About Canal du Midi

Boat along the picturesque Canal du Midi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy wine tasting, cycling, and sightseeing at medieval villages.

When it comes to barging in the South of France, the scenic Canal du Midi is a must. Cruising this 300 year old waterway, you will savor the slow easy pace of travel as you pass lush vineyards in the heart of the Languedoc wine region.

Passing through historic water locks you will discover charming medieval villages and ancient fortress cities. Sightseeing, wine tasting, and sun-kissed cycle rides await, all the way from bustling Toulouse to the golden sands of the Mediterranean Sea.

 

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Karte zeigt, wo der Canal du Midi in Frankreich liegt

If you are unable to find your perfect vacation on our website please contact our Boating Experts who may be able to help create a bespoke offering for you.

Canal du Midi map

Canal du Midi Region Map

 Base = Le Boat base                     Canal = Canal

The perfect boating region for...

Wine Tasting

Wine Tasting

Nestled in the Languedoc wine region, the Canal du Midi is an ideal locale for wine tasting vacations. Tour vineyards, visit wine caves and taste free samples. Trèbes, Homps, Ventenac, Paraza, Marseillette and Capestang offer much for wine connoisseurs!

History & Heritage

Medieval Carcassonne near the Canal du Midi

The Canal du Midi is steeped in history and heritage. You'll see stunning cathedrals, grand châteaux, ancient ruins and medieval cities. Carcassonne is a real gem. Museum fans will love Castelnaudary, Béziers, Narbonne and Toulouse!

Gastronomy

Cassoulet - a specialty of Castelnaudary

Friendly cafés and gourmet restaurants abound on the Canal du Midi! Try La Raffinerie in Béziers, Carcassonne's La Marquiere and L'Arbousier in Homps. Don't miss the slow-cooked bean and meat cassoulet (casserole), a French gastronomy specialty of Castelnaudary.

Family

City of Space near Port St. Sauveur, Toulouse

There's something for the entire family on the Canal du Midi - amusements and rides at Luna Park in Le Cap d' Adge and the Raymond Chésa Leisure Park near Carcassonne. The kids will love watersports at Lac de Jouarres in Homps and Toulouse's Cité de L'Espace!

Useful information

Download our region guide

Check out our region guideWe'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

Truly an outstanding feat of engineering when completed in 1694, the main course of the Canal du Midi runs 240 kilometres (150 miles). Its very name is imbued with resonance—the canal of two seas—since its network of waterways connects the Atlantic to the Mediterranean and once served as a major trade route.

 

Its designer, Pierre-Paul Riquet, created a work of art with aqueducts, bridges, 91 locks and a tunnel. More than 42,000 plane trees line its often-shaded banks!

 

Canal du Midi Boating Vacations present an opportunity to experience this fabulous waterway firsthand with your family and friends, inviting you to travel at a pace that lets you meet the people and relax amidst stunning natural beauty. Canal du Midi vacations are amongst our most popular offerings, and with so many bases to choose from there’s a perfect cruise for you!

As with many great canals, the idea to build the Canal du Midi had been around a long time. In 1516, King Francis I comissioned Leonardo da Vinci to survey a route. When Pierre-Paul Riquet got going in 1667, one problem was how to lift boats over the 190-metre (620-foot) heights at Naurouze. Reservoirs and dams were built. You’ll see neoclassical elements in many structures on your Canal du Midi vacation! In 1996, the canal became a UNESCO World Heritage site.

We've partnered up with some of the best local businesses from the towns and villages along the Midi to help you get the most out of your Le Boat vacation. 

Discover our range of exclusive offers, only available to Le Boat customers. 

The Canal du Midi is easy to navigate and ideal for beginners.

 

Tips : If you are cruising down to Béziers, consider mooring at the top or bottom of the locks of Fonsérannes if you want to walk or cycle into Béziers for sightseeing.

 

Please note that navigation between South Narbonne and Port la Nouvelle is not possible (Canal de la Robine).

We highly recommend to be careful when navigating the section between Canal du Midi and Narbone due to increased algae in the water.

Take a look at our waterway and lock closures page to find out if there are any scheduled cruising restrictions that will affect your vacation plans.

The locks along the Midi are manned and free of charge.

 

Please note that the locks along the Midi are not fully automatic.

Some ‘simple locks’ are automatic, these can be found in the route towards Toulouse and towards Carcassonne.

The majority of the locks are electrified with a lock keeper.

 

Opening hours:

During the busy Summer season (from 17 March until 30 October) locks are open between 09:00 and 19:00 (7:00 p.m.).

Locks are closed for lunch between 12:00-13:00 (1 p.m.).

Public holidays: Locks are closed on some public holidays: 1st May & 1st November

The locks can get busy in peak season.

The Fonsérannes staircase has specific opening hours for rising VS. down navigation. Please speak to our sales team for more advice.

Moorings are plentiful on the Canal du Midi, most of them are offering electricity and water refill for a small charge.

 

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 allow the passage of walkers and cyclists.

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

Interactive map of the Canal du Midi

Le Boat base  = Le Boat base  Point of interest  = Point of interest

Great to see...

Must see
Toulouse

Toulouse is the fourth largest city in France and is renowned as a center of aviation and spaceflight, the home of French rugby and for being a University town. Yet the ‘Pink City’, so named because of the dusky-pink bricks used in many of its buildings, remains intimate and welcoming with a laid-back vibe. Visitors can enjoy submersing themselves in true French café culture, with a host of museums and cultural attractions to keep them occupied.

Part of the sprawling suburbs of Toulouse and a short walk or cycle from the Canal, Castanet-Tolosan has a busy shopping centre where you will find everything you should need, including local produce and crafts.

This quiet 13th century town has a Gothic church with a typical Toulouse-style bell tower – worth a 500m stroll into town for a photograph if the weather is nice. You’ll find moorings at Montigiscard Lock, with a pharmacy and a good restaurant just over the road, the Brasserie de l’Ecluse.

Gardouch is a village typical of the area. Moor here to enjoy a peaceful walk downtown. Visit the village's beautiful church and eat in one of the excellent restaurants.

This is a bustling little village which boats a fine example of a wall bell-tower, flanked on each side by two octagonal towers. There are a variety of shops, cafés and restaurants here if you fancy a 2km walk or cycle from Renneville Lock where you can moor. We can recommend La Camaretoise for excellent sweet and savoury crêpes.

Just 2km north of Port Lauragais, this sweet little town is perched on a hill with an attractive church, tower and restored watermill to discover. There is little in the way of shops and eateries, but it’s a nice place to cycle to, if you want to expel some energy.

This purpose-built tourist marina has good moorings for the night with a restaurant (La Dinée, open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has free Wi-Fi), a gourmet shop selling regional produce and a fascinating Canal du Midi exhibition behind the restaurant in Haute-Garonne House. It tells you everything you need to know about this majestic waterway: its history, its construction and its continued operation.

As well as being one of the home ports for the Le Boat Midi fleet, the historic market town of Castelnaudary is home of the Cassoulet, a regional dish of white beans and chunky pieces of pork and duck. There are several places in town claiming to serve the best. To stock up on provisions there is a Spar supermarket 1.1km away in the town centre, where there are also ATMs, etc. If you spend over €100 they will usually be able to deliver your goods to your boat. Alternatively, there’s a Netto supermarket 600m from the base, although it’s along a busy road.

If you find yourself short on provisions, this quiet little village has a bakery and a small grocery store, although don’t expect a wealth of choice. However, the 2km walk or cycle through the countryside to get there is a delight.

