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Boating holiday in the Somail

Nicols canal boat hire from the Somail base in the Midi is the ideal place to explore one of the best known destinations for canal boat holidays: the Canal du Midi.
The charming little port of Somail is located halfway between Carcassonne and Béziers, within the longest section of canal in France (52 km without a lock!)...

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Hiring canal boat for Holidays on the Canal du Midi
Renting a Nicols boat from the nautical base of the Somail
Canal du Midi - France
River navigation with Nicols range Estivale
Waterway tourism with family or friends with Nicols
Barge on the canal du Midi
Lock on the canal du Midi
City of Béziers - Tourism and Boating waterways
Hire river boats without license
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Ventenac beside the canal du midi
Narbonne from the sky
Center of town of Narbonne
Cathedral of Narbonne
Cruise with friend on the canal du Midi - France
Crossing a lock on the canal du Midi
Vacances fluviales dans le Midi - France
Cruise prices from350 €

Best bits :

  • Historical attractions: The famous Carcassonne Citadel
  • An easy canal for beginners with few locks
  • Fishing, bike rides along the towpath, Swimming in the canal or in the man-made pools (étang de Jouarre in Homps...) or on the beach!
  • Local cuisine: Minervois local wine... and the famous Cassoulet
  • Ideal climate all year round
  • Close to the Mediterranean
  • Exploring the "Canal du Midi" – a listed world heritage site by Unesco!

Mentioned on the blog...

My husband, Bill Baskerville, and I are writing on behalf of our lovely boating experience on the “Perpignan” of your Nicols fleet from September 25 to October 2nd, 2010... See the blog

Cruise prices from350 €

Nicols canal boat hire from the Somail base in the Midi is the ideal place to explore one of the best known destinations for canal boat holidays: the Canal du Midi.
The charming little port of Somail is located halfway between Carcassonne and Béziers, within the longest section of canal in France (52 km without a lock!) and offers you several routes for your trip:

To the East

Heading East, you can join up with the Canal de la Robine to visit Narbonne, a town full of art and history whose heritage dates back over 2500 years: Antiquity, Middle Ages, Renaissance, Golden age of winemaking in the late 19th century - its rich past has left it with a magnificent history. A little further along and you get to Port la Nouvelle leading to the Mediterranean and its sunny beaches.
As you approach the Etang de Thau don't miss: the unusual Malpas tunnel and the Ensérunnes oppidum, the scale of 7 locks at Fonsérannes as you enter Béziers, Agde the gateway to the Etang de Thau on route to the Camargue.

To the West

Heading West the small Minervois villages arrive one after the other, scattered among the waterside vineyards, some of which offer wine-tastings; you'll soon be at Carcassonne, visiting its famous Citadel (set half a day aside to visit the town)...

You can also explore the Canal du Midi by boat from our Nicols canal boat hire base in Bram close to Carcassonne… Nicols also offers a one way boating holiday from Bram to Somail (or vice versa) which allows more time explore and enjoy a longer cruising route.

Cruise prices from350 €

Our suggestions of cruise on the canal du Midi

Weekend 2 days

Itinerary 1 : Le Somail – Fonsérannes – Le Somail
(82km - 0 lock -11h00)

  • Le Somail : Ice room (1684), Museum of “chapeau”, Librairy of old books
  • Argeliers : Castle of the twelfth century classified as “historic monument”
  • Malpas : Tunnel of Malpas, Malpas’s house (local products), Pond og Montady, “Oppidum ensérunnes” : one of the largest archaeological sites in france, Remains of Greek, Roman and Celtic
  • Colombiers : Roman road (Via Dominitia), Lavoir XVII ° century, St Sylvestre church (Wisigothic origin V° - VIII° century), Wine cellar in Colombieres castle
  • Fonserannes : “Scale of 7 locks” (unique site in France), small tourist train to Béziers (in season)

Itinerary 2 : Le Somail – Homps – Le Somail
(42km - 12 locks - 10h00)

  • Le Somail : Ice room (1684), Museum of “chapeau”, Librairy of old books
  • Ventenac en Minervois : Cellar, Wine museum
  • Paraza : Art gallery “le clap”
  • Roubia : Oil mill of the Restanque
  • Argens Minervois : Castle of XIV° century
  • Homps : Pond of Jouarres, Bathing monitored, Nautical activities (kayak, kitsurf), Roman chapel of St Michel, Former commanderie of St Jean de Jerusalem

