The 10 Longest Rivers In France (France’s Longest River)

Last Updated on 22/05/2022 by Alfred

What is the longest river in France? Here is a ranking of the longest rivers in France that wind through all over the country!

The beautiful country of France is home to a large number of rivers that flow through towns and villages, offering typical landscapes with old bridges, terraces at the water’s edge, or castles overlooking the valley. 

Almost all French departments take their names from the rivers that cross them. However, our ranking of the day leads us to wonder what the longest rivers in France are.

The 10 Longest Rivers In France (France’s Longest River)

10th longest river in France – Vilaine

Our ranking begins with the Vilaine, which is 218 km long and ranks 10th of the longest rivers in France. 

Its source is located exactly at the Lieu-Dit de la Source, in Juvigné in Mayenne, and flows into the Atlantic Ocean at the city of Muzillac.

9th longest river in France – Sum

The 10 Longest Rivers In France (France's Longest River)

The Somme is a river in northern France that crosses only two departments, the Somme and the Aisne. 

245 km long, it is, therefore, one of the 10 longest French rivers.

8th longest river in France – Adour

As with many major French rivers, the Adour flows into the Atlantic Ocean after crossing Bayonne. The length of this Basque river was measured at 308 km, making the Adour the eighth France’s longest river.

7th longest river in France – Charente

The Charente is a river that is 381 km long. It has its source in Chéronnac in Haute-Vienne, at an altitude of 295 meters and its waters flow into the Atlantic Ocean near the city of Port-des-Barques.

6th longest river in France – Dordogne

The Dordogne has its source in Puy de Sancy, in the Massif Central, at an altitude of 1366 m, and then flows for 483 km, ending in the Gironde Estuary. It is France’s longest river number 6th.

5th longest river in France – Meuse

Measuring 950 km long, only half of which is in France (486 km), the Meuse has its source in the Bassigny (Haute-Marne), at an altitude of 409 m, and flows into the North Sea after crossing Belgium and the Netherlands. 

The fifth longest river in France is also considered the oldest river globally because it was formed in the Paleozoic era.

4th longest river in France – Garonne

Taking its source in Spain at two different places (Pla de Beret, at 1860 meters above sea level, in the Val d’Aran, and the Pic d’Aneto, in Aragon), the Garonne flows 647 km, including 521.9 km in France. 

It is in Gironde, in the Atlantic, that the Garonne ends its course.

3rd longest river in France – Rhone

The Rhone is 812 km long but only 545 km on French soil, making it the third-longest river in France. It has its source in the Rhone Glacier, in the Canton of Valais in Switzerland. 

Crossing Lake Geneva, it continues into the Bouches-du-Rhône, where it finally flows into the Mediterranean Sea.

2nd longest river in France – Seine

The Seine is the second-longest river in France. It has its source on the Langres plateau at 446 meters above sea level, in the department of Côte d’Or. 

Famous for crossing Paris at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, it is also renowned for the low slope of the valley, which explains the high sinuosity of its course. 777 km long, it flows into the English Channel at Le Havre.

Longest river in France – Loire

The Loire is the longest river in France, with a length of 1012 km. Finding its source on the Mont de Gerbier de Jonc in ardèche, it ends its course in the Atlantic Ocean, in the estuary of Saint-Nazaire. 

At this level, its flow rate is 1000 m3/s. The Loire is famous for the castles that border it between Blois and Nantes.

The Loire, although it is the longest French river, is only the twelfth longest river in Europe.

The Loire river is the longest river in France and its length is 1012 km.


Alfred is the author behind the Travelvibe travel blog and is always searching for the quieter, less-visited corners of the world.

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