximately 812 kilometers makes it the second-longest river in France.
    • Location: Switzerland and France
    • Length: Approximately 812 kilometers
    • Source: Rhône Glacier, Switzerland
    • Mouth: Mediterranean Sea
    • Countries Traversed: Switzerland and France
  5. 5
    9
    votes
    The Dordogne is a popular river for canoeing and kayaking, as well as for its scenic beauty and historic landmarks such as the Château de Beynac.
    Description
    The Dordogne River is a popular river in France known for its scenic beauty and rich cultural heritage. It flows through the south-central part of the country, meandering across stunning landscapes, ancient castles, and charming medieval villages.
    • Length: 483 kilometers
    • Source: Puy de Sancy, Massif Central
    • Mouth: Gironde Estuary
    • Basin size: 23,870 square kilometers
    • Major Tributaries: Vézère, Isle, Cère
  6. 6
    7
    votes
    The Lot River
    MOSSOT · CC BY 3.0
    The Lot is another popular river for canoeing and kayaking, as well as for its scenic beauty and historic landmarks such as the Château de Bonaguil.
    Description
    The Lot River is one of the most popular rivers in France known for its exceptional beauty and cultural significance. It stretches across several regions, including the Massif Central, Auvergne, and Midi-Pyrénées, offering breathtaking landscapes and charming towns along its course.
    • Length: 485 km
    • Source: Mont Lozère
    • Mouth: Garonne River
    • Major Cities: Cahors, Figeac
    • Popular Activities: Boating, fishing, canoeing, hiking
  7. 7
    10
    votes
    The Tarn is a popular river for kayaking and rafting, as well as for its scenic beauty and historic landmarks such as the Albi Cathedral.
    Description
    The Tarn River is one of the most popular rivers in France. It flows through the southern part of the country, specifically the Occitanie region. The river originates in the Cévennes National Park and stretches for about 375 kilometers before joining the Garonne River. The Tarn River is known for its stunning natural beauty, picturesque landscapes, and rich cultural heritage. It attracts visitors from all over the world who come to enjoy various outdoor activities and explore the charming towns and villages along its banks.
    • Length: 375 kilometers
    • Location: Occitanie region, France
    • Source: Cévennes National Park
    • Destination: Garonne River
    • Popular Activities: Canoeing, kayaking, fishing, swimming, hiking
  8. 8
    5
    votes
    The Ardèche River
    Sondrekv · Public domain
    The Ardèche is a popular river for canoeing and kayaking, as well as for its scenic beauty and natural landmarks such as the Pont d'Arc.
    Description
    The Ardèche River is a scenic river located in the southeast of France. It is known for its stunning natural beauty, including deep gorges, limestone cliffs, and crystal-clear waters. The river spans approximately 125 kilometers and flows through the Ardèche department.
    • Length: 125 kilometers
    • Location: Ardèche department, southeast France
    • Type: River
    • Scenic Features: Deep gorges, limestone cliffs, crystal-clear waters
    • Activities: Canoeing, kayaking, swimming, hiking
  9. 9
    2
    votes

    The Allier River

    Natural process
    The Allier is a popular river for fishing and canoeing, as well as for its scenic beauty and historic landmarks such as the Château de Billy.
    Description
    The Allier River is one of the most popular rivers in France. It is located in central France and is the largest tributary of the Loire River. The river spans a length of approximately 410 kilometers and flows through scenic landscapes, charming towns, and important natural reserves.
    • Length: 410 kilometers
    • Location: Central France
    • Tributary of: Loire River
    • Scenic landscapes: Yes
    • Towns along the river: Yes
  10. 10
    8
    votes
    The Saône is a major tributary of the Rhône and flows through several major cities, including Lyon and Chalon-sur-Saône. It is also a popular destination for river cruises.
    Description
    The Saône River is one of the most popular rivers in France. It is a major tributary of the Rhône River and flows through the eastern part of the country. The river is known for its scenic beauty and historical significance.
    • Length: 473 kilometers
    • Navigation: Navigable for commercial and recreational boats
    • Importance: Links Lyon and its surrounding urban area with the river systems of eastern France and beyond
    • Historical Significance: Key trade route since ancient times, witnessed significant historical events
    • Popular Activities: Boating, fishing, river cruises, waterfront promenades

Missing your favorite river?

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Discussion

Ranking factors for popular river

  1. River length
    The length of the river contributes to its overall popularity, as longer rivers often have more recreational opportunities, scenery, and historical significance.
  2. Number of tourist attractions
    Rivers with a high number of tourist attractions along their banks, such as castles, museums, and natural landmarks, tend to be more popular.
  3. Recreational activities
    A popular river typically offers a wide range of recreational activities for visitors, such as boating, swimming, fishing, and river cruises.
  4. Historical significance
    Rivers that played crucial roles in history or that have renowned historical sites along their banks are usually more popular.
  5. Scenic beauty
    Rivers surrounded by picturesque landscapes or that pass through scenic areas, such as national parks or charming towns, tend to be more popular.
  6. Accessibility
    Rivers that are easily accessible via public transportation or well-developed roadways attract more visitors.
  7. Environmental quality
    Clean, well-maintained rivers with thriving ecosystems are more appealing to tourists.
  8. Public awareness
    Rivers that are well-known and promoted in travel guides, websites, and social media are more likely to be popular.
  9. Cultural events and festivals
    Rivers that host annual cultural events or festivals attract more visitors, increasing their overall popularity.
  10. Regional and international significance
    Rivers that form part of larger, more renowned river systems or that span multiple countries can be more popular due to their broader significance.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular river in France. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or your favorite river is missing from the list, feel free to help us improve the ranking.

Statistics

  • 1755 views
  • 186 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each river once every 24 hours. The rank of each river is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most popular river in france

France is home to a plethora of beautiful rivers, each with its own unique charm and history. From the mighty Rhone to the picturesque Seine, there's no shortage of stunning waterways to explore in this beautiful country. However, when it comes to the most popular river in France, there is one that stands out above the rest: the Loire. Stretching over 1,000 kilometers, the Loire is the longest river in France and boasts some of the country's most breathtaking scenery. From the rolling hills and vineyards of the Loire Valley to the grand chateaus and castles that dot its banks, the Loire has long captivated the hearts and imaginations of visitors from around the world. But it's not just the scenery that makes the Loire so beloved. The river is also a hub of activity, with countless opportunities for outdoor adventures like kayaking, fishing, and cycling. And of course, the Loire is also famous for its wine, with vineyards lining its banks and producing some of France's most celebrated varietals. All in all, it's easy to see why the Loire is the most popular river in France. Whether you're a nature lover, a history buff, or a wine connoisseur, this stunning waterway has something for everyone.