The Inland Waterways
Travelling in France through the inland channels and rivers that go right to the heart of the country, from its villages to many vineyards, is a wonderful option to familiarize with traditional France. In volcanic, mountainous Corsica you’ll discover the unspoiled Mediterranean nature, in Brittany (Bretagne) you can visit Celtic villages, while the Bay of Biscay and the English Channel will show you the wild side of the Atlantic.
Getting the Inside Track…
Charter options are available in the rivers and artificial channels of the French mainland. If you take this route you can go from vineyards to historic cities and towns down to the heart of France. This is a special cruise where you will salute the day through castles built in the Middle Ages, and feel you’re travelling in time.
Canal du Midi is France’s largest and most popular waterway route. It runs for 241 kilometers through Southern France and is listed among UNESCO World Heritages. Throughout your journey you can watch the famous white horses of the Camargue region, the migrating herons and witness wild life in Europe, and also visit Toulouse, nick-named ‘the Pink City’ for its tile-red buildings; the Minervois vineyards; a spectacular Medieval castle in Carcassonne -a town surrounded by historic walls-, among many other timeless beauties.
Another remarkable route for those who have a taste for good wines and the traditional French culture is the Canal du Nivernais in Burgundy. Auxerre is arguably the most attractive region in this route, with its famous cathedral and authentic villages. The Burgundy and Loire Channels, and the River Yonne also offer magnificent views with chateaus, cathedrals and a wonderful nature. Lot Valley, Brittany, Saone River, Southwest France and the Alsace-Lorraine region are some of the other places you can discover through channels…
Bareboat or Skippered: If you are a “good captain”, you may prefer bareboat but if you decide to hire a captain for your yacht charter, your experienced skipper will take you the most secluded bays and coves and tell the stories of these places.