You will find all you need in town to replenish your provisions, including a chemist and a service station which doubles as a supermarket. Upstream of Villepinte Lock, look out for the Mézéran Aqueduct and the Villepinte Spillway which diverts excess water into the Fresquel River below.

A pretty, but quiet village built on a circular plan with a 13th century church at the heart. A pleasant walk or cycle along a pretty tree-lined avenue will take you directly to the village where you’ll find several restaurants (including a pizzeria opposite the museum), a grocery store, butcher, patisseries and several other shops. Back at your boat, why not chill with a drink after your walk/cycle at L’lle aux Oiseaux right on the canal?

Moor by the charming stone bridge, over which the road gives access to the village a short 500m away. Seek out the pretty church and clock the Sully Elm, planted in the square outside; it is one of the last elms still alive in France; all the others were killed by Dutch elm disease. You will find a grocery shop here too.

Must see
Carcassonne

The citadel, known as ‘La Cité de Carcassonne’, is certainly not to be missed! Once you catch glimpse of its fairy-tale turrets and imposing walls when you approach the city, you’ll soon understand why. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this fortified, medieval, walled city is unique in Europe by its size and its state of conservation. It is renowned for its double wall of ramparts, running nearly 3km around the perimeter and 53 conical-roofed, fairy-tale towers.

Le Boat has a base in the thriving town of Trèbes and, whether you are starting your journey here or passing through, visitors are pleased to visit the very large supermarket, 1km from the moorings, for a chance to stock up on provisions (the base team can give you directions). Just to the southwest of Trèbes you’ll find the Cavayère Lake, a popular summer spot full of family activities including swimming, a wildlife park and adventure trails. Ask our base team for help arranging transport.

A working farm and wine domain with 12th century origins, Millepetit is home to a wonderful little cooking school. This unique French cooking class will provide you with useful skills and simple tips that will help you to create classic French cuisine with a modern twist!

There’s a handful of cafés and restaurants here but nothing else really worth stopping for. The clock tower in the centre, before it told the time, served as a relay for the first telecommunications network in the world. Marseillette is also known for growing rice (short grain, long, fragrant and red) which you will find in local shops, delicatessens and supermarkets along the canal.

This is a village full of medieval character with a lovely church... although not a great deal else! You won’t even find much in the way of shops or restaurants here. Nonetheless, you’ll enjoy a gentle saunter up and down its quiet streets.

La Redorte is a pretty and leafy town built around a grand Château, which is now a luxury hotel with an excellent restaurant. The town has a supermarket, pharmacy, bakery, butcher and a handful of restaurants. There are usually plenty of moorings either side of the bridge. Note the Argent-Double Spillway just north of the bridge where excess water passes under the arches and falls in the Argent-Double River below.

The small village of Homps, where Le Boat has a base, was for a long time an active trading port where barrels of Minervois and Corbières wine were loaded for their journey to Bordeaux. The waterside buildings testify to these bygone days. There is a grocery store, a small selection of restaurants, a wine shop and a café-bar in the village.

Must see
Minerve

If you’re up for a 12km bike ride (add bike rentals to your booking, or rent them for the day from our Homps base), you can cycle from Homps to Minerve. This is one of France’s most beautiful towns, with charming cobbled streets, a maze of narrow alleys, quaint dwellings and a simple 12th century church. The town is perched high on a rocky promontory with rivers running through deep gorges on either side. It can be reached only by a high bridge and was the site of a famous siege in the medieval age.

Before you reach Argens-Minervois, (or after you leave it if you are heading west), you can get some great views over the village by scaling a short but steep path at Pechlaurier Lock which leads to a look-out. The village itself is overlooked by the square towers of a 14th century château and is a lovely little place to stop, with its narrow cobbled streets to wander around. There are ample public moorings, and there is a grocery store, a café-bar and a restaurant.

The village of Roubia is very pretty with an old stone church and tower, and there’s a grocery store and restaurant in the village.

The village of Paraza has a café-restaurant, a grocery store and a lovely church, Notre-Dame de l’Assomption, which was once located on the path of the canal. Riquet had it dismantled and rebuilt where it stands today. Inside, the nave, the choir and the vaults are adorned with beautiful stencilled decoration dating from the 19th century. There are plenty of public moorings before and after the bridge. To the west of Paraza is the Répudre Aqueduct, the first canal bridge ever built in France and the second in the world!

This tiny village is noted for its waterside wine cellar in the attractive canal-side Château de Ventenac-en-Minervois. Here, local wines can be sampled for free under the arches of its amazing vault. For €2 you can also tour the small museum, ‘Grenier des Vignerons’, which has a collection of tools for growing grapes and winemaking from the 19th century. There are two restaurants right by the moorings.

Must see
Le Somail

Le Somail was once an important harbour for trade and served as a ‘lying’ stop for passengers coming from Sète or from Toulouse. Nowadays, it is a beautiful little Languedoc village, home to some nice restaurants, a couple of artist studios and a grocery store.

A 700m stroll along a tree-lined avenue and into town will take you to a handful of restaurants, a grocery store, a butcher, two bakeries and a café-bar.

Capestang is a small market town with a good range of shops, including a supermarket, three bakeries, several café-bars and restaurants and an impressive 14th century church. The stone bridge over the canal has the reputation of being the lowest on the canal (the lowest is actually in Carcassonne). Its curved shape makes it quite tricky to pass under – so take it slow and steady.

Poilhes is a charming canal-side village with a small shop and a handful of lovely restaurants.

The small, pretty town of Colombiers is a lively place and there is a pleasure port here with fresh water (you’ll need to buy tokens) and an electricity point. There is a supermarket, pharmacy and newsagents right at the port. After a 300m stroll into the village, you’ll find a lovely patisserie, more restaurants and a pretty church. Just to the west of the town you'll come across the Malpas Tunnel, the first canal tunnel in Europe.

Must see
Aerial view of Fonseranes Locks, Canal du Midi

Just outside the city of Béziers you will encounter one of Riquet’s most ingenious engineering solutions, the Fonseranes Locks. It’s a staircase of locks, originally composed of eight chambers in a row, which allowed boats to be raised a height of 21.5m across a distance of 300m. Today, only seven chambers are still in service.

Must see
Béziers

Béziers is the capital of Languedoc’s wine industry and birthplace of Pierre-Paul Riquet, who was responsible for building the Canal du Midi. Like all cities with a long history, Béziers is best discovered by ambling through its medieval streets, its bright squares and its leafy parks.

The large and lively village of Villeneuve-lès-Béziers has very good amenities including several restaurants, bars, and a Spar supermarket. This is an excellent spot to stock up on supplies.

This is a busy little town, but there’s not much to stop for besides the very large Intermarché supermarket, just 200m from the canal. However, you will need to cross a busy main road at an intersection to get there, so please take care. Moor as close as you can to the concrete bridge with green railings. There’s a smaller Spar supermarket in Villeneuve-lès-Béziers if you prefer.

This is a cheery town with a butcher and a couple of nice restaurants. It’s worth stopping at if you find yourself there when a market is on. Otherwise, don’t make any great effort to plan it into your itinerary.

Port Cassafières is a small marina where Le Boat has a base with fresh water and electricity points.

Once a Greek city, a medieval fortress and a rich village during the Renaissance, Agde was largely built using black volcanic rocks. The old town has a lovely little centre with cobbled streets full of pleasant shops, restaurants and buildings with medieval architectural details. It also has a pretty church and a local museum.

