Cruising on the Canal du Midi, between Beziers and Carcassonne (or reverse)
Saturday, Day 1:
Cruise route map
(Click to enlarge)
We join “Emma” at Trebes. A little cruise to the 17th century aqueduct while enjoying a champagne
reception is the best way of welcoming you aboard. Our mooring for the evening overlooks the village and is ideal for a
stroll before your first gourmet dinner.
Sunday, Day 2:
We go off to explore the biggest and best fortified city in Europe, Carcassonne. Although dating from
the time of Charlemagne, it has been extensively restored. You can walk along the ramparts, visit the Chateau Comptal,
shop in the boutiques along the cobbled streets, visit galleries and museums and get the feel of life in the middle
ages. In the afternoon we cruise to the little village of Puicheric which overlooks the Alaric Mountains; Enjoy a walk
around the lock-keepers garden filed with rather unusual wooden sculptures and back to “Emma” for another gastronomic
Monday, Day 3:
A trip up into the Black Mountains to Caunes Minervois and the quarry of red marble which Louis xiv
liked so much he decorated the palace of Versailles with it. The giant underground cave at Cabresprine which is so big
the Eiffel Tower fits in with room to spare is another stop on today’s visit. In the afternoon we visit Homps, with its
replica of the Basilica of Lourdes, is our mooring for tonight. We have the Jouarres Lake beside us, so if you fancy a
swim, bring your costume.
Tuesday, Day 4:
Canal du Midi Lock
Olonzac with its open air market full of local produce from the surrounding countryside, cheeses, olives,
home made jams, pottery and colourful fabrics is our first stop. Then we head up into the hills to Minerve, a mediaeval
village perched on a spectacular rocky outcrop formed by the rivers Cesse and Brian. Famous for its Cathar
history and sweet wine. After lunch we cruise through a particularly beautiful section of canal, with a series of double
and single locks, lined with plane trees and surrounded by vineyards.
Wednesday, Day 5:
Narbonne is our destination today. Once the capital of Roman Gaul, their influence is still visible
in the old road dating back to 118 BC and the underground stores called the Horreum. It is now a bustling town with
chic boutiques, street cafés and pride of place goes to the covered market which overflows with the smells and colours
of all the local produce for which the Midi is renowned. Narbonne is dominated by the 12th century cathedral and Arch
Bishop’s Palace. If you fancy a swim, the sea is not far. In the afternoon we cruise to the charming little village of Le
Somail for the evening. You may visit the antique bookshop, admire the old ice house and church on either side of the
hump back bridge over the canal, or have a stroll through the vineyards before dinner.
Thursday, Day 6:
We visit the olive factory of Oulibo this morning. Sample the different types of olive oil, olives and
all the other by products such as soap and hand cream and not forgetting the beautiful bowls and implements made
from the wood. We cruise on to Capestang for lunch passing under the smallest bridge in France. (If you can get under
this you can go anywhere on the French canal system). Our afternoon cruise takes us to Poilhes from where we
shall visit the Oppidum d’Enserune. This hilltop settlement which dates from pre-christian times overlooks the magnificent
Etang de Montady and gives us a 360° view of the area. The museum houses many artefacts dating from this
time and the remains of the dwelling houses gives us an insight into this early civilization.
Friday, Day 7:
After breakfast, we must say our farewells and you shall be taken to your departure point for your onward
PLEASE NOTE THIS IS SAMPLE ITINERARY AND MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.