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2 Weeks Provence - Camargue - Canal du Midi on Esperance

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 14 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 10 people
Destination(s): France  
Specialty Categories: Barging  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 3000 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 7500 US Dollar (USD)

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1, Sunday: You will be transferred from your designated meeting point to your charming barge home, moored in the nearby port of Villeneuve les Avignon/Vallabregues, a typical, charming Provençal village. You will be welcomed aboard with a champagne toast and the first of many gourmet dinners.

Day 2, Monday: A full day of sightseeing! In the morning you will visit the famous and enchanting hilltop village of Les Beaux, known for its gorgeous views over the Provencal landscape. You will return to the barge to have lunch and then it is off to visit the impressive Roman aqueduct Pont du Gard. Next, you will have the opportunity to tour the largest Gothic palace in Europe, the Palais du Pape in Avignon and a possible wine tasting before returning to the barge. Dinner is back at your cozy home, still moored in Vallabregues.

Day 3, Tuesday: This morning you begin your cruise. We float on the scenic River Rhone and the "Petit Rhone" to our mooring in the picturesque village of St. Gilles. Later in the afternoon you will have an opportunity to visit Arles, where Van Gogh fell in love with the lights and colors of this fascinating countryside. Heading to the heart of town we will see Les Arenes, a Roman amphitheater built in the first century AD. Dinner back on board rounds out a wonderful day.

Day 4, Wednesday: A morning cruise on the Canal du Rhône a Sète through the stunningly beautiful Camargue National Park, home to various wildlife including black bulls and the beautiful white Camargue horses.We moor at the gates of the amazing 13th century walled town of Aigues - Mortes, an embarkation port for the Crusades. There are many historical sites to visit and there will be time to climb the walls, shop for souvenirs or relax in one of the many outdoor cafes. Horseback riding on the beach can also be arranged for an additional charge in a nearby village. A relaxing gourmet dinner awaits you back on board.

Day 5, Thursday: We set out this morning to the most peaceful and romantic mooring of this cruise located at the 6th century Maguelone Cathedral on a peninsula with the canal on one side and the beautiful blue of the Mediterranean on the other! Spend your afternoon walking or biking to this cathedral, observing flamingos and other wildlife, or lounging away the afternoon at the beach. You will enjoy yet another gourmet dinner on board.

Day 6, Friday: After a morning cruise we moor close to Frontignan, known for its sweet Muscat aperitif wine, with lunch on the barge we will spend the rest of the day exploring: Visit the old port of Sète, France's largest Mediterranean fishing town, and enjoy watching its picturesque fishing boats and yachts maneuver through the port. If you are up for a challenge, climb the Mont St-Clair for a great view of Sète, its canals and the sea. Head off to see the whitewashed stone fishing villages on the Etang du Thau, or go to Frontignan for a sweet opportunity to taste the Muscat aperitif wine. Arrive back at the barge for a festive dinner.

Day 7, Saturday: After breakfast you can go for a day’s excursion. This would be the perfect day to organize the helicopter flight.

Day 8, Sunday: Visit of Frontignan and departure to the Midi.

Day 9, Monday: We will cruise alongside the oysterbeds on the Etang de Thau to Agde. We will pass the famous round lock of Agde, built by Pierre-Paul Riquet, who masterminded this whole construction. Our mooring is right in the city. History is waiting for you, we can visit the museum Agatois, walk or bike through this ancient town founded by the Phoenicians 2500 years ago. Discover ‘Les Halles’, the covered market or go for excellent shopping. Dinner is on board.

Day 10, Tuesday: Today we will enjoy a morning cruise to Villeneuve. A visit to the 13th century fortified cathedral of Saint Nazaire, with its commanding view across Pyrenees Mountains will prove to be one of the high points of your trip. Later we can explore the English-style garden, Le Plateau des Poètes, the 19th century market halls or the Museum of Fine Arts. Dinner is on board.

Day 11, Wednesday: Our morning cruise leads us to Fonseranne with an ascension of the seven lock staircase, climbing the steepest part of the canal. We will moor in Colombiers and after lunch we can visit Narbonne - a provincial capital in Roman times, still dotted with ancient monuments, grand old buildings, indoor markets and museums. Dinner is on board.

Day 12, Thursday: In the morning we will go to the famous medieval walled village of Minerve, with its 12th century Cathar fort surrounded by deep gorges. A walking tour of the town includes a visit to an interesting re-creation of the Cathar rebellion and a small museum. This afternoon cruise we will pass through the canal's only tunnel - the Malpas - built in 1679! And we will find a comfortable mooring in our Capestang. Dinner is in town at one of your hosts' favorite restaurants.

Day 13, Friday: Relax on deck this morning while we cruise to Argeliers/le Somail. After lunch we will tour the most complete medieval, fortified town in existence today: Carcassonne. This city has 52 watchtowers, portcullis and the remains of an extraordinary repertoire of defenses which resisted the many armies that tried to storm this Camelot-like setting. There is time to visit the local boutiques for an excellent choice of Provençal fabrics and tablecloths. Tonight we will share a festive, farewell dinner to end your cruise in style.

Day 14, Saturday: After breakfast, transfer to Carcassonne.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- Chauffeur driven minivan to and from your hotel or airport by arrangement
- Deluxe accommodation on board
- "A La Carte" meal options: from barge and breakfast, half board/dine around, and full board/all inclusive
- On shore dining is also available upon request
- Fine wines and beers from our cellar at lunch and dinner.
- An open bar
- Pre-arranged guided excursions
- Full use of all facilities on board.