A South of France canal cruise vacation on a European … Romantic cruise on the Canal du Midi. Hiring your own holiday boat is an ideal way to explore and experience the pleasures and treasures that the Canal du Midi … Cruising the Canal du Midi was even more beautiful than I imagined. Now, I’ll tell you all about the food on the Athos. After lunch on the barge, accompany your guide on a tour the wonderful medieval fortress of Carcassonne. It was the brainchild of Pierre-Paul Riquet, a minor noble and tax collector, … Next, we explored the medieval village of Minerve. And though it can be windy and a there can be a chance of rain – during the season, which only runs from April through October, you’re almost guaranteed good weather. You’d never be able to tell that this barge wasn’t always a first class floating hotel. If you click one of them, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Here’s what’s included: There are only a few things not included in the price of your barge cruise: any travel insurance, air transportation to France, train transportation to Béziers and gratuities. Buying Request Hub makes it simple, with just a few steps: post a Buying Request and when it’s approved, suppliers on our site can quote. Although originally built to transport crops and goods between landlocked cities, European canal systems are mostly used today for tourism. While a trip to the market is mandatory, there are a few other intriguing areas of Narbonne. What’s it like sailing on the Athos du Midi? Many people gather by the side of the locks to watch the boats, and quite a crowd gathered when our barge traveled through the locks. With the safety and enjoyment of our Customers in mind, we may sometimes advise against navigation within a certain part of the cruising region where local conditions may be challenging at that specific point in time. Locals often opt to rent and drive their own boats, but for those who prefer to let someone else drive, barge cruising is an ideal choice. The book alerted us to wonderful wine shops (such as Le Ferme in Carcassonne), wine tastings and restaurants along the canal. Romantic cruise on the Canal du Midi. It is sort of interesting to see the ingenuity of solar and wind power options on these ramshackle dwellings until you realize the sewage from each of these boats goes into the canal. Cruising the Canal du Midi is all about slowly seeing the sights at your own leisure. to make vegan ice cream using coconut milk. The best ways to experience Canal du Midi are: You can reserve your spot today and pay when you're ready. The next morning, we woke up to check out the Noilly Prat vermouth distillery. Travel Videos Our guide explains what to see, why it's the best choice for beginners and Canal du Midi boat hire. Popular Stops Along the Canal Planning to cruise the Canal du Midi in style? Magnificently restored by Viollet-le-Duc in the 19th century, Carcassonne is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I usually don’t take a relaxed approach to travel. Also, feel free to ask me any questions about my experiences aboard the Athos in the comments section below! Toulouse is the starting point of one of the oldest canals in Europe, the Canal du Midi. There’s also a shopping street lined with pink marble, and the spectacular (yet unfinished) St Just and St Pasteur Cathedral. It was optional to walk with Mathieu into Capestang for a brief tour of a couple of local attractions. Quick overview. Cruising the Canal du Midi aboard a luxury barge is a stress-free, worry free journey from start to finish. The Canal du Midi is considered one of the 17th century’s greatest engineering triumphs; as such, it’s popular among both history buffs and sightseers. Rather than transporting barrels of wine, Athos drifts past the vineyards of the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France. The boat was narrow, and also slow, with a small engine, and a snug fit for 3 of us. While most people sail as couples or even within a small group aboard the Athos du Midi, I sailed by myself this time around. This morning you embark for the last leg of our cruise to Homps one of the main commercial harbor in the old times, We will pass 4 Locks, Lunch ashore in the Homps restaurant on the banks of the Canal du Midi, After lunch, your guide … The Canal; History; Cruises. Athos Top Deck. Enchanting Cruise on the Canal du Midi Enchante Cruise Review by Kiiks. After lunch on the barge, accompany your guide … The Canal du Midi runs for 240km from the River Garonne at Toulouse via Carcassonne to the Mediterranean at Agde. The narrowest part of the Canal du Midi is 5.45m and the lowest bridge is 3.25m above the waterline. The Canal du Midi. Sometimes it seemed as though our barge just barely fit inside each lock! I admired the picturesque, rolling hills and vibrant fields of poppies and wildflowers from my temporary floating home. YouTube After our afternoon sailings, we’d dock at various locations on the Canal du Midi. This may take a few seconds... Something went wrong. I would love to do this with my family (grown kid). We spent six