Canal du Midi Cruise Itinerary (Marseillan to Le Somail)
Sunday, Day 1
Cruise route map
(Click to enlarge)
Montpellier to Marseillan
You will be met at Montpellier TGV station at 4pm, or Pullman Antigone Hotel in Montpellier if you have stayed there pre cruise, and escorted by minibus to Anjodi moored in the lake side fishing village of Marseillan, enjoying a view over the oyster beds and home of Noilly Pratt Vermouth. Champagne welcome followed by time for a relaxing stroll around this lovely fishing village before dinner aboard.
Monday, Day 2
Marseillan to Portiragnes
This morning we visit Pezenas, a delightful village, mostly known for its associations with the French playwright Moliere, who is said to have written many plays while staying there. This afternoon we cruise from Marseillan to Portiragnes through the nature reserve of Bagnas with potential sightings of flamingoes and other birds. Dinner aboard.
Tuesday, Day 3
Portiragnes to Beziers
This morning we cruise to the bottom of the Fonserannes 7 lock flight at Beziers where we continue along the 300 year old tree lined Canal du Midi. After lunch enjoy an informative wine tasting in the 14th Century Chateau de Perdiguier, famed for its 15th century frescoes and Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay wines Dinner in Beziers at a local auberge.
Wednesday, Day 4
Beziers to Poilhes
This morning we cross the aqueduct over the River Orb and then ascend the 7-lock flight of Fonserannes before reaching the world’s oldest canal tunnel at Malpas. On arrival at the picturesque village of Poilhes we take an excursion out to Minerve, the ancient capital of Minervois, which boasts a 12th Century Cathar fort surrounded by deep limestone gorges. Besieged by Simon de Montfort in 1215, its hill-top location affords spectacular views. A fascinating recreation in miniature of the bloodthirsty Cathar rebellion and small museum complete the intriguing picture. Dinner aboard.
Thursday, Day 5
Poilhes to Argeliers
A morning visit to Narbonne, a Roman Mediterranean capital where the Visigoth monarchs once lived. Enjoy the Archbishop’s Palace and Horreum. Explore the indoor market at the hub of this bustling town, where you will have time to shop or simply absorb the relaxed atmosphere. Return to the barge for a cruise along the shaded canal to Argeliers, stopping off en route at Chateau de Guery, a 500 year old canalside vineyard, for a pre-dinner wine tasting of the full-bodied Corbieres. Dinner aboard
Friday, Day 6
Argeliers to Le Somail
Morning visit to Carcassonne. Dating back to the Gallo-Roman era, this is the most complete medieval fortified city in existence today. With its 52 watchtowers, portcullis and extraordinary repertoire of defenses, it resisted the many armies that tried to storm this Camelot setting. In the afternoon we cruise along the historic Midi Canal to the delightful village of Le Somail. Captain's Farewell Dinner aboard.
Saturday, Day 7
Le Somail to Montpellier
After breakfast, depart from Le Somail by minibus to Montpellier TGV station, airport or centre by 10am.
On alternate weeks the cruise is in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.