France Boating Holidays - Canal du Midi

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Base Information

Suggested Cruises from our 6 cruiser bases on the Canal du Midi

One week one-way cruise from Castelnaudary or Port-Cassafieres

Castelnaudary - Port-Cassafieres or vice versa one way trip

Canal du Midi

This popular route cruises a varied section of the Canal du Midi. See our guide Diary of a week on the Canal du Midi for more information about this route.

From Castelnaudary, famous for its meat and bean cassoulet stew, pass through the Midi's famous oval locks to Europe's largest and best preserved medieval fortress at Carcassonne. See Trebes and Homps and take in the view from the 14th century chateau dominating the canal at Argens Minervois.

Scenic Le Somail leads to a long lock-free section, with the interesting village of Capestang. To the west of Beziers is the remarkable engineering feat of the seven lock flight at Fonserannes. Beziers itself is worth a visit for the stunning views from the cathedral of St Nazaire on top of a hill.

157km 62 locks 45hr one-way cruising time

One week round trip from from Castelnaudary

Castelnaudary - Argens round trip

Canal du Midi

After passing through several of the Midi's distinctive oval locks, a large fortress comes into view - the old city of Carcassonne on a hill overlooking the River Aude. Later on, stop off under the shade of the plane trees at Trebes. At Hompes visit the local Minervois wine producers. Then at Argens view the canal from the 14th century castle.

172km 102 locks 46hr round trip cruising time

Canal du Midi in Beziers, France
Canal du Midi Sign

Castelnaudary - Toulouse round trip

Castelnaudary used to be the largest port between Toulouse and the Mediterranean. From here the canal crosses the Lauragais region with avenues of ancient plane trees and colourful fields. Port Lauragais, Naurouze, Villefranche are a cycle ride away.After a decent towards Toulouse, the rose pink city, the Garonne river takes you into the town centre where the historical landmarks include the St Semin basilica, Capitole Square and Notre Dame de la Grace.

130km 48 locks 26hr round trip cruising time

One week from Port Cassafieres

Port Cassafieres - Narbonne round trip

Canal du Midi - Canal de la Robine

The tree lined Canal du Midi There are plenty of chances to enjoy the local delicacies, such as crayfish soup, on the way to Beziers. To the west of the town lies the flight of seven locks at Fonserannes, a remarkable engineering feat. At Sallele d'Aude archaeology has revealed a 200 year old pottery. Narbonne is a Roman city with its old port buried in the sands of the lost delta of the River Aude. Entering Narbonne the canal passes under the Merchant's Bridge, one of the few left in France lined with houses.

128km 46 locks 27hr round trip cruising time

Port Cassafieres - Aigues-Mortes round trip

Canal du Midi - Canal du Rhone à Sete

This part of the canal passes through the Etang de Thau, with its pretty fishing ports and inviting restaurants. In the distance, flamingos hesitate between sea and sky then comes Aigues-Mortes, a fortified town where Saint Louis embarked for the Crusades. For more information see the Camargue routes section.

168km 6 locks 27hr round trip cruising time

One week round trip from Trebes

Trebes - Carcassonne - Bram - Castelnaudary round trip

Canal du Midi

106km 64 locks

Sunset in Castelnaudary France
Beziers, Canal du midi

Trebes - Homps - Port la Robine - Beziers

Canal du Midi

176km 50 locks round trip

One week round trip from Homps

Homps - Bram round trip

Canal du Midi

192km 56 locks

Homps - Port la Nouvelle round trip

Canal du Midi

118km 36 locks

Homps - Etang du Thau round trip

Canal du Midi

190km 40 locks

There are many possible two week cruises combining some of the above, or extending eastwards to the Camargue.

Please note that hours suggested above are approximate