The 10 Largest Ports In France You Should Witness

Hose and Ho! The French and the navy it’s a great love story. The proof is in this ranking of the 10 largest ports in France.

The Cocoricos can be proud of their nautical record. First among the world’s sailboat builders, fourth among pleasure boats: France is seriously teasing in the field.

Besides, it has four maritime facades that allow it to be at the heart of global maritime traffic. Thanks to the overseas territories, it also has a solid and privileged presence in the rest of the world’s waters.

For years, trade and yachting have grown exponentially while many French ports are committed to environmental approaches. 

Speaking of ports, do you know who the leading figures of French heritage are? No? That’s good; here is the list of the 10 largest ports in France!

The 10 Largest Ports In France You Should Witness

10. Martinique

This ranking starts in the overseas territories, in the direction of the large port of Martinique. Immediately evoking French exoticism, it plays a major role in passenger transport. 

The Martinican port (neck and neck with the port of Guadeloupe on this aspect) has established itself among the major players in tourism.

For several years, it has continued to record an increase in the cruise sector. The port of Martinique is considered one of the most welcoming in the industrial sector as well.

9. Guadeloupe

Overseas seaports, bathed in an environment of exceptional richness, are actively involved in preserving the seabed. 

For example, the Guadeloupean port is deploying large-scale plans to manage its natural spaces with a green thumb.

But if it is in our ranking because it is also a real node located at the heart of a dense maritime network.

8. Reunion

The port of Reunion island enjoys a unique geographical position, as close as possible to the significant maritime transport routes from/to southern Africa, India, Europe, and Oceania. 

This radiant infrastructure is the first of its kind in an overseas territory located in the heart of the Indian Ocean.

A place of commerce, pleasure, and fishing, the port of Reunion brings together a multitude of activities.

7. Bordeaux

We are now moving to metropolitan France. The territory has numerous advantages due to its strategic location and various openings. 

Open on four maritime faces (the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, the English Channel, and the North Sea). It is one of the best places in the world!

The port of Bordeaux is not to be envied by the largest French ports on the Atlantic coast. It is also the only one that has developed its river activity on such a scale.

6. La Rochelle

Open to the Atlantic, the port of La Rochelle actively participates in the preservation of the Marine Natural Park of the Gironde estuary and the Pertuis Sea.

Old from the 1880s, it is one of the oldest French ports. Like Rouen (to be discovered in a few seconds), the port of La Rochelle is an indispensable player in French cereal exports.

5. Rouen

We were talking about it two lines above: the port of Rouen is fundamental to the French grain trade. It is even the first cereal port in Western Europe. 

He can also be proud of his unwavering membership in the association of La Maison de l’Estuaire, in charge of preserving the National Nature Reserve of the Seine Estuary.

The major ports of France also serve the field of logistics. This is particularly the case of Rouen (Dunkirk too, a little higher in the ranking) which brilliantly chains the construction projects devoted to this area.

4. Nantes Saint-Nazaire

If the reputation of the port of Nantes Saint-Nazaire comes mainly from its Atlantic shipyards, this port is also very powerful historically.

Its former submarine base evidences this. It is mainly new energies that are being developed within the port and its global trade programs. 

The historic port of Bordeaux is also a center for river activity in the Great West.

3. Dunkirk

The third-largest French port, Dunkirk, is nevertheless the first when it comes to eco-responsible commitments. As far as protecting fauna and flora and water quality are concerned, it is the best of best.

Initially, the port of Dunkirk was dedicated to fishing. Reviewed and enlarged by Louis XVI and his architect Vauban himself, this port has an exciting history.

2. Le Havre

The second-largest maritime trade port, Le Havre, is a reflection of France’s intense maritime activity. Although it ranks second in this ranking, it is the first to measure the power of container traffic and exports of wines and spirits!

Le Havre’s port is always in bloom due to its location. Today, its advantageous location between Paris and Normandy makes it the first port of call. 

At the industrial level, Le Havre can boast of being the most efficient for the car trade.

1. Marseille

Marseille, the second-largest city in France, can inflate the torso against Paris’s long-time rival. It is she, and she alone, who holds the title of the largest port in France.

Moreover, the people of Marseille are not a little proud of it. Passengers, containers, oil are counted in tons and millions every year! 

Posted on the main sea route that connects Europe to Asia, the port of Marseille is vital for imports and exports to France.

Did you know that Marseille even reaches the third place in the ranking of hydrocarbon ports in Europe? 

If the spatial diversity of trade in goods is enormous, so is that of tourist traffic. The port of Marseille is one of the first in the cruise sector: the first in France, the fifth in the Mediterranean basin. 

A dynamic way to travel that never ceases to seduce travelers from all over the world.

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