This is a busy seaside resort with a plethora of fun activities for kids, including the beach, an aquarium, a fairground and a huge waterpark. It’s about 7km from Agde Round Lock, and 5km from Bagnas Lock (should you choose to cruise further west), so you’ll need to cycle or arrange a taxi either way.

This is a charming little village, worth a stroll around to find the quirky Chapel of St. Roch and Le Calvarie, a pretty, roofed structure of stone walls and arches which is now (or soon to be) a park for the people of the village to share. In the centre, there are a couple of grocery stores, a bakery and several restaurants.

Must see
Canal in Narbonne, Canl du Midi

Narbonne has a rich heritage where grand and ancient buildings sit majestically among a network of clean, modern and lively streets and boulevards. It has a wonderful southern French atmosphere with a Spanish twist. Highlights include the Saint-Just-et-Saint-Pasteur Cathedral (the third tallest in France) and the Archbishop's Palace dating back to the Roman era.

The town of Gruissan is a lively seaside town, full of French character and a rich history. Located 5km away from the canal on the Mediterranean coast, it is definitely worth the effort to get to. Gruissan was originally a fishing village on a small island surrounded by marshland. The narrow streets of old Gruissan village are built around the 13th century castle and form a circular pattern. In recent years, Gruissan has expanded considerably with the development of a modern yachting marina with a bar and restaurants and a casino built along the palm-lined quays.

Known as the island of a thousand scents, this is a nature reserve of exceptional beauty, comprising 825 hectares of peaceful surroundings, breath-taking vistas and abundant wildlife. Walk or cycle in the shade of pine trees on a 3km or a 7km circuit, and look out for wild pigs and deer, as well as amazing bird life.

Port-la-Nouvelle, the last town on the Embranchment de la Nouvelle, is a bustling fishing port. On the seafront you'll find many restaurants and bars, and the beach is wide and sandy - perfect for sunbathing or a day of family fun. Don't forget to try the seafood, it is as fresh as it gets!

Route 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.

Please note: Any route suggestions and itineraries on the Le Boat website are examples only and any of the suggested potential routes, attractions, restaurants, towns, villages or sections of the waterway included in them may not always be open or accessible at time of cruising.

Find out more = Click the arrow icon on each route suggestion, to flip the 'card' and reveal more details.

Canal du Midi

The Naurouze Short Break

Castelnaudary
Avignonet-Lauragais
Gardouch
Villefranche-de-Lauragais
Port-Lauragais
Castelnaudary

11 hr(s) of cruising

52km 18 locks 3 nights

The Naurouze Short Break

Castelnaudary RETURN via Gardouch

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview:

A short return cruise that takes you along a peaceful stretch of the canal with quiet villages, ideal for those looking for a relaxed getaway.

Top highlights:

  • Escape from it all - enjoy tranquil countryside
  • Sample the local wine in peaceful villages
  • Discover fine examples of traditional local churches

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Depart Castelnaudary: The capital of the Cassoulet (a local specialty) try some before you leave. A stroll to the Cugarel windmill for stunning views across the Black Mountains is also worthwhile.
  • Avignonet-Lauragais: A sweet little town perched on a hill with an attractive church, towers and restored watermill to dicsover.
  • Gardouch: Visit the village's beautiful church and eat in one of the excellent restaurants.
  • Villefranche-de-Lauragais: 2km from Renneville Lock, you’ll find a variety of amenities and a fine example of a church with a traditional wall bell-tower.
  • Port-Lauragais: This purpose-built tourist marina has good moorings for the night with a restaurant.
  • Arrive Castelnaudary (again)

11 hr(s) of cruising

52km 18 locks 3 nights
Bram

The Little Midi Cruise

Castelnaudary
Villepinte
Villesèquelande
Trèbes
Carcassonne
Bram
Pexiora
Castelnaudary

21 hr(s) of cruising

104km 48 locks 7 nights

The Little Midi Cruise

Castelnaudary RETURN via Carcassonne

Castelnaudary Return

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Overview:

A week-long return cruise along a peaceful section of the canal that takes in charming small villages on the way to the impressive Carcassonne.

Top highlights:

  • Historic and famous fortress at Carcassonne
  • Escape from it all - enjoy tranquil countryside
  • Enjoy the café-culture of charming canal-side villages
  • Sample the local wine in peaceful villages

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Depart Castelnaudary: The capital of the Cassoulet (a local specialty) try some before you leave. A stroll to the Cugarel windmill for stunning views across the Black Mountains is also worthwhile.
  • Villepinte: You will find all you need in town to replenish your provisions. Upstream of Villepinte Lock, look out for the Mézéran Aqueduct.
  • Villesèquelande: Seek out the pretty church and clock the Sully Elm, planted in the square outside; it is one of the oldest elms still alive in France!
  • Trèbes: Stock up on excellent local produce including wine, olives, jams and confits. Then visit the family friendly Cavayère Lake.
  • Carcassonne: Breath-taking, UNESCO-listed, fortified citadel with 3km of ramparts, a castle, cathedral and shops and restaurants within the city walls.
  • Bram: A pretty and quiet village built on a circular plan with a 13th century church at the heart. Check out the Archaeology Museum to discover more than 4,000 artefacts found onsite or nearby.
  • Pexiora: A delightful 2km walk or cycle from the canal, this quiet village has a bakery and small grocery store.
  • Arrive Castelnaudary (again)

21 hr(s) of cruising

104km 48 locks 7 nights
Toulouse

The Toulouse Cruise

Castelnaudary
Avignonet-Lauragais
Gardouch
Castanet-Tolosan
Toulouse
Montgiscard
Villefranche-de-Lauragais
Port-Lauragais
Castelnaudary

24 hr(s) of cruising

120km 34 locks 7 nights

The Toulouse Cruise

Castelnaudary RETURN via Toulouse

Castelnaudary Return

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Overview:

A week-long return cruise that takes you through tranquil villages on a quieter section of the canal, before you arrive at Toulouse with its cosmopolitan buzz and ample cultural attractions.

Top highlights:

  • Escape from it all - enjoy tranquil countryside
  • Sample the local wine in peaceful villages
  • Vibrant Toulouse with its famous ‘pink’ architecture

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Depart Castelnaudary: The capital of the Cassoulet (a local specialty) try some before you leave. A stroll to the Cugarel windmill for stunning views across the Black Mountains is also worthwhile.
  • Avignonet-Lauragais: A sweet little town perched on a hill with an attractive church, towers and restored watermill to discover.
  • Gardouch: Visit the village's beautiful church and eat in one of the excellent restaurants.
  • Castanet-Tolosan: A short distance from the Canal, Castanet-Tolosan has a busy shopping centre where you will find everything you should need.
  • Toulouse: Fourth largest city in France with a cosmopolitan vibe, strong café culture and a wealth of museums and tourist attractions.
  • Montgiscard: A quiet 13th century town with a gothic church and a good restaurant close to the lock.
  • Villefranche-de-Lauragais: 2km from Renneville Lock, you’ll find a variety of amenities and a fine example of a church with a traditional wall bell-tower.
  • Port-Lauragais: This purpose-built tourist marina has good moorings for the night with a restaurant.
  • Arrive Castelnaudary (again)

24 hr(s) of cruising

120km 34 locks 7 nights
Cafe culture

The Canal du Midi Cruise

Castelnaudary
Pexiora
Villepinte
Bram
Villesèquelande
Carcassonne
Trèbes
Millepetit
Marseillette
La Redorte
Puicheric
Homps

20 hr(s) of cruising

81km 45 locks 7 nights

The Canal du Midi Cruise

Castelnaudary to Homps ONEWAY

Castelnaudary to Homps

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Overview:

A week-long one-way cruise that takes in a good balance of must-see sights (including not-to-be-missed Carcassonne) as well as the quieter parts of the canal.

