River map of France

Map of river routes

The 5 main rivers of France

France has 5 rivers of great importance. They are the Garonne, the Loire, the Rhine, the Rhône and the Seine. A river is a watercourse that flows either into a sea or into an ocean. Rivers are fed by other watercourses, which are called tributaries. The most important tributaries are rivers. On the map above you can see the rivers of metropolitan France. Here are the characteristics of the 5 French rivers:

The Garonne

The Garonne is a river in the southwest of France, it originates from another country, Spain at 1875 m altitude, at the Maladeta glacier. This river travels 650 km (575 km of which are in France) before flowing into the Atlantic Ocean. Its flow is around 700 m3/s. Its tributaries are the Garonne, the Ariège, the Tarn, the Lot and the Dordogne.

The Loire

The Loire is the longest river in France, it rises at an altitude of 1315 m, in the Macif Central, in the Ardèche. After 1012 km, like the Garonne, the Loire flows into the Atlantic Ocean. Its flow is about 1000 m3/s.

The Rhine

The Rhine is a 1320 km long river, it originates in the Swiss Alps, flows through Lichtenstein, Germany, France for 188 km and finally the Netherlands before flowing into the North Sea. Its flow is about 1050 m3/s. Its main tributaries are the Aare, the Neckar, the Main, the Lahn, the Ill, the Ruhr and the Lippe.

The Rhone

The Rhône also originates in the Swiss Alps at an altitude of 1800 m (Mont Saint Gothard). This river covers 812 km, of which 522 km are in France before flowing into the Mediterranean Sea. Its flow rate is around 1500 m3/s.

The Seine

The Seine has its source in the Paris Basin at an altitude of 470 m. The Seine covers 776 km then flows into the English Channel. It has the lowest flow rate, about 500 m3/s.


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