HOTEL BARGES / ENCHANTE
From Trèbes to Sallèles d’Aude
Sunday, Day 1 : Trèbes
Guests are met at the designated meeting point in Narbonne and escorted by minibus to Enchanté , moored in Trèbes . A champagne welcome and an introduction to the Captain and crew, followed by dinner on board.
Monday, Day 2 : Trèbes to Puichéric
A fascinating morning tour of Carcassonne . Dating back to the Gallo-Roman era, this is the most complete medieval fortified city in existence today with its 52 watchtowers, portcullis and extraordinary repertoire of defences , which resisted the many armies that tried to storm this glorious Camelot setting. This afternoon, we cruise along the 330-year-old canal and gently circle the contours of the land through the dappled Cathedral-like canopy of the plane trees, to Puichéric lock. You might want to admire the lock-keeper’s artistic creations which surround the lock-house. Dinner on board.
Tuesday, Day 3 : Puichéric to Jouarres
This morning, our cruise descends the trademark locks of the Canal du Midi as the steep relief requires them to be more numerous and deeper. This is a great opportunity to walk or cycle from one lock to the next as Enchanté cruises on, navigating the triple locking system. The afternoon excursion is a wine tour and tasting at the winery of Château Saint Jacques d’Albas in Minervois, one of the few regions to receive the much envied French mark of approval for wines known as A.O.C. (Appellation d’Origine Controlée).This informative tour offers an opportunity to sample wine in situ and find out more about the Languedoc’s long-standing and continuing wine trade. Dinner on board.
Wednesday, Day 4 : Jouarres to Roubia
This morning, we visit a Benedictine Abbey founded in the 8th century. Nestled in Lagrasse, a village awarded the title of “Plus beaux villages de France” and home to many artisans who have set up workshops in the medieval centre, the restored Abbey was once one of the most prosperous thanks to Charlemagne’s charter. Then we sample some local cuisine with lunch ashore in a spectacular setting overlooking the Corbières, before returning to Enchanté for our cruise to Roubia. This afternoon, while cruising under the shade of the plane trees which line the canal, we pass the canal bridge “l’Epanchoir”, one of the many feats of engineering invented by Pierre Riquet for the Canal du Midi. Dinner on board.
Thursday, Day 5 : Roubia to Le Somail
A morning cruise through vineyards and pine trees to the charming and historical village of Le Somail, purpose-built for the Canal du Midi. This bustling little village is situated on the “grand bief”, another engineering prowess unique to the Canal du Midi. Take some time to explore the old bookstore of Le Somail. An afternoon excursion to “L'Oulibo”, meaning olive in the Occitan language, a local co-operative olive oil press where we will sample the famous Lucques olive oil. We continue by minibus to Minerve, the ancient capital of the Minervois, which boasts a 12th century Cathar fort surrounded by deep limestone gorges. Besieged by Simon de Montfort in 1210, its hilltop location affords spectacular views. Dinner on board.
Friday, Day 6 : Le Somail to Salleles d’Aude
This morning’s excursion is to Narbonne, a Roman Mediterranean capital where the Visigoth monarchs once lived. Enjoy a visit to the Archbishop's Palace and the indoor market at the hub of this bustling canal side town, where you will have time to shop or simply absorb the vibrant atmosphere. Afternoon cruise through the series of locks and narrow bridges of the Robine Canal, built after the Canal du Midi to link Narbonne to the Mediterranean. Cycle ahead and explore the village of Sallèles d’Aude, our final mooring. Captain's Farewell Dinner on board.
Saturday, Day 7 : Sallèles d’Aude
After breakfast, disembark Enchanté and transfer to the designated drop-off point in Narbonne.