HOTEL BARGES / BEATRICE
Portiragnes - Homps (or reverse)
Day 1 : Sunday - Portiragnes
We will be waiting to meet you at Portiragnes port Cassafières at 18:00. You will board Beatrice moored in the countryside atmosphere of the canal du midi. Welcoming champagne and dinner will begin at 8, after which you may enjoy a walk along the canal before turning in to your cabin for a peaceful night.
Day 2 : Monday
Our cruise will begin after breakfast on board. We will be cruising through several locks and towards Villeneuve les Béziers where we will moor for the lunch on board. Then continue to the pont Canal in the city of Béziers and then up the astonishing 7 locks of Foncérannes where we moor for the night.
You may like to watch the DVD on the history of the canal, built from 1667 to 1681 by Pierre-Paul Riquet.
Day 3: Tuesday
Breakfast at 9:00 then cruise to Colombiers and visit the ancient wine cellar of the chateau. Then continue to Enserune hill. After lunch on board there's an excursion to Enserune archaeological site and museum and you will walk for 30 minutes. This type of hilltop village is characteristic of the celtic world of Iron Age southern Gaul. The site was discovered in 1860 by Abbot Giniès. The museum is housed in a villa built in 1915 and redesigned in the 1940s by Jules Formigé. We will pass through the tunnel du Malpas, the first canal tunnel built in the world. We will continue to Regiment Le Haut, a very beautiful hamlet in the countryside. All meals on board and moor for the night.
Day 4: Wednesday
Cruise to Capestang and visit the local market and the 13th century cathedral of St Etienne. After lunch on board in Capestang, there's a tour to Minerve and local vineyard with our chauffeur. Minerve was a powerful small town in the middles ages. The residence of the viscounts of Minerve dominated the Minervois Region. The natural site of Minerve is one of the most astonishing in the departement of Herault, and is part of the upper Languedoc Regional Nature Park. You can choose to visit Fontfroide Abbey. This Cistercian Abbey was founded as a Benedictine abbey in 1093 and affiliated with the Cistercians in 1145. Construction on the church began soon after. The cloisters and chapter house date from the 12th century and are excellent examples of Romanesque architecture. Then return to Beatrice, dinner on board and moor for the night.
Day 5: Thursday
After breakfast leave Capestang through its tiny arched bridge and Cruise to La Croisade where we moor for the lunch. La croisade is a beautiful place in the countryside located in the middle of nature. Then we cruise to Le Somail, one of the most charming villages along the canal and visit this lovely hamlet. Of note is the librairie ancienne which houses thousands of rare books, prints and posters. Dine on board in Le Somail and moor for the night.
Day 6: Friday
After breakfast there's a tour in Carcassonne the medieval city, Unesco World Heritage Site, a town, a "Cité"...a history. You will discover one of the most accomplished fortified towns in Europe. Then return to Beatrice for lunch on board. After lunch on board, Continue and Argens in Minervois where we dine on board and moor for the night. This is a good chance to walk or cycle the excellent towpath alongside Beatrice.
Day 7: Saturday - Homps
Cruise to Homps through several locks for lunch on board. Disembark at 15:00. Time to say goodbye and “au revoir “.
THIS ITINERARY IS IN REVERSE DIRECTION ON ALTERNATE WEEKS.