The 300 year old Canal du Midi skirts the sun-drenched shores of the Mediterranean before meandering inland through ancient villages, Roman fortifications and famed vineyards. This canal is defined by its beauty, lined with plane trees and crossed by pretty arched bridges. The Mediterranean weather and pace of life is relaxed and lulls you into unwinding as you cruise sedately along.
This is the perfect place for cycling or walking along scenic tow paths, or simply watching the scenery pass by as you relax on deck with a cool drink. In the distance you can see the Pyrenees, whereas closer to hand are the vineyards that stretch for thousands of square miles. Enjoy private wine tastings at chateaux en route, locations that vary with your choice of barge.
You will discover a marvellous blend of ancient Gallo-Roman and traditional influences reflected throughout this region of historical importance. Explore this further with your tour guide when you visit the walled city of Carcassonne, the most complete medieval fortified city in existence.
The cuisine is a delicious combination of both Provençal and traditional flavours. Fresh seafood and regional specialities with the excellent local Corbières and Minervois wines produce an unforgettable repertoire of meals.
Montpellier to Marseillan You will be met at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Montpellier or Montpellier TGV station at 4pm and escorted by minibus to Anjodi moored in the lake side fishing village of Marseillan, enjoying a view over the oyster beds and home of Noilly Pratt Vermouth. Champagne welcome followed by time for a relaxing stroll around this lovely fishing village before dinner aboard
Marseillan to Portiragnes This morning we visit Pezenas, a delightful village, mostly known for its associations with the French playwright Moliere, who is said to have written many plays while staying there. This afternoon we cruise from Marseillan to Portiragnes through the nature reserve of Bagnas with potential sightings of flamingoes and other birds. Dinner aboard.
Portiragnes to Beziers This morning we cruise to the bottom of the Fonserannes 7 lock flight at Beziers where we continue along the 300 year old tree lined Canal du Midi. After lunch enjoy an informative wine tasting in the 14th Century Chateau de Perdiguier. This chateau is famed for its 15th century frescoes, and its Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay wines. Dinner in Beziers at a local auberge
Beziers to Poilhes This morning we cross the aqueduct over the River Orb and then ascend the 7-lock flight of Fonserannes before reaching the world’s oldest canal tunnel at Malpas. On arrival at the picturesque village of Poilhes we take an excursion out to Minerve, the ancient capital of Minervois, which boasts a 12th Century Cathar fort surrounded by deep limestone gorges. Besieged by Simon de Montfort in 1215, its hill-top location affords spectacular views. A fascinating recreation in miniature of the bloodthirsty Cathar rebellion and small museum complete the intriguing picture. Dinner aboard.
Poilhes to Argeliers A morning visit to Narbonne, a Roman Mediterranean capital where the Visigoth monarchs once lived. Enjoy the Archbishop’s Palace and Horreum. Explore the indoor market at the hub of this bustling town, where you will have time to shop or simply absorb the relaxed atmosphere. Return to the barge for a cruise along the shaded canal to Argeliers, stopping off en route at Chateau de Guery, a 500 year old canalside vineyard, for a pre-dinner wine tasting of the full-bodied Corbieres. Dinner aboard
Argelier to Le Somail Morning visit to Carcassonne. Dating back to the Gallo-Roman era, this is the most complete medieval fortified city in existence today. With its 52 watchtowers, portcullis and extraordinary repertoire of defences, it resisted the many armies that tried to storm this Camelot setting. In the afternoon we cruise along the historic Midi Canal to the delightful village of Le Somail. Captain's Farewell Dinner aboard.
Le Somail to Montpellier After breakfast disembark the barge and transfer by minibus to Montpellier TGV station, hotel or airport by 10am.
From: $4190.00 per person in double occupancy
Duration: 7 Days / 6 Nights
2010 Departures: Sep 19, Sep 26, Oct 3, Oct 10, Oct 17, Oct 24
2011 Departures: Mar 6, Mar 13, Mar 27, Apr 3, Apr 10, Apr 17, Apr 24, May 1, May 8, May 15, May 22, May 29, June 5, June 12, June 19, June 26, July 3, July 10, July 17, July 24, July 31, Aug 7, Aug, 14, Aug 21, Aug 21, Aug 28, Sep 4, Sep 11, Sep 18, Sep 25, Oct 2, Oct 9, Oct 16, Oct 23, Oct 30
Itinerary Note :On alternate weeks the cruise is in the reverse direction.
Type of services: Most services included in this program are operated in small groups.
Travel documents: Please visit our “Visa Info” page to inquire if you need a travel visa for this tour.
Highlights: Tour Carcassonne, the most complete medieval fortified city in existence; Visit the ancient Roman city of Narbonne; Explore the 12th century hill-top fort of Minerve; Private tastings of Corbières and Minervois Wine at Château Gasparets; See the Pyrenees mountains across the vineyards and discover Cathar history; Experience Lezignan's colourful market; Visit Béziers cathedral and 600 B.C. L'Oppium D'Enserune.
Inclusions:lodging, meals and tours per itinerary;English-speaking assistance.
Not included: airfare; airport departure taxes; tips of any kind; incidentals on barge;any meals not included in the itinerary;souvenirs.
It is the travelers responsibility to have all proper travel documents which can include passports and foreign visas. Learn more here: Passport & Visa Information
Travel Insurance is highly recommended to protect your travel investment and for any emergencies that could occur while traveling. Learn more here: Travel Insurance
All rates are “From Prices”
and correspond to the lowest season in the year.
Expect moderate to high increases for high season
and holiday periods. Low season dates vary from
destination to destination. Please inquire for details.
All rates on this website are per person and based
on double occupancy, unless otherwise indicated.
If a hotel included in a program is not available
at the time of the reservation, we will substitute
it for a hotel of similar category.
Room and cabin upgrades are available at most hotels
and cruises. Please inquire at the time of reservation.
Most programs can be customized.
All itineraries are subject to change without notice.