Last Updated on 27/12/2021 by Alfred
Fancy a walk in the surroundings of Toulouse? Then discover the Canal du Midi, between cruises and boat rental without a license!
The royal route of river tourism in Europe, the Canal du Midi, awakens the imagination and evokes the sweetness of life in just a few seconds.
Some follow its voluptuous curves by bike, from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. Others walk along with it in small portions.
But those who make the best choice are probably those who go through it as its creator imagined it… by boat! But don’t be afraid. Designed for boaters of all levels, the Canal du Midi offers many possibilities.
Among them, boat rental without a license. Spend time at the gates of the Midi as a couple, family, or friends. You can recharge your batteries in two days as well as in a week on a river cruise!
Canal du Midi – Cruises and Boat Rental without a License
The Canal du Midi, in a few words
Did you know that all its splendors earned the Canal du Midi the nickname “Canal Royal du Languedoc” in the time of Louis XIV?
So if we talk about the geniuses who have passed on Earth, let us mention Pierre-Paul Riquet: the designer – indeed a great dreamer too – of this exceptional channel.
He imagined these waters meandering under the sun of the south of France, protected in the shade of plane trees, cypresses, and other umbrella pines.
Refreshing silhouettes unwavering, also watching over the navigators… The Canal du Midi flows between endemic vines and black mountains along a landscape steeped in historic villages.
Far from being selfish, this beautiful dripping course also gives way to other bodies of water such as ponds or beaches!
The most beautiful river cruises on the Canal du Midi
Specialist in boat rental without a license and river holidays, Nicols offers many routes on the Canal du Midi.
We have selected here three thematic and varied escapes. You will be able to stop wherever you choose during your cruise: in the rural countryside as well as at the docks of lively cities. Enough to satisfy everyone!
For a weekend: the gastronomic escape
No foodie or lover of good food ignores the flavors of the Midi. Along its iconic canal, local food and wine take boaters on a journey in their own right.
Gastronomic escapes are numerous on the terraces of small cafes, in the heart of picturesque markets, or by the water in a starred restaurant.
The pleasures of the water and the table begin this weekend in Port Lauragais, between Toulouse and Carcassonne.
You will discover the unmissable cassoulet of Lauragais and the range of typical duck specialties in town. Duck breasts, confits, terrines, foie gras: it’s Christmas before time!
In this small marina, you also enjoy tasting a Fronton wine. A few hours of sailing later, you reach the Seuil de Naurouze and its hikes that invite you to stretch and… digest a little!
Finally, here is Castelnaudary, at the end of your cruise on the Canal du Midi. The city that can also be proud of its cassoulet. Besides being a water city with deliciously faded facades, this is also a city of dried beans, duck confits, sausages, and bacon.
As a souvenir, why not the traditional pottery of Ségala, in which the mythical cassoulet is prepared? This small village is also on your route to and from the resort.
For a mini-week: the wine stopover
The Canal du Midi, from Somail to Marseillette, has many assets. This cruise has a whirlwind of experiences – architectural jewels, river heritage in its juices, small picturesque ports, vineyards, and delicacies.
Your houseboat is waiting for you in the hamlet, as if frozen in time, of Somail. You then Cabot to the wine estates of the village of Ventenac-en-Minervois. Erected as a theater on a hill with exceptional panoramas, it is the ideal place to discover the local nectars.
Next, you slide on the river’s meanders leading to Paraza, its castle, and its oldest canal bridge in France, the Répudre.
In need of taste delights? Here you are in Roubia, a country of olive oil producers. Fancy a postcard landscape? The bucolic and perched village of Argens-Minervois will enchant you!
Need a dip? Join the lake of Jouarres in Homps. History buffs? You are finally at la Redorte, a remarkable river building, then at Puichéric, famous for its church and fortifications. Finish everything in flavor, in the land of rice: Marseillette. Reconnect with the local and unsuspected tradition of rice fields.
For a week: the medieval getaway
Do we still have to introduce you to Carcassonne, the famous medieval city? Sail to its timeless charms and untouched cultural riches.
During your trip, you will encounter a succession of ever-changing wonders… Green vineyards of the Minervois, historic canal bridges and locks, regional dishes, and – shockingly – delicious: the show is never-ending.
Your starting point, Le Somail, is imbued with a picturesque and romantic atmosphere. It puts you perfectly in the mood. Then, sail to the gourmet and wine-growing lands of Ventenac-en-Minervois. Then, the cruise takes on the air of a historic journey to the villages of Paraza, Argens-Minervois, Homps, La Redorte and Puichéric.
The shelter, in turn, is the oldest canal bridge in the country, castles overlooking vineyards, lakes, and scrubland, picturesque ports, remarkable monuments, and precious works of lock-sculptor.
Along the way, you will also discover Roubia and Marseillette: two jewels of local gastronomy, cradles of regional grape varieties, olive oil, and rice. In the middle of the week, disembark in Trèbes.
This enchanting square offers pleasant waterfront restaurants, beautiful Gothic buildings, and river monuments still in their juice.
But the pinnacle of your cruise is undoubtedly your arrival in Carcassonne. This medieval nugget close to the Canal du Midi can largely boast of its kilometers of ramparts, the strength of its fortified enclosures, and its myriad of gates and towers.
Records that earned it, in 1997, an inscription in the World Heritage of Unesco. This exceptional and imposing setting will undoubtedly leave you with an unforgettable memory!
The Canal du Midi with a boat without a license
Would you like to take advantage of boat rental without a license at the Canal du Midi? Nicols offers no less than 27 boat models on this destination.
The choice of your boat depends first of all on the number of people on board (from 2 to 12 people) and your vision of the trip!
To make your cruise on the Canal du Midi a success, Nicols experts guide you to the best choice among five ranges. Fly, Summer, Comfort, Sedan, or Riviera: the entire fleet has beautiful living spaces and comfortable equipment, as well as a safe and easy flight.
Depending on the range, boats without a license offer more high-end services: double terrace, swimming pool, private bathroom, air conditioning, decks, etc.
To navigate the Canal du Midi, here are the different options:
● Boats without a Fly license designed for 4 to 10 boaters depending on the model;
● Boats without a Summer license designed for 2 to 10 boaters depending on the model;
● Boats without a Comfort license designed for 5 to 10 boaters depending on the model;
● Depending on the model, sedan license-free boats are designed for 2 to 12 boaters.
Any model of the boat without a license offers an onboard WiFi service. You can also enjoy: bicycles, barbecue or relaxing sunbathing.
To prepare your cruise, Nicols accompanies you from A to Z. Before your departure; the teams send you a captain’s manual, various navigation guides, and inventory sheets. There is even a tourist guide dedicated to the Canal du Midi!
So, ready to embark with Nicols?