About Camargue

Relax amidst the natural splendor of sun-bathed Camargue

Broad saltwater lagoons, golden beaches, expanses of tawny reeds teeming with pink flamingos — Camargue, France, basks in sunshine most of the time. Romans plied these waters, and Crusaders followed. You can imagine the past as you approach fortress seaport cities like Aigues-Mortes, but beach resorts with zingy nightlife bring you frolicking back to the modern age!

 

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Map showing where Camargue boating region is in France

The perfect boating region for...

Camargue region map

  = Le Boat Base           = Canal           = Navigable river          = No navigation beyond this point

The perfect boating region for...

Swimming

The Camargue is known for its gorgeous beaches. They stretch out for miles along the Etang du Thau at Méze, a wonderful spot for lagoon swimming. Two Port Cassafières ocean favourites are La Redoute Plage and La Farinette Plage.

Family

The Camargue is a great family friendly destination. Beach resorts at Palavas-les-Flots and la Grande-Motte offer watersports and amusements. Play mini golf, go to a water park, see an aquarium and check out a dinosaur park at Le Cap d'Adge!

Wildlife

Bring binoculars whilst cruising in the Camargue! More than 400 species of birds live in the marshes, including pink flamingos. Wild horses and bulls graze amidst lush grasslands.

Horseback Riding

The Camargue is known for its wild white horses. You'll see herds as you travel. Ride the dunes and trails! The La Grande-Mott Riding School offers horse rides for kids age four and up! You can also ride at the resort of Le Cap d'Adge!

Useful information

A bit of background

The Canal du Midi leaves off at Étang du Thau, France’s second largest lake, and sets your path on the Canal du Rhône à Sète extending 98 kilometers (61 miles) all the way to beautiful Beaucaire. A look at a Camargue map reveals that you’ve entered a natural wonderland filled with undeveloped lakes and fronted with beaches right on the Mediterranean Sea. The country is low and flat, and the salt air invigorates as you travel to medieval fishing villages and cities. Loosely translated, the name of the canal means “canal from Rhône to Sète,” indicating its route from the Rhône River near Beaucaire south into the wetlands that make Camargue, France, such a special place. Here you’ll find real-life guardian cowboys, bull fighting, Romany gypsy festivals, luscious fresh oysters and superb Costières de Nïmes wines found in the cellars of Gallician.

It is said that the ancients built settlements in the Camargue and traded goods with their brethren in the Rhône Valley. Sète thrived in part because of the age-old Canal de la Radelle running to Aigues-Mortes. Eventually, lakes north of Sète silted in and the appropriately named Lakes Canal was dug. Born of more than 150 years of effort, the Canal du Rhône à Sète finally linked three canals together to create a single artery in 1811.

The Camargue is easy to navigate and great for beginners due to the low number of locks.

 

Notes : Use caution on Étang du Thau in strong winds.

 

Check our navigation page to see if there are any current cruising restrictions

The Camargue region has no locks except for one near Beaucaire, so it is perfect for anyone new to cruising or looking for an easy cruising experience.

 

Opening Hours: During the busy summer season locks are open 09:00-18:00 (6:00 p.m.). Locks are closed for lunch between 12:30-13:30 (1:30 p.m.).

 

Public holidays: Locks are closed on some public holidays

  • Canal du Midi :

1st May & 1st Nov

 

  • Lock Closure dates:

Please be aware about the lock closure dates by local authorities. During that day(s), you won’t be able to go through the locks. For more details and questions, please contact our sales team.

All locks closed on: 1st May

It is best to moor in the harbours at night. Moorings at marinas costs from a few euros up to 30 euros in peak season but offers electricity and water refill. We recommend you to call the Marina a few hours before your arrival to book a place. You could also moor where you want to along the canal thanks to the ropes and spikes on-board your boat. Please do not cross the pathway with the ropes in order to keep allow the passage of walkers and cyclists.

Passing barges could pull you away from makeshift moorings and roll you with wakes.

To find out how to get to each of our bases in this boating region, as well as what facilities and amenities are available at each base or nearby, click on the relevant base below:

  • Rental of the boat and its onboard equipment
  • A fully equipped kitchen
  • Towels and linen for all passengers
  • A boat handling demonstration prior to departure
  • Technical support
  • On-board maps and visitor information
  • Passage through locks
  • Optional vacation extras
  • Boat damage waiver
  • Running costs (diesel, gas, engine wear and tear) - charged by the engine hour (by the litre in Scotland).
  • Travel to and from the base(s)
  • Waterside services if you use them (i.e. moorings where a charge is applicable, pump-out if needed, water, etc)
  • Cancellation plan & any travel/personal insurance
  • Food and drink

Download our region guide

We've produced a handy PDF guide for this region to give you an overview of all the stops and things to do along the waterway.

