The fascination continues as visitors from around the world book a variety of electric boats, leisure barges, yachts and luxury holidays to take their turn cruising down the Canal Du Midi, here in France.
Canal du Midi, a historical site with 200-year-old majestic plane trees lining her shores, offers visitors shade while strolling, boating, or cycling through the French countryside.
Last year we had a serendipitous experience when our path crossed with vacationing Americans who generously decided to take our family and our visiting friends down the canal for the afternoon.
“We cruised past tree-lined narrow streets leading to villages with busy squares. At each undiscovered bend were rolling vine-covered meadows with meandering paths. We moored our boat, sometimes for hours and other times for the day. It was the right combination with children: riding the bikes at each stop, exploring the historical towns along the way and even a day finding the Mediterranean Sea.” M. Tongour
Built in the 17th century, the canal starts at the Atlantic Ocean and ends at the Mediterranean Sea. It gave a shortcut to bring imports throughout France that would otherwise have to go around Spain to endure the treacherous and pirate patrolled waters there. Today, it serves as a relaxing destination for vacationers.
Drop by the Capestang tourist office and talk to one of their well informed employees and they will point you in the right direction, no matter how you want to see the Canal du Midi.
Directly next door, the harbour captain rents electric boats and bikes out to visitors. It gives you the feel of the canal without committing to a weeklong rental.
The Capestang offices: France Fluviale, managed by Karen and Hapimag, managed by Isabelle are also located here. These ladies are always ready to book your houseboat vacation, help you charter your path along the canal, and get you safely on board your craft for your Canal du Midi experience.
France Fluviale is a family owned and operated company, which offers fully equipped boats with linen and kitchenware. After a detailed training course on how to operate your barge or yacht, you are prepared to enjoy the canal, the historic villages and sites nestled along the shores. While exploring the region, you may shop at the weekly markets, buy regional wines and float your way up and down the canal at your pace with your own schedule. This makes for an enjoyable self-catered holiday.
Fluviale’s barges, with spacious wooden interiors, are perfect for families or students looking for a vacation a little out of the norm. These barges are well know throughout the world and are the most common rental boat. This is an affordable way to familiarize you with the canal.
Fluviale also offers Linssen luxury yachts, designed to appeal to the discerning few, who enjoy the finer things in life. Known for quality and design, Linssen is the Mercedes-Benz of the self-chartered world.
For more information, please contact www.francefluviale.com.
Hapimag is a holiday chain. They offer comfortable furnished boats to feel at home in. Their houseboats undergo a maintenance check before every departure and before you set off you receive detailed instruction and undergo a test run with expert support. Hapimag has addresses in sixteen countries throughout Europe, Morocco and the USA – always in prime locations like Capestang. For more information, please visit www.hapimag.com
Athos Luxury Barge holidays are nothing short of five stars. Their skilled captain pilots the vessel through waterways and locks, while you relax and enjoy the setting. This all-inclusive vacation leaves no detail overlooked; from Egyptian cotton linens, to custom-made excursions and everything in between.
Their onboard chef serves up the freshest ingredients from the local markets, paired with hand picked wines of the Languedoc. He knows that French cuisine is a tourist draw and mixes Mediterranean and traditional cuisine taking you on a culinary journey.
Their hostesses cater to your every need, and are there to make your vacation as tranquil as possible. Whether exploring historical villages on bike or shuttled off on a day excursion to places like Carcassonne castle or the village of Minerve, their guided tours and attention to detail, makes this an exceptional experience.
The Athos du Midi owned and operated by Dannielle and Julian Farrant, where Julian has captained the Athos for 25 years and Dannielle worked onboard for eight years before taking the behind-the-scenes roll to ensure your holiday is a memorable one. For more information on prices and bookings, contact www.athosdumidi.com
No matter your price range, there is a holiday for you along the Canal du Midi in southern France.