Garonne Aquitaine

Aquitaine-Gascony-Bordeaux :: Hotel Barge Canal and River Cruises


Between Toulouse and Bordeaux, the south-west corner of France has a network of peaceful, scenic canals and tranquil rivers. The Canal de Garonne (together with its lovely side-branch canal to Montauban) follows the Garonne valley, often directly alongside the river, visiting delightful towns and villages rich in history, such as Montauban, Moissac, Valence, Agen and Buzet. Arriving at Castets, the canal feeds into the river itself for the onward journey to Bordeaux. This is a fabulous waterway region, not well-known, but loved above all others by those that do. It is a land of fine local produce – fruit orchards, grapes and cornfields – fine local cuisine (much appreciated by world-leading chefs such as Rick Stein) – and fine wines from Bordeaux, the Medoc, Sauternes and Saint-Emillion.

Barge Cruising – Aquitaine

map aquitaine► Hotel Barges cruising in this locality

Canal de Garonne – Canal de Montech-Montauban

Aquitaine, in the far southwest corner of France, belonged to the English Crown during the middle ages and British wine lovers today may mourn the fact that it passed back to the French. The regional capital is Bordeaux, which is a stately presence on the estuary of the Garonne river and a name that is ineffably associated with fine wines, and claret in particular. The Maison du Vin in the city centre offers a broad-based introduction to many sought after vintages, but a visit to some of the prestigious vineyards themselves is hard to beat. St Emilion it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and this beautiful town and its environs has been known for its vineyards since Roman times.

Helping to link Bordeaux to Toulouse, the Canal de Garonne has sometimes been overshadowed by its older sibling the Canal du Midi, which has had the benefit of leaving it largely unspoiled. It shadows a popular pilgrimage route to Compostella and one of its outstanding attractions is the town of Moissac, with its world famous Romanesque abbey cloister. There are a number of exquisite country villages to discover, including Serignac, whose church has a distinctive twisted spire, and Duras which is famed not just for its chateau, but as the birthplace of the French writer Marguerite Duras.

As you travel inland from the Atlantic and the vineyards peter out, they are replaced by orchards growing apples, pears and particularly Ente plums. The town of Agen has become synonymous with prunes and the Pruneau d’Agen is so fine that it has earned itself a Protected Geographical Indication, which governs the location and means of its production.

Getting There
Hotel barges often collect and return guests to a pre-agreed Bordfeaux or Toulouse hotel. French international airports are at Toulouse, Bordeaux – and Paris-Charles de Gaulle. There are also European-flight airports at Bergerac and Carcassonne. TGV express train stations are located at Bordeaux, Montauban and Toulouse; and many other towns in the region have railway connections.

– [below] In the region: Bordeaux, Duras, Moissac, St Emilion, Bordeaux Wine, Canal de Garonne, Serignac, Agen –

bordeaux2-500x300  duras-500x300  moissac-500x300

st-emilion-500x300  winetasting-500x300  bordeaux-vineyard2-500x300

canal-garonne-500x300  serignac-500x300  agen-500x300

Duras © Michel Michelot | Bordeaux vineyard ©Chateau Raba | Tasting ©Nicolle Croft | Others ©FW, wikimedia, n/a

Style: 4* Excellence

Saint LouisOwner Operated

  • Style: 4* Excellence
  • Capacity: 3 cabins / 6 guests
  • Cruising: Garonne‑Bordeaux

Hotel barge Saint Louis provides a luxury cruise along the beautiful, calm waterways in the historic lands of Aquitaine and Gascony in south-west... Read more

Style: 3* Premier

RosaE W Fleet

  • Style: 3* Premier
  • Capacity: 4 cabins / 8 guests
  • Cruising: Garonne‑Bordeaux

Rosa is a delightfully re-fitted Dutch Clipper barge with light and airy interiors and four staterooms for eight guests. Outside there is a... Read more


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