Mini week

Itinerary 1 :Le Somail – Narbonne – Fonsérannes - Le Somail
(111km - 20 locks - 20h00)

  • Le Somail : Ice room (1684), Museum of “chapeau”, Librairy of old books
  • Sallèles-d'Aude : Museum and amphoralis site
  • Narbonne : Merchant bridge, St Just cathedral, Lapidaire museum, Roman road “via Domitia”, Archbishop’s palace, Art and history museum
  • Capestang : Castel XII° classified as world heritage
  • Fonserannes : “Scale of 7 locks” (unique site in france), small tourist train to Béziers (in season)

Itinerary 2 :Le Somail – Port la Nouvelle - Le Somail
(74km - 24 locks - 15h00)

  • Le Somail : Ice room (1684), Museum of “chapeau”, Librairy of old books
  • Sallèles-d'Aude : Museum and amphoralis site
  • Narbonne : Merchant bridge, St Just cathedral, Lapidaire museum, Roman road “via Domitia”, Archbishop’s palace, Art and history museum
  • Argeliers : Castle of the twelfth century classified as “historic monument”
  • Fonserannes : “Scale of 7 locks” (unique site in france), small tourist train to Béziers (in season)
  • Ile Ste Lucie : Ste Lucie ‘s property : nature reserve, Path, Tag (2h)
  • Port La Nouvelle : 7th port of France, Access to beaches, Seafood restaurants

Itinerary 3 : Le Somail – Marseillette - Le Somail
(80km - 34 locks - 22h00)

  • Le Somail : Ice room (1684), Museum of “chapeau”, Librairy of old books
  • Ventenac en Minervois : Cellar, Wine museum
  • Paraza : Art gallery “le clap”
  • Roubia : Oil mill of the Restanque
  • Argens Minervois : Castle of XIVth century
  • Homps : Pond of Jouarres, Bathing monitored, Nautical activities (kayak, kitsurf), Roman chapel of St Michel, Former commanderie of St Jean de Jerusalem
  • Puichéric : Roman church
  • Marseillette : Roman church

One week

Itinerary 1 : « NEW 2014 »
One way Le Somail – Thau - Bellegarde
(184km - 15 locks - 28H45)

  • Le Somail : Ice room (1684), Museum of “chapeau”, Librairy of old books
  • Argeliers : Castle of the twelfth century classified as “historic monument”
  • Malpas : Tunnel of Malpas, Malpas’s house (local products), Pond og Montady, “Oppidum ensérunnes” : one of the largest archaeological sites in france, Remains of Greek, Roman and Celtic
  • Colombiers : Roman road (Via Dominitia), Lavoir XVII °, St Sylvestre church (Wisigothic origin V° - VIII° century), Wine cellar in Colombieres castle
  • Fonserannes : “Scale of 7 locks” (unique site in France), small tourist train to Béziers (in season)
  • Béziers : Beziers canal bridge, Arts museum and biterrois
  • Portiragnes : Adventure outdoor park, Portiragnes-beaches at 4 km
  • Port Cassafières : Ranch and horses, Portiragnes-beaches at 4 km
  • Vias : Wine tasting, 2 mini golf, Vias beach at 1 km, Europark indoor (3000 m2, the most indoor park in France)
  • Agde : Round lock in Agde, St Pierre cathedral (XII ° century), Agde museum, Access to beaches at 4 km
  • Marseillan : Guides tours in chais de Noilly Prat (spiced wine)
  • Mèze : Penitents chapel, castel of Girard, Visit of oyster bed by boat
  • Sète : Richelieu citadel, Visit of fish auction, International museum of modests arts, G. Brassens space, Audio-guided tours in the city
  • Frontignan : St Paul fortified church, Museum of local history
  • Villeneuve Les Maguelone : Scenic railway, Abbey of Maguelonne, Roman cathedral, Old streets, Access to the Pilou beach (9 km length – blue house)
  • Palavas Les Flots : Albert Dubout humoristic museum, Steam train museum, Festivals in the summer, Casino, Boat-jousting beaches
  • Carnon : Wide beaches
  • La Grande Motte: Golf, Thalassotherapie, Casino, Beaches
  • Aigues-Mortes : Museum of history and archaeology, Church of Notre-Dame, Salins of Midi region, Access to Grau du Roi (4 km), Beach, Marin museum, Seaqualand aquarium
  • Gallician : Cooperative cellar, Game reserve of the Scamander
  • Franquevaux : Horse-drawn carriage rides in the heart of camargue
  • St Gilles : The abbey, Romanesque houses museum
  • Bellegarde : Broussan chapel, Oil mill, Roman aqueduct