Download our region guide

 Interactive map of the Camargue

  = Le Boat base       = Point of interest

Great to see...

Must see
Aigues Mortes in the Carmargue

Welcome to Aigues-Mortes, a fortified town that once specialised in salt production. Don’t miss the large “Tour de Constance” (Tower of Constance), which is situated in a corner of the fortifications, alongside of the mooring. The tower was previously named “big large tower” & was used as a prison for Protestants.

Must see
Canal Palavas Les Flots
Once simply a fishing village, today Palavas-les-flots is a thriving seaside city with a long and peaceful beach. Downtown, you will find a dynamic city with sights to explore, like the Jeanne d'Arc foutain. And if you have time at night, the casino will probably be open!

Beaucaire is a pretty town, as traditional as it is modern. Appreciate a walk among gardens and historic sites or dine in one of the splendid old restaurants. You can also visit the Abbey of Saint-Roman.

Bellegarde is known for its Priory Saint-Vincent-De-Broussan, built in the eleventh century. It's also home to an impressive roman aqueduct of the first century. Head to the centre to find good restaurants and peaceful places to relax and enjoy the this leafy town .
The city owes its name to the famous Father Gilles Hermit. It was one of the most important places for Christian pilgrimage in the twelfth century. Visit Saint-gilles and its exceptional heritage, like the abbey of the twelfth century, the old crypt, and the romanesque museum.
Gallician is a quiet and peaceful rural village. Take the opportunity to walk the winding streets, and visit the little 18th century church. On the outskirts of the village lies the real treasure of Gallician: vast vineyards that are a must see!
What a pretty place to stop! In Le Grau-du-Roi, you will enjoy viewing the harbour and the old lighthouse. There are long and beautiful shores for you to walk along and downtown, you will discover interesting buildings, like the Villa Paris, or the old house from the 19th century.
La Grande-Motte is a bustling seaside resort, home to some ususal architecture. It has buildings designed by the architect Jean Balladur to look like the precolumbian pyramids known as the Ziggourats. If you are a gamer, you can try your luck at the Casino; or maybe you will prefer a relaxing round of golf on the local golf course.
Carnon is a seaside resort. The harbour is a beautiful and quiet place to have a drink, or a meal in one of the numerous restaurants, followed by a gentle stroll along the coast.
Frontignan is a beautiful town, home to the pretty romanesque church of Saint-Paul. Enjoy a walk here, and don't forget to taste the delightful muscat.

Often called the Mediterranean Venice due to its numerous canals along the city, Sète is a wonderful and shining town that you will love exploring. Take a walk along the charming Promenade de la corniche, and discover the numerous monuments and churches downtown.

Bouzigues is a charming little seaside town with a number of things to see. Spend time walking along the shore, guided by the fresh ocean wind, or maybe along the docks during sunset... the scenery here is just wonderful.

Like many seaside cities in the area, Mèze was historically a trade centre. In this wonderful town, you will have the chance to discover the old village with its winding streets, and also the Chapelle des pénitents. Take in the beautiful scenery with a walk along the shore.

Welcome to Marseillan, a welcoming and shining town famous for its vineyards and its know-how in shellfish farming. You will enjoy walking downtown and immersing yourself in local history. The shore is also beautiful to walk along, especially during sunset.

The City of a Thousand Wonders', Agde is a very famous place in France, known for its sunshine and for its numerous activities and treasures to discover. Take time to discover this little paradise.

Port-Cassafières is a pleasant and peaceful harbor to stop, complete with cycling paths. Its proximity to Spain gives it some interesting flourishes in cuisine, architecture and culture and as a result it is a truly cosmopolitan spot to explore.
Must see
Bridge in Beziers

Béziers is an enchanting city, and the second most important on the Canal du Midi. Here, you will have the chance to discover the beautiful architecture, in particular the stunning Saint-Nazaire cathedral which is just splendid. Downtown, there are magical places to take a walk, like the Plateau des Poëtes.

Itinerary suggestions

To help you get an idea of how far you can travel in the time you have, here's a selection of routes to and from our bases in this region. You dont have to stop at all the places listed or follow the route exactly. So long as you return your boat to your end base by the date you've booked - you're free to enjoy your cruise however you like. For a comfortable pace, allowing you time to regularly stop and explore, we'd recommend an average of 2 - 4 hours cruising each day.

