What Are the Five Main Rivers in France?

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The Loire, the Rhine, the Rhône, the Seine and the Garonne constitute the five largest rivers in France. The Loire, which is the longest river flowing completely in France, begins in the Ardeche and winds through the cities of Nantes, Tours and Orleans. It measures 629 miles in length.

The Rhine begins in the Swiss Alps, passes through Germany, Austria, France and Liechtenstein before emptying into the North Sea in the Netherlands. Its length of 766 miles marks it as Europe’s 12th longest river. It marks the eastern border of Alsace, France. The Rhône’s length is 505 miles.

The Seine, which is 482 miles long and begins at Source-Seine near Dijon, crosses through Paris and empties into the English Channel. Ocean-going ships are able to travel up the Seine as far as Rouen, 75 miles from the ocean.

Located in southwestern France, the Garonne, at a length of 374 miles, begins at an altitude of 8,500 feet in the Pyrenees at the Uelh deth Garona. It travels along the Aran Valley into France via Toulouse toward Bordeaux, then it connects with an estuary and empties into the Bay of Biscay. Along the way, the Garonne joins three other rivers, the Tarn, the Lot and the Ariège.