Toulouse – Canal du Midi – Carcassonne – Canal de la Robine – Narbonne – River Herault – Agde
The sun-drenched South of France home of vineyards, sunflower fields and the world-famous, historic, Canal du Midi. The Midi canal (between Agde and Toulouse) is ideal for both experienced and novice cruisers with a range of sights, historic attractions and superb wildlife along the way, including a 52km long lock-free section westwards from Beziers. In fact, the very distinctive oval shaped locks are easy to use, being all lock-keeper operated, and provide memorable punctuations along the route.
Picturesque Languedoc is France’s most productive wine region with many delicious ‘drink now’ varieties on sale, direct from the vineyards (free tastings welcomed) that border the waterway, for just a few euros per bottle. If at the end of the canal there is the great city of Toulouse (home to France’s space and aeronautics industries) , then half-way along there is the amazing medieval ‘city’ of Carcassonne, famed for its huge, fortified, hilltop castle – a favoured location for many heroic swashbuckling films.
Branching off the Canal du Midi near Capestang village (with a much-photographed low stone arch canal bridge) the Robine Canal, bordered by umbrella pine trees, connects with the Mediterranean, passing through the must-see town of Narbonne. And at Agde (founded by the Ancient Greeks in 500BC) it is possible to sail upstream from the unique round lock along 10km of the calm, clear and ‘secret’ River Herault.
We feature a comprehensive array of self-skippered (bareboat) hire boats from France’s leading fleets. You can enjoy a superb holiday – vacation aboard your ‘floating home from home’ on the C du Midi.
Taking a luxury hotel barge vacation cruise along the Canal du Midi is one of the most enjoyable, most relaxing ways to appreciate its many hundred years of history, heritage and culture; its wine and cuisine!
Benefit from 10 years’ first-hand French waterways experience. Call Ruth or click for assistance
Canalside towpaths are flat and well-maintained. Perfect for some enjoyable, gentle cycling or walking through the gorgeous French countryside.
France: fresh local produce, superb simple food, sophisticated fine cuisine, Grand Cru wines, Champagne AC, vin ordinaire, boulangerie bread, croissants, gateaux and 246 types of cheese!
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french-waterways.com (founded in 2003) is independent and impartial. It is not connected with VNF Voies Navigables de France, the national waterways management authority.
The information published here results from ten years direct personal experience cruising the waterways from north to south and east to west; and has also been gleaned from other sources, accounts and opinions. This is a guide only and is neither definitive nor to be relied on. We recommend obtaining a pilot book for each river or canal you travel.
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