Family holidays on board a Nicols canal boat: crossing the Etang de Thau
No experience needed boat hire in the Camargue: the perfect family holiday destination
The great thing about boating holidays is that they are loved by all ages!
Every age group of children, from young toddlers right up to teenagers, will love the excitement of life on board as well as the many places you can visit and activities that can be undertaken.
Hiring a canal boat in the Camargue is especially good for families as this article shows...
The Seaquarium at Grau du Roi :
The Seaquarium at Grau du Roi
Set at the gates of the Mediterranean, you can’t possibly visit the Camargue and not take an interest in the sea! Visit the Seaquarium for an insight into life underwater – with everything from coming face-to-face with sharks through to meeting small and colourful fish like Nemo.
You’ll find Seaquarium at Grau du Roi and just 5km from the Nicols base at Aigues Mortes.
Grau du Roi is easy to reach (why not go by bike along the canal) and has many other activities that children will enjoy:
- Mini-golf located close to Seaquarium.
- ‘Babyland’ theme park which is great for toddlers. Find it next to Seaquarium.
Visiting Aigues-Mortes with the family:
Our Nicols base is located at the foot of the ramparts and before you’ve even set off on the water away from Aigues Mortes there are numerous family attractions that can be enjoyed:
- A short tourist train ride to discover the salt plains of the Midi and salt production process.
- Take a tourist train guided tour of the medieval city of Aigues Mortes and its ramparts.
- The theme park ‘les Petits Bouts’ located along the canal at Vidourle.
- The Petit train du Colorado – find a 1/24th scale model railway of American trains at the front of a property at the following address within Aigues Mortes...11 Rue de la République.
The Petit Train du Colorado at Aigues-Mortes
Knights of the crusade
- For those with a sweet tooth – young and old! Enjoy an ice cream at the ‘Maison de la Glace’ in the heart of the city of Aigues Mortes or for a selection of biscuits and other traditional sweets visit ‘Cure Gourmande’ situated at the top of the Grand Rue.
- Budding knights can look in the shops within the old city and pick up a replica costume and wooden sword. Then, with cameras ready, head to the statue of King Saint Louis for a photo opportunity!
- Join a Templar treasure hunt – starting at the tourist office in Aigues Mortes and for 6-12 year olds. Simply solve the puzzles to discover the treasure of the Templars and win a share of this precious loot!
The medieval festival of Saint Louis :
Festival of Saint Louis
If you’re planning your boating holiday for the end of August then a must see experience is the excellent medieval festival organised by the town of Aigues Mortes in honour of the famous King Louis IX. The festival sees numerous shows and performances in the streets with historical marches and parades, knights camps, medieval markets and street entertainers such as musicians, acrobats and street theatre. The festival ends with a huge fireworks display that lights up the city ramparts.
For more information contact the Toursit Office at Aigues Mortes on 33 (0)4 66 53 73 00.
Activity holidays in the Camargue:
and ‘Toro-pool’ in the Camargue
If you’re worried that the teenagers within your crew might get bored during their boating holiday then don’t be! Look at this great list of outdoor activities and entertainment to keep them amused:
- Explore the Camargue region on a 4x4 jeep safari…or in a horse drawn carriage (see our article on enjoying nature) from the town of Aigues Mortes.
- Practice sailing on the Etang du Ponant at Grande Motte, or kite surfing, windsurfing or jet-skiing at Grau du Roi.
- Embark on a boat trip out to sea or a fishing trip in the Mediterranean on board the catamaran ‘Le Providence’. Find it at the pontoon with the same name in Grau du Roi.
- Join the crowds who watch the game ‘toro-pool’ – a popular game where the aim is to attract and then dodge the bull in the arena. The show takes place during the ‘Votive Festivals’ in the Camargue villages and seaside resorts, with the biggest events being at Grau du Roi, Palavas les Flots, La Grande Motte.
The Camargue: combining the island waterways with a beach holiday!
Cap d'Agde beach
It can be very difficult when hiring a canal boat not to want to take a dip in the water...but not every region has waterways that are either clean enough or safe enough to swim in.
However, by choosing the Camargue for your boating holiday you guarantee excellent swimming opportunities – with numerous great beaches close by!
The Canal du Rhône in Sète runs parallel to the Mediterranean coast so offers an array of beaches within easy reach on foot or by bike. Some of our favourites are those at Grau du Roi, Grande Motte, Carnon and Palavas. Also close by is the longest and most wild beach at Espiguette.
Another great option is to cruise to the Etang du Thau and moor your Nicols canal boat at Maguelonne. From here you are close to the beach of Pilou – a 9km stretch of natural beach that’s free from any construction and that has proudly held a ‘Pavillion Bleu’ award for quality since 1987.
Beyond the Etang du Thau you’ll reach the Canal du Midi and its many beaches such as Cap d’Agde which has plenty of swimming areas.
Planning your self-drive boating holidays in the Camargue:
If you’re looking for other ideas as to what to see and do on your canal boat holiday in the Camargue then we invite you to take a look at our other articles about the region:
- Exploring the nature reserve of the Camargue.
- Enjoying the wines and local produce of the Camargue.
- Discover the Camargue’s history.
You can also see all of our suggested cruising itineraries – whether it’s a weekend break, short break of a few days or a longer holiday. Simply visit our Aigues Mortes pages.
If we’ve already managed to convince you to visit the Camargue for your next boating holiday (remember no previous experience is needed!) then start looking at boat availability for your chosen holiday dates.