days and nights drifting from point A to point B. You can unpack your luggage and make yourself at home from the moment you arrive. It looks amazing ! There’s the double fortifications, a brilliant cathedral, and a fairy tale castle. From Toulouse, the Canal du Midi takes you through one of France's most fascinating regions to the mediterranean coast and the Camargue. It’s strategically built up on the escarpment and has a truly fascinating history of being under siege. It’s easy to unpack and store all of your belongings in the cabin. Nowadays, they own the barge and work on shore to ensure that you have the best vacation ever. Riquet died a year before the canal was completed so he never had the opportunity to say whatever the 17th century’s version of “I told you so” was. From the moment I arrived in Béziers, everything was included! After arriving in the afternoon, I had time to explore Marseillan on my own. The Canal du Midi, designed and built by Pierre-Paul Riquet in 1662-1681, is a remarkable work of engineer­ing, justifying its inclusion in the Unesco world heritage list in 1996, and one of the most popular cruising waterways in France. This is a great spot to shop for locally made and handcrafted souvenirs. See all Canal du Midi experiences on Viator. It’s a set of six staircase locks (there used to be nine locks in total) that’s a feat of modern engineering. We met as strangers and left as friends. Cruising on the Canal du Midi is a relaxing and restorative holiday from start to finish. We like the flexibility of 'making it up' as we go along. canal du midi ― luxury cruise on 1920's style river-yacht; the midi canal (canal du midi) cathar religion; languedoc-rousillion wines; location map; orchids of the minervois & corbiÈres regions; office and how to contact computours; photograph of the day; index of places to visit; useful links Spend your first morning relaxing on board as you start your cruise on the beautiful Canal du Midi, one of the most stunning waterways in France. First, we rode past a marshy region that was home to many birds, including flamingos! The staff on board took care of every detail. We glided past neighborhoods and seaside towns until we reached the Mediterranean Sea. One of our primary guide books on our recent cruise on the Canal du Midi was "Wine Cruising, A Guide to Wines Along the Canal du Midi in Southern France," by Kathy and Davis Folsom. The canal itself is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site for … Buying Request Hub makes it simple, with just a few steps: post a Buying Request and when it’s approved, suppliers on our site can quote. There’s also a hair dryer, so there’s no need to bring your own. It’s the perfect holiday for those who are even a bit introverted. Each day, you’ll spend your mornings exploring a nearby medieval village. You can cruise the justly famous World Heritage Canal du Midi and its locality piloting your own self-drive hire boat, or being pampered in fine style aboard a luxury hotel barge. A large bookshelf lines one wall if you’d like to learn more about the region (or if you forgot to bring a book from home). It is a different from a European river cruise, or really any other type of small ship cruising experience. Let me know if you decide to take the trip. “La vie est belle,” notes one of my companions as we sip wine and cruise a gentle waterway. Learn about the various regions that the canal du midi passes through. Find tickets & tours worldwide. Spend some time browsing the websites to get an idea for the sorts of hotel barge cruises you can take. Stroll around the cobblestone streets of the village, poking your head into a few shops. Did you tip in Euros? Standard Cruises; Family and Friends Cruise; Specialty Cruises; Prices; Food & Wine. Sunday. Toulouse is the starting point of one of the oldest canals in Europe, the Canal du Midi. There’s a pretty big closet with lots of hangers, as well as two giant drawers that pull out from the bed. It’s perfect for those wanting a more personalized, intimate vacation where you don’t need to plan anything at all. Top it all off with another delectable dinner, and it will be time to call it a day. And dessert was soon on its way! Portfolio It is sort of interesting to see the ingenuity of solar and wind power options on these ramshackle dwellings until you realize the sewage from each of these boats goes into the canal. There were always two vans by the ship where our guides transported us to our destination. © 2021 Justin Plus Lauren | Privacy Policy| Web Stories | Bamboo on Trellis Framework by Mediavine, Vegan Restaurants in Bern: Where to Eat in Bern for the Yummiest Vegan Food, 5 Enchanting Reasons to Visit Marseillan France for an Incredible Day, Transfers to and from Beziers in an air conditioned van, All meals prepared on board by a master chef (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), All wine throughout the cruise, served with each meal, An open bar of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, including liquor and beer, All excursions and admittance fees to the places noted on