As soon as the river dropped, we were plying past the iconic plane trees that line the banks of the Canal du Midi
. At a top speed of only 8kph, you have plenty of time to drink in the panoramic views of Languedoc-Roussillon, and see historic hilltop hamlets.
Sometimes the Canal du Midi
gets congested, particularly at the lock staircase at Beziers
The world heritage site of Carcassonne and the Canal du Midi
PICTURESQUE: Take a relaxing barge trip on the Canal du Midi
I was definitely up for that - even if it meant pulling on a wet-suit again - and as we sailed down river in our mini raft, it was certainly a different experience to drifting along the Canal du Midi
, but just as enjoyable.
The next morning's cycle ride was by the Canal du Midi
, another n -Unesco site that was conceived in 1666 by visionary architect Pierre-Paul Riquet and which helps connect the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts of France.
SCENT OF SUMMER: Lavender fields in Languedoc PERFECT BASE: La Carabasse holiday parc in Vias JOUST A BIT OF FUN: Water jousting on the Canal du Midi
There are fabulous views from both sides of the graceful Pont Neuf and you see the starting point of the Canal du Midi
, which meanders 150 miles south-east from Toulouse to the Mediterranean (www.bateaux-toulousains.fr).
As if not content with one Unesco World Heritage site, Carcassonne has a second, the Canal du Midi
But sailing along the Canal du Midi
in France is one of the most tranquil experiences imaginable.
And, after enjoying every minute of our all too short spell on the Canal du Midi
, I'm sure there will be a next time.