Barging on the Canal du Midi in Southern France:
An 8 Day Tour
You will discover a marvelous blend of ancient Gallo-Roman and traditional influences reflected throughout this very historic region. Explore this further with local guides when you visit the medieval walled city of Carcassonne, the cathar stronghold of Minerve or the Ruins of Enserune.
The Canal du Midi was built in the 1600's connecting the Mediterranean to another canal that leads to the Atlantic. An architectural feat, the canal, its locks, and scenery around are simply amazing.
Our cruise takes place aboard a charming 12 passenger vessel: Le Haricot Noir (The Black Bean), which has been cruising since the late 1800 as a commercial barge. It was lovingly restored a few years ago as a leisure barge by our captains Pierre & Yvette Gaudry, who have owned it for 40 years.
Midi cuisine is a delicious combination of Provençale and Mediterranean flavors. Fresh seafood and regional specialties, paired with the excellent local Minervois wines, produce an unforgettable repertoire of gastronomic experiences.
Even though this barge can accommodate 12 passengers, we prefer to welcome 3 pairs only for your comfort's sake. (Private baths in three rooms).
Your Tour Includes:
- Seven nights on the barge
- Breakfast every morning
- Most lunches
- Afternoon snacks (gouter)
- Day trips listed
- Services of a tour director 24/7
- Services of local historians/guides
- Museum entry fees
Note that train transfer from Paris to Agde and back are additional.
Your Adventure Awaits:
Day 1: Travel day
We’ll see you on the other side of the Atlantic.
Day 2: Arrival in Agde
Meet in the city of Agde in Southern France at 5:00 p.m at the barge. If you need train ticket booking from Paris, please let us know, so we can make arrangements for you. Trains depart from Gare de Lyon train station, there are several per day, some with a direct ride, some with a change of train. We could also meet in Paris and take the train together if you wish, to make this adventure as stress-less as possible. Once on board, meet our captain for an orientation to the barge. Dinner in Agde, a short walk from the Canal.
Day 3: The 7 locks and Colombiers
Breakfast on board, then it’s time to start gliding on the Canal du Midi. Today will be a leisurely day to help us recover from jet-lag. We will go past the town of Beziers, and go through various locks. Possibility to walk along the Canal. Specular string of 7 locks as we go up hill, along the Canal. Lunch onboard. Evening in Colombiers village. Dinner in local restaurant “Au Lavoir” (the Wash-house, or Bistro de Colombiers).
Day 4: Opidum of Enserune and Capestang
Breakfast onboard. Cruising starts at 9:00 a.m. If you wish to go for a run or a walk before breakfast, feel free to do so. Today we will make a stop at mid-day, and hike to the Ruins of the Opidum of Enserune to visit the remains of a Gallo-Roman village, dating back to 600 BC. Guided museum visit. Picnic lunch in open air. Return to the barge to pick up bicycles for a spin to the village of Nissan, if you wish. Be prepared for a few hills. Upon return, we will barge again, until evening time. Dinner at a local restaurant in the village of Capestang: “la Galiniere”, or “La Table du Vigneron” (The Vintner’s table), whichever is open.
Day 5: L'Oulibo, Le Somail and Ventenac.
Breakfast on board. Cruise at 9:00 a.m., walk, bike along the Canal. Stop for lunch outside the barge in a little café along the Canal. Biking to ‘L’Oulibo” for an olive oil tasting and guided visit. Return on the barge for more cruising. Stop at Le Somail village for a gelato if you wish. Visit of local artisans and a treasure filled “used books” store (Books in French, English, German, etc… in addition to old prints and old treasures). Cruise to Ventenac. Dinner at “La Grillade”.
Day 6: Minerve
Breakfast on board, visit of the Chateau Ventenac wine warehouse, museum and wine tasting if you wish. Afternoon visit of Minerve, a lovely UNESCO listed mountain village. Guided visit with local historian. Cruising to La Redote village for the night. Dinner along the Canal at “La table de Riquet”. (Named after the architect who designed the Canal du Midi in the 1600’s).
Day 7: Trebes
Breakfast on board. Cruising for a while. Walk between locks or bike among vineyards. Night in Trebes. Guided visit of the village of Trebes. Dinner “Au Moulin” (The Mill), along the Canal.
Day 8: Carcassonne
Breakfast on board. Float to Carcassonne. Arrive in Carcassonne after lunch. Afternoon guided tour of the Medieval city of Carcassonne another UNESCO listed destination, also recently listed as #2 best walled city in the world by Trip Advisor in May 12, 2019 article. (#1 is Dubrovnik in Croatia). Paella or cassoulet dinner on board prepared by our captain. Free evening in Carcassonne to do as you please.
Day 9: Homeward bound.
Barging over after breakfast. We will escort you to the train station for your return to Paris. Au revoir et merci!
Departure: June & September 2019
*Barge package based on double occupancy, airfare and train are additional.