the itinerary. The Canal du Midi is located in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in the South of France. Learn how your comment data is processed. The first and most consistent problem with the Canal du Midi is that it seems to be a repository for aging and abandoned barges and houseboats. The staff was so friendly and welcoming, and I really enjoyed chatting to them. Up north you will ride along the wild the Garonne river banks and around Sesquière lake for a peaceful moment. The Canal du Midi was constructed by 12,000 workers in the 17th century to let cargo barges take a short cut from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. Here are some hotels you can book in Béziers to extend your relaxing holiday. There’s a captain, a hostess, a tour guide, and a chef. There’s organic shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and soap. On your Canal du Midi cruise, tour vineyards, visit wine caves and taste free samples. Canal du Midi; Burgundy: Franche Comté ... You come aboard and we show you everything you need to know during a briefing and demonstration before your canal cruise. I especially enjoyed bonding with Marianna over our love for cats. It was possible to walk from Athos right into town. Definitely add European barge cruises to your bucket list. Twitter The perfect way to discover the country is on a french canal cruise. After an afternoon on the Canal du Midi, we docked right in Capestang. Carcassonne was the most famous (and busy) place that we visited, and for good reason. There’s always fresh flowers to brighten up the room, as well as a bowl of fresh fruit. A brief history As with many great canals, the idea to build the Canal du Midi … The book alerted us to wonderful wine shops (such as Le Ferme in Carcassonne), wine tastings and restaurants along the canal. Please try again on the. It’s hard to choose which town was my favorite of the whole trip, but it’s quite possible that it was Pézenas. I see that you are Canadian, Lauren. Travel from Capestang to Puicheric on the Canal du Midi *Your cruise could operate in the opposite direction. We're creating your account. Does a luxury hotel barge cruise on the Canal du Midi appeal to you simply for the experience of travelling in an original way? A complete guide on how to plan a summer cruise of the exciting Rideau and Richelieu Canals in Canada, which can include stops in Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec. Nowadays, canal holidays in France are popular, and one of the prime destinations is the Canal du Midi. The Languedoc and the Canal du Midi … This trip is completely opposite to my usual jaunts, and I’m now convinced that I need to slow down when I travel. There’s enough room to store your suitcase or backpack in the drawers that tuck beneath the bed. If you love river cruising, I think you'll really enjoy this! Canal du Midi Waterway Guide: 07 covers Canal de Jonction, Canal de la Robine, Etang de Thau, Canal du Rhone a Sete, Lez, Petit Rhone, Canal d''Arles a Bouc. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from Qualifying Purchases. Cruising grand siecle day. On my Canal du Midi cruise, there were six other passengers: two couples from Australia and one couple from the USA. There’s air conditioning throughout the hotel barge so you’ll always feel comfortable, even during the hot, summer months. Our base at Bram is in an ideal spot to hire a boat on the Canal du Midi, just a few kilometres from Castelnaudary, famed for its cuisine, especially cassoulet (duck confit with beans).As you cruise … Then you're off enjoying your … We all got to know each other so well as we went on excursions and bonded over meals. There are four crew members on board, meaning that you’ll have lots of personal care. Interesting areas of France that you will be exploring on your French Hotel Barging Cruise Vacation. Corinne, yes I brought Euros for the tip. She artfully decorated our table with flowers and decor before each meal. I found the bathroom to be a little more spacious than that on an ocean cruise ship, and there was a window in the bathroom to let fresh air in, which was pretty nice. He is well placed to guide you through your cruise on the canal or rivers, as he was born locally in Sete, the "Little Venice" of the European Midi from a long line of boat people. Save your favorites. It was also lovely to meet one of the barge owners on our trip to Carcassonne, Dannielle. We'll reserve your spot today, and you can cancel up to two days* before your experience without making a payment. 