Itinerary 2 : Le Somail – Trèbes – Le Somail
(100km - 40 locks - 26h00)

  • Le Somail : Ice room (1684), Museum of “chapeau”, Librairy of old books
  • Ventenac en Minervois : Cellar, Wine museum
  • Paraza : Art gallery “le clap”
  • Roubia : Oil mill of the Restanque
  • Argens Minervois : Castle of XIVth century
  • Homps : Pond of Jouarres, Bathing monitored, Nautical activities (kayak, kitsurf), Roman chapel of St Michel, Former commanderie of St Jean de Jerusalem
  • Puichéric : Roman church
  • Marseillette : Roman church
  • Trèbes : Church of the XIIIth century, Municipal swimming pool

Itinerary 3 : Le Somail – Carcassonne – Le Somail
(124km - 52 locks - 33h00)

  • Le Somail : Ice room (1684), Museum of “chapeau”, Librairy of old books
  • Ventenac en Minervois : Cellar, Wine museum
  • Paraza : Art gallery “le clap”
  • Roubia : Oil mill of the Restanque
  • Argens Minervois : Castle of XIVth century
  • Homps : Pond of Jouarres, Bathing monitored, Nautical activities (kayak, kitsurf), Roman chapel of St Michel, Former commanderie of St Jean de Jerusalem
  • Puichéric : Roman church
  • Marseillette : Roman church
  • Trèbes : Church of the XIIIth century, Municipal swimming pool
  • Carcassonne : Medieval town classified of world heritage

Itinerary 4 : One way Le Somail - Bram
(84km - 31 locks - 21h00)

  • Le Somail : Ice room (1684), Museum of “chapeau”, Librairy of old books
  • Ventenac en Minervois : Cellar, Wine museum
  • Paraza : Art gallery “le clap”
  • Roubia : Oil mill of the Restanque
  • Argens Minervois : Castle of XIVth century
  • Homps : Pond of Jouarres, Bathing monitored, Nautical activities (kayak, kitsurf), Roman chapel of St Michel, Former commanderie of St Jean de Jerusalem
  • Puichéric : Roman church
  • Marseillette : Roman church
  • Trèbes : Church of the XIIIth century, Municipal swimming pool
  • Carcassonne : Medieval town classified of world heritage
  • Bram : Museum of archelology

Itinerary 5 :Le Somail – Agde - Le Somail
(130km - 22 locks - 23h30)

  • Le Somail : Ice room (1684), Museum of “chapeau”, Librairy of old books
  • Argeliers : Castle of the twelfth century classified as “historic monument”
  • Malpas : Tunnel of Malpas, Malpas’s house (local products), Pond og Montady, “Oppidum ensérunnes” : one of the largest archaeological sites in france, Remains of Greek, Roman and Celtic
  • Colombiers : Roman road (Via Dominitia), Lavoir XVII °, St Sylvestre church (Wisigothic origin V° - VIII° century), Wine cellar in Colombieres castle
  • Fonserannes : “Scale of 7 locks” (unique site in France), small tourist train to Béziers (in season)
  • Béziers : Beziers canal bridge, Arts museum and biterrois
  • Portitagnes : Adventure outdoor park, Portiragnes-beaches at 4 km
  • Port Cassafières : Ranch and horses, Portiragnes-beaches at 4 km
  • Vias : Wine tasting, 2 mini golf, Vias beach at 1 km, Europark indoor (3000 m2, the most indoor park in France)
  • Agde : Round lock in Agde, St Pierre cathedral (XII ° century), Agde museum, Access to beaches at 4 km

*Cruise suggestions: non-contractual information
Cruise prices from350 €

Need information about your destination? Remember to order your travel guide from Nicols before you leave!

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Cruise prices from350 €
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