Canal du Midi Boat Hire

Linking the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, the sunny Canal du Midi is one of the oldest man-made waterways in Europe. A World Heritage Site, the Canal du Midi has unusual oval locks and beautiful bridges and aqueducts.

With many boat bases on the Canal du Midi we offer a huge variety of one-way and out-and-back routes along the canal on over 60 different boat types.

Canal Du Midi Area Map

East of Toulouse is our Penichette boat base at Negra. The town was the first stop of the Mail Boat which ran from Toulouse to Agde in the 19th century. Going south east, the old port of Castelnaudary is noted for its fine buildings and as the home of 'cassoulet' - a local stew made from meat and beans. A large fleet is based at our cruiser boat base here.

Europe's largest and best preserved medieval fortress is at nearby Carcassonne. Its medieval towers and walled city, a romantic World Heritage site, can be explored from the convenient town centre canal basin.

Canal du Midi – a superb cruising location

From our penichette base at Argens, dominated by a 14th century chateau, the Canal du Midi winds past vineyards. Shaded by plane trees you journey along the canal through villages such as pretty Le Somail, the start of a long lock-free section.

Perhaps divert onto the Canal de la Robine to the old Roman city of Narbonne. The canal passes under the Merchant's Bridge, one of the few left in France lined with houses and shops. You can also start your cruise from our boat base at Narbonne.

The Canal du Midi continues to the interesting village of Capestang and the world’s oldest canal tunnel at Malpas. Then descend the amazing flight of seven locks at Fonserannes, to the west of Beziers.

The busy port-town of Béziers, birthplace of Pierre-Paul Riquet, founder of the Canal du Midi, has stunning views from the hilltop cathedral of St Nazaire. East of Beziers reach our boat base at Port Cassafieres on the edge of the Camargue.

Memories of the fabulous tree-lined Canal du Midi cruise will remain with you forever.

Diary of a week on the Canal du Midi

Area Highlights

Highlights of the Canal Du Midi Region

  • Sunshine from March to October
  • The ancient walled town of Carcassonne
  • The roman town of Narbonne
  • Pretty oval locks - all fully staffed
  • Good links to motorways, low-cost airports and TGV
  • The Languedoc region - France's most productive wine growing area
  • The medieval town of Castelnaudary, famous for its cassoulet stew
  • The Fontserannes staircase locks near Beziers
Le Somail

Useful Information:

  • Locks are fully automatic, manned and free to use.
  • The Fonserannes staircase of locks can get busy. It is reccommended that you moor at the top/bottom of ther lock and walk or cycle into Beziers for sightseeing.
  • Short breaks and longer cruises are available form all the bases along the Canal Du Midi.

Customer Reviews

We took the route Negra to Lattes. A great route with changing and varied scenery incorporating boating on canals, rivers and ending at the Med. Excellent route. ES - Negra - Lattes
Great trip, I was a little apprehensive about renting a boat in France with 3 girls and my wife, but had no problems. Highly recommend the start of the trip from Argen to the lake. The canal also was not crowded and some days we would only see about 5 boats, I would highly recommend this trip on the Canal du Midi . CM - Argen - Lattes
We had a really good time, assisted by fine weather. We cruised from the base at Argens to Carcassonne and back, locks all the way but no real problems in managing. Other clients of yours who fish may like to know I can confirm there are some very large carp in the Canal du Midi. CM - Argens and back in Southern France
We had an absolutely fabulous time, loved every minute of it! We are looking to return next year, with more family and a bigger boat - great holiday! Thank you!
SH - Negra and back in Southern France
On check-in the office suggested we travel towards Toulouse instead of Carcassonne which gave us a less crowded journey with fewer boats travelling in the same direction. We appreciated the advice, as being first time travellers (a couple in our 60's), we were apprehensive about traversing the locks and would have worried had we held up the "traffic". We soon discovered that our misgivings amounted to little as our confidence grew!
JO - Castlenaudary and back in Southern France
Had a great time from Homps to Trebes - and we were extremely lucky with the weather!
NK - Homps and back in Southern France
We did a return trip from Narbonne to Trebes. We wanted to go to Carcassonne and were advised by the lady at the base to stop at Trebes and get a taxi into Carcassonne. This proved to be excellent advice and we were very grateful. We had an excellent holiday and even when the fan belt went on the boat the responce from the base was very quick and they were with us within 1/2 hour so we were hardly held up at all. Overall we were very impressed with the service, boat etc and would certainly use them again
CB - Narbonne and back in Southern France
Travelled on the Canal Du Midi from Castelnaudaray to Trebes in October and found this to be a very good time of year as the weather was OK (mostly fine with some overnight rain) and the canal was not too busy. Bram was our first overnight and it was a lovely little village. Next overnight was Carcassonne - a much larger place with lots to see and good mooring facilities (showers and washing machines). Last night at Trebes where facilities are limited but still a village worth visiting.
KG - Castelnaudary to Trebes in Southern France
The customer service I received during the booking process was excellent - thank you for your help, advice and proactive approach.
CM - Homps out and back in Southern France
Sam at Boating Holidays was fantastic, always friendly and helpful, I am booking through her again.
CP - Port Cassafieres out and back in Southern France
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Suggested cruises from our bases in Canal du Midi

Canal Du Midi Boating Map

One way cruises are available between bases of the same colour.

