Canal du Midi
57km / 61 locks / 35.5hrs of cruising
Get the full Canal du Midi experience on a ten-night boating adventure through France’s most prolific wine-producing region. This active itinerary will tick off all of the main sights from your Midi wish list, including historic Carcassonne, while allowing ample opportunity to laze on the sundeck and enjoy the seductively slow pace of the canal.
[learn_more caption=”Itinerary – click here”]
- Day 1: Arrive in Castelnaudary
0km / 0 locks / 0hrs of cruising
Arrive in 17th century Castelnaudary, clustered around the beautiful Grand Bassin with its iconic church standing proud on the horizon. After settling into your boat, stroll into town for dinner and be sure to try Cassoulet, a local speciality of sausage, goose and duck, slow cooked in a casserole with white beans.
- Day 2: Castelnaudary to Villesèquelande
26km / 19 locks / 6hrs of cruising
After a morning of gentile cruising and a lazy lunch on board, unload the bikes for a short cycle into Bram, an attractive town arranged in a concentric circle around the pretty church. Then onwards to overnight in quiet Villesèquelande.
- Day 3: Villesèquelande to mymedic.es Carcassonne
14km / 5 locks / 3.5hrs of cruising
Explore the impressive, fortified city of Carcassonne with its bustling network of cobbled streets thronging with restaurants and shops, all nestled inside the imposing city walls. Take a guided tour around the huge 12th Century Château Comtal and the fearless might enjoy the gruesome Musée de l’Inquisition. And don’t miss the ethereal magnificence of the Basilica of Saint Nazaire.
- Day 4: Carcassonne to Trèbes
12km / 6 locks / 3.5hrs of cruising
Head away from the canal on an organised tour to the spectacular Domaine Gayda, one of the leading wine producers in the area. Tour the state-of-the-art winery and enjoy a relaxed and fun tasting of their excellent range of wines. Finish with a three-course lunch, with wine, in their superb restaurant that overlooks the Pyrenees before returning to Carcassonne for your onward journey to Trèbes.
- Day 5: Trèbes to Argen Minervois
34km / 18 locks / 8 hrs of cruising
Enjoy the slow pace of the canal as you spend most of the day cruising, stopping to admire the pretty village of Marseilette on the way. Your destination is the beautiful town of Argens Minervois, clustered around a 14th century chateau, so have a wander around before dinner
- Day 6: Argens Minervios to Le Somail
14km / 1 lock / 2.5hrs of cruising
Overlooking the canal, Château de Paraza is the site of an impressive winery. Look around and sample the produce and then continue onwards to Le Somail. In the afternoon, why not hire the most legendary of convertible cars, an old Mythic 2 CV, a fun way to drive through the vineyards and countryside toward L’Oulibo Olive Cellars to learn how olive oil is made,
- Day 7: Le Somail to Capestang
22km / 0 locks / 5hrs of cruising
Visit Madam Gourgue’s Antiquarian Bookshop where you’ll find everything from cheap paperbacks to very rare editions, crammed in bookshelves from floor to ceiling. Onward to Capestang and, for something exquisite, dress up for dinner and take a short taxi ride to the very grand Château les Carrasses for a fine-dining experience in a beautiful setting.
- Day 8: Capestang to Colombiers
13km / 0 locks / 2.5hrs of cruising
Explore Capestang including its 14th century castle & impressive painted ceilings. Further along the canal, visit the Oppidum of Ensérune, an archaeological site and museum with impressive views over the dried Montady Lake. Then it’s time to navigate through the 165m long Malpas tunnel. In Colombiers, visit the Saint-Sylvestre church, which is full of history and at night, the rectory’s gardens are lit up and are perfect for a charming walk
- Day 9: Colombiers to Villeneuve Béziers
13km / 11 locks / 5hrs of cruising
Today you will descend the famous Foneserranes staircase of seven locks. Then it’s onwards, past Beziers, to moor just past the bustling city in the more peaceful surroundings of Villeneuve Béziers.
- Day 10: Villeneuve Béziers to Port Cassafières
9km / 1 lock / 2.5hrs of cruising
Explore magnificent Béziers, one of the Midi’s largest cities. Don’t miss the 13th century Romanesque cathedral with terrific views out over the surrounding vineyards. Then cruise the final stretch to Port Cassafières for a stroll along the beach at Portiranges to build your appetite for dinner.
This itinerary is a 10 nights option but can be reached in 7 nights minimum with more time cruising per day and different stops.
This itinerary is a suggestion only. All cruising distances and times are approximations and are subject to local navigation restrictions at the time you cruise, planned or otherwise. Please check advertised opening times of sights and attractions to avoid disappointment. Various tours or attractions may need to be booked in advance. All meals, entry fees and tour tariffs are payable at your own expense
Note: This itinerary can also be taken in the opposite direction