Around the Canal du Midi
7 days 6 nights

Holiday around the Canal du Midi
Individual experience

A break with a difference discovering the Canal du Midi on a canal boat.

Your holiday will be spent 12 kms from the famous town of Narbonne, 50 kms from Carcassonne and 25 kms from the sea.

3 nights will be spent in a charming guest house at Saint Nazaire d’Aude, near the port du Somail, a port created especially for the passing traveler. You can rest under the two olive trees shaped like a parasol and taste local wines. There is a garage at your disposal for your vehicle or your bikes.

The next 3 nights will be spent on a barge on the Canal du Midi. Have you always wanted to navigate your own boat on the Canal du Midi ? Perhaps even though it is only a few hours from home you have always put aside this destination for another time, preferring to go to places further afield. But now the time has arrived. Go from Castelnaudary to Carcassonne and back for 3 day and nights without need of a license ! Be it with family or friends, it is an ideal holiday to share memorable moments on the water.

The boat is easy to handle and before setting off , all at your own pace, you will be shown everything you need to know. You can tie up the boat wherever you like for a picnic or a bike ride, even take a siesta at the foot of a tree if you wish. Above all, life on board is really peaceful, playing board games and sunbathing on the deck. A truly relaxing time where you are free to do exactly what you want.

6 nights 7 days


Day 1

From 2pm onwards : Arrival at the charming guesthouse of Sainte Nazaire d’Aude, near the port of Somail, the port having been built specifically for the passing traveler. Catherine and Michel will welcome you with open arms.

Night at the guesthouse.

Day 2

Visit Oulibo

There is certainly no better place than this to learn about olive oil, from how it is produced to how it tastes. In fact, the mill produces high quality oil and gives back to the producer 80% of the sale of each bottle. There are a total of 850 producers and all of them dedicated to working their family’s lands. The company has been given a special heritage label for the standard achieved today (entreprise du patrimoine vivant). Companies awarded this label are, as a result, elevated to higher status in their sector. They also represent a way of thinking and knowhow that is referred to as ‘Made in France’ and help to forge the cultural and economic identity of the country. In other words, if you do not know the amazing world of olive oil, it is at OULIBO that you will learn all there is to know about olive oil, from how it is produced, to how it tastes.

Visit to the Abbaye de Fontfroide.

Next you will visit the Abbaye de Frontfroide in the heart of The Corbieres. This amazingly conserved place is overspilling with history and intrigue. To see it at its best, try and visit in the morning, or late in the evening. That way you will experience the air of calm that surrounds the place and admire the beauty of the cloisters.

Night in the guesthouse close to Somail.

Day 3

Head off for Gruissan beach, seaside resort famous for its chalets and the film “37’02 le matin”. In fact, the film was shot in 1985 on the beach where the chalets are erected. It also bought the actress Beatrice Dalle into the limelight. Why was the film made there? because it leaves you feeling that you are in an unreal world, a wild place. Walk to Notre Dame des Auzils and take a guided tour of Gruissan.

And then on the way back, stop off at the Salt flats of Gruissan. In the heart of the Narbonne regional park, you will discover for yourself the magic of the salt flats and once again you will be bold over by the authenticity of the landscape and the force of the elements.

Night in the guesthouse close to Somail.

Day 4

Head off to Castelnaudary by way of the Chemin des ecoliers. This will lead you to la curiosité de Lauriole “The road that seems to go up but actually goes down”. Petanque bowls, tennis balls, footballs, spirit levels. Thus, equipped with the latest material, you will be able to see for yourself this strange ‘curiosité de Lauriole’. The phenomenon is talked about in the four corners of the world ! For there too we find roads that go up but actually are coming down: Italy, Australia, Florida, India, Magnetic hill in Canada, “La route ensorcelee” In Jerusalem.

Next stop, the village of Caunes Minervois. , known since ancient times for its marble quarries. Indeed, the marble here has been used to decorate some of the most beautiful monuments in the world (Versailles, the renaissance palaces of Rome, Saint Petersburg, Washington, etc.) Visit the quarry by yourself. Take the opportunity to stroll around the village and have a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants, even visit the abbey.

Then continue on to Castelnaudary where the boat awaits you for a 3-day cruise (and nights)

Day 5 to 7

The Canal du Midi is classified with UNESCO as a world heritage site and is an ideal place to recharge your batteries with family or friends. Considered to be one of the best waterway tourist routes in the south, it celebrated its 350th birthday in 2016. The scenery is magnificent and with few locks to negotiate, it is an easy section for either the novice or the more experienced among you.

. It is on the plaines of Lauraguais, where the Cathar routeways cross, that the Cocagne country offers us Castelnaudary as a fine stopover on the canal. Such is the size of the basin at Castelnaudary, referred to as the Gran Bassin, that many pleasure boats and barges can moor here. It is here that your cruise begins, direction Carcassonne.

A cruise  that will allow you an opportunity to explore the Canal du Midi by other means than on foot or by bike.

You will also get to meet the friendly lock-keepers who always have a kind word to offer, watch the beautiful scenery unfold and go off and visit places. Travelling at your own pace, you will pass through the village of Villesequelande, known for its museum on knights. There, an enjoyable time can be had by all, looking at paintings, weapons, armour, furniture and costumes of the medieval period.

Bram developed during the course of the Middle Ages as a circular village. Often referred to as “circulades”, several villages in the Languedoc region were built in the shape of a circle around a central point, a castle or a church. Considered to be the largest and best-preserved example of this in Europe, the circular village of Bram contains several residential circular areas around the churches of Saint-Julien and Saint-Basilisse, all very visible from the air.

Twenty or so locks to go through and the charm of the canal to savour.

And to end your journey, stop off at the walled Cite of Carcassonne. Climb up to the very top of the fortified city, guided by a knight who actually resides in the town. Today only a mere 48 people still live within the walls. As your exceptional guide is also an historian, he knows only too well how to bring alive the ancient stones of the medieval town.

Then you can go for a stroll in the town below the cite, with a list of all the sites to see, before heading off later for la Haute Vallee de l’Aude.

Wine tasting at a wine producer’s.

Prices :

  • from 1350 euros per person (2 people minimum)

  • from 1050 euros per person (4 people minimum)

  • from 850 euros per person (8 people minimum)

The price includes :

  • 3 nights in a guest house
  • 3 nights on a canal boat
  • Breakfast
  • All visits carried out in small, private groups
  • Transport

The price does not include :

  • Expenses of a personal nature (drinks, snacks etc.)
  • Cancellation insurance

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This experience can be shared at 2 or family, team, friends or colleagues…

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marbre rouge caunes minervois