Day 1, Sunday: Carcassonne.
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: Carcassonne - Trebes.
Tour the wonderful medieval fortress of 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. Back to the barge for lunch and an afternoon cruise to Trebes.
Day 3, Tuesday: Homps - Minerve.
Enjoy a relaxing morning cruise. After lunch 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.
Day 4, Wednesday: Le Somail - Narbonne.
This morning, experience the wonderful under-cover 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 then return to the barge for an afternoon cruise to Le Somail.
Day 5, Thursday: l’Abbaye de Fontfroide - Capestang.
Discover the 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. Back on board for lunch. Take in the grandeur and beauty of the Canal du Midi while you cruise to Capestang.
Day 6, Friday: Béziers - Oppidum d’Ensérune.
A morning cruise to Béziers. In the afternoon, visit Oppidum d’Ensérune, 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. Farewell gala dinner on board.
Day 7, Saturday: Béziers.
After breakfast disembark and transfer to Béziers 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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