Explore the Canal du Midi

Canal boating in the South of France

Boating on the famous Canal du Midi, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is the perfect vacation choice for anyone looking to enjoy a relaxed ambiance along a beautiful, historic waterway. This famous French canal is full of history and charm and features lush vineyards, medieval villages and bustling cities. We have five bases to choose from along the canal, giving many options for one-way or return trips, and anywhere from three nights to two weeks or more! Read on to see some highlights along the way.

1. Go back in time in Carcassonne

The Citadel of Carcassonne is the second most visited tourist attraction in France (after the Eiffel Tower, of course) and is a must-see place along the Canal du Midi. This medieval city is a UNESCO World Heritage site, featuring walls around its perimeter and fairy-tale towers. When visiting the citadel, you can take a horse-drawn carriage ride, visit the château and grab a bite to eat.

2. Splash around at Cavayere Lake

This is especially a highlight if you are traveling with children. Go swimming in the lake, play mini gold, rent a pedal boat or have a nice picnic. In the same area, you can visit the Australian Park, which features kangaroos, or O2 Adventure, which is home to climbing trails and zip lines. This is the perfect area to get your heart racing!

3. Master a staircase of locks

Up for a challenge? The Fonserannes Locks, near Béziers, contains seven chambers to raise or lower your boat like a flight of stairs. It takes about an hour to go through the staircase and lockkeepers are on hand to operate the gates. At the end, you can tell everyone you conquered Pierre-Paul Riquet's most ingenious engineering solutions.

4. Rent a 2CV

Drive like a local in France’s most popular convertible car. Visit the countryside, take an accompanied wine tour or see one of France’s most beautiful villages. Vin 4 Heures offers multiple tours where your transportation is this legendary car. After the boat, it will be your new favorite mode of transportation!

5. Discover local dishes without going far

Cruising along a famous canal provides several options for fine or casual dining. Take a break from cooking one night but keep the water views with a visit to Le Comptoir Nature. You’ll have your choice from several local dishes, and don’t leave without trying their homemade almond milk ice cream. Yum!

See all of this and more in our Canal du Midi guide – your perfect guide to this famous canal.

Ready to plan your visit? Check out our suggested cruises and availability for 2017 and 2018.