The Canal du Midi cuts through the south of the Saint-Chinian region in Languedoc Roussillon and for many of course represents an iconic image of the south of France. It’s a great place to slow the pace down a little and you can hire a boat for as little as 2 hours, or for a week or more. Expect to pay around Euros 1000 a week for a houseboat and Euros 3000 for a very luxurious, all inclusive riverboat experience.
There’s cycling too down the tow paths (and bikes available for hire) and when you’re ready for a little refreshment, tear yourself away from the sleepy waters and the shade of the trees and stop at the tourist office in Capestang. It’s right on the tow path so you haven’t got too walk far and in conjunction with local wine producers, they offer wine tastings and presentations about the region every Tuesday and Thursday evening from June to September.
Stay in style at the Château Les Carrasses: Just north of the Canal du Midi and the village of Capestang, this beautifully restored 19th century château enjoys shimmering views across the vineyards to the mountains beyond. They they have a choice of suites, apartments or villas and r un a selection of wine based events from May to October including wine tasting with the wine makers, wine tasting masterclasses, food and wine pairing and full and half day wine experience days. Find out more at: lescarrasses.com
And if you’ve not yet had enough of the stunning views and landscape, while you are here, ask at the Tourist Office if you can climb the gothic collegiate church in the village and enjoy 360 degrees views to Narbonne and Pico d’Aneto in the south and of the sleeping lady which is Mount Caroux to the north.
Transport: The region is served by a number of airports and Easy Jet fly from the UK to Montpellier and Béziers. Other airports are Perpignan, Nîmes and Carcassonne.
Plan your visit – Get the app: The AOC Saint-Chinian have a great little app where you will find details of the wine producers, routes for local walks, details of other tourist attractions and even recipes. Visit their website www.saint-chinian.com or your app store.