Canal du Midi – Languedoc :: Hotel Barge Canal and River Cruises
The sun-drenched South of France home of vineyards, sunflower fields and the world-famous, historic, Canal du Midi.
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.
Barge Cruising – Midi-Languedoc
Canal du Midi – Canal de la Robine
The Canal du Midi has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in acknowledgement of the astonishing feat carried out by its 17th century architect Pierre-Paul Riquet in linking the Etang du Thau in the south east with the River Garonne in Toulouse, effectively making it possible to convey goods from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. Riquet’s audacity in engineering can be seen in the flight of nine characteristically oval-shaped locks at Fonserannes, near the ancient city of Beziers which is famous not just for its 13th century cathedral, but for its bullfighting festival too. If ticking off UNESCO sites is your thing, then you get two for one in Carcassonne, where the canal passes close to the ancient citadel that forms one of the most iconic skylines in the whole country.
The 240 km length of this historic waterway is extraordinarily beautiful, meandering between the vineyards of Corbieres to the south and the Minervois to the north and a visit to the wine town of Minerve, which has been designated as one of the most beautiful in France, is a treat. A diversion along the Canal de la Robine leads to Narbonne, which dates back to Roman times when it was a strategic trading centre, and even today its covered market, supplied by local producers, is a kind of foodie heaven.
Hotel barges often collect and return guests to a pre-agreed Toulouse or Narbonne hotel. French international airports are at Toulouse, Bordeaux – and Paris-Charles de Gaulle. There are also European-flight airports at Carcassonne and Montpellier. TGV express train stations are located at Toulouse, Carcassonne, Narbonne and Montpellier; and many other towns in the region have railway connections.
– [below] In the region: Minervois, Minerve, Canal du Midi, Beziers, Narbonne, Carcassonne –
AthosE W Fleet
A top-class hotel barge for up to ten guests, Athos is beautifully designed to combine luxury and cosy richness. With smart, contemporary decor... Read more
EnchantéE W Fleet
A simply enchanting hotel barge offering exceptionally spacious accommodation for up to 8 passengers. With luxury oozing from all quarters and... Read more
AnjodiE W Fleet
Hotel Barge Anjodi creates a charming holiday cruise for 8 passengers in four air-conditioned staterooms on the delightful Canal du Midi. With... Read more
Savannah cruises along the world-famous Canal du Midi and is a stunning hotel barge, her warm exterior colouring attracting envious looks all... Read more
Roi SoleilOwner Operated
Roi Soleil is possibly the most distinctively elegant hotel barge - a true river yacht - cruising the French waterways. She is curvaceous on the... Read more
Luxury hotel barge Esperance offers delightful cruising for up to 6 guests looking for a real French experience on board an authentic but... Read more
Clair de LuneOwner Operated
Clair de Lune offers relaxed superior cruising for four to six guests, and has a choice of two routes along the iconic Canal du Midi. She is... Read more
Hotel barge Caroline is a delightful family-friendly barge for a group of 6 guests, with children especially welcome. With homely interiors she... Read more
Mirage is a beautifully renovated boutique barge cruising the Canal du Midi and offering luxury cruises for up to 6 guests. Spacious and distinctive... Read more
A delightfully presented barge, with distinctive arched windows and top quality fitments and furnishings throughout, Emma offers six guests superb... Read more
Just four privileged passengers can charter this luxurious Belmond barge to progress regally along the reknowned 17th century Canal du Midi. The... Read more
Alegria is a very striking, much photographed hotel barge - unique along the Canal du Midi with her large round port-hole style picture windows -... Read more
We feature information about 50 wonderful hotel barges, of various sizes and price/style levels, more than 100 individual cruises to choose from every week of the season, in 8 regions across France. Some book flexibly by the cabin, others exclusively charter the entire hotel barge. Quite a choice!
Every one of our hotel barge information pages has been carefully crafted and written by us, from our own unique first hand-hand experience – but we also understand that there’s nothing like speaking to a friendly expert to help see the wood for the trees and make the best possible decision about the vacation cruise of a lifetime.
So please, send us a Booking Enquiry form (click on the red tab above) or just pick up the phone and give us a call.
We love France, we love the rivers and canals of France, we love hotel barging – and we love talking about all three!
+33 609 740 064 -or- +44 7590 287 178
We have been cruising and exploring France
aboard our own river boat since 2003.
– we also have expert colleagues in North America and Australia –