Day 1, Sunday: Béziers.
A champagne reception welcomes you on board and gives you a chance to meet the crew. Later that evening, enjoy your first dining experience on board.
Day 2, Monday: Cruise to Capestang/Tour Oppidum d’Enserune.
A morning cruise along the beautiful Canal du Midi to Capestang. In the afternoon, visit Oppidum d’Enserune, a pre-Roman hill-top settlement and one of the most important archaeological sites in the region. The top of the hill affords a panoramic view of the pond of Montady drained in 1247 and transformed into a curious pattern of cultivation.
Day 3, Tuesday: Cruise to Le Somail/Abbaye de Fontfroide.
Take in the grandeur and beauty of the Canal du Midi, with its fine locks, buildings and aqueducts, scarcely changed from their completion over 300 years ago. After lunch, visit l’Abbaye de Fontfroide, a Cistercian monastery founded in the 11th century. Now privately owned, the abbey has been lovingly restored with a well-kept garden and peaceful cloister. On the way back to the boat, stop at Château Auris for a wine tasting.
Day 4, Wednesday: Visit Narbonne and the market/Homps.
This morning, experience the wonderful covered market in Narbonne, a lively Mediterranean city playing an important role as a wine-producing centre. The municipal, military and religious architecture, the river banks of the Robine and its shaded boulevards, all contribute to its charm. Enjoy lunch at a bistro just in front of the market and then return to the barge for an afternoon’s cruise.
Day 5, Thursday: Visit Minerve/Cruise to Trebes.
After breakfast, visit Minerve, an old village on a limestone cliff, which dominates the vineyards below. Its now ruined castle was once a Cathar stronghold besieged and captured by Simon de Montfort. On the way back to the boat stop at Peyriac-Minervois for wine tasting. Return to the barge for lunch and an afternoon cruise to Trebes.
Day 6, Friday: Cruise to Carcassonne.
Finish the week with a tour of Europe’s largest medieval fortress – Carcassonne. Explore the intricate fortifications of the two castellated walls, one inside the other, about a mile in circumference. The views from the battlements towards the Pyrenées are stunning. Visit the cathedral remarkable for its stained glass rose windows, elegant Romanesque nave and Gothic transepts. Farewell gala dinner on board.
Day 7, Saturday: Carcassonne.
After breakfast disembark and transfer to the local train station. Wining and dining is a highlight of any cruise and the five-course candlelit dinners are a special treat. The table d'hôte menus on board the Alouette are of the very highest quality and include many regional specialties and fine wine. Each week's menu includes some of the chefs original recipes as well as regional specialties and seasonal delicacies unique to the particular are of the country in which you are cruising.
Sample five course dinner:
- Bisque de tomates à la crème d'avocat
- Cordon de truite
- Farci d'épinard et d'aneth
- Sauté de pintade:
*Mousse de carottes à l'estragon
*Haricots verts aux amandes
- Salade et fromages
- Melon et sorbet au citron vert et framboise
- Café, thé et chocolats
- If you wish to make alternative transfer arrangements, please discuss your requirements at the time of booking
- Accompanied by wines representative of the main wine regions of France.
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Europe France Local Culture Barging