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Canal du Midi

South of France

Luxuriate in the laid-back charm of beautiful Canal du Midi

When you choose a Canal du Midi Boating Vacation, you’re set to savor the slow easy pace of travel past lush vineyards in the heart of the Languedoc wine region. You can enjoy wine tasting, cycling, and sightseeing at medieval villages and ancient fortress cities all the way from bustling Toulouse to the golden sands of the Mediterranean Sea!
4.8
 
based on 72 reviews
Great for... 
  • Listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site
  • Pretty waterside villages
  • Sun-drenched vineyards & wine tasting
  • Medieval Town of Carcassonne
  • Waterside restaurants & local markets

Reviews for Canal du Midi cruises

5
 
The whole cruise was wonderful. We absolutely loved the Magnifique. There were 6 of us on board, and with the extra bedroom, we had plenty of space. We cooked all of our dinners except two, because the kitchen was well equipped and roomy enough for the 3 cooks on board. We foraged the local markets for our food and went to one outdoor market where we watched squid soup being made and brought it home for lunch. We were blessed with great weather, except for one day, so dined alfresco most of the time. All in all, we were extremely happy with our whole cruise and would recommend the boat and the Canal Du Midi to anyone.
We loved most of the towns along the way, especially Capestang. It was our favorite town. The people in the tourist office were extremely helpful, even to the point of translating a few items on the menu from the wonderful restaurant canal-side down the street, only steps from where we docked our boat. Our least favorite town was Beziers. Because it was the second largest city on the canal, we expected much more. Instead, there was no electricity or water available, even though the waterways guide indicated they were both available. Shady people hung around the canal all night and made us uncomfortable. There were a couple of pizza restaurants advertised, which were not open. Because it was pouring the whole time we were there, which made it difficult to go out to dinner, the guys found a supermarket and brought frozen pizza back to the boat. All in all, the city was extremely disappointing, and we would not recommend anyone ever stopping there.
5
 
The Le Boat trip was unlike any vacation we had had before! And what a great experience! All staff and personnel involved were more than cordial and helpful before and during the trip. Traveling down the canal was so relaxing and gave us all the opportunity to unwind from the hectic events of everyday life. Going through locks took teamwork and you definitely want gloves! But once you get the hang of it, it is no problem. Each day we would overnight at a village along the way. We loved exploring the small villages and found them and their residents quite charming. We spoke a little French and they spoke a little English so we got along just fine. There are markets, like small grocery stores, in most villages, so you could buy food and supplies along the way. And we loved going to the bakery each day and getting fresh croissants for breakfast. Those, along with fruit, cheese and wine - what more could you want! And the weather was absolutely perfect - beautiful sunny days, quite breezy from time to time, with low humidity. Coming from Georgia, that is what we call "perfect"!
The canal along the way from Homps to Port Cassafieres is lined with Plane trees, some fully mature and cascading out over the canal on both sides. Just like you have seen and imagined! We rented bicycles for the trip, but we only used them twice, since each village was so accessible to walking. We thought we would use them more, but we enjoyed sitting on the top deck of the boat so much that we didn't really need them. (We traveled with two other couples and no children.) Each village has a church or castle in the city center and there is usually no admission for going inside to admire the beauty and workmanship from so long ago. There are restaurants along the way, so we ate our evening dinners off the boat. Lunch was usually at an outdoor cafe in the villages.
4
 
Spent 2 weeks on board, stopping at all villages and towns along the way for up to 2 days. The trip was relaxing, peaceful, very interesting and rewarding. Only two people on board can be difficult when it came to boat handling at the locks, but soon developed a workable system. Late afternoons among the plane trees lining the banks was magical
Recommend at least a day to explore Capestang, 2 days for Carcassonne, 1 for la Redorte and 2 for Castelnadaury. All very worthwhile visiting.
5
 
Everything regarding the cruise when as planned. There was no disappointments and a lot of satisfaction regarding the weather, the route, the sites visited, and the accommodations.
Visited almost every town/village along the route and was welcomed enthusiastically by everyone we encountered. Just a marvelous trip.
5
 
Two full weeks and a one way cruise gave us freedom to roam wherever the mood of the day dictated or to loiter if we wished. Having explored delightful Carcassonne for five hours between the airport and our taxis to Homps we only went upstream as far as Trebes. This proved to be something of a baptism of fire for the two lady members of the crew who had to learn how to throw a coiled rope three or four metres vertically upward at each of the fourteen locks. A night there and then downhill which proved to be much easier rope-wise, passing Homps again and visiting the villages that we missed on the way up and with the exception of detours to Narbonne, Port Ariane (Montpellier) and Beaucaire the rest of the holiday was all downstream.
We saw fewer canal boats than I expected often with periods of twenty minutes having the glorious scenery to ourselves and regularly being the only boat in a lock. Many of the small villages sadly lacked their own individual shops and made do with a mini-supermarket; however wonderful traditional markets were found in Narbonne, Marseillan and Beaucaire. The scenery among the plane trees on The Midi was stunning, good local wine was readily available and some of the best was purchased from the Winery-cum Restaurant in Capestang. Forserannes staircase was awesome; the little towns on the shores of Etang de Thau Lake were attractive with good seafood. The flamingos and the white horses enlivened the long straight stretches in The Camargue. I especially recommend visits to Marseillan and Meze on The Etang, and if you venture into The Camargue to Montpellier via Port Ariane, to The Maguelonne Cathedral and above all the most wonderful walled city that I have ever seen at Aigues-Mort.