Top highlights:

  • Escape from it all - enjoy tranquil countryside
  • Historic and famous fortress at Carcassonne
  • Enjoy the café-culture of charming canal-side villages
  • Stunning Minerve – one of France’s most beautiful towns (accessible from Homps)
  • Winetasting at the historic Paraza Chateau

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Depart Castelnaudary: The capital of the Cassoulet (a local specialty) try some before you leave. A stroll to the Cugarel windmill for stunning views across the Black Mountains is also worthwhile.
  • Pexiora: A delightful 2km walk or cycle from the canal, this quiet village has a bakery and small grocery store.
  • Villepinte: You will find all you need in town to replenish your provisions. Upstream of Villepinte Lock, look out for the Mézéran Aqueduct.
  • Bram: A pretty and quiet village built on a circular plan with a 13th century church at the heart. Check out the Archaeology Museum to discover more than 4,000 artefacts found onsite or nearby.
  • Villesèquelande: Seek out the pretty church and clock the Sully Elm, planted I the square outside; it is one of the oldest elms still alive in France!
  • Carcassonne: Breath-taking, UNESCO-listed, fortified citadel with 3km of ramparts, a castle, cathedral and shops and restaurants within the city walls.
  • Trèbes: Stock up on excellent local produce including wine, olives, jams and confits. Then visit the family friendly Cavayère Lake.
  • Millepetit: Stop for a wonderful cooking school – learn how to create classic French cuisine with a modern twist!
  • Marseillette: Famed for growing rice, a clock tower in the centre of Marseillette served as a relay for the first telecommunications network
  • Puichéric: A village full of medieval character with a lovely church and worth a stop if you love watersports – you can hire canoes, kayaks or standup paddle boards and ‘mess about’ on the adjacent River Aude.
  • La Redorte: A pretty and leafy town built around a grand Chateau, now a luxury hotel with an excellent restaurant..
  • Arrive Homps: The small village of Homps, where Le Boat has a base, was for a long time an active trading port where barrels of Minervois and Corbières wine were loaded for their journey to Bordeaux.

20 hr(s) of cruising

81km 45 locks 7 nights
Canal du Midi

The Golden Midi Cruise

Castelnaudary
Pexiora
Villepinte
Bram
Villesèquelande
Carcassonne
Trèbes
Millepetit
Marseillette
Puicheric
La Redorte
Homps
Argens-Minervois
Roubia
Paraza
Ventenac-en-Minervois
Le Somail
Argeliers
Capestang
Poilhes
Colombiers
Fonseranes
Béziers
Villeneuve-lès-Béziers
Cers
Portiragnes
Port Cassafières

33 hr(s) of cruising

157km 63 locks 7 nights

The Golden Midi Cruise

Castelnaudary to Port Cassafières ONEWAY

Castelnaudary naar Port Cassafières

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Overview:

A week-long one-way cruise that takes in most of our Canal du Midi cruising region, all the way from our base Castelnaudary in the west to Port Cassafières in the east.

Top highlights:

  • Sample the regionally famous cassoulet in Castelnaudary
  • Historic and famous fortress at Carcassonne
  • Stop for a wonderful cooking school in Millepetit
  • Winetasting at the historic Paraza Chateau
  • Ascend the The Fonserannes Locks – a marvel of the Midi

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Depart Castelnaudary: The capital of the Cassoulet (a local specialty) try some before you leave. A stroll to the Cugarel windmill for stunning views across the Black Mountains is also worthwhile.
  • Pexiora: A delightful 2km walk or cycle from the canal, this quiet village has a bakery and small grocery store.
  • Villepinte: You will find all you need in town to replenish your provisions. Upstream of Villepinte Lock, look out for the Mézéran Aqueduct.
  • Bram: A pretty and quiet village built on a circular plan with a 13th century church at the heart. Check out the Archaeology Museum to discover more than 4,000 artefacts found onsite or nearby.
  • Villesèquelande: Seek out the pretty church and clock the Sully Elm, planted in the square outside; it is one of the oldest elms still alive in France!
  • Carcassonne: Breath-taking, UNESCO-listed, fortified citadel with 3km of ramparts, a castle, cathedral and shops and restaurants within the city walls.
  • Trèbes: Stock up on excellent local produce including wine, olives, jams and confits. Then visit the family friendly Cavayère Lake. 
  • Millepetit: Stop for a wonderful cooking school – learn how to create classic French cuisine with a modern twist!
  • Marseillette: Famed for growing rice, a clock tower in the centre of Marseillette served as a relay for the first telecommunications network
  • Puichéric: A village full of medieval character with a lovely church and worth a stop if you love watersports – you can hire canoes, kayaks or standup paddle boards and ‘mess about’ on the adjacent River Aude.
  • La Redorte: A pretty and leafy town built around a grand Chateau, now a luxury hotel with an excellent restaurant..
  • Homps: The small village of Homps, where Le Boat has a base, was for a long time an active trading port where barrels of Minervois and Corbières wine were loaded for their journey to Bordeaux. 
  • Argens-Minervois: Home to a 14th century château and cobbled streets, this is a lovely place to stop and enjoy the ample cafés and restaurants.
  • Roubia: Roubia is very pretty with an old stone church and tower, there’s also a grocery store and restaurant in the village.
  • Paraza: Small village famed for its Chateau which produces excellent wine. Stop for a wine tour and tasting.
  • Ventenac-en-Minervois: This village is noted for its waterside wine cellar in the canal-side Château de Ventenac-en-Minervois. Visit, and sample local wines for free.
  • Le Somail: Enjoy al-fresco dining in one of the fabulous canal-side restaurant in this popular and very pretty village. Check out the books and the antique bookshop
  • Argeliers: A 700m stroll along a tree-lined avenue and into town will take you to a handful of restaurants, a grocery store, a butcher, two bakeries and a café-bar.
  • Capestang: A small market town to stock up on provisions. Enjoy passing under the stone bridge, which is one of the lowest on the canal!
  • Poilhes: Poilhes is a charming canal-side village with a small shop and a handful of lovely restaurants
  • Colombiers: A lively place, just to the west of the town you'll come across the Malpas Tunnel, the first canal tunnel in Europe.
  • The Fonserannes Locks: Delight in ascending or descending the seven chambered Fonserannes Locks – one of the marvels of the Midi.
  • Béziers: The birthplace of Pierre-Paul Riquet, the engineer behind the Canal du Midi. Wander Béziers’s medieval streets, bright squares and leafy parks.
  • Villeneuve-lès-Béziers: The large and lively village of Villeneuve-lès-Béziers has great restaurants and bars. It is also an excellent spot to stock up on supplies.
  • Cers: A busy little town, but there’s not much to stop for besides the very large Intermarché.
  • Portiragnes: A cheery town, stop here for the Monday morning and Tuesday morning markets.
  • Arrive Port Cassafières: Port Cassafières is a small marina where Le Boat has a base with fresh water and electricity points.

