The Garonne (Garona in Occitan, Catalan and Spanish), a (mainly) French river originating in Spain (Vielha, Aran Valley, Catalonia, Pyrenees), flows over 529 km2 before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean (Gironde estuary, Bordeaux, France).

It gave its name to the French departments of Haute-Garonne, Lot-et-Garonne and Tarn-et-Garonne.

The Uelh deth Garona, 1,862 metres (6,109 ft) above sea level, has been traditionally considered the source of the Garonne. From this point, a brook (called the Beret-Garona) runs for 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) to the bed of the main upper Garonne valley. The river runs for another 38 kilometres (24 mi) to the French border at Pont de Rei, 40.5 kilometres (25.2 mi) in total.

The Garonne follows the Aran Valley north into France, flowing via Toulouse and Agen towards Bordeaux, where it meets the Gironde estuary. The Gironde flows into the Atlantic Ocean (Bay of Biscay).

Along its course, the Garonne is joined by three other major rivers: the Ariège, the Tarn, and the Lot. Just after Bordeaux, the Garonne meets the Dordogne at the Bec d’Ambès, forming the Gironde estuary, which, after approximately 100 kilometres (62 mi), empties into the Atlantic Ocean. Other tributaries include the Save and the Gers.

The Garonne is one of the few rivers in the world that exhibits a tidal bore.

Towns and attractions along the river

  • Aran Valley (Spain): Vielha, Bossòst
  • Haute-Garonne (31): Saint-Gaudens, Muret, Toulouse
  • Tarn-et-Garonne (82): Belleperche Abbey, Castelsarrasin
  • Lot-et-Garonne (47): Agen, Marmande, Aiguillon
  • Gironde (33): Langon, Bordeaux

See here Pyrenees travel guide

See here France travel guide

See here Spain travel guide

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