European Waterways - vacations and travel

Athos

Canal du Midi between Salleles D'Aude and Marseillan, France, Europe

from €3,390* per person 7 Days March-October
Luxury accommodations Exertion level: 2
Operator: European Waterways 10 people max
  • Montpellier tgv station
  • Boats, Barges & Small Ship Cruises trips
The 10 passenger Athos was built in 1964 as a commercial sand, grain and wine barge and was converted into a luxury hotel barge in 1982. Her association with wine continues today as she gracefully meanders through the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France. She is air conditioned throughout, has bikes available for passenger use a spacious sundeck to enjoy the passing scenery. Her five en-suite staterooms can be in either twin or queen-size double bed configuration and offer all modern comforts. The spacious, traditionally decorated saloon, dining area and bar are perfect places to relax.

An English-speaking crew of four efficiently attends to your comfort and entertainment and ensures an unforgettable experience. Your captain has piloted Athos on the Canal du Midi for more than 20 years and his experience shows though his leadership of the master chef, tour guide and housekeeper.

Below you can find some of the highlights of the cruises we are currently offering on Athos, along with some examples of the cuisine and fine wines the master chef will present you with on board. You can view the current itineraries and maps by clicking "Athos Cruises" on the menu on the right where you will also find links to the photo gallery, deck plan and cruise rates.

Locations visited/nearby

Canal du Midi between Salleles D'Aude and Marseillan, France, Europe

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Special information

  • May accommodate certain types of disabilities. Contact the operator for more information.

Itinerary

Sunday, Day 1 Marseillan

You will be met at the designated meeting point and transferred to where the Athos awaits you at her moorings in Marseillan. Crew Welcome aboard, whilst toasting with Champagne and Mediterranean canapés. Once you are settled into your cabin, we enjoy our first dinner on board.

Monday, Day 2 Marseillan to Portiragnes

After breakfast the proposed morning visit is a guided walk through the quaint fishing village of Marseillan and we end the visit with a taste of famous Noilly Prat vermouth, distilled right here at Marseillan port. When you return to the barge you find that a spectacular (and appropriate!) seafood lunch awaits you. The Etang hosts Europe's largest mussel and oyster Park. We cruise across the open waters of the Etang de Thau and onto the canal du Midi. This area of conservation land known as the “Petit Camargue” is home to unique bird species like Pink Flamingos, African Rollers and Bee Eaters. After a relaxing cruise we moor in Portiragnes which is only a short 2km ride to the sandy Mediterranean beach if you fancy a quick cycle before dinner. Dinner is on board.

Tuesday, Day 3 Portiragnes to Fonserannes

A drive to the old market town of Pezenas, which was the first seat of the Languedoc court. The architecture is unique to the town because of the “Hotels Particuliers,” or Mansions belonging to the noble families who followed the Court. Pezenas is filled with an eclectic mix of artisan shops, including potters, painters, hat makers, and costume designers. In addition to learning about the history of this exceptional town, your Guide will make sure there is plenty of time for browsing. Back on the boat, the Chef and the hostess begin serving up today's luxury meal while the Captain and his deck hand are busy getting ATHOS underway. Coming up next is the 18th C. Canal Bridge that will carry the ATHOS over the Orb River. The 17th C. feat of engineering, the "Neuf Ecluses" (or staircase locks), is sure to impress! ATHOS crew expertly tie her up in each lock and wait for the gates to close safely behind her before the water levels refill and allow her to pass from one lock into the next. We arrive early evening above the Fonserannes, the seven staircase locks at Beziers. Here you’ll have a glorious evening view of the town of Beziers and the Cathedral St.Nazaire. The crew invite you for a quick game of Petanque and a glass of Pastis before being invited to seat for another delicious 4-course dinner on board.

Wednesday, Day 4 Fonserannes to Regismont le Haut

After a relaxing breakfast, why not take a side trip to the weekly morning market in Narbonne? Even for non-shoppers, Narbonne offers great entertainment on a weekday morning. Explore an excavated portion of the original Roman road, the Via Domitia, browse through the well-compiled Roman Museum, discover the beauty of the St. Juste Cathedral, or simply take a moment to blend into the lively, local café scene. When you return to the boat, the appealing smells of Chef's lunchtime creations tempt you into accepting a beautifully chilled glass of cold dry rose. After an alfresco lunch on Athos’ large upper deck, the Captain gets cruising underway and the shade of the canal lulls you into a happy siesta. By early evening, you have arrived in Capestang, and ATHOS will moor with a view of the floodlit and picturesque Collegiale St. Etienne. There ought to be enough time for a stroll into the village before the Chef starts serving up the next delight!

Thursday, Day 5 Regismont le Haut to Capestang

This morning’s suggested visit is a tasting at the Oulibo, the local olive oil pressoir. After tasting a variety of delicious olives, accompanied by a small glass of rose, it is just a short drive up the Gorge de la Cesse and into the hilltop village of Minerve. Your Guide will delight you with the harrowing tale of the Cathar siege launched at Minerve during the 13th C. In the afternoon, you may choose to either relax after a long lunch and an afternoon of cruising, or perhaps your Guide’s invite to a sociable wine-tasting at the local Chateau will appeal to you? After the wine-tasting outing, Chef has once again prepared a stunning 4-course dinner as a finale to your day.

Friday, Day 6 Capestang to Argeliers

After breakfast we tour famous the Medieval double-walled city of Carcassonne. Ample shopping opportunities! We cruise to the rustic port of Argeliers whilst Chef will serve up another local, gourmet 3-course meal (perhaps including the famous duck confit stew, Cassoulet) By early evening, you have arrived at your final mooring. The Captain will join your party for a final dinner on board this evening, and he will invite the crew to join you in a farewell toast.

Saturday, Day 7 Argeliers

After breakfast, transfer to the appointed destination point.

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