Canal du Midi

Old Nov 27th, 2000, 12:14 PM
  #1  
mcooper
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Canal du Midi

I will be in Languedoc in early March and would like to do a "day trip" on the Canal du Midi. Does anyone have any information about where to catch the boat, how long are the cruises, etc., etc.? We are staying in St. Chinian. Thanks for your help.
 
Old Nov 27th, 2000, 04:29 PM
  #2  
lynn
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Hi mcooper:
If you're going to be in St.Chinian you may want to start your day cruise from Sete which is also the beginning of the actual canal. We saw the canal in the Castelnaudry to Carcassonne area last summer and it was very lovely. Lots of canal boats meandering along the waters at a perfect relaxing pace. Looked like lots of fun.
Try the website at www.le-guide.com/canaldumidi you may find some info there and further links.
Good luck.
 
Old Jun 9th, 2002, 02:04 PM
  #3  
tdandmd
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
We are taking a boat down the Canal du Midi in the beginning of October.

We land in Paris at 1:55 p.m. on Friday and we need to be at the boat pickup on Saturday. We are going to take the train from Paris to Beziers. Does anyone have an estimated time for that? Does the TGV run direct? Also, any advice for a place to stay Friday night in Beziers.

I know absolutely nothing about this area. All I know is my friend is turning 50 and this is how he wants to celebrate.

Thank you very much for any help you can give.
 
Old Jun 9th, 2002, 04:31 PM
  #4  
lynn
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Hi tdandmd:
Just checked on sncf.com for rail from Charles de gaulle to Beziers in October. It looks like there is a train from CDG to Gare de Lyon (change here) then a direct TGV to Beziers.
I chose a fictitious date of October 10th which shows the train leaving from CDG at 17:59(5:59pm) to arrive in Gare de Lyon at 18:08 (6:08PM ) then depart GARe de Lyon at 18:24 (6:24PM) to arrive in Beziers at 22:33 (10:33PM).
I'm not sure if this train is daily but you can check on the website for your specific date. You can purchase tickets on line sncf's website about 3 months in advance of the train travel departure date. You need just to put on the booking that you will be picking the ticket up prior to the departure,as they won't send the tickets overseas. We did this last year for a trip in France and it worked out fine. You give them your credit card over the internet for payment. The response comes back and this is your confirmation, we printed it out , handed it in at the train depot and picked up our ticket. Very simple. Or you can choose to book here in North America (if that's where you are) with Raileurope. But be warned that they charge higher rates for tickets than you will pay over there.
The boat trip through Beziers and beyond is very nice. After my initial response to mcooper back in 2000 we checked out the canal last summer again (2001) in and around Beziers. It was very nice. Great little villages, the one lock at Beziers the canal goes over the river which was quite different.
I'm not sure about accommodations in Beziers first hand but my Thomas Cook guide lists the Imperato as a centrally located 45 room hotel in a 200 year old mansion overlooking a lively square. Phone # 04 67 49 02 25 (not sure what you need to do to make that phoneable from where you are, check with your local telephone operator).
We drove along that canal last year and stopped and watched the boats go through some of the canals. (we are still hoping to do this with a group of friends but timing hasn't been on our side yet).You pass some great little villages that most people don;t see, some ancient places and great wine villages.
I'm sure you will have a great time. Not too hot then.
Enjoy,
Lynn
 
Old Jun 9th, 2002, 08:34 PM
  #5  
mary
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Lynn, Where along the canal du Midi does the road go along close to the canal? I have been studying the map and it its very confusing---seems to wander away from the canal in most areas. I was there a few years ago and I remember a lot of the time the canal was higher than the road and behind trees so it was very hard to get a good view of the canal. I would appreciate it very much if you can tell me just which places we can drive along the canal.
Thanks
Mary
 
Old Jun 9th, 2002, 09:24 PM
  #6  
tdandmd
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Thank you so much, Lynn.

I'm going to get right on the tickets for the trains. I was very glad to see it was less time than I envisioned. We will be there the end of September/early October, so I could actually do it now!
 
Old Jun 10th, 2002, 08:21 AM
  #7  
lynn
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Hi Mary:
You are right at some spots the canal does rise above the road and it meanders along away from the road at points but we did follow it on and off along some wonderful "narrow" country roads. I am looking at my Michelin map of the area and trying to remember exactly our route.(I was so enthralled I didn't mark it off at the time).... I think that some of the roads weren't even on the map.
We started and ended in Beziers and here you must see the wonderful part of the canal that goes over the river it's very impressive. Once outside of Beziers I think we drove for awhile sighting the canal from time to time, just follow your nose and don't worry about getting lost you will come out somewhere on your map at some point. I know for sure we took a wrong turn (are there any wrong turns on a drive like this...)and ended up following the Aude river for awhile which also has lots of canal boats plying the waters.
We ended up in the little village of Ginestas (just north west of Narbonne )then found an amazingly narrow road yet again through some vineyards and it brought us out to Ventenac en Minervois, cross over the canal then hang a right and follow the canal to Roubia. This was a particularly lovely drive. It looks like this road is the D124 along the canal and you do lose and regain the canal from time to time. When you think you've lost it for good just look along for rows of plane trees which signals you are coming upon it again. We have some great pictures of very old locks and lockhouses still being used.
Past Roubia it changes to the D620 I think which is a busier road and which also loses and gains the canal this take you on to Trebes and Carcassonne. Trebes was a pretty little village where some of the canal boat companies begin and end their rentals.n If you have a picnic with you there's lots of places along the canal where you can stop. There are bicycle paths (the old tow paths)along the canal all the time.

