Bordering the western Mediterranean coast, Languedoc-Roussillon and the Midi-Pyrenees offer a sunny climate, a variety of landscapes, beautiful cities and traces of ancient civilizations from the Greeks to the Cathars. This is France’s most productive wine-producing region and is perfect when teamed with the local oysters and seafood. Wine tours, fortified cities, canalside restaurants and old port towns can all be appreciated at this slower pace of life. The Canal de Midi is ideal for both experienced and novice cruisers with a range of sights, historic attractions and superb wildlife along the way. Sailing towards the scenic Camargue, there is a challenging staircase of locks at Fonsérannes near Béziers which will reward with stunning views. Lock-free cruising is available between Argens and Béziers, followed by the thrill of crossing the Guery Aqueduct.
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The Malpas tunnel on the Canal du Midi was the first ever navigable tunnel in Europe, excavated in 1679. The canal features unusual round and oval shaped locks and Romanesque style bridges. The lovely town of Castelnaudary, pretty Homps and Trebes are just some of the historic places you will pass.
La Nouvelle Branch of the Canal du Midi comprises of several waterways which run through Narbonne, with its landmark Merchants Bridge, to the Mediterranean Sea. The Canal de Jonction connects the Canal du Midi with the Rive Aude and the Canal de la Robine ends at Port-la-Nouvelle. Both have several locks to navigate. The River Herault promises peaceful cruises on clear river waters, passing through the Greek city of Agde with its mediaeval fortress.
Other French Waterway Regions