Port Cassafières RETURN via Marseillan

Port Cassafières
Agde
Marseillan
Port Cassafières

7 hr(s) of cruising

38km 4 locks 3 nights

Port Cassafières RETURN via Marseillan

Boating vacations in the South of Franceusher you into the arms of the Camargue, an absolutely fabulous region known for its sunny days, wild horses and pink flamingos, and miles of white-sand beaches along a vast saltwater lagoon. The charming city of Agde tempts you to linger! Then it’s off to see the famous Noilly Prat vermouth cellars in the fishing village of Marseillan!

7 hr(s) of cruising

38km 4 locks 3 nights

Port Cassafières RETURN via Aigues-Mortes

Port Cassafières
Agde
Marseillan
Mèze
Bouzigues
Sète
Frontignan
Palavas les Flots
Carnon
La Grande Motte
Le Grau du Roi
Aigues-Mortes
Port Cassafières

28 hr(s) of cruising

168km 4 locks 7 nights

Port Cassafières RETURN via Aigues-Mortes

The boat moves slowly across stunning (lake) Étang de Thau, and the sheer serene beauty of your canal vacation in France practically overwhelms you. Birds ride the Mediterranean breeze, and the tang of the sea blends with the fragrance of flowers as the miles bring you closer to beach resorts and mediaeval Aigues-Mortes.

28 hr(s) of cruising

168km 4 locks 7 nights

Saint-Gilles to Port Cassafières

St. Gilles
Gallician
Aigues-Mortes
Le Grau du Roi
La Grande Motte
Carnon
Palavas les Flots
Frontignan
Sète
Bouzigues
Mèze
Marseillan
Agde
Port Cassafières

17 hr(s) of cruising

98km 2 locks 7 nights

Saint-Gilles to Port Cassafières

Clouds of pink flamingos swirl across brilliant blue skies, creating a sight you’ll long remember on the beautiful Canal du Rhône à Sète. You gaze at the beauty around you, and you look forward to a delicious seafood dinner in la Grande-Motte. Along the way, you go swimming, windsurfing, kayaking, scuba diving, and horseback riding, enjoying a blissful canal vacation in France.

17 hr(s) of cruising

98km 2 locks 7 nights

Saint-Gilles RETURN via Aigues-Mortes & Palavas

St. Gilles
Gallician
Aigues-Mortes
St. Gilles

13 hr(s) of cruising

100km 0 locks 3 nights

Saint-Gilles RETURN via Aigues-Mortes & Palavas

Ease the boat into the canal and relax as you let the charm of a Camargue boating vacation recharge and rejuvenate you. Sip a cool cocktail at the resort beach of Palavas-les-Flots, and plunge into the Mediterranean for a refreshing swim. Feel invigorated as you climb the ramparts of the mediaeval city of Aigues-Mortes to check out splendid views!

13 hr(s) of cruising

100km 0 locks 3 nights

Saint-Gilles RETURN via Étang de Thau

St. Gilles
Gallician
Aigues-Mortes
Le Grau du Roi
La Grande Motte
Carnon
Palavas les Flots
Frontignan
Sète
Bouzigues
Mèze
Marseillan
St. Gilles

22 hr(s) of cruising

146km 0 locks 7 nights

Saint-Gilles RETURN via Étang de Thau

Walled fortress cities, imposing watch towers, and graceful cathedrals can be found in many port towns in the Camargue, making Guardians canal cruises a bit like travelling back in time. The fortified Aigues-Mortes is a gem of the region. Juxtaposed against the historic villages is the natural beauty of Étang de Thau, which offers abundant wildlife and excellent beaches.

22 hr(s) of cruising

146km 0 locks 7 nights
Added on 29 August 2018

Itay Russak said

Vacation was great wish it was longer Great service hope ill be there agay
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Port Cassafières - Port Cassafières
Corvette B
Added on 23 July 2018

Marie-Josée Péloquin said

Nous avons adoré notre croisière sur le Canal du Midi. Nous avons apprécié l'EXCELLENT service à la clientèle de Le Boat du début à la fin et surtout l'employé de Castelnaudary M. Mohamed Zourgane qui a répondu à TOUTES nos craintes et nos questions par courriel et par téléphone avant le départ. Il a été exceptionnelement patient et très professionnel. Le Horizon4 était parfait et très confortable. Tous les restos recommandés par Le Boat étaient EXCELLENTS! Toutefois,la cafetière était trop petite pour 7 personnes...et l'air climatisé ne fonctionnait pas. Le bateau Horizon4 était très confortable pour 7 personnes et facile à conduire. Tous les employés des bases Le Boat le long de notre parcours étaient très polis et professionnels.
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Castelnaudary - Port Cassafières
Horizon 4
Added on 13 July 2018