33 hr(s) of cruising

157km 63 locks 7 nights
Castelnaudary to Trèbes

The Medieval Short Break

Castelnaudary
Pexiora
Villepinte
Bram
Villesèquelande
Carcassonne
Trèbes

14 hr(s) of cruising

52km 31 locks 4 nights

The Medieval Short Break

Castelnaudary to Trèbes ONEWAY

Castelnaudary to Trèbes

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Overview:

A short one-way cruise, that takes you past pretty quiet villages on your way to the magnificent Carcassonne

Top highlights:

  • Escape from it all - enjoy tranquil countryside
  • Sample the local wine in peaceful villages
  • Enjoy the café-culture of charming canal-side villages
  • Historic and famous fortress at Carcassonne

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Depart Castelnaudary: The capital of the Cassoulet (a local specialty) try some before you leave. A stroll to the Cugarel windmill for stunning views across the Black Mountains is also worthwhile.
  • Pexiora: A delightful 2km walk or cycle from the canal, this quiet village has a bakery and small grocery store.
  • Villepinte: You will find all you need in town to replenish your provisions. Upstream of Villepinte Lock, look out for the Mézéran Aqueduct.
  • Bram: A pretty and quiet village built on a circular plan with a 13th century church at the heart. Check out the Archaeology Museum to discover more than 4,000 artefacts found onsite or nearby.
  • Villesèquelande: Seek out the pretty church and clock the Sully Elm, planted in the square outside; it is one of the oldest elms still alive in France!
  • Carcassonne: Breath-taking, UNESCO-listed, fortified citadel with 3km of ramparts, a castle, cathedral and shops and restaurants within the city walls.
  • Arrive Trèbes: Stock up on excellent local produce including wine, olives, jams and confits. Then visit the family friendly Cavayère Lake. 

14 hr(s) of cruising

52km 31 locks 4 nights
Wine tasting

The Languedoc Short Break

Homps
Roubia
Ventenac-en-Minervois
Le Somail
Paraza
Argens-Minervois
Homps

11 hr(s) of cruising

40km 12 locks 3 nights

The Languedoc Short Break

Homps RETURN via Le Somail

Homps RETURN via Le Somail

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Overview:

A short return cruise along a section of the Midi with lots to see and to do on your way to beautiful little Languedoc village of Le Somail.

Top highlights:

  • Charming Argens-Minervois, with its cobbled streets and château
  • Winetasting at the historic Paraza Chateau
  • Ventenac-en-Minervois' waterside wine cellar
  • The idyllic village of Le Somail
  • Stunning Minerve – one of France’s most beautiful towns (accessible from Homps)

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Depart Homps: The small village of Homps, where Le Boat has a base, was for a long time an active trading port where barrels of Minervois and Corbières wine were loaded for their journey to Bordeaux. 
  • Roubia: Roubia is very pretty with an old stone church and tower, there’s also a grocery store and restaurant in the village.
  • Ventenac-en-Minervois: This village is noted for its waterside wine cellar in the canal-side Château de Ventenac-en-Minervois. Visit, and sample local wines for free.
  • Le Somail: Enjoy al-fresco dining in one of the fabulous canal-side restaurant in this popular and very pretty village. Check out the books and the antique bookshop.
  • Paraza: Small village famed for its Chateau which produces excellent wine. Stop for a wine tour and tasting.
  • Argens-Minervois: Home to a 14th century château and cobbled streets, this is a lovely place to stop and enjoy the ample cafés and restaurants.
  • Arrive Homps (again)

11 hr(s) of cruising

40km 12 locks 3 nights
Chateau Les Carrasses

The Languedoc Vineyards Cruise

Homps
Puicheric
Millepetit
Carcassonne
Marseillette
La Redorte
Trèbes
Homps

20 hr(s) of cruising

80km 42 locks 7 nights

The Languedoc Vineyards Cruise

Homps RETURN via Carcassonne

Homps RETURN via Carcassonne

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Overview:

A week-long return cruise past some of the top sites on the Midi to the historic fortress of Carcassonne and back.

Top highlights:

  • Historic and famous fortress at Carcassonne
  • Stop for a wonderful cooking school in Millepetit
  • Enjoy the café-culture of charming canal-side villages
  • Stunning Minerve – one of France’s most beautiful towns (accessible from Homps)

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Depart Homps: The small village of Homps, where Le Boat has a base, was for a long time an active trading port where barrels of Minervois and Corbières wine were loaded for their journey to Bordeaux. 
  • Puichéric: A village full of medieval character with a lovely church and worth a stop if you love watersports – you can hire canoes, kayaks or standup paddle boards and ‘mess about’ on the adjacent River Aude.
  • Millepetit: Stop for a wonderful cooking school – learn how to create classic French cuisine with a modern twist!
  • Carcassonne: Breath-taking, UNESCO-listed, fortified citadel with 3km of ramparts, a castle, cathedral and shops and restaurants within the city walls.
  • Trèbes: Stock up on excellent local produce including wine, olives, jams and confits. Then visit the family friendly Cavayère Lake.
  • Marseillette: Famed for growing rice, a clock tower in the centre of Marseillette served as a relay for the first telecommunications network
  • La Redorte: A pretty and leafy town built around a grand Chateau, now a luxury hotel with an excellent restaurant.
  • Arrive Homps (again)

20 hr(s) of cruising

80km 42 locks 7 nights
Béziers

The Classic Midi Cruise

Homps
Argens-Minervois
Roubia
Paraza
Ventenac-en-Minervois
Le Somail
Argeliers
Capestang
Poilhes
Colombiers
Fonseranes
Béziers
Villeneuve-lès-Béziers
Cers
Portiragnes
Port Cassafières

13 hr(s) of cruising

77km 18 locks 7 nights

The Classic Midi Cruise

Homps to Port Cassafières ONEWAY

Homps to Port Cassafières

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Overview:

A week-long one-way cruise along an action packed section of the canal, taking in idyllic villages and the engineering marvels of the Malpas Tunnel and the Fonserannes Locks.

Top highlights:

  • Ventenac-en-Minervois' waterside wine cellar
  • The idyllic village of Le Somail
  • The Malpas Tunnel, built in just eight days and the first canal tunnel in Europe
  • Ascend the The Fonserannes Locks – a marvel of the Midi
  • Béziers, the birthplace of Pierre-Paul Riquet, the engineer behind the Canal du Midi

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Depart Homps: The small village of Homps, where Le Boat has a base, was for a long time an active trading port where barrels of Minervois and Corbières wine were loaded for their journey to Bordeaux. 
  • Argens-Minervois: Home to a 14th century château and cobbled streets, this is a lovely place to stop and enjoy the ample cafés and restaurants.
  • Roubia: Roubia is very pretty with an old stone church and tower, there’s also a grocery store and restaurant in the village.
  • Paraza: Small village famed for its Chateau which produces excellent wine. Stop for a wine tour and tasting.
  • Ventenac-en-Minervois: This village is noted for its waterside wine cellar in the canal-side Château de Ventenac-en-Minervois. Visit, and sample local wines for free.
  • Le Somail: Enjoy al-fresco dining in one of the fabulous canal-side restaurant in this popular and very pretty village. Check out the books and the antique bookshop
  • Argeliers: A 700m stroll along a tree-lined avenue and into town will take you to a handful of restaurants, a grocery store, a butcher, two bakeries and a café-bar.
  • Capestang: A small market town to stock up on provisions. Enjoy passing under the stone bridge, which is one of the lowest on the canal!
  • Poilhes: Poilhes is a charming canal-side village with a small shop and a handful of lovely restaurants
  • Colombiers: A lively place, just to the west of the town you'll come across the Malpas Tunnel, the first canal tunnel in Europe.
  • The Fonserannes Locks: Delight in ascending or descending the seven chambered Fonserannes Locks – one of the marvels of the Midi.
  • Béziers: The birthplace of Pierre-Paul Riquet, the engineer behind the Canal du Midi. Wander Béziers’s medieval streets, bright squares and leafy parks.
  • Villeneuve-lès-Béziers: The large and lively village of Villeneuve-lès-Béziers has great restaurants and bars. It is also an excellent spot to stock up on supplies.
  • Cers: A busy little town, but there’s not much to stop for besides the very large Intermarché.
  • Portiragnes: A cheery town, stop here for the Monday morning and Tuesday morning markets.
  • Arrive Port Cassafières: Port Cassafières is a small marina where Le Boat has a base with fresh water and electricity points.

