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Exploring the Canal du Midi on a Barge Cruise in France

The Canal du Midi is one of the most popular destinations for a barge cruise in France. Here is a guide to exploring it while on your holiday.

If you're thinking about booking a barge cruise in France, you have a wide range of options from which to choose. There are many places to explore, from cruises that take you through the heart of Paris to cruises that explore the beauty of the Loire Valley.
One of the most popular places to go on is the Canal du Midi; here is a guide to what you can expect from this lovely region.

A Historic Canal

The Canal du Midi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was constructed in the 17th century to transport produce, primarily wheat, from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. The canal is 150 miles long, and its construction took a total of 12 years.

The canal is surrounded by beautiful scenery, which makes it one of the most popular places to go on a barge cruise in France. It is located in the Languedoc region in the south west of France, and as you cruise you will pass by tiny villages, fields of crops, horses grazing beside the canal, and acres of vineyards.

The region is famous for its cheeses, especially Roquefort, and you will also be able to enjoy some of the finest wines in the country. All of this makes it a place where you can enjoy a truly relaxing experience.

The canal is beautiful to explore at any time of year, but the summer months from June to August are often the most popular. However you can still enjoy a wonderful experience any time from spring to autumn.

Highlights Along the Canal

One of the joys of travelling along the Canal du Midi is that there is so much to see during your trip. When you go on a barge cruise in France along the canal, you will find many historic attractions, some of which date back to Roman times.

Some of the highlights you may get the opportunity to see include the following.

Minerve: a fourth-century village situated on a hill, where you will also find an interesting museum.

Carcassonne: a walled medieval city with impressive towers.

Narbonne: where the highlight is Cathédrale Saint-Just-et-Saint-Pasteur, the tallest cathedral in the area boasting incredible stained glass windows.

Fonserannes: where you can climb the famous locks built at the end of the 17th century.

One excellent aspect of cruising here is that whenever the barge stops you can simply alight and go exploring. Sometimes excursions will be arranged to see the attractions, and at other times you may simply want to walk along the canal or ride a bike.

Discover the Canal du Midi

The Canal du Midi is one of the most beautiful of the country's canalsFeature Articles, and the perfect option for your first barge cruise in France. You can enjoy all the interesting sights along the canal as well as the peace and quiet of a tranquil canal holiday in this stunning region of the country.

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Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways. We can provide you with a luxury, all-inclusive barge cruise in France to enjoy the sights of the country's most picturesque waterways. Cruises are also offered in Holland, Italy and the UK. 

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