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Holidays in the Languedoc:   Boating Holidays

The Languedoc is threaded with rivers, lakes, étangs and canals, most notably the Canal du Midi - a masterpiece of design and engineering by Pierre-Paul Riquet.

Using France's extensive network of canals you can get the Languedoc by narrowboat from anywhere in Europe.

You can also rent boats at a number of places, for anything from an afternoon to several months.

The British pioneered reacreational canal boating and many canal boat rental companies in the Languedoc are British-based. Most of them will also rent out bicycles

Rental companies (see below) may be found on the Canal du Midi, Canal de la Robine and Canal Rhone-Sete.

Expect to pay from about €800 in the low season for a 4 berth canal boat, to over €4,000 for an 8 berth canal boat in the high season.

The canal passes through (or very near) the following town. (click on those in red for more information)

  • Toulouse

  • Castelnaudary. Home of Languedoc's Cassoulet. Castelnaudary is the largest town between Toulouse and Carcassonne, and a popular canal boating launch pad. Fly to either Carcassonne or Toulouse to get to the canal boat hire centre here.

    • Connoisseur - Castelnaudary
      Canal boat hire for 3 nights or more
      Le Grand Bassin, BP 1201, Castelnaudary. Tel: 0033 (0)4 68 94 09 75  
      http://www.connoisseurafloat.com/
    • Crown Blue - Portiraignes & Castelnaudary
      Canal boat hire for 3 nights or more
      Port-Cassafières, Portiraignes. Tel: 04 67 90 91 70
      and: Le Grand Bassin BP 1201, Castelnaudary. Tel: 0033 (0)4 68 94 52 94  
      http://www.crownblueline.co.uk/
  • Bram.
  • Carcassonne. Famous for its Cité - Europe's largest medieval walled town.

    • Barge Colibri Cruises
      Luxury canal barge cruises on the Canal du Midi in the South of France. 4 Passengers. Itineraries from Carcassonne to Beziers and Castelnaudary.
      http://www.bargecolibri.com
  • Trèbes. A small town just outside Carcassonne. This is a canal boating centre, with lots of boats moored here and restaurants to serve them.

  • Homps.   
  • Le Somail. Picturesque Languedoc village with a second-hand bookshop transported brick by brick from Paris. Restaurants and jazz concerts in summer. Canal boat hire from here is popular.
    • Belle du Midi Cruises - Le Somail
      Weekly canal boat rentals
      Chemin de patiasses, Le Somail Tel: 00 33 (0)4 68 93 53 94 Mob: 00 33 (0)6 31 24 38 63
      http://www.belledumidicruises.com/
    • Minervois Cruisers - Ginestas
      Canal boat hire from 4 days to many weeks
      38 Chemin des Patiasses, Le Somail, Ginestas. Tel: 0033 (0)4 68 46 28 52  
      http://www.minervoiscruisers.com/
  • Narbonne. An attractive city on the Canal de la Robine. The Canal runs through the middle of the city. Good shopping and restaurants, and the impressive Archbishops's Palace and the Cathedral.
  • Béziers. The historic centre is woth seeing, with cobbled streets and good shops and restaurants. The Feria (bull fighting) is held in August. The outskirts of the city are as ugly as those of most French cites and boating here is not especially appealing.

    • Ad' Navis - Béziers
      Weekly and daily canal boat rentals
      La Maison du Canal, 8, Rue des Péniches, Béziers    Tel/fax;00 33 (0)4 67 62 18 18
      http://www.adnavis.com/
  • Agde. A Coastal town on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Shops and seafood restaurants. Cap d'Agde is the largest naturist centre in Europe with some of Languedoc's best beaches. An attractive place to stop. You can hire canal boats here.

    • Nautic - Agde
      For weekends to multiple weeks
      Port Fluviale, Agde. Tel: 0033 (0)4 67 94 78 93 
      http://www.nautic.fr/uk/
    • Nicols - Agde
      Canal boat hire: weekends to multiple weeks
      Port Fluviale, Agde. Tel: 0033 (0)4 67 94 78 93 
      http://www.nicols.com/
  • Sète. A Coastal town on the Mediterranean Sea and the Etang de Thau. The birthplace of Georges Brassens.

  • Palavas & Lattes. A Ghastly modern Coastal town on the Mediterranean Sea, with the worst accoutrements - concrete holiday homes and funfair attractions. Restaurants and shops if you appreciate bad taste. Lattes is slightly in-land of Palvas.

    • Locaboat - Argens, Negra & Lattes
      Canal boat hire for weekends to many weeks at a time
      Argens: Port Occitanie F, Argens-Minervois
      Negra: Ecluse de Négra F, Montesquieu-Lauragais
      Lattes: Port Ariane - F, Lattes
      Tel: 0033 (0)4 67 20 24 12  
      http://www.locaboat.com/
  • Carnon. Another ugly seaside town of concrete holiday flats.

    • Canmiav - Carnon
      Weekly and daily canal boat hire
      Base Fluviale, CD 62, Carnon. Tel: 0033 (0)4 67 68 01 90
      http://www.uk.caminav.com/
  • Aigues Mortes. 13th century walled town on the edge of The Camargue with its famous pink flamingoes, Camargue horses and black bulls. There are horse riding possibilities throughout the Camargue.

  • Beaucaire. historic town on the River Rhône with a lively atmosphere and plenty of shops and restaurants.

 

Barges in France
Weekly canal boat rentals
Tel: 0033 (0)6 15 80 74 91
http://www.barges-in-france.com/

Les Canalous - Plaisance
Canal boat rental from 1 day to many weeks
Tel: 0033 (0)3 85 53 76 74  
http://www.camargueplaisance.com/

Rive de France
Canal boat hire for weekends to many weeks at a time
Port de plaisance, Colombiers. Tel: 0033 (0)4 67 37 14 60 
http://www.rivedefrance.com/

 

 

John and Irene Plunkett have been travelling around French canals since 2004 in a wide beamed narrow boat called Moët & Chandon. You can read about their experiences on various legs of their journey to and through the Languedoc by clicking on the links below.

There is also a travelogue by John and Isabel Powell covering their journey in the Eleonora from Agde to the Sieulle de Naruze

 

Click on the following link for more on the Canal du Midi

Click on the following link for more on getting to the Languedoc by the French canal network

Click on the following link for more on Pierre-Paul Riquet

Click on the following link for more on other famous Languedoc people famous Languedoc people

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Languedoc Holidays

Boating Holidays