CamarguePort Cassafières to St. Gilles ONEWAY

7nt Port Cassafières to St. Gilles ONEWAY

7 nights | 135.50km | 2 locks | Approx. 18 hrs of cruising

We’ve packed a lot into this 7 night suggested itinerary which serves you the very best the Camargue has to offer… cruising across the open waters of the Etang de Thau, fun on the beach, strolling around the ancient walled city of Aigues-Mortes, a tour of the salt-flats, an evening on a cattle ranch and bird-spotting in the marshes. Phew! Thankfully it's broken up by a lot of relaxing, and virtually lock-free, cruising!

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Suggested itinerary

1

DAY 1: Arrive Port Cassafières

0km | 0 locks | Approx. 0 hrs 0 mins of cruising

Arrive at base

2pm - 5pm

After you have arrived and checked-in, we'll show you to your boat as quickly as possible. Spend time settling in, freshen up and await your pre-departure briefing which will be given by one of our base technicians. They will familiarise you with the boat’s domestic systems and give you a hands-on demonstration of the boat controls and how to operate it. They will make sure you are comfortable and confident controlling the boat, as well as navigating the waterway, before you set off.

Explore Portiragnes Plages

5pm - 6:30pm

While part of your crew is settling on the boat, you can take the opportunity to stock up on groceries for the week ahead at the Spar Supermarket in Portiragnes Plages (about a 25 minute walk or a 8 minute cycle from the base on the D37 - just before you reach the beach). If you're all set for your journey, take some time to enjoy a relaxing walk along the beach at Plage Portiragnes and Plage La Redoute - just keep walking for another 4 minutes after the supermarket and you'll find the Mediterranean Sea.

Dinner at La Côterie, Portiragnes Plages

7:30pm - 9:30pm

Enjoy dinner near the coast in this laidback local pizzeria. For bookings: +33 449066002 | la-coterie.negocio.site

Overnight in Port Cassafières

Breakfast on board

8am - 9am

Port Cassafières > Agde

9am - 10:30am

Approx. 1hr 30mins | 0 locks

Shortly after you leave base, the Canal du Midi intersects with the Libron River where you'll pass through the Ouvrages du Libron (Works of Libron). The River Libron has a propensity to flash flood, which would make passage along this part of the Midi impossible, if not for this nifty structure which cleverly diverts the flow of the Libron into two channels in times of flood. When this happens, each channel can be blocked in turn, allowing boats to pass as each channel is closed. A board, explaining how it works, is located next to it.

When you arrive in Agde, moor in the basin just before the Round Lock.

Explore Agde

10:30am - 12:30pm

Once a Greek city, a medieval fortress and a rich village during the Renaissance, Agde was largely built using black volcanic rocks. The old town has a lovely little centre with cobbled streets, full of pleasant shops, restaurants and buildings with medieval architectural details. It also has a pretty church and a local museum.

Lunch at La Marina, Agde

12:30pm - 2pm

Take your pick from a smorgasboard of delicious homemade local dishes at this popular and unique restaurant, set on a barge on the banks of the river. Bookings are advised: +33 (0)9 82288864 | restaurantlamarinaagde.fr

Agde > Marseillan

2pm - 4pm

Approx. 2hrs | 2 locks

As you set off, you'll immediately need to pass through the Round Lock. When it was built in the 1600s, the lock was perfectly round but, in 1984, it was extended to accommodate lager barges. The lock gives access to three different water levels - two gates access the canal, while a third gate opens onto the Hérault River (although hire boats are not allowed this way).

Etang de Thau

Between Agde and Marseillian, you'll reach the end of the Canal di Midi and enter the Etang de Thau - a vast saltwater lagoon, separated from the Mediterranean Sea by a thin strip of sand. It's a lovely contrast to canal cruising and will be a highlight of your holiday. Stay within the marked channels which guide you to each lakeside town. Your first stop is Marseillian - which is only 1.5km from the entrance to the lake.

Explore Marseillan

4pm - 6pm

Finish your sightseeing day with a glass of Noilly-Prat, Marseillan's famous vermouth. The House of Noilly-Prat is only a few meters away from the Marseillan port. You can book a tour of the house and vermouth tasting directly on their website: noillyprat.com

Noilly Prat offers a free cocktail to Le Boat customers when booking a "Discover" visit  on their website, with the promotional code: LEBOAT19. 

