The French philosopher Voltaire said of the Canal du Midi that it is “the most grandiose civil engineering work since the works of the Romans” - so he was impressed! Make up your own mind by exploring it with our one-way canal boat holiday between Port Lauragais and Le Somail on one of the most famous waterways in Europe.
Located midway between Toulouse and Carcassonne, Port Lauragais is an excellent starting point for renting a canal boat on the Canal du Midi. From here you’re in the perfect location for exploring the riches of the ‘Canal Royal du Languedoc’ - the original name of the Canal du Midi during the reign of King Louis XIV.
Port Lauragais: Avignonet Lauragais (2km away), old tower (1606), church and restored water mill, wines of Fronton, Maison de la Haute-Garonne for stocking up on regional specialities
Seuil de Naurouze: Highest point of Canal du Midi (190m), waters of the Black Mountains, watershed where water one side flows to the Atlantic and the other side flows to the Mediterranean, hikes in the hills of Lauragais
Segala: known as the country of 100 valleys, NOT pottery dating from 1820 (open Mon– Fri and by appointment on weekends)
Castelnaudary: Grand Bassin (largest body of open water along the Canal du Midi at 7 hectares), Saint-Michel Church College (13th century), Cugarel Mill, city of the famous Cassoulet dish
Villepinte: 12th century church, 16th century village, beautiful aqueduct
Bram: circular village built around the castle and 13th century church
Villesèquelande: Ormeau de Sully (famous 16th century tree with a 6m circumference) Sainte-Marie church
Carcassonne: Medieval city with ramparts 3km in length and 52 towers. UNESCO World Heritage Site, many events – markets, festivals etc.
Trèbes: Saint-Etienne church (14th century), swimming pool, La Rode canal bridge, Orbiel canal bridge, impressive staircase of three locks, waterside restaurants
Marseillette: rice growing Marseillette pond, Chappe tower
Puichéric: impressive unique lock by Joël Barthès, pretty castle of Puichéri, Romanesque church, Minervois vineyards
La Redorte: remarkable stone arches built in 1693 to prevent flooding
Homps: short walk to Lake Jouarres for swimming, windsurfing, canoeing and fishing
Argens-Minervois: beautiful village built around a 14th century castle, wine tours at the Musée de la Vigne et du Vin in Lézignan-Corbières (5km away)
Roubia: beautiful village built around a castle, Moulin de la Restanque for gourmet olive oils
Paraza: 17th century castle, Répudre Canal Bridge - the oldest in France (1km away)
Ventenac-en-Minervois: set on a hill top with stunning views, cellar visits to the wine grower Château de Ventenac-en-Minervois
Le Somail: iconic stone bridge, cooling house dating back to 1684, impressive book store with 50,000 works for sale!
On reaching Le Somail your boating holiday on the Canal du Midi has come to an end. You can return your canal boat to the Nicols base.
Holiday reviews from Port Lauragais
A dream itinerary!
A dream came true when we undertook the one-way boating holiday route between Port Lauragais and Le Somail. The Canal du Midi didn’t disappoint with its timeless charm, picturesque villages and interesting canal structures such as the locks.
Lucie and Romain, Annecy