Cruise the upper Canal du midi on the westbound route in the heart of Occitania region
All inclusive cruise from the medieval citadel of Carcassone to Seuil de Naurouze enjoying your barge comfort
River trip highlights
- Wine and chocolate tasting workshops supervised by an oenologist
- Cooking workshop of traditional French or vegan or vegetarian cuisine
- Pastel blue dyeing workshop and discovery
- Grape-blending workshop supervised by an oenologist
- A peaceful car ride on one of the most popular french cars
- A musical evening on the barge to the rhythm of New Orleans
River trip summary
Across the heart of the Lauragais, pastel country, you sail up to the source of the Canal du Midi. The Lauragais, « land of cocagne », went through a period of prosperity until the XVIIth century thanks to the famous pastel blue. Architectural treasures dot the countryside, mansions, castles, bell towers made of red brick, Toulouse type.
The Canal du Midi glides peacefully through this large agricultural plain bordered to the north and south by gently rolling hills steeped in sunshine. Castelnaudary, the world capital of Cassoulet, is an essential gastronomic stopover and the opportunity to discover the PDO wines of Malepère and Cabardès.
During your one week all-inclusive cruise, enjoy visits carefully tested and selected by your hostess;
• The medieval walled city of Carcassonne by day or night. A traditional tour with a guide or in
the form of an escape game or urban game,
• The medieval city of Mirepoix, its XVth century arches fronting the central square and its
• The Revel Bastide founded in 1342, of the Benedictine Abbey of Sorèze founded in 745, it
became a royal military school in the XVIth century, it now houses the works of Dom Robert, a
master upholsterer of the XXth century,
• The castle of plants in the heart of the blue triangle: discovery of the secrets of pastel from the harvesting of the plant to the making of the 'Pays de Cocagne' blue dye,
• The pottery NOT dating from the XIXth century: a magical visit to a family of potters making
the “cassole” by hand (the cassole is the special dish to cook cassoulet),
• The Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Papoul with its low-relief carvings by the Master of Cabestany,
• A truffle farm with initiation to truffle hunting.
*Find the details of our itinerary in the incoming section. Please also note that all cruise details can be discussed and negotiated with your hostess after making an inquiry through our platform's process.
River trip description
Lock Herminis to Seuil de Naurouze westbound route (54 Km and 40 locks crossed)
Day-1: We pick you up at the airport or railway station
You are shown around the Mirage barge, meet the crew and settle in. It's now time for a welcome drink. In the evening, dinner is served on board. Night at the Lalande lock
Day-2: From the Lalande lock to Bram via the village of Villesequelande: 18 km- 8 locks
Enjoy a morning excursion to the market of Mirepoix, discover one wine workshop that is quite unique; wine and chocolate tasting. We will then spend the night in Bra, where you have all the time to enjoy amenities and the surroundings after dinner is served.
Day-3 : From Bram to Guillermin lock via Villepinte : 11 km - 9 locks
You will enjoy a classic car tour driving a Citroe?n 2 CV in the surrounding Lauragais countryside. After lunch, we will be off to visit a truffle farm with initiation to truffle hunting. It will be followed by a truffle lunch with the owner. We will spend this night at the Guillermin lock
Day-4 : From the Guillermin lock to Castenaudary: 8 km –9 locks
We will start by visiting the Abbey of St Papoul, and learn about its incredible history. Cooking workshops (traditional or vegetable-only recipes) will then be our culinary experience for the day. Tonight you will have all the time to explore the city center of the stunning old town of Castelnaudary.
Day-5: From Castelnaudary to the Mediterranean lock: 7 km –8 locks
We will visit of traditional and ancestral pottery, the family-owned Not pottery< This part of Occitania is well known for its craftsman and ancestral know-how. We will then have organized another wine workshop: you will become a winemaker for a day, blending different varietal wines. Finally, and with the weather permitting, a Gypsy jazz musical evening on the Mirage will be rhythm our evening onboard.
The night will be spent moored at the Mediterranean lock.
Day-6: From the Mediterranean lock to the Ocean lock: 5 km –1 lock
Today, we will back turn at Port Lauragais. An excursion to the medieval city of Revel, Sore?ze and its once Dominican abbey turned royal military school in the XVIIth century will be organized if you wish. An additional or alternative visit to the Castle of Plants is also possible. There, producers of pastel and pastel blue in the land of Cocagne will tell you everything about their fine knowhow. The night will be spent at the Ocean lock.
Day-7: Departure day to your next destination
After breakfast, the time has come to say goodbye and wish you a safe journey home. We will see you on your train, plane, hotel ...All details can be arranged prior to your arrival.
Type of experience
Heating / cooling
Languages spoken onboard
TV / DVD / movies available
Music-sound system / CD player
Books and magazines
How to get there
Carcassonne is quite easy to reach:
You can get to Carcassonne by TGV from Dijon, Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, or Bordeaux. Additionally, many TER and Intercité trains grant you access to nearby cities like Narbonne, Limoux, or Perpignan. Night trains in the direction of or coming from Paris also make a stop at the Carcassonne train station.
In the late 1990s, Carcassonne Airport started taking budget flights to and from European airports and by 2009 had regular flight connections with Porto, Bournemouth, Cork, Dublin, Frankfurt-Hahn, London-Stansted, Liverpool, East Midlands, Glasgow-Prestwick and Charleroi>
You can also select one of the region's bigger airports for direct connexions to other continents. Such airports are Toulouse, Montpellier or Bordeaux. Pick up from one of them can be arranged with the barge hostess.
About the area
The canal runs through fascinating landscapes. Every turn in the canal results in different scenery. Canal du Midi crosses a lot of wine-growing areas, such as the Aude, Minervois, and Corbières. Throughout the year, Canal du Midi is a perfect holiday destination. In spring, you will be surrounded by budding nature. In summer, the fifty thousand trees planted along the shore will create a natural green roof over the canal. And the amazing brown, red and orange colors in the fall will definitely blow your mind. Cruise the water in peace and take in the beautiful nature around you.
Discover more details about the Canal du Midi by following this link to one of Bookarivertrip.com most recent articles about it.
River trip owner
Coming from the Health sector, your hostess, Jeannette, has always been a caring and benevolent person, two characteristics that guided her choices. With a passion for travel and a natural curiosity for different cultures, she likes to share her discoveries
with others. This is what led her to embark on the Barge venture!
The barge furnishings reflect her good and refined tastes. Jeannette greets you with a genuine and warm welcome and makes you feel at home instantly. She is attentive to your needs, your well-being and your comfort. Her cuisine favoring fresh, local produce, is simple and authentic. All the dishes are home-cooked. Out of respect for the environment, the barge was equipped, in 2019, with a biological water treatment
In the 'All inclusive' cruise option, local craftspeople rooted in their culture and territory are celebrated. They will make you discover their skills with passion.