Dinner at La Table d'Emilie, Marseillan

7:30pm - 9:30pm

Enjoy a delicious meal at this very popular restaurant with dishes based on traditional French cuisine. The pâté en croûte is excellent! For bookings: +33 (0)467776359 | la-table-demilie-marseillan.com

Overnight in Marseillan

Breakfast on board

8am - 9am

Marseillan > Mèze

9am - 10:30am

Approx. 1hr 30mins | 0 locks

Continue your journey across the Etang de Thau. Stay within the marked channels which navigate you around the miles of oyster farms. The Etang de Thau produces more than 20,000 tonnes of oysters and mussels each year. 

Explore Mèze

10:30am - 12:30pm

Take a stroll round the marina and down the city's alleyways to discover wine-growers houses that were built in traditional style. The Penitents Chapel overlooking the ramparts has a fabulous terrace that offers the best views of the city.

Lunch at La Mezon, Mèze

12:30pm - 2pm

In the north of Mèze, Sesquier Park offers a pleasant setting for a picnic. However, if you prefer to sample some of the local cuisine such as world-famous, fresh oysters, we highly recommend La Mezon, one of Mèze's top restaurants overlooking the port. Bookings are a must: +33(0)6 18395649

Mèze > Bouzigues

2pm - 3:30pm

Approx. 1hr 30mins | 0 locks

Explore Bouzigues

3:35pm - 6:30pm

From Bouzigues you are able to enjoy a beautiful view of Sète across the Etang de Thau and sample the famous oysters and mussels from the lake, complimented by Picpoul de Pinet, the popular, native white wine.

Dinner at Le Grand Bleu, Bouzigues

7:30pm - 9:30pm

You could cook a delicious dinner on board with the oysters and mussels that you bought earlier in the day, while enjoying the sun setting over the Étang de Thau. Or, if you fancy eating out, we recommend Le Grand Bleu. Bookings are advised: +33(0) 4 67 78 72 09 | legrandbleu-bouzigues.fr

Overnight in Bouzigues

Breakfast on board

8am - 9am

Bouzigues > Frontignan

9am - 11am

Approx. 2hrs | 0 locks

Travel to Sète

11am - 11:30am

From the moorings, you can reach the train station by foot in 10 minutes. The train journey to Sète takes about 5 minutes. Or, if you have bikes, its a 30 minutes cycle-ride.

Lunch at La Prohibition, Sète

12pm - 1:30pm

For something a little different, enjoy this charmingly quaint place with one chef producing world-class dishes out of a tiny kitchen. Because of the small size of this lunch spot, bookings are strongly advised: +33(0) 981760788

Explore Sète

1:30pm - 5:30pm

Be enchanted by the colourful façades of Sète, where countless bridges criss-cross the canals. Travel between the lighthouse and the central food market where you should try a "Tielle", the local speciality that is a delicious pie filled with octopus and a spiced tomato sauce. For the best view of the city and the saltwater lagoons, catch a bus to the top of St. Clair Mount.

Travel back to Frontignan

5:30pm - 6pm

Cycle or take the train back to Frontignan. If you would rather stay and have dinner in Sète, the last train departs at 9:45pm.

Dinner at L'Epicurien, Frontignan

7:30pm - 9:30pm

Just a 5 minute walk from the moorings in Frontignan, this small restaurant has an unassuming exterior but don't be put off. The warm welcome and the exceptionally tasty mediterranean cuisine is second-to-none. +33 6 19 13 12 66

Overnight in Frontignan

Breakfast on board

7:30am - 8:30am

Frontignan > Villeneuve-lès-Maguelone

8:30am - 10:30am

Approx. 2hrs | 0 locks

IMPORTANT: Just as you leave Frontignan - there's a lifting bridge which only opens twice a day - at 8:30am and at 4pm. So make sure you are ready to pass through promptly at 8:30am, otherwise you'll miss a day's worth of cruising.

Explore Villeneuve-lès-Maguelone

10:30am - 11:30am

Stop by the Maguelone Cathedral to discover this jewel of Romanesque art, built in the 11th Century. This fortress was home to the Montpellier diocese for nearly ten centuries.

Villeneuve-lès-Maguelone > Palavas-les-Flots

11:30am - 12noon

Approx. 30mins | 0 locks

Explore Palavas-les-Flots

12noon - 1pm

Take some time to explore the Parc du Levant with its beautiful waterfall and visit the train museum right next to it. You can also visit "La Redoute Ballestras", home of the Albert Dubout museum.

Lunch in Palavas-les-Flots

1pm - 1:30pm

Picnic on the beach in Palavas-les-Flots

Relax and have fun on the beach, Palavas-les-Flots

1:30pm - 3pm

Spend some time at the beach for a well-deserved rest or enjoy one of the many sporting activities the area has to offer, including beach volleyball, bicycling and kayaking... among others.