13 hr(s) of cruising

77km 18 locks 7 nights
Child on deck of Horizon

The Cathar Short Break

Homps
La Redorte
Puicheric
Marseillette
Millepetit
Carcassonne
Trèbes

13 hr(s) of cruising

52km 28 locks 4 nights

The Cathar Short Break

Homps to Trèbes via Carcassonne ONEWAY

Homps to Trèbes via Carcassonne

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Overview:

A short one-way cruise perfect for those travelling with kids. Visit Cavayère Lake and Carcassonne for family fun that is sure to keep the little ones (and big ones) entertained.

Top highlights:

  • Stunning Minerve – one of France’s most beautiful towns (accessible from Homps)
  • Family fun at Cavayère Lake (accessible from Trèbes)
  • Stop for a wonderful cooking school in Millepetit
  • Historic and famous fortress at Carcassonne

Example itinerary:

  • Depart Homps: The small village of Homps, where Le Boat has a base, was for a long time an active trading port where barrels of Minervois and Corbières wine were loaded for their journey to Bordeaux. 
  • La Redorte: A pretty and leafy town built around a grand Chateau, now a luxury hotel with an excellent restaurant..
  • Puichéric: A village full of medieval character with a lovely church and worth a stop if you love watersports – you can hire canoes, kayaks or standup paddle boards and ‘mess about’ on the adjacent River Aude.
  • Marseillette: Famed for growing rice, a clock tower in the centre of Marseillette served as a relay for the first telecommunications network
  • Millepetit: Stop for a wonderful cooking school – learn how to create classic French cuisine with a modern twist!
  • Carcassonne: Breath-taking, UNESCO-listed, fortified citadel with 3km of ramparts, a castle, cathedral and shops and restaurants within the city walls.
  • Arrive Trèbes: Stock up on excellent local produce including wine, olives, jams and confits. Then visit the family friendly Cavayère Lake. 

13 hr(s) of cruising

52km 28 locks 4 nights
Archbishop's Palace

The Cathar Cruise

Homps
Roubia
Ventenac-en-Minervois
Sallèles d'Aude
Narbonne
Le Somail
Paraza
Argens-Minervois
La Redorte
Puicheric
Marseillette
Millepetit
Carcassonne
Trèbes

29 hr(s) of cruising

120km 51 locks 7 nights

The Cathar Cruise

Homps to Trèbes via Narbonne & Carcassonne ONEWAY

Homps to Trèbes via Narbonne & Carcassonne

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Overview:

A week-long one-way cruise that lets you explore both the Canal du Midi and the Embranchment de la Nouvelle.

Top highlights:

  • Winetasting at the historic Paraza Chateau
  • The idyllic village of Le Somail
  • Roman Narbonne with its impressive Cathedral and Archbishop’s Palace
  • Stop for a wonderful cooking school in Millepetit
  • Historic and famous fortress at Carcassonne

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Depart Homps: The small village of Homps, where Le Boat has a base, was for a long time an active trading port where barrels of Minervois and Corbières wine were loaded for their journey to Bordeaux. 
  • Roubia: Roubia is very pretty with an old stone church and tower, there’s also a grocery store and restaurant in the village.
  • Ventenac-en-Minervois: This village is noted for its waterside wine cellar in the canal-side Château de Ventenac-en-Minervois. Visit, and sample local wines for free.
  • Sallèles d'Aude: Stroll around to find the quirky Chapel of St. Roch and Le Calvarie, then enjoy the village’s several restaurants.
  • Narbonne: Enjoy a wonderful southern French atmosphere with a Spanish twist. Visit the Saint-Just-et-Saint-Pasteur Cathedral (the third tallest in France) and the Archbishop's Palace.
  • Le Somail: Enjoy al-fresco dining in one of the fabulous canal-side restaurant in this popular and very pretty village. Check out the books and the antique bookshop
  • Paraza: Small village famed for its Chateau which produces excellent wine. Stop for a wine tour and tasting.
  • Argens-Minervois: Home to a 14th century château and cobbled streets, this is a lovely place to stop and enjoy the ample cafés and restaurants.
  • La Redorte: A pretty and leafy town built around a grand Chateau, now a luxury hotel with an excellent restaurant.
  • Puichéric: A village full of medieval character with a lovely church and worth a stop if you love watersports – you can hire canoes, kayaks or standup paddle boards and ‘mess about’ on the adjacent River Aude.
  • Marseillette: Famed for growing rice, a clock tower in the centre of Marseillette served as a relay for the first telecommunications network
  • Millepetit: Stop for a wonderful cooking school – learn how to create classic French cuisine with a modern twist!
  • Carcassonne: Breath-taking, UNESCO-listed, fortified citadel with 3km of ramparts, a castle, cathedral and shops and restaurants within the city walls.
  • Arrive Trèbes: Stock up on excellent local produce including wine, olives, jams and confits. Then visit the family friendly Cavayère Lake.

29 hr(s) of cruising

120km 51 locks 7 nights
Narbonne beach

The Sunshine Cruise

Port Cassafières
Cers
Béziers
Colombiers
Capestang
Narbonne
Sallèles d'Aude
Le Somail
Argeliers
Poilhes
Fonseranes
Villeneuve-lès-Béziers
Portiragnes
Port Cassafières

27 hr(s) of cruising

128km 44 locks 7 nights

The Sunshine Cruise

Port Cassafières RETURN via Narbonne

Port Cassafières RETURN via Narbonne

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Overview:

A week-long return cruise past quiet villages and historic sites, all within short distance of Mediterranean beaches.

Top highlights:

  • The golden sands of the Mediterranean
  • Béziers, the birthplace of Pierre-Paul Riquet, the engineer behind the Canal du Midi
  • Descend the The Fonserannes Locks – a marvel of the Midi
  • The Malpas Tunnel, built in just eight days and the first canal tunnel in Europe
  • Roman Narbonne with its impressive Cathedral and Archbishop’s Palace

