The Canal du Midi in Narbonne runs through a typical Mediterranean landscape. Vines, cypresses, pines and lavender bushes create a amazing atmosphere with the songs of the cicadas. Driving in the shade of plane trees, you will visit historic cities such as Carcassonne, Béziers and Narbonne. This region is the perfect place to explore river tourism: enjoy your vacation in a place where time has stood still.
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Narbonne is a vibrant city located on the Canal de la Robin, with many historical sights and restaurants. With a 3.5-hour south cruise, where the canal passes by the vast open lakes, you will reach the fishing village of Port la Nouvel, where you can visit the sandy beaches. Alternatively, head north for 4 hours and you will cross the Midi Canal. You have a choice - go west, to the lively Beziers (11 hours from Narbonne) or east past the pretty Le Somail and central Midi region.
Narbonne, a city with a population of just over 50,000, was an important Roman seaport, but centuries of siltation of the Od River made it backward areas 15 km inland. Its center, the Canal de la Robin, an offshoot of the Canal du Midi, has wide new promenades on both sides, ideal for an evening stroll.
Canal du Midi in Narbonne runs through a typical Mediterranean landscape. Vines, cypresses, pines and lavender bushes create an amazing atmosphere with cicadas songs . Moving in the shadow of plane trees, you will visit historic cities such as Carcassonne, Beziers and Narbonne.
This region is an ideal place for exploring river tourism: enjoy your vacation in a place where time has stopped. You will observe charming picturesque villages along the canal and the smell of lavender will surround you.
The Canal du Midi sun channel, connecting the Mediterranean Sea with the Atlantic, is one of the oldest man-made waterways in Europe. Being on the list of World Heritage Sites, the Canal du Midi has unusual oval castles and beautiful bridges and aqueducts .
With many boat bases on the Canal du Midi, we offer a huge variety of one-way and return routes along the canal on dozens of different types of yachts.
Other attractions include St. Just and St. Pasteur Cathedral, which were built in 1272, which have a vaulted choir that takes off up to 41 m. The city fathers realized at the beginning of the 14th century that the addition of a nave and transept would entail the destruction of the ramparts. And now a truncated monument stands in its place. There is also a medieval bishop’s palace with a museum and art gallery - do not miss the exhibition of contemporary North African art on the top floor and visit the eerie Roman historical complex, Horreum.
To the south and east of the city is the Narbonne Natural Park - this is 800 square meters. km of protected vineyards, lagoons, islands and 50 km of fine sand beaches.
Gruissan, located 20 minutes from Narbonne, is a fishing village on a hill between two lagoons, with narrow streets surrounding the ruins of towers of ancient buildings of the 12th century built.
Narbonne has many cycling routes, such as a gentle coastal stretch of 15 km north of Gruissan, but there is nothing better than riding with someone on the chosen stretch. So, Roland Bisman of Sportguida mountain bike company offers daily trips to these lagoons, islands and canals. Attracted by the motto “the quality of time lived, not the distance traveled” (rhymes in French), we met Roland near Port-la-Nouvel to tour the Saint-Lucy Nature Reserve - ride along shady pine paths, climb a hill for a view into two lagoons and a canal, then go down a rocky path. A three-hour tour with a bicycle and a guide costs € 19.50 (with discounts for children and families).
From our Penichette base in Argens, where the 14th-century castle is located, Canal du Midi passes by the vineyards. Canal du Midi continues to the interesting village of Capestang and the oldest canal tunnel in the world in Malpe. Then you will go down the amazing route of the seven locks in Fonsecauren, west of Beziers.
The lively port city of Beziers, where Pierre-Paul Riquet, founder of the Canal du Midi, was born, offers stunning views from the Cathedral of Saint Nazaire, located on a hilltop. East of Beziers you can reach our boat base at Port Cassafier on the edge of the Camargue.
The memories of a fabulous cruise along the Canal du Midi in Narbonne, lined with trees, will remain with you forever.