For the more adventurous, L'effet Kiteschool offers special discounts to Le Boat customers on kitesurfing and wake boarding lessons. 

Palavas-les-Flots > Aigues-Mortes

3pm - 6:30pm

Approx. 3hrs 30mins | 0 locks

Dinner at Le Dit Vin, Aigues-Mortes

7:30pm - 9:30pm

Enjoy local specialties such as tuna, cod and bull meat in this restaurant's cosy courtyard. For bookings: +33 (0)4 66 53 52 76 | leditvinaiguesmortes.eatbu.com

Overnight in Aigues-Mortes

Breakfast on board

8am - 9am

Explore Salin d'Aigues-Mortes

9am - 12:30pm

Spend a fascinating morning on a guided tour to the heart of the Salin d'Aigues-Mortes and discover the salt tables, the fabulous Sel de Camargue and the pink waters which make this place so magical and other-worldly. Learn about the work of the salt workers, the harvesting of Camargue Salt and see exceptional flora and fauna.  You can take the tour on a little tourist train, or by foot and they start just a 20 minute walk away from the moorings which are under the unmissable Tower of Constance. Bookings in advance: +33 4 66 73 40 24 | visitesalinsdecamargue.com

Lunch at Le Bistrot Paiou, Aigues-Mortes

12:30pm - 2pm

Enjoy dishes such as the popular bull carpaccio, fresh grilled linefish and more at this popular bistro-style restaurant set inside the walls of the old town. For bookings: +33 4 66 71 44 95

Explore Aigues-Mortes

2pm - 4pm

Must-see stops include the Towers and Ramparts of Aigues-Mortes, and the Tour Carbonniere. This city truly is a unique jewel of medieval military architecture and well worth a leisurely stroll around the old town.

L'épicerie de Maman offers a discount to Le Boat customers. The store, located in the centre of Aigues-Mortes, offers various natural and perfumed olive oils sourced from locally grown olives and products created by local craftsman and artisans. 

Experience Mas de la Comtesse

6:30 - 10:30pm

On Thursday evenings (and Tuesday and Wednesdays in July and August) you can spend a memorable evening at a nearby ranch, Mas de la Comtesse, where you will witness cow branding, herdsman games, and taste traditional regional food to the sound of Camargue gypsies. They’ll even pick you up from the basin in Aigue Mortes and take you by boat to their farm house. Booking essential: +33 (0)4 66 71 66 34 | manademasdelacomtesse.com

Overnight in Aigues-Mortes

Breakfast on board

8am - 9am

Aigues-Mortes > Gallician

9am - 10:30pm

Approx. 1hr 30mins | 0 locks

Explore Gallician

10:30am - 12:30pm

If you’re feeling active, then cross the bridge and head south of the canal on your bikes. In 15-20 minutes, the dead-straight road will bring you to the Scamandre Nature Reserve. A raised boardwalk will take you to the heart of the marsh where you will spot an amazing variety of birds - from Ibis to hoopoe; bee eater to stork! camarguegardoise.com Or take a 10min walk through Gallician village to find ‘Cave Pilote de Gallician’ cellar, you can taste and buy Costières de Nîmes wine. gallician.com

Lunch at Le Café du Pont, Gallician

12:30pm - 1:30pm

Enjoy delicious seafood dishes from this local eatery. For bookings: +33 (0)4 66 73 57 87

Gallician > St. Gilles

1:30pm - 3:30pm

Approx. 2hrs | 0 locks

Explore St. Gilles

3:30pm - 6:30pm

St. Gilles is famous for its magnificent Benedictine abbey, Abbatiale de St. Gilles, which is included in the UNESCO Heritage List, as part of the World Heritage Sites of the Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France.  If your car has been transferred from Port Cassafieres, you could take a 10 minute drive north to Oliveraie Jeanjean, an organic olive oil mill in a 30 thousand hectare olive grove. They offer free self-guided tours and a tasting, afterwhich you can buy some olive-related souvenirs to take home. Our base team can help you arrange a taxi if you don’t have your car.   oliveraie-jeanjean.com

Dinner at Le Cours, St. Gilles

7:30pm - 9:30pm

Enjoy a solid brasserie-style meal outside on the terrace of this local gem. For bookings: +33 (0)4 66 87 31 93 | hotelrestaurantlecours.site

Overnight in St.Gilles

Breakfast on board

7:30am - 8:30am

Enjoy your final breakfast on board before tidying and vacating your boat by 9am (unless you have booked and paid for a late-checkout)

Depart St. Gilles

9am