HOTEL BARGES / SAVANNAH
Sunday: La Dinée
Upon your arrival at the planned meeting point, your guide will accompany you to the barge. Once settled in comfortably, a glass of champagne will be the ideal moment to meet the crew and set off on your first cruise. It’s in a most enchanting countryside mooring that you will enjoy the exclusiveness of this adventure and experience the refined diner prepared by your chef, the outstanding wines and champagnes and the joy of being on board the “Savannah” as the night falls.
Discover Minerve, considered one of the prettiest villages in France « plus beaux villages de France », perched on a heart shaped rocky spur at the meeting point of two valleys. This village is also one of the emblematic sites of Catharism and was besieged by Simon de Montford during the Albigensian crusade. The surrounding Minervois wines have been appreciated since roman times. After a walk through this unique village and the surrounding valley, your guide will accompany you to an exceptional Minervois vineyard where you will meet the wine maker as he joins you for your first wine tasting of the week. A selection of these internationally acclaimed wines will be served during your lunch prepared on board. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon cruise through olive shaped locks, over aqueducts and under low stone bridges. Choose to relax on the sundeck or take the opportunity to stroll and cycle along the canal.
Tuesday: Villedubert lock
After breakfast, a morning visit to Narbonne, regional capital established in 118 BCE as a roman colonia bosts numerous historical and architectural tracks of the town’s prestigious past. Discover the roman pavements of the Via Domitia and visit the Saint Just Cathedral and Episcopal Palace. A relaxed « promenade » through the shady pedestrian streets will lead you past local boutiques to the covered marketplace. Colors, aromas and flavors! The chef will join you and together you will discover the exceptional produce of Languedoc Roussillon region and choose the fresh ingredients that will compose the gastronomic meals on board “Savannah”. This perfect morning will be followed by lunch in the marketplace, and the afternoon dedicated to cruising the outskirts of Carcassonne towards the palm tree lined lock of Villedubert.
Wednesday: Ladouce lock
Breakfast will be served whilst slowly cruising towards the port of Carcassonne, our lunchtime destination. Occupied since the Neolithic and symbol of the middle age, you will visit the fortified city of Carcassonne, ascend the ramparts dating back to Gallo-Roman times, discover the medieval town, its fort, the cathedral. Roam and shop in the 19th century bastide of this regional capital Carcassonne will delight you. At the end of the day, your nautical stroll on Savannah will lead you towards the Lauragais and a change from the previous vineyard countryside into undulating valleys of sunflowers and wheat..
On board Savannah, either on Tuesday or Thursday evenings weather permitting, musiciens Yanick and Virginie enchant guests during dinner and late into the evening playing the accordeon and guitar whilst singing classics from Edith Piaf, Aznavour, Trenet and many more...
Often guests have joined in and sung their preferred songs too...
Thursday: Villeseque lock
After breakfast on board, visit the Château de Pennautier. Wine tasting and lunch will be hosted in the domain and time will be spent thereafter to relax and enjoy a siesta in the castle gardens. This marvelous discovery will be followed by a cruise through the superb locks and awe inspiring views of Herminis and Lalande on your way to a new idyllic countryside mooring for the evening.
Friday: Bram Port
After breakfast, abandon the Canal du Midi for the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains. Mirepoix, magnificent medieval town in Ariège waits for you. The market is always bustling, held under the village hall, in small pedestrian streets and under overhanging arcades with colorful half beamed houses. You will have a foresight of the Midi Pyrénées region, architecturally and visually different from the Languedoc visited previously. In contrast, if you prefer, our crew will help you discover the origins and museum of the Canal du midi at St Ferréol's reservoir, near Revel and it’s market. Follow the Rigole, an artificial brook built to supply water from the Montagne Noir “Black mountains” to the canal. Drive through the mountains and Saissac with it’s Cathar castle. Upon your return, navigate through the Lauragais to your final destination, champagne farewell drink with the crew and your last exclusive diner on board in the Port of Bram.
Saturday: Departure between 09:00 and 10:00
After breakfast, time has come to say Goodbye and safe onward Journey. Your guide will accompany you to your departure point (train station, hotel or airport).
Per your interests, it will be a great pleasure to adapt the excursions. Please inform us on your desires and needs when booking.
- Professional Carbon Racing cycles on board, adapted to each passengers exact requirements
- Guided cycling tours with a professional cyclist on sections of the tour course (with back-up technical support). Up to 1 outing per day 2-4 hours per day
- Visit either the BMC or TREK cycling team during the Tour de France rest day in Carcassonne on 22nd July
- Branded Cycling gear (passengers to bring only their shoes, pedals and helmets)