Luxury Canal Cruising France - Ultimate Canal Cruising Experiences

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The Destination

Famed for its natural beauty, tranquil waters, and architectural wonders, Canal du Midi located in South Western France is a barge cruising haven weaving 242 kilometers inland from the warm waters of the Mediterranean. Flanked by tow paths and bicycle tracks, it carves its way through the scenic countryside, punctuated by landmarks of heritage and cultural significance.

Steeped in history, Canal du Midi was recognised as one of the greatest construction works of its time in the 17th Century – a masterpiece of structural and hydraulic engineering – including a complex lock system and the world’s first canal tunnel at Malpas. It was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

Today, Canal du Midi is celebrated for its relaxed approach to river tourism, and the unique canal cruise experiences on offer. Discovering the region from the deck of a luxury hotel barge is an unforgettable pleasure, with each meandering turn of the canal revealing a surprise or change of scenery.

Combining the best of both worlds, you can relax and watch the world unfold while enjoying informative day trips and guided excursions without the rush, the traffic, or jostling crowds.

With the slow-moving pace, exercise is convenient yet leisurely; you can walk alongside your vessel, or bike ahead to meet it at the next village. It’s the ideal way to experience the real French countryside.

Select itinerary highlights:

  • Visit Pezenas, a village associated with the playwright Molière.
  • Private wine tasting at the 14th century Château de Perdiguier.
  • Cruise through the world’s oldest canal tunnel at Malpas.
  • See the spectacular hilltop village of Minerve.
  • Winery tour and tasting of fine Minervois wines.
  • Narbonne’s Archbishop’s Palace and colourful market.
  • Visit beautiful Lagrasse and its 8th century abbey, with lunch in a stunning location.
  • View the Pyrenees mountains across the vineyards and discover Cathar history.
  • Tour Carcassonne – the most complete medieval fortified city in existence.

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