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The Golden Midi Cruise

The Golden Midi Cruise

From
AU$1,324
 

Get the full Canal du Midi experience on a ten-night journey through France’s most prolific wine-producing region.

  • Country / Region
    France / Canal du Midi
  • Duration
    1 week
  • Itinerary
    Castelnaudary to Port Cassafières
From
AU$1,324
 

Get the full Canal du Midi experience on a ten-night journey through France’s most prolific wine-producing region.

  • Country / Region
    France / Canal du Midi
  • Duration
    1 week
  • Itinerary
    Castelnaudary to Port Cassafières
Description 
  • Cruise Highlights
    ActivityActivity Use of bicyclesTourTour Visit magnificent Gothic cathedrals and churches. TourTour Chateaux and historic monumentsMealsMeals All meals included - authentic French cuisine and regional specialities plus a selection of fine winesItineraryItinerary Port Cassafières to Castelnaudary or vice versaActivityActivity Perfect area for swimmingTour Tour Visit the region's famous vineyards. Includes wine tastings. ActivityActivity Wine tasting sessions

Summary

This active itinerary will tick off all of the main sights from your Midi wish list, including historic Carcassonne, while allowing ample opportunity to laze on the sundeck and enjoy the seductively slow pace of the canal.

This itinerary can also be taken in the opposite direction.

 

Cruising time Number of Locks Lock Type Waterways
45 hours 62 Automatic operated by lock-keeper Canal du Midi

 

Choose from our available boats.


Inclusions

  • Renting the boat and its equipment
  • A galley (kitchen) with all the utensils and appliances you would expect
  • Towels and linen for all passengers
  • A boat handling demo
  • Technical support
  • On-board cruising information
  • Free locks (except in Ireland & Holland)

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Itinerary 

Explore the following towns and villages:

  • Castelnaudary
  • Villepinte
  • Bram
  • Villesèquelande
  • Carcassonne
  • Trèbes
  • Marseillette
  • La Redorte
  • Puicheric
  • Homps
  • Argens-Minervois
  • Roubia
  • Paraza
  • Ventenac
  • Le Somail
  • Capestang
  • Colombiers
  • Fonserannes
  • Béziers
  • Port Cassafieres

Day 1:
Arrive in 17th century Castelnaudary, clustered around the beautiful Grand Bassin. After your briefing and boat handling demonstration, take a stroll into town and stock up on provisions for your trip. In the evening, sample Cassoulet, a local speciality of sausage, goose and duck, slow cooked in a casserole with white beans. The hearty dish originates from Castelnaudary and the restaurants here all claim to serve the best.

Day 2:
Buy fresh bread and croissants and enjoy breakfast on board, before beginning your Midi adventure, passing through flat, open farmland and sleepy stone buildings as the canal wends its way east. Take lunch on your sundeck while the locks are closed, and in the afternoon, stop and unload the bikes for a short cycle into Bram, an attractive town arranged in a concentric circle around the pretty church. Then onward to overnight in quiet Villesèquelande.

Day 3:
After another morning meandering though the tranquil French countryside, you’ll arrive at the most famous of all stops along the Midi - Carcassonne, with its impressive fortified ramparts. Head straight to the centre, a bustling network of cobbled streets thronging with restaurants and shops, all nestled inside the imposing city walls. After lunch, it’s time to explore! Take a guided tour around the huge 12th Century Château Comtal. And don’t miss the ethereal magnificence of the Basilica of Saint Nazaire. Head back into the city again for dinner.

Day 4:
Why not head away from the canal on an organised visit to the spectacular Domaine Gayda, one of the leading and most impressive wine producers in the area? Tour the state-of-the-art winery and learn how the wines are made and enjoy a relaxed and fun tasting of their excellent range of wines. Finish with a three-course lunch, accompanied by local wine of course, in their superb restaurant that overlooks the Pyrenees before returning to Carcassonne for your onward journey to Trèbes.

Day 5:
Chill on deck, soak up the sunshine and enjoy the slow pace of the canal as you spend most of the day cruising. There’s time to stop in the peaceful and pretty village of Marseilette for a stroll on the way. For lunch, find a spot to moor in the middle of nowhere and enjoy the surrounding beauty while the locks are closed. The countryside becomes even more picturesque from this point, with open farmland giving way to tree lined tow paths and rambling meadows. Your destination is the beautiful town of Argens Minervois, clustered around a 14th century chateau, so have a wander around before dinner.

Day 6:
Make a short hop to Paraza where the Chateau de Paraza overlooks the canal - the site of an impressive winery. Look around, sample the produce and find lunch in a local restaurant. Then it’s another short meander to Le Somail your mooring for the night. In the afternoon, why not hire the most legendary of convertible cars, an old Mythic 2 CV? It’s a fun way to drive through the vineyards and countryside toward L’Oulibo Olive Caves for a tour . Enjoy sampling them while receiving a fascinating insight into the history of the olive.

Day 7:
Pick up fresh bread and pastries from the grocery barge to enjoy with breakfast on your sundeck. Then, visit Madam Gourgue’s Antiquarian Bookshop, where you’ll find everything from cheap paperbacks to very rare editions, crammed in bookshelves from floor to ceiling. Then untie the lines again and set off towards Capestang, stopping in the middle of nowhere to appreciate the peaceful surroundings and a canal-side picnic for lunch. For something exquisite, dress up for dinner and take a short taxi ride to the very grand Château les Carrasses for a fine-dining experience in a beautiful setting

Day 8:
Explore Capestang, including its 14th century castle & impressive painted ceilings. Back on board, stop for lunch in Poulhes before reaching Le Malpas. Walk 20 minutes to explore the Oppidum of Enerune, an archaeological site and museum with impressive views over the dried Montady Lake. Then it’s time to navigate through the 165m long Malpas tunnel, Europe's first navigable canal tunnel. In Colombiers, visit the Saint-Sylvestre church, which is full of history and at night, the rectory's gardens are lit up and are perfect for a charming walk.

Day 9:
Have a lazy start and a hearty breakfast on board before heading off towards the famous Fonsérranes staircase of locks. The flight consists of eight ovoid lock chambers and nine gates, which allow boats to be raised or lowered a height of 21.5m, in a distance of 300m. Then it’s onwards, past Béziers, to moor just past the bustling city in the quieter surroundings of Villeneuve Béziers. Spend a restful afternoon chilling with a book or exploring the towpaths by bike.

Day 10:
Explore Bezier, one of the Midi’s largest cities. Don’t miss the 13th century Romanesque cathedral which occupies one of the best sites in town; from the concourse at the front there are terrific views out over the surrounding vineyards and hills. Or visit the Musée des Beaux Arts – to view paintings by Rubens and Delacroix. After finding lunch in one of Beziers many restaurants, head back to your boat for the final stretch to Port Cassafières. A stroll along the beach at Portiranges will build your appetite for dinner and afterwards, spend the evening on deck, sitting under the stars and reminiscing about the happy memories you’ve created.

Enquire about this Cruise

Call us

Prefer speaking to us over the phone? Our French Specialists would love to help you out!

AU 1300 858 304

Opening Hours:
9am - 5.30pm Monday to Friday

Find out more information from our French Travel Specialist

Call us

Prefer speaking to us over the phone? Our French Specialists would love to help you out!

AU 1300 858 304

Opening Hours:
9am - 5.30pm Monday to Friday

Enquire Now

Find out more information from our French Travel Specialist

Enquire Now

Meet Your French Travel Specialist...

Contacts