2016 marks the 350th anniversary of the royal decree authorising Riquet to build the canal… Spend your first morning relaxing on board as you start your cruise on the beautiful Canal du Midi, one of the most stunning waterways in France. The Canal du Midi is considered one of the 17th century’s greatest engineering triumphs; as such, it’s popular among both history buffs and sightseers. However, if it’s a sunny day (we only had sunny days without rain! The Company midi Boat ensures, throughout the year, the river animated passenger transport on the Béziers portion of the Canal du Midi, a World Heritage Site. The driving distance between Marseillan and Argeliers is 55 minutes. While we tasted white, red, and dessert wines in the evening, lunch was made for enjoying fragrant, light pink rosés. On a partially hosted cruise with European Waterways aboard the classic, Dutch-designed barge Anjodi in June 2015, my wife, Gail, and I took advantage of the biking options along our route from Le Somail to Marseillan. I can’t say enough good things about our crew. It’s always nice to receive a similar meal to everyone else because I really didn’t ever feel left out. I’m in my mid-thirties and I absolutely adored my Canal du Midi cruise on the Athos barge. Even though I wasn’t able to partake in the cheese course at dinner, there were other fruit or nuts that I could enjoy. The Canal du Midi was constructed by 12,000 workers in the 17th century to let cargo barges take a short cut from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. Were the bathrooms quite cramped ? Face masks required for travelers in public areas, Face masks required for guides in public areas, Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff. After a night in Paris, I traveled from Paris to Béziers by high speed train. The saloon is also a fantastic place to curl up on the couch on lazy afternoons. My husband and I are always looking to do something different...we have river cruised 4 times and loved each cruise. My stateroom was just large enough to fit a queen bed, a small table, and shelves that wrapped around the room. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a fabulous example of a medieval fortified town. As the morning went on, a few tourists started to emerge as the tiny shops opened, but it never got crowded or busy. Barge holidays are fantastic for people of all ages (it’s not just for seniors!). The shaded towpaths are now popular with hikers and cyclists. high-end electric bike with a guide. They will also be happy to provide up to date advice on the best cruising conditions and suggested itineraries on arrival and during your cruise. Quick overview. The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions. Marianna has a masterful knowledge of wine and local wineries, knowing precisely which bottle to pair with each meal. You can buy prints and housewares made from any of our pictures – click the ‘Buy’ button on any photo! It’s a 360 km network of waterways linking the Mediterranean and the Atlantic through 328 structures, including locks, bridges, and tunnels. Athos was originally a commercial grain, sand, and wine barge, converted to a luxury hotel barge in 1982. The first and most consistent problem with the Canal du Midi is that it seems to be a repository for aging and abandoned barges and houseboats. Get a thorough safety briefing and then set off to see the sights. What's the best way to experience Canal du Midi? Canal du Midi in the South of France The Canal du Midi is a remarkable engineering feat by Pierre-Paul Riquet dating back to 1681. Thank you so much to France Cruises and European Waterways for hosting my cruise aboard the Athos du Midi. The pick up and drop off spot for the Athos Canal du Midi cruise is in Béziers. Find the cheap Canal Du Midi Cruise, Find the best Canal Du Midi Cruise deals, Sourcing the right Canal Du Midi Cruise supplier can be time-consuming and difficult. Along the way, Athos’ indulgent and well-versed crew guide visits to famous hilltop towns like Carcassonne and Minerve. The Athos barge docked every evening, and we’d wake up every day in a new place. Perhaps the only remaining connection to Athos’ origins is the association with wine. Since the 17th century, this canal has connected the city to the Mediterranean Sea. One of the attractions of barge cruising along the Canal du Midi in France is the opportunity to bike on the towpaths that line its entire 150-mile length. While you can rent your own vessel for memorable boating holidays in France, I’d much rather leave the navigating up to the experts. The book was particularly helpful in describing the appellations of the region. Pedal through the St. Etienne neighborhood and see the Cathedral then ride along the Canal de Brienne, where you take in river views, and get to know some local secrets down hidden alleyways. You can book a room as a solo traveler or a couple, or you can even book out the entire barge as a private charter with a group. Her present length now allows passage through the smaller locks of the famous Canal du Midi. I didn’t have to plan anything for this trip. Many naysayers told Riquet that the canal would not have sufficient water to operate but not only were they wrong but the canal has been operating since 1681. One day, I hopped on one of the bicycles with a couple of the other guests and explored the area. You can see why it’s a “slow travel” kind of voyage! Travel: Arrival to Capestang. Whether you’re booking through France Cruises in the USA or European Waterways in Europe, you’ll receive professional and expert services from leaders in the canal and river cruising industry. I