hotel barge holidays in france
alegria - canal du midi
canal cruising in france
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Alegria - Canal du MidiCanal Barge in France
"Our experience on Alegria was the highlight of a fabulous 19 days in France" - Margaret & Joe
Alegria is beautiful - modern, full of light. The comfortable lounge and the two spacious cabins have large round portholes offering excellent views of the Canal. Each of the 2 cabins have double access: one door leads you outside near the pool and the other connects with the lounge. This feature allows both intimacy and independence. On deck, there is a lot of room to sit outside and absorb the beauty of the Canal du Midi and a small swimming pool well-appreciated on hot days. Don't forget that you can even hire Alegria for 4 days only!
THE 4-PASSENGER BARGE ALEGRIA
The large lounge / dining room has two big portholes offering direct views of the Canal … and its inhabitants: our friends the ducks and geese. The bar is well stocked with many of your favorite drinks, all of them offered to you. There is also a specific bar fridge and a coffee/tea making machine for your own use.
Each of the two large guest rooms with en-suite has two entrances: one leading directly outside to the front of the barge near the pool and another one opening inside to the lounge. This allows both intimacy and independence. The rooms have large portholes which offer panoramic views of the Canal du Midi. The cabins are fitted with king size beds that can be separated into single beds upon request. In your room, you'll also find a mini-fridge full of cool drinks and a tea & coffee tray with biscuits. Both cabins have air conditioning.
itinerary - BEZIERS to CARCASSONNE
SATURDAY - Beziers to Poilhes
We have the pleasure of welcoming you at the airport or at the railway station (from 4pm) and transfering you to Alegria, moored in Poilhes, 10 miles from Béziers. After the crew is introduced to you and after you settle down, you are served a welcome Champagne drink while we start cruising slowly along the Canal. After a u-turn we come back to the mooring of Poilhes. You can slowly stroll through this lovely village of less than 500 inhabitants before you are proposed some apéritifs… We serve your first dinner onboard and spend the night in Poilhes, our "home mooring".
SUNDAY- Poilhes to Capestang
On this Sunday morning our guide proposes you a “multi-site” excursion: the City of Béziers, the famous “stair case” of the Nine Locks of Fonsérane, the archeological (6th century BC) site of the Oppidum of Ensérune, and the Malpas Tunnel, the first tunner built in the world for a canal. After the lunch (or during lunch… depending on the weather conditions) you cruise to La Croisade and pass underneath the lowest bridge on the Canal: the famous bridge of Capestang. Mind you head! This 18km cruise is typical with its numerous meanders: yes the Canal actually looks like a River! After this four-hour cruise the dinner is served onboard and you spend the night in a restful place, a stone's throw away from ... an old 17th century stone bridge.
MONDAY - Capestang to Le Somail
In the morning we cruise slowly to Le Sommail, one of the most charming villages along the Canal. Should you need a book for the week you can buy one from a unique book shop that has approximately 50 000 second-hand books in stock ... in many different languages! In the afternoon you may chose to relax on the barge, roam around, cycle, etc but we also propose you to visit a wine farm or an olive mill nearby, or any other site that might suit your wishes. At the end of the day you are invited for the Captain's Dinner in a local auberge. It's the perfect opportunity to enjoy the atmosphere of a French restaurant!
TUESDAY - Le Somail to Roubia
In the morning you go to one of the best market in the region, in Olonzac. Youcan look and buy anything you wish, from a provençal table cloth to special olives locally grown (well… we have some on board too!). Then the guide takes you to Minerve, a fascinating site and a previously fortified village in a very special rocky environment. Minerve was attacked in 1210 by the terrible army led by Simon de Montfort: the right time for us to tell you everything about the Crusade of the Albigeois in the 13th Century, one of the harshest stories of our past … The afternoon cruise takes you to the typical Minervois village of Roubia for the overnight mooring. The dinner is served onboard.
WEDNESDAY- Roubia to Homps
In the morning you visit a beautiful town, Narbonne. Narbonne is full of Roman history and includes the "Palace of the Archbishop". You will love its Mediterranean and Gothic style. And ... you will be offered lunch there in a typical restaurant that has some fish specialties. After lunch you are driven back to the barge for the afternoon cruise. You pass your first lock after Roubia and we cruise to the port of Homps, one of the busiest harbors in the old times of the Canal commercial era.
THURSDAY - Homps to Puicheric
In the morning you visit the great City of Carcassonne, the biggest medieval City in Europe. You are just fascinated by the size of the walls and the narrow streets inside. You are right there in the middle of French history! There also many shops where you can buy typical souvenirs to bring back to friends or children. After lunch you embark on the last leg of the cruise for the week, from Homps to the area of Puichéric. You pass the last lock of the cruise and you can admire the wooden and iron sculptures made by the most famous lock-keeper on the Canal. The barge is moored just on top of this most beautiful lock. You spend your last night onboard Alegria after the Farewell Dinner prepared by our Chef.
FRIDAY - Puicheric
After your breakfast, we transfer you back to the airport or railway station so that you can continue your adventure in Europe or wherever!!!
On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.
Price for Alegria includes:
• Transfer from the railway station or the nearest airport and return. • Accommodation in a cabin fitted with a king size bed or two single beds. • Service in the cabin, the use of a bar-fridge and the complimentary drinks inside, a kettle and tray with teas and coffee. • All meals served both on board Alegria and in outside restaurants (two meals with the Week Cruise; one with the Discovery Cruise). All the pre-drinks and beverages with the meals. • Open bar: all drinks offered on board Alegria. • Excursions as mentioned above, including the guide and the entrance fees. The use of a computer with internet connections, free of charge, through a 3G+ USB modem • Use of bicycles.
These rates do not include:
• Insurance • Personal expenses • The gratuities to the crew (we recommend between 5 and 10% of the cruise rate depending on your level of satisfaction, payable in Euros to the Captain and then shared between all). • Your own dry laundry or ironing • Telephone calls apart from the internet connections