French Hotel Barge EMMA : ITINERARY
CARCASSONNE TO TOULOUSE
SATURDAY - DAY 1
Afternoon: Your guide will meet you at your chosen rendez vous point and bring you where “Emma”is moored in the port of Trébes. Once you are settled on board we shall cruise off with champagne cocktails out into the vineyards, through 2 locks to Leveque.
SUNDAY - DAY 2
Morning: Off we go to explore the biggest and best fortified city in Europe, Carcassonne. Although dating from the time of Charlemagne, it has been extensively restored. You can walk along the ramparts, visit the Chateau Comtal, shop in the boutiques along the cobbled streets, visit galleries and museums and get the feel of life in the middle ages. Or, alternatively, we could see the medieval village of Lagrasse with its beautiful bridges over the River Orbeil, its 14th century Abbey, cloister, Monks dormitory, and for those who like a spot of retail therapy, fabulous pottery, wooden and leather craft shops and art galleries.
Afternoon: Put your feet up and relax during our afternoon cruise, which takes us through 4 locks to Herminis. Have a stroll through the vineyards, cycle the towpath or just sit and have a glass of local wine, read your book whilst your gourmet dinner is being prepared.
MONDAY - DAY 3
Morning: This morning your guide will take you to Limoux, home of the famous sparkling wine. Can we tempt you to a little dégustation? You will then carry on to Rennes le Chateau, which if you have read Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code; you will remember the story of the Curé Saunier who all of a sudden had great riches. Did he find the treasure? This is a very interesting visit, through beautiful scenery, but keep your eye out for the lost treasure.
Afternoon: After lunch we shall cruise to the typical languedocian village of Brams. It is known as a circulade due to its resemblance to the spiral of a snail’s shell.
TUESDAY - DAY 4
Morning: From Brams this morning your visit will take you through the rolling plains of the Lauraigais, fields of sunflowers in summer and views of the snow capped mountains on a clear day, to the town of Mirepoix. We shall stop off at Fanjeaux, home of St Dominic and the Dominican Convent; the views are spectacular. Mirepoix itself is renowned for its wooden columns surrounding the main market square, its colombaged houses and its cathedral.
Afternoon: After lunch you captain will gently guide you along the canal, going through a selection of lovely locks to moor up in the beautiful Lauragais countryside.
WEDNESDAY - DAY 5
Morning: This morning we shall cruise to the town of Castelnaudary.
Afternoon: This afternoon your guide will take you to visit Castelnaudary. One of the contenders for “the original and best Cassoulet”, the others being Carcassonne and Toulouse. The Grand Bassin, the Gothic Collegiale with its 56 meter bell tower, the 17th Century windmill the vestiges of the Presidial, partly destroyed by Louis X11 and the Chapelle Notre Dame de la Pitié with its gold covered wood sculptures depicting ten episodes in the life of Christ are all on the visit.
THURSDAY - DAY 6
Morning: We leave Castelnaudary this morning and continue our cruise to The Seuil de Narouze. This is the highest point on the Canal du Midi after which it descends the other side towards the Atlantic. Obligatory champagne on crossing this momentous spot. Here the plane trees are the same age as the canal, and their girth is amazing.
Afternoon: This afternoon’s visit is to reason why the Canal du Midi was possible, the Lac St Ferreol It was the only land which had slopes both to the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.You will see the intricate irrigation system, which allows us to have the canal we love today. To think this was all discovered in the 1600’s on horseback by Paul Riquet. Return to Emma for your final gala dinner lovingly prepared by your personal chef.
FRIDAY - DAY 7
Morning: Sadly you must leave us this morning, and after breakfast, your guide will be ready to escort you to your onward departure point.
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