may be compensated if you make a purchase using my link. The Canal du Midi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it has a truly fascinating history. So you can enjoy your cruise … And they take Athos passengers on a gourmet tour-de-force of Mediterranean cuisine and flavours. There are five cabins in total on the Athos barge, each with their own en-suite bathroom. I always looked forward to my morning and afternoon cups of coffee. Posts may be sponsored. Justin wasn’t able to accompany me on this trip unfortunately. The shaded towpaths are now popular with hikers and cyclists. Visit Carcassonne. He has that right – life is beautiful on France’s Canal du Midi. Our incredible hostess, Marianna, took care of us in so many ways on board. The area boasts over 300 days of sunshine a year. Discover the barge cruise experience from the eyes of a first time barger. There are paths on either side of the entire canal. Our Gear, Join our Community! The river will lead you back in the city center to wander around the former St Pierre harbour and la Daurade harbour, not to forget the magnificent Pont neuf (new bridge) and the enjoyable atmosphere along the quay. This meant a new excursion to a nearby attraction or village. I really loved how there was enough time to see everything on our trips into town. Unwind and unplug from your daily life as you admire the scenery of the South of France. One of our primary guide books on our recent cruise on the Canal du Midi was "Wine Cruising, A Guide to Wines Along the Canal du Midi in Southern France," by Kathy and Davis Folsom. Toulouse is the starting point of one of the oldest canals in Europe, the Canal du Midi. Wear light layers, as canal cruises can be breezy. Services of a professional guide throughout the tour (several languages available) Accommodation in 3 to 5-star hotels . Before our day trip to Minerve, we stopped at L’Oulibo for an olive and olive oil tasting. This particular canal cruise sails from Sunday to Saturday. canal du midi The Canal du Midi, which links the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, was designed by Béziers-born Pierre-Paul Riquet – who lies entombed beneath a modest slab in that rather persuasive and endearing architectural pile up that is the cathedral of St Étienne in Toulouse . It also felt great to have the wind in my hair and the freedom of going cycling without a care in the world. Many of these were singular locks. Trip Details . We also walked through the Jewish ghetto neighborhood and learned about the history of Pézanas on the way. It was amazing to watch the sheer amount of rushing water fill each lock to raise Athos up to the proper level to allow her to enter the next lock. You will discover a marvellous blend of ancient Gallo-Roman and traditional influences reflected throughout this very historic region. It’s a technical marvel and a work of art. I was in awe of the navigation skills of our captain as he entered and departed each lock with ease. At the end of our tour, we were always allowed to have at least an hour of free time to explore on our own. Our base at Bram is in an ideal spot to hire a boat on the Canal du Midi, just a few kilometres from Castelnaudary, famed for its cuisine, especially cassoulet (duck confit with beans).As you cruise towards the Mediterranean, you can easily get to Carcassonne. Its creator, Pierre-Paul Riquet, designed the Canal du Midi and it was built between 1667 and 1694. You can book your barge holidays in France aboard the Athos through France Cruises or European Waterways. I don't have the precise measurements of the room. Thanks for all your wonderful posts and pics. While it was nice to hop off the barge and wander right into town, it was also lovely to explore “the middle of nowhere”. Back on board, high … The bathroom is bright and has everything you need to stay refreshed. The bar is always open, as is the fancy espresso machine. St. Sernin Basilica (Basilique Saint-Sernin), Toulouse-Lautrec Museum (Musée Toulouse-Lautrec), Half a day electric bike ride around Toulouse. Welcome Aboard. France is at its best away from the main tourist trails, and canals like the Briare, Nivernais, Burgundy and Canal du Midi are … Most barge cruises, like this one on the Canal du Midi in France, take place aboard converted historic vessels, but the boats still have many of the same amenities as a boutique hotel. What charts and guides to get, fees to expect, where to stop, what cities to visit and when to go. I loved that we could ride from the barge right to the beach. Since the 17th century, this canal has connected the city to the … This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Athos is a traditional hotel barge with charming and elegant decor. His lovely wife is a warm Irish woman and a great chef! She is docked near Poilhes, a charming village on the Canal du Midi, 12 km from Beziers, 20 km from the … Her and her husband, Julian met aboard the Athos many years ago. For a peaceful moment m in my mid-thirties and i are always looking to do this my. 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