Canal du Midi
Listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, the Canal du Midi was built by Pierre-Paul Riquet in the 17th century and is an amazing feat of engineering. Linking the Atlantic with the Mediterranean, it takes you on a wonderful journey through the sun-drenched vineyards and pretty waterside villages of the Languedoc – France’s most prolific wine producing region.
Float your way through the dappled shade of the elegant Plane trees, duck under stone bridges, navigate oval-shaped locks, and glide along the French countryside, enjoying long views of rural France, stops in quaint villages, and touring cathedrals, wine co-operatives, and charming towns along the route.
Park anywhere you like along the canal during the day for meals, a walk, or a vineyard tour; and pick the most beautiful “campsite” each night. Relax and enjoy the amazing scenery from the unique perspective of your own floating home and raise a glass to the wonderful south of France!
The Camargue is a natural region located on the Mediterranean near Arles, in the south of France. The Camargue is western Europe’s largest river delta. Approximately a third of the Camargue is either lakes or marshland. The Camargue is home to more than 400 species of birds and has been identified as an Important Bird Area. Its brine ponds provide one of the few European habitats for the greater flamingo. The marshes are also a prime habitat for many species of insects, notably (and notoriously) some of the most ferocious mosquitos to be found anywhere in France. Camargue horses (Camarguais) roam the extensive marshlands, along with Camargue cattle. For more information visit the Wikipedia page.
The Camargue barge trip is generally quite sunny and warm, there are swimming opportunities and lots of nature viewing opportunities too: birds, wild horses, and other flora and fauna are abundant. In addition, there are some interesting wines to try which are specific to the region. The towns are fewer and farther between than some of the other canal boating routes so camping is de rigueur.
Canal du Nivernais
The charming Canal du Nivernais, reputed to be one of the prettiest in France, and its surrounding network of equally pretty waterways ~ the Canal de Bourgogne and the River Yonne ~ give access to some of the most beautiful and varied cruising areas of France.
Enjoy a beautiful cruise on the Canal du Nivernais and the River Yonne visiting medieval Clamecy, Châtel Censoir, and Auxerre.
Clamecy is surrounded by water and known locally as the ‘town of beautiful reflections’. Wander the maze of narrow streets lined with beautiful old houses and buy delicious chocolates, spicy sausage or any other culinary delight you come across.
Enjoy a glass of chilled Chablis in the sunshine – the world-famous vineyards are nearby. Visit the picturesque villages of Châtel Censoir and Vermenton, and enjoy superb sightseeing, shopping and restaurants at Auxerre.
Canal du Lateral à la Loire
This voyage is known as “The Sparkling Cruise.” It is a one week cruise alongside the River Loire through the famous Sancerre wine producing region, a magnificent place situated on a high hill where you can wander among its interesting old winding streets and narrow alleys. This Medieval town is rich in architectural heritage. Look for old houses from the 15th century, the bell tower, la Tour des Fiefs, and the old quarters (bakeries, wine merchants, cellars and old goat stables). Sancerre is renowned for its gastronomy, both food and wines.
Next on the route is Nevers, famous for producing the oldest china in France and where quaint streets converge on the Ducal Palace. We will also enjoy Decize, where 300 year old plane trees line the avenues in the typically elegant French style.
River Baïse and the Canal latéral à la Garonne
Culture and gastronomy go hand in hand in the sunny region of Aquitaine in South West France, and both can be enjoyed in full from the waterways. Cruise through the beautiful Garonne valley on the River Baïse and the Canal latéral à la Garonne. Discover ancient Bastide towns, medieval market squares and magnificent châteaux set amid a landscape of cornfields, orchards and vine-clad hillsides.
Enjoy a cultural cruise on the Canal latéral à la Garonne and the River Tarn. Famous works of art by Rembrandt, Sisley, Goya and Dufy can be found in the ancient Bastide towns that line your route. See amazing architecture and cross the stunning arched aqueduct at Cacor outside Moissac, famous for its 14th century cloisters and abbey. Cruising on the River Tarn, visit the colorful regional markets at Castelsarrasin and enjoy stunning views from the 11th century bridge over the river at Montauban.
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