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Depart Port Cassafières: Port Cassafières is a small marina where Le Boat has a base with fresh water and electricity points.
  • Cers: A busy little town, but there’s not much to stop for besides the very large Intermarché.
  • Béziers: The birthplace of Pierre-Paul Riquet, the engineer behind the Canal du Midi. Wander Béziers’s medieval streets, bright squares and leafy parks.
  • Colombiers: A lively place, just to the west of the town you'll come across the Malpas Tunnel, the first canal tunnel in Europe.
  • Capestang: A small market town to stock up on provisions. Enjoy passing under the stone bridge, which is one of the lowest on the canal!
  • Narbonne: Enjoy a wonderful southern French atmosphere with a Spanish twist. Visit the Saint-Just-et-Saint-Pasteur Cathedral (the third tallest in France) and the Archbishop's Palace.
  • Sallèles d'Aude: Stroll around to find the quirky Chapel of St. Roch and Le Calvarie, then enjoy the village’s several restaurants.
  • Le Somail: Enjoy al-fresco dining in one of the fabulous canal-side restaurant in this popular and very pretty village. Check out the books and the antique bookshop.
  • Argeliers: A 700m stroll along a tree-lined avenue and into town will take you to a handful of restaurants, a grocery store, a butcher, two bakeries and a café-bar.
  • Poilhes: Poilhes is a charming canal-side village with a small shop and a handful of lovely restaurants
  • The Fonserannes Locks: Delight in ascending or descending the seven chambered Fonserannes Locks – one of the marvels of the Midi.
  • Villeneuve-lès-Béziers: The large and lively village of Villeneuve-lès-Béziers has great restaurants and bars. It is also an excellent spot to stock up on supplies.
  • Portiragnes: A cheery town, stop here for the Monday morning and Tuesday morning markets.
  • Arrive Port Cassafières (again)

27 hr(s) of cruising

128km 44 locks 7 nights
Family cruising

The Medieval Cruise

Trèbes
Marseillette
La Redorte
Argens-Minervois
Homps
Puicheric
Millepetit
Carcassonne
Villesèquelande
Bram
Villepinte
Pexiora
Castelnaudary

32 hr(s) of cruising

118km 53 locks 7 nights

The Medieval Cruise

Trèbes to Castelnaudary via Argens-Minervois ONEWAY

Trèbes to Castelnaudary via Argens-Minervois

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Overview:

A week-long one-way cruise that takes in some of the Midi’s top sites, as well as some of the peaceful villages that line the banks.

Top highlights:

  • Family fun at Cavayère Lake (accessible from Trèbes)
  • Historic and famous fortress at Carcassonne
  • Stunning Minerve – one of France’s most beautiful towns (accessible from Homps)
  • Pretty Bram, laid out on a circular town-plan
  • Sample the regionally famous cassoulet in Castelnaudary

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Depart Trèbes: Stock up on excellent local produce including wine, olives, jams and confits. Then visit the family friendly Cavayère Lake.
  • Marseillette: Famed for growing rice, a clock tower in the centre of Marseillette served as a relay for the first telecommunications network.
  • La Redorte: A pretty and leafy town built around a grand Chateau, now a luxury hotel with an excellent restaurant.
  • Argens-Minervois: Home to a 14th century château and cobbled streets, this is a lovely place to stop and enjoy the ample cafés and restaurants.
  • Homps: The small village of Homps, where Le Boat has a base, was for a long time an active trading port where barrels of Minervois and Corbières wine were loaded for their journey to Bordeaux.
  • Puichéric: A village full of medieval character with a lovely church and worth a stop if you love watersports – you can hire canoes, kayaks or standup paddle boards and ‘mess about’ on the adjacent River Aude.
  • Millepetit: Stop for a wonderful cooking school – learn how to create classic French cuisine with a modern twist!
  • Carcassonne: Breath-taking, UNESCO-listed, fortified citadel with 3km of ramparts, a castle, cathedral and shops and restaurants within the city walls.
  • Villesèquelande: Seek out the pretty church and clock the Sully Elm, planted I the square outside; it is one of the oldest elms still alive in France!
  • Bram: A pretty and quiet village built on a circular plan with a 13th century church at the heart. Check out the Archaeology Museum to discover more than 4,000 artefacts found onsite or nearby.
  • Villepinte: You will find all you need in town to replenish your provisions. Upstream of Villepinte Lock, look out for the Mézéran Aqueduct.
  • Pexiora: A delightful 2km walk or cycle from the canal, this quiet village has a bakery and small grocery store.
  • Arrive Castelnaudary: The capital of the Cassoulet (a local specialty) try some before you leave. A stroll to the Cugarel windmill for stunning views across the Black Mountains is also worthwhile.

32 hr(s) of cruising

118km 53 locks 7 nights
Cite de Carcassonne

The Carcassonne Short Break

Trèbes
Carcassonne
Trèbes

7 hr(s) of cruising

26km 12 locks 3 nights

The Carcassonne Short Break

Trèbes RETURN via Carcassonne

Trèbes RETURN via Carcassonne

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Overview:

A short return cruise ideal for those looking to visit the magnificent citadel of Carcassonne - the biggest medieval construction in all of Europe.

Top highlights:

  • Historic and famous fortress at Carcassonne
  • Family fun at Cavayère Lake (accessible from Trèbes)

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Depart Trèbes: Stock up on excellent local produce including wine, olives, jams and confits. Then visit the family friendly Cavayère Lake.
  • Carcassonne: Breath-taking, UNESCO-listed, fortified citadel with 3km of ramparts, a castle, cathedral and shops and restaurants within the city walls.
  • Arrive Trèbes (again)

7 hr(s) of cruising

26km 12 locks 3 nights
Fonserannes locks

The Pierre-Paul Riquet Cruise

Trèbes
Carcassonne
Millepetit
Puicheric
Homps
Roubia
Ventenac-en-Minervois
Capestang
Colombiers
Fonseranes
Béziers
Poilhes
Argeliers
Le Somail
Paraza
Argens-Minervois
La Redorte
Marseillette
Trèbes

36 hr(s) of cruising

180km 58 locks 10 nights

The Pierre-Paul Riquet Cruise

Trèbes RETURN via Béziers

Trèbes RETURN via Béziers

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Overview:

A week-long return cruise that takes you past the Midi’s most impressive engineering feats at the Malpas Tunnel and the Fonserannes Locks. All on the way to ancient town of Béziers – birthplace of Pierre-Paul Riquet, the engineer behind the Canal du Midi.

Top highlights:

  • Historic and famous fortress at Carcassonne
  • Stunning Minerve – one of France’s most beautiful towns (accessible from Homps)
  • The Malpas Tunnel, built in just eight days and the first canal tunnel in Europe
  • Ascend the The Fonserannes Locks – a marvel of the Midi
  • Béziers, the birthplace of Pierre-Paul Riquet, the engineer behind the Canal du Midi

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Depart Trèbes: Stock up on excellent local produce including wine, olives, jams and confits. Then visit the family friendly Cavayère Lake.
  • Carcassonne: Breath-taking, UNESCO-listed, fortified citadel with 3km of ramparts, a castle, cathedral and shops and restaurants within the city walls.
  • Millepetit: Stop for a wonderful cooking school – learn how to create classic French cuisine with a modern twist!
  • Puichéric: A village full of medieval character with a lovely church and worth a stop if you love watersports – you can hire canoes, kayaks or standup paddle boards and ‘mess about’ on the adjacent River Aude.
  • Homps: The small village of Homps, where Le Boat has a base, was for a long time an active trading port where barrels of Minervois and Corbières wine were loaded for their journey to Bordeaux.
  • Roubia: Roubia is very pretty with an old stone church and tower, there’s also a grocery store and restaurant in the village.
  • Ventenac-en-Minervois: This village is noted for its waterside wine cellar in the canal-side Château de Ventenac-en-Minervois. Visit, and sample local wines for free.
  • Capestang: A small market town to stock up on provisions. Enjoy passing under the stone bridge, which is one of the lowest on the canal!
  • Colombiers: A lively place, just to the west of the town you'll come across the Malpas Tunnel, the first canal tunnel in Europe.
  • The Fonserannes Locks: Delight in ascending or descending the seven chambered Fonserannes Locks – one of the marvels of the Midi.
  • Béziers: The birthplace of Pierre-Paul Riquet, the engineer behind the Canal du Midi. Wander Béziers’s medieval streets, bright squares and leafy parks.
  • Poilhes: Poilhes is a charming canal-side village with a small shop and a handful of lovely restaurants.
  • Argeliers: A 700m stroll along a tree-lined avenue and into town will take you to a handful of restaurants, a grocery store, a butcher, two bakeries and a café-bar.
  • Le Somail: Enjoy al-fresco dining in one of the fabulous canal-side restaurant in this popular and very pretty village. Check out the books and the antique bookshop.
  • Paraza: Small village famed for its Chateau which produces excellent wine. Stop for a wine tour and tasting.
  • Argens-Minervois: Home to a 14th century château and cobbled streets, this is a lovely place to stop and enjoy the ample cafés and restaurants.
  • La Redorte: A pretty and leafy town built around a grand Chateau, now a luxury hotel with an excellent restaurant.
  • Marseillette: Famed for growing rice, a clock tower in the centre of Marseillette served as a relay for the first telecommunications network.
  • Arrive Trèbes (again)