Ken Smith said

The staff at the various bases were friendly, helpful and efficient The trip was enjoyable,and everyone was friendly and helpful
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Castelnaudary - Port Cassafières
Cirrus B
Added on 30 June 2018

Harry Bailey said

From the ease of booking, through making changes to teh booking and then collection and dropping off the boat, everything went very smoothly and all staffer helpful. informative and friendly. The Le Boat experience could be summed up as just very easy going. The boat itself was as described, comfortable with al the amenities required. Would we go again? Yes is the easy answer. One slight gripe was that the trip we went on was a one-way trip, so why put on an extra charge for one-way? surely incorporate this into the start price, it's not as if going only one-way is an option on a one-way trip. It just leaves a little sour taste. Easy-going, no problems and very relaxing. Some beautiful towns and spectacular scenery.
READ MORE
Dear Mr Bailey,
Thank you for sharing your feedback, it is much appreciated. We are delighted to learn you enjoyed your holiday on the Canal du Midi. We are sorry you were disappointed with the one-way fee. Your comments have been passed on to our operations team for consideration.
We hope to welcome you on board with us again soon.
Best wishes, The Le Boat team.
St. Gilles - Port Cassafières
Classique Star
Added on 27 June 2018

Liz Glass said

Everything was great! The booking made here in Australia was easy and efficient and the staff at Castelnaudary and Port Cassafieres were very helpful and efficient There was nothing to complain about at all!
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Hi Liz, thanks for taking the time to share your feedback with us. We're so glad that you had a great experience with us and we look forward to helping you plan your next cruise! Kind Regards, Lauren
Castelnaudary - Port Cassafières
Clipper
Added on 24 June 2018

Zayne Domingo said

Would use Le Boat again. All aspects of the trip from planning to completion were perfect. Staff at the start and finish were friendly and helpfull Enjoyed the experience. Great family holiday
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Port Cassafières - St. Gilles
Horizon 1
Added on 24 June 2018

Paule Godfrey said

It was an enchanting journey. The boat itself was comfortable and being June the canal was not too crowded. We discovered so many villages with lovely restaurants and people everywhere were so helpful. I intend to do it again, probably the Rhône this time. Comfy boat. Beautiful scenery. Great restaurants and delightful villages and towns. French people most helpful. A very entertaining and relaxing holiday.
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Dear Mr Godfrey,
Thank you very much for taking the time to leave feedback and sending a video clip of your cruise on the Midi. We are delighted to learn you enjoyed your cruise with us and were pleased with the boat.
We would love to welcome you on board with us again soon!
Best wishes, The Le Boat team
Narbonne - Port Cassafières
Royal Mystique B
Added on 11 June 2018

Paul Rutherford said

Fantastic Company! We went on our first Le Boat Holiday in 2014 and have been hooked ever since! We always book the same boat, take the same route through the Camargue from St Gilles Base & are always completely delighted with our experience. The staff just could not be more friendly or helpful. We will go here Every year for the rest of our lives. Paul & Melanie Fantastic Company! We went on our first Le Boat Holiday in 2014 and have been hooked ever since! We always book the same boat, take the same route through the Camargue from St Gilles Base & are always completely delighted with our experience. The staff just could not be more friendly or helpful. We will go here Every year for the rest of our lives. Paul & Melanie
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Dear Paul and Melanie,
Thank you for your five star review. We are pleased to hear that you love the Camargue as much as we do!
Our customers' feedback is very important to us and we will share your comments with the Base teams.
We look forward to welcoming you on board again soon.
The Le Boat Team
St. Gilles - St. Gilles
Sheba
Added on 09 June 2018

Eugene Joubert said

My husband and I went on the Canal Du Midi cruise with Le Boat for our Honeymoon, from Port Homps to Port Cassafieres. The service from the Le Boat team in Cape Town, South Africa where we booked, as well as on arrival at each base was truly excellent. We were very happy with the chosen cruise. It was a pricey experience for us, but very much worth it.
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Homps - Port Cassafières
Cirrus B
Added on 02 June 2018

Werner du Toit said

The service we received from the Le Boat booking office in Cape Town as well as at all the bases were excellent. All personnel were very helpful and friendly. We booked a budget boat, but were upgraded to a Premier boat - which was wonderful.
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Trèbes - Port Cassafières
Horizon 1