Two days by bike between Gien and Briare

  • place
    Gien/ Briare
  • compare_arrows
    30 km
  • access_time
    2 days - 1 night
  • people
  • Vélo © OT Gien
  • Le jardin du palais Agora Gien © OT Gien

Wander through the Gien area and discover its architectural and river heritage, including the magnificent Canal-Aqueduct.

Briare, the “City of Pearls”, is also full of flowers, as recognised by its 4 Blooms rating. It is known for its 19th-century Canal-Aqueduct and its two museums (the Museum of the Two Navies and the Canal-Aqueduct and the Museum of Enamels and Mosaic, temporarily closed). The city has been awarded the “Station Verte” (Green Resort) label, in recognition of its commitment to green, rural tourism.

Day 1: Briare/ Briare (5 km)

Bateaux électriques © J.Odry - OT Terres de Loire et Canaux

Wander along the Canal-Aqueduct with a panoramic view over the Loire, daydream while looking at the boats moored in the ports, and discover the traditional craft and expertise of Briare enamel.

Information about the stage:

Start your day in Briare at the commercial port with a boat ride! Be captain for a day, sail along one of the oldest canals in France and pass under the Briare Canal-Aqueduct. Admire the 360° panoramic views from the river! The breathtaking landscape is sure to help you unplug.


Jump back on your bike and return to the banks of the Loire along La Loire à Vélo. After you’ve crossed the stone port bridge, take a pause. Admire the tranquillity. Snap a few photos to immortalise the Canal-Aqueduct and its 14 stone columns across the river. Then, head to the marina.


Briare - Port de Plaisance © L.Rémy - OT Terres de Loire et Canaux

Lunch break idea

Treat yourself to local products from the shops in the town centre and enjoy a picnic at a table next to the river, or else book a table at one of the restaurants in Briare overlooking the marina!

© Musée des Deux Marines et du Pont-Canal

Pedalling once again, take Rue des Près Gris and enjoy the impressive dock. You can choose from multiple options for activities – why not walk down to the Museum of Enamels and Mosaic (temporarily closed) to discover Jean-Félix Bapterosses’ genius creations. As a tireless inventor, he combined “Art Nouveau” with the Industrial Age. “Briare, the City of Pearls” was born in the second half of the 19th century. You can also head to the Museum of Two Navies and the Canal-Aqueduct, a conservatory celebrating the Loire and the canals of the boating city, once considered the most important nautical intersection in France.



Continue by bike down the Briare Canal and ride to the spillway. You will reach the Place Lock, where you can cross the bridge to head to the Cognardière Lock. Here, see where the Henri IV Canal and Loire Lateral Canal join before your very eyes.

Bateaux touristiques Briare © Lucie.Aubert - OT Terres de Loire et Canaux
Bords de Loire à Briare © Lucie.Aubert - OT Terres de Loire et Canaux



Head back to the town centre and park your bikes for the night at Hôtel du Cerf, where you can recharge your batteries after a day of cycling!

For dinner, choose one of the nearby restaurants.

Day 2: Briare/ Gien (25 km)



Pedalling once again, take the same route as yesterday, heading around the marina and back down the banks of the Loire, to the Briare Canal-Aqueduct! Take the high road along the Royal River, pedalling 11 m above the water.

Briare - Pont canal Loire à vélo © L.Rémy - OT Terres de Loire et Canaux
Vélo © OT Gien


When you arrive at Saint-Firmin, take a break to check out the small canal-aqueduct that passes over the road as well as the large gates, built in the late 19th century. They were created to protect the village in the event of flood.

Head towards Gien.



Once you arrive, check in to your accommodation, a charming and comfortable caravan at the Gien Tourist Campsite, where you will also leave your bikes for the day.

Roulottes © Camping Touristique de Gien
Château de Gien © Christophe LORSCH

Discover Gien by foot:

Meet at 10am in the courtyard of the Château-Museum of Hunting and nature in the Loire Valley, and follow your guide, Lydia, who will tell you both about the building itself and the Museum inside.

Must-do: enjoy a cup of tea on the monument’s terrace, opposite a jaw-dropping panorama.


Then, explore the church next door. Saint Joan of Arc Church features a late 15th-century bell tower. The other part is from the 20th century, as it was bombed in 1940 and rebuilt in red stone to match the nearby château.

Eglise Sainte-Jeanne-d'Arc de Gien © OT Gien

Lunch break idea:

When leaving the Church, walk a short way to restaurant Café Bouche B, where Antoinette will be delighted to serve you refined dishes made from local produce.

Le jardin du palais Agora Gien © OT Gien

After such treats, time for a short walk to help you digest – let’s head to the Museum of Pottery!

Created in 1821, the Gien Pottery Works have been enchanting people for two centuries with their tableware. Their brand is famous around the world! As a member of the prestigious Colbert Committee, it has been awarded the Living Heritage Company label.  

The Gien Pottery Works are a symbol of French artisanal expertise, where they make the clay, moulds and enamel entirely themselves. Their fine pottery is unique and different due to the natural composition of the clay, high-quality creations and special shapes.

Once finished at the museum, don’t forget to have a look in the factory gift shop. You are sure to find a piece that will perfectly complement your home.

Vase pivoines bleues ©
La Loire © Christophe LORSCH



Once finished with your tour, take some time to explore the small boutiques in the town centre.

Stroll along the banks of the Loire and wander across Turkey Beach.


Dinner idea:

Next, head to the restaurant A Deux Mains, where you can enjoy a glass of Coteau du Giennois before dinner. If the weather permits, you can eat on the terrace, opposite the old Gien bridge. The perfect way to finish your day!

Any questions?

Tourist information:

Office de tourisme de Terres de Loire et Canaux

Office de tourisme de Gien

Transport :

For the return journey from Gien, you can take the Gien-Briare line, a short 10-minute journey.

Other route suggestions