36 hr(s) of cruising

180km 58 locks 10 nights

Our Feefo reviews

Feefo is an independent and impartial review service that requests reviews directly from those who have been on a Le Boat vacation. Below you can read what our past customers think about their Le Boat experience, and trust that what you read is unfiltered, unedited and uncensored.

Added on 10 October 2022

Graeme Spencer said

We found Le Boat on the Internet and took the plunge by calling Marcus who is based in France and this was able to guide us to what best suited our needs and expectations. We decided upon a 10 day cruise and pick the boat up in Trebes before returning it in Port Cassfieres. The route was marvellous as was the food and plonk along the way but perhaps it’s equally important the horizon three that we had hired was spotless inside and extremely comfortable for four people but could have easily catered for six. We pick the boat up right at the very end of the season and outwardly it appeared somewhat tired however inside and mechanically everything was perfect including the initial handover and return. We would certainly recommend Le Boat and we would use them again. Great cruise, easy navigable.
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Trèbes - Port Cassafières
Horizon 3
Added on 8 October 2022

Rachel Leblanc said

We had a wonderful trip with Le Boat. The instructions at the boat yard were very helpful. They're location in Castelnaudary was convenient to the train. There was easy access to groceries (plus delivery!). The office was also helpful when we had an issue with the boat, resolving it quickly so we could continue to enjoy our holiday. The Canal du Midi is beautiful. It is the perfect getaway when you need to slow down and just relax. There is also enough activity with the locks to keep everyone engaged. We would highly recommend! The one-way itinerary was worth it. We got to see so much more and had an opportunity to explore new small towns throughout the week.
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Good Afternoon Rachel, Thank you for taking the time to provide a five-star review of your boating vacation on the Canal du Midi. We are happy to hear that you not only received excellent customer service and helpful instructions, but that you found the location of the base easily accessible from the train and amenities! We are so glad to hear you enjoyed the destination and all that it has to offer. We look forward to welcoming you on board again soon! Best Wishes, Le Boat Team
Castelnaudary - Homps
Horizon 5
Added on 5 October 2022

Kevin Knights said

Excellent staff, clean boat, great training. The sun shone and everybody was extremely friendly and helpful. Self planned holiday. Useful link with Spar for food shopping
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Castelnaudary - Castelnaudary
Countess
Added on 3 October 2022

Jim Young said

Slow at the beginning, quick at the end. Boat was great. Bow and stern thrusters were a lifesaver. Everything worked pretty well.. wifi was borderline
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Good Afternoon Jim, Thank you for your five-star review of your boating holiday on the Canal du Midi. We are pleased that overall you enjoyed your trip and we look forward to welcoming you on board again in the future. Best Wishes, Le Boat Team
Homps - Port Cassafières
Vision 4 SL
Added on 2 October 2022

Gary Franklin said

Great trip, knowledgeable staff, old map books should be replaced for the amount we spent!
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Good day Gary, Thank you so much for taking the time to provide a five-star review of your boating vacation on the Canal du Midi! We are very pleased to hear that you would recommend a Le Boat vacation based on your recent experience. We also appreciate your feedback about the age map books we provide and we will make sure this feedback gets back to our content teams and the base teams. We look forward to welcoming you on board again in the future! Best Wishes, Le Boat Team
Castelnaudary - Port Cassafières
Horizon 1
Added on 21 September 2022

A customer said

Easy to Book and clear instructions. Pre cruising briefing was concise and the person doing the briefing was very knowledgeable. Costing was clear and checking in/out was very easy. Great place to visit with a good choice of restaurants close to the canal. Easy to hook the boat up to power and water.
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Good Afternoon, Thank you for taking the time to write a 5-star review of your experience. We pride ourselves on delivering excellent customer service therefore we are delighted to hear that the handover went smoothly and everything was clear. We look forward to welcoming you on board again soon. The Le Boat Team
Trèbes - Trèbes
Caprice
Added on 21 September 2022

Colleen Raison said

Very late start at base. Missed almost all of first day of vacation because of this.
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Good Day Colleen, Thank you for your review of your boating holiday on the Canal du Midi. We thank you for your honest feedback and letting us know about the late start at the base. We do try to be clear about the fact that our Vision Boats are quite large and they do take longer to clean and prep and because of this we cannot even provide clients with the Early Check-in Extra. Often boaters will plan to stay at the base on the first evening and explore the town before heading out early the next day. Sorry if this was not clear in our pre-planning communications. We do hope we can welcome you on board again in the future! Best Wishes, Le Boat Team
Castelnaudary - Port Cassafières
Vision 3 SL
Added on 17 September 2022

Rory Mcmillan said

First class
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Good Day Rory, Thank you very much for your five-star review of your boating holiday on the Canal du Midi. We are pleased that to hear that you had an enjoyable experience and that you received nothing short of wonderful service from our base team in Castelnaudary. We look forward to welcoming you on board again soon! Best Wishes, Le Boat Team
Castelnaudary - Castelnaudary
Vision 4 SL
Added on 16 September 2022

A customer said

Execellent service at all stages. Would certainly recommend and buy again
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Good Morning, Thank you for taking the time to write a 5-star review of your Le Boat experience. We pride ourselves on delivering excellent customer service and we are delighted to hear that you received that throughout your experience with us. We look forward to welcoming you on board again soon. The Le Boat Team
Port Cassafières - Trèbes
Horizon 3
Added on 4 September 2022

Peter Lochner said

When we finally sailed, it was our 4th booking - others postponed due to Covid. We regularly dealt with your Cape Town office, who were exceptionally friendly & efficient. Our experience at both Homps & Port Cassafieres were friendly and helpful. It certainly helped that, to our great delight, we were upgraded from the Magnifique to the Horizon 5, which turned out to be fantastic. Can't fault them - friendly, efficient and accommodating!
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Good day Peter, Thank you for your five-star review of your boating holiday on the Canal du Midi. We are so happy to hear that you were finally able to go on your fourth trip with us since being postponed due to Covid. We pride ourselves in delivering excellent customer service and we are glad to hear you received just that from both our Cape Town sales team and the base teams in Homps and Port Cassafieres. We are also glad to hear that you enjoyed your upgraded experience on the Horizon 5. We look forward to welcoming you back on board in the near future! Best wishes, Le Boat Team
Homps - Port Cassafières
Horizon 5