This one-way boating holiday on the Canal du Midi will take you about one week and sees you cruise between Le Somail and Port Lauragais. The main advantage of this one-way route is that you get to make the most of the many attractions found along this famous waterway, also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
By hiring a canal boat from the Nicols base at Le Somail you are in the ideal place to discover one of the most famous waterways in Europe – the Canal du Midi. The charming little port of Le Somail can be found halfway between Carcassonne and Béziers on the longest continuous section of canal in France, at 52km without seeing a lock!
Le Somail: iconic stone bridge, cooling house dating back to 1684, impressive book store with 50,000 works for sale!
Ventenac-en-Minervois: set on a hill top with stunning views, cellar visits to the wine grower Château de Ventenac-en-Minervois
Paraza: 17th century castle, Répudre Canal Bridge - the oldest in France (1km away)
Roubia: beautiful village built around a castle, Moulin de la Restanque for gourmet olive oils
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)
Homps: short walk to Lake Jouarres for swimming, windsurfing, canoeing and fishing
La Redorte: remarkable stone arches built in 1693 to prevent flooding
Puichéric: impressive unique lock by Joël Barthès, pretty castle of Puichéri, Romanesque church, Minervois vineyards
Marseillette: rice growing Marseillette pond, Chappe tower
Trèbes: Saint-Etienne church (14th century), swimming pool, La Rode canal bridge, Orbiel canal bridge, impressive staircase of three locks, waterside restaurants
Carcassonne: Medieval city with ramparts 3km in length and 52 towers. UNESCO World Heritage Site, many events – markets, festivals etc.
Villesèquelande: Ormeau de Sully (famous 16th century tree with a 6m circumference) Sainte-Marie church
Bram: circular village built around the castle and 13th century church
Villepinte: 12th century church, 16th century village, beautiful aqueduct
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
Segala: known as the country of 100 valleys, NOT pottery dating from 1820 (open Mon– Fri and by appointment on weekends)
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
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
On reaching Port Lauragais 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 Somail
A week of relaxation
We travelled with friends for a week of freedom, relaxation and enjoying everything about the Canal du Midi. Working as a team at the locks was a particular highlight and plenty of fun – with the reward of a well deserved drink on the deck at sunset for everyone!