Cruise down France’s Canal du Midi at a relaxed pace
Enjoy a relaxing, peaceful slice of French life on this comfortable journey down the Canal du Midi in the Aude Valley, wedged between the Pyrenees, the Black Mountains and the Mediterranean. Take your time, choose your pace and stops, and linger or move forward as you like through scenic France. From Castelnaudary trace the ancient route of wine merchants south-east, past idyllic medieval villages, the picture-perfect castle town of Carcassonne and the famous vineyards of Languedoc-Roussillon wine country. Begin days with a croissant from a local bakery and finish them dining al fresco on the deck of the boat. Drift by castles and churches, hundred-year-old plane trees that cascade over the canal and watch locals challenge each other at petanque. Enjoy the freedom to hop off and explore at anytime – perhaps to cycle around ancient ruins and medieval cities – but with a leader always on hand to help with the boat and guide you in local sightseeing and optional activities. Moor along the canal or in little marinas and gorge yourself on the incredible range of gastronomic delights – not least all the wine and cheese from local markets and vineyards. This laidback trip is the perfect way to explore the south of France.
Travel down the 300-year-old Canal du Midi aboard a comfortable, fully-equipped boat, stopping off to explore quaint villages, antique churches and rustic farm houses. This unique cruise allows you to set your own pace and itinerary, selecting from a number of delectable destinations. The hard part is choosing...
Enjoy a guided tour through the Cite de Carcassonne, the largest fortified medieval city in Europe. Visit a family-run vineyard in Minervois, where you'll learn about centuries-old farming practices and taste the local tipple
Cycle, hike and stroll through scenic countryside, mingle with friendly locals and dine on provincial French cuisine in charming country restaurants. C'est la belle vie
Where better to experience life in the slow lane than in the countryside of southern France? Cruise down the canal at walking speed (quite literally the speed at which the canal boats are allowed to travel)
Be the captain of your own boat. You'll have plenty of opportunity to steer the vessel, with your skipper always at your side
Although we don't ask travellers to complete a Physical Participation Form for this trip, we do ask that you read through the trip notes carefully to ensure that this trip is right for you. You’ll need to feel comfortable with moving about the boat and leaving and re-boarding the vessel when you make landings. The cabins and communal areas of the boat are spread over two decks, and the steps between the decks are steep. Your trusty crew will always be on hand to assist you.
While on the water and exploring the surrounding countryside, you may be exposed to the sun for large parts of the day. It’s important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water.
While the itinerary features included visits to Carcassone and Minervois, the rest of the trip is designed to be flexible. The group will be in charge of setting the pace and deciding where to stop from a selection of quaint villages and historic towns. You'll even have the opportunity to steer the boat yourself, with your skipper always at hand. A sense of humour and flexibility will ensure you have a fun, relaxing trip through this beautiful part of the world.
This is provincial southern France, and most of the destinations you'll visit are quiet country towns. The boat will ease down the canal at walking pace, as this is the law. This is a great opportunity to really slow down and embrace peaceful country life for the week.
We want you to have fun, but please show respect for your shipmates by not smoking on-board and being aware that others might not want to party every night until 3 am. If you do want to enjoy a late night out, it’s probably a good idea to book into a hostel for that evening so you don’t wake your fellow travellers (and more importantly the skipper) on your return.
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There are currently no scheduled departures on our The Canal du Midi (Castelnaudary to Homps) trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.
The minimum age on this trip is 15.
Please provide full passport details at time of booking including exact name as per passport, date of birth, nationality, issue and expiry dates as these are essential for booking services on this trip.
Dietary requirements are required at the time of booking so that any included meals can be properly catered for.
Please note that this trip starts and finishes at the riverboat base. If you have pre-booked any additional accommodation through us, you will need to make your own way to the joining point on day 1 and from the finish point on the final day. We do not provide transfers between hotels and the base. Please check the joining and finish point information in the trip notes for details.
Our The Canal du Midi (Castelnaudary to Homps) trips score an average of 5 out of 5 based on 11 reviews in the last year.
Our Intrepid trip on the Canal du Midi exceeded all our expectations - a magical experience drifting slowly down the canal beneath shady trees, exploring local villages and food opportunities, in a well appointed boat that has everything needed to make the journey comfortable. We loved assisting getting out boat through the locks, meeting other canal travellers and interacting with locals. Our skipper, Oliver Tomlins, was outstanding - if you're booking, ask if Ollie is the tour leader, I promise you won't be disappointed! If you've ever considered this type of holiday, I thoroughly recommend this one (provided Ollie is your captain.)
Review submitted 16 Jun 2018
I would recommend Intrepid’s Canal du Midi for those who would like to enjoy life in the slow lane in a bucolic part of southwestern France with birds chirping in the bacground and historic sites and cafes to visit nearby
Review submitted 15 Jun 2018