View Routes from:

Boat Holidays from Argens

From our base at Argens, the Canal du Midi winds through a typically Mediterranean landscape of vines, cypresses, and pine trees. Shaded by plane trees you journey along the canal, stopping for refreshment and regional specialities at towns and villages such as pretty Le Somail.

A diversion to Narbonne may be possible, otherwise continue to the amazing seven-lock staircase at Fontserrannes before reaching Beziers and on to the coast at Agde.

Boat Search by Start Base

Start Base: Argens


One Way Routes

Argens - Carcassonne - Castelnaudary - Negra

One Way • 1 Week • 118km • 45 Locks • 4 hr 30 / day

Argens - Le Somail - Sete - Frontignan - Aigues Mortes - Lattes

One Way • 1 Week • 185km • 17 Locks • 4 hr / day

Out and Back Routes

Argens - Puichéric - Trebes - Carcassonne - Argens

Return Trip • 1 Week • 92km • 34 Locks • 3 hr 30 / day

Argens - Le Somail - Narbonne - Beziers - Argens

Return Trip • 1 Week • 151km • 40 Locks • 4 hr / day

Argens - Narbonne - Beziers - Agde - Marseillan - Argens

Return Trip • 10/11 days • 200km • 54 Locks • 4 hr / day

Argens - Carcassonne - Castelnaudary - Toulouse - Argens

Return Trip • 2 Weeks • 291km • 102 Locks • 4 hr 45 / day

Argens - Narbonne - Beziers - Bouzigues - Lattes - Argens

Return Trip • 2 Weeks • 288km • 56 Locks • 4 hr 00 / day

Argens - Carcassonne - Castelnaudary - Negra - Argens - Beziers - Agde - Argens

Return Trip • 3 Weeks • 396km • 116 Locks • 4 hr 30 / day

Le Somail Bridge
Sycamore Trees on the Canal Du Midi

Boat holidays from Bram

The base at Bram is in an ideal spot located just a few kilometres from Castelnaudary which is renowned for its cuisine, including cassoulet. Cruising towards the Mediterranean you can easily get to Carcassonne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Europe’s largest fortress.

Boat Search by Start Base

Start Base: Bram


One Way Routes

Bram - Carcassonne - Beziers - Argens

10-11 days • 184km • 40 Locks • 3 hr 45 / day

Out and Back Routes

Bram - Caux et Sauzens - Carcassonne - Bram

Short Break • 2-3 days • 48km • 10 Locks • 4 hr 15 / day

Bram - Carcassonne - Marseillette - Argens - Bram

Return Trip • 1 Week • 140km • 44 Locks • 5 hr / day

Bram - Carcassonne - Argens - Beziers - Agde - Bram

Return Trip • 2 Weeks • 300km • 70 Locks • 4 hr 15 / day

Boat Holidays from Negra

From Toulouse, the Canal du Midi takes you through one of France's most fascinating regions to the mediterranean coast and the Camargue. The canal itself is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site for its 17th century construction works.

The base at Negra was the first stop of the "Mail Boat" which ran from Toulouse to Agde in the 19th century. Castelnaudary is noted for its fine buildings and as the home of 'cassoulet'. The medieval towers and walled city of Carcassonne form another World Heritage site, with a convenient town centre canal basin.

Boat Search by Start Base

Start Base: Negra


One Way Routes

Negra - Castelnaudary - Carcassonne - Argens (or vice versa)

One Way • 1 Week • 118km • 45 Locks • 4 hr 30 / day

Out and Back Routes

Negra - Toulouse - Montech - Negra

Return Trip • 1 Week • 152km • 40 Locks • 4 hr 00 / day

Argens Minervois
Penichette on the Canal Du Midi

There are many possible two week cruises combining some of the above, or extending eastwards to the Camargue.

Please note that hours suggested above are approximate

Back to the Top

Le Somail - Carcassonne - Port Lauragais

Oneway • 7 Days • 116km • 60 Locks • 32 hrs

Le Somail - Trebes - Le Somail

Return • 7 Days • 100km • 40 Locks • 15hrs

Le Somail - Carcassonne - Le Somail

Return • 7 Days • 124km • 52 Locks • 33hrs

Le Somail - Agde - Le Somail

Return • 7 Days • 130km • 22 Locks • 23hrs 30

Le Somail - Narbonne/Fonserannes - Le Somail

Return • 4 Days • 111km • 20 Locks • 26hrs

Le Somail - Port-La Nouvelle - Le Somail

Return • 4 Days • 74km • 20 Locks • 20hrs

Le Somail - Marseillette - Le Somail

Return • 4 Days • 80km • 34 Locks • 22hrs

Le Somail - Fonserannes - Le Somail

Shortbreak • 3 Days • 82km • 0 Locks • 11hrs

Le Somail - Homps - Le Somail

Shortbreak • 3 Days • 42km • 12 Locks • 10hrs

Port Lauragais - Carcassonne - Le Somail

Oneway • 7 Days • 116km • 60 Locks • 32 hrs

Port Lauragais - Carcassonne - Port Lauragais

Return • 7 Days • 136km • 68 Locks • 37hrs

Port Lauragais - Toulouse - Port Lauragais

Return • 4 Days • 90km • 28 Locks • 22hrs

Port Lauragais - Bram - Port Lauragais

Return • 4 Days • 60km • 46 Locks • 20hrs 30

Port Lauragais - Castelnaudary - Port Lauragais

Shortbreak • 3 Days • 30km • 12 Locks • 8hrs