We actually started out in Cap d'agde in the morning and did this drive and were having lunch in Limoux (around 1pm) about 24 kms south of Carcassonne, so it was a pleasant morning drive and not too much in the way of traffic on the smaller country roads even in July.
Hope this helps. We find the area wonderful for exploring, virtually no tourists on the roads and lots of villages, hamlets to wander if you feel so inclined.
Regards,
Lynn
 
Old Jun 10th, 2002, 12:53 PM
  #8  
Sue
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
This is bizarre. I don't find Lynn's train at all on the sncf site (I was curious about the CDG train stopping in Paris). I do find a 16:04 TGV with change in Montpellier to regular train, arr. 21:27 or one at 18:06, same connections arr 23:08.
 
Old Jun 10th, 2002, 05:20 PM
  #9  
lynn
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Hi sue:
I am rechecking the Sncf site and I have the schedule up for (a fictitious date ) of 10October. I misread the inner city train I had put in Charles de Gaulle and it came up with Charles de Gaulle etoile instead of the airport. However if you check Gare de Lyon to Beziers it is as I posted last evening. Train departing at 18:24 to arrive in Beziers at 22:33 non stop TGV with reservations required.
Hope this helps.
By the way if you are booking the train here and paying for it by credit card you must show that same credit card to the staff when picking up your ticket in France. (and don't forget to put your ticket into one of the machines in the train station to validate it before getting on board......
Regards,
Lynn
 
Old Jun 11th, 2002, 02:50 PM
  #10  
Mary
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Lynn,
Thank you for your information. We leave in a week!
Mary
 
Old Jun 11th, 2002, 03:21 PM
  #11  
Sue
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
tdandmd, if you're landing at the airport at 1:55, I think it would be better to take the train there rather than to schlep your stuff into Paris to Gare de Lyon. The change at Montpellier shouldn't be difficult. If you decide otherwise, Air France runs a shuttle (about $11) from CDG to Gare de Lyon.
 
Old Jun 11th, 2002, 08:25 PM
  #12  
tdandmd
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Sue, I was thinking the same thing. Our flight does not leave here until 6:25 p.m. Thursday night, getting in at 1:55 p.m. Friday. I don't know that we will need any more schlepping than we have to.

Thanks again for everyone's help.

td
 
Old Jun 11th, 2002, 08:50 PM
  #13  
Sue
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
tdandmd, you can only buy tickets online 2 months ahead of your travel time, so you will probably have to wait till the end of July or first of August. There is also an english-speaking number you can call for SNCF: [011-33] 8-92-35-35-39 seven days a week from 7 am to 10 pm (French time) daily. They will mail your tickets to you.

For a cheap way to call overseas, use 10-10-811. It gets added into your local bill and is 17 cent/min for France. I clued a French friend in, and calls to friends and family cost her a lot less.
 
Old Jun 12th, 2002, 12:21 AM
  #14  
PB
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
If you're arriving at CDG at 1:55... the earliest train direct from the CDG TGV station that goes to Beziers without changes is at
6:06 PM - arriving in Beziers at 11:59PM
(stops at Gare de Lyon, Valence, Nimes, Montpellier, Sete, Agde)

If you go to the Gare de Lyon, you can get a train at
3:24 PM - arrives at 7:39 PM in Beziers

There are no 'non stop' trains from CDG or the Gare de Lyon to Beziers - and after Montpellier the train is not TGV (high speed)
PB
 
Old Jun 12th, 2002, 12:22 AM
  #15  
PB
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Sorry - the arrival time of that 6:06PM TGv should have read 10:59 PM in Beziers (not 11:59)

PB
 
Old Jun 12th, 2002, 08:04 AM
  #16  
tdandmd
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Well, obviously we would like the 3:24 out of Gare de Lyon, but that gives us (at best) one hour and 29 minutes to disembark, clear customs and get to Gare de Lyon at the equivalent of 4:55 a.m. to our body clocks. If things go smooth, we're set, but I still think we need a backup.

I have printed everything off, though, and I'm going to be ready when I am in the time frame to book.
 
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
thorspecken
Europe
6
Sep 27th, 2012 06:27 PM
mikster
Europe
5
May 23rd, 2012 09:40 AM
miltronix
Europe
23
Jan 12th, 2012 08:15 AM
Canada_V
Europe
12
Apr 22nd, 2010 08:10 PM
dutyfree
Europe
10
Mar 20th, 2010 04:42 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO