France - Holidays and boat trips in Occitania | Tourism in Occitania

Tourism in Occitania: Holidays in the South of France

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Water, sunshine, boats: it's all in Occitania

Sightseeing boats, colourful barges or wooden scows: get rigged out for a trip on the water. On the Canal du Midi in the shade of tall trees, on the River Lot passing by vineyards and cliffs, on the Garonne for a wonderful view over Toulouse… Occitania offers you the widest variety in the south of France for unforgettable excursions on rivers and canals.

See the list of boats and cruises

Bateau promenade sur le Canal du Midi
Bateau promenade sur le Canal du Midi


A trip on a canal that is listed as a world heritage site

Outside time, the Canal du Midi is a wonderful waterway with flowered canal locks and spectacular architecture, like the Fonséranes locks or the Malpas tunnel. Inaugurated in the 17th century and now listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO, it runs from Toulouse to Sète like a 241 km-long green ribbon.

On the canal, boat rides and barges can take you for a cruise lasting 1 hour 30 minutes, 2 hours or a whole day, leaving from Sète, Béziers, Carcassonne, Castelnaudary, Toulouse, etc.

Did you know?

In Toulouse, the Canal du Midi joins the Canal de Garonne (boat rides in Moissac) leading to the Atlantic Ocean. Together, the two canals form the 430 km-long "Canal of the Two Seas".

Balade sur le Canal de Brienne à Toulouse
Balade sur le Canal de Brienne à Toulouse


A breathtaking view over the capital of Occitania

There's nothing like a boat ride on the River Garonne to see the splendour of the city from the riverside. You can enjoy a great view of the orange-brick quays. You can admire the long line of monuments on the banks of the Garonne: Notre-Dame de la Daurade church, the Fine-Arts School and the Hôtel-Dieu Saint-Jacques museum (listed by UNESCO as part of the Way of Saint James). You will pass under the arches of Pont Neuf, inaugurated by Louis XIV as a child.

The cruise continues to the Brienne Canal, a green tunnel linking up with the Canal du Midi.

En gabarre sur le Tarn à Albi
En gabarre sur le Tarn à Albi


Along a majestic river

From the Tarn Gorges to Albi, a wonderful journey in the Tarn region! In Millau, a boat ride with a skilled helmsman will take you under the Millau viaduct. Upstream, you will see from the boat the rocky gorge of Les Raspes, where the waters of the River Tarn turn turquoise.

In Albi, you will sail in a river scow, a flat-bottomed boat once used to transport goods. From the River Tarn, you can enjoy a fine "travelling shot" over the impressive episcopal city of Albi, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Useful information

There is a usually a commentary from a guide during the cruise. There are themed cruises, gastronomic cruises (with a meal on board) and aperitif cruises. Some boats are equipped with air-conditioned bridges.

Bateau promenade à Cahors
Bateau promenade à Cahors


Cliffs and vineyards

Leaving from Cahors, Bouziès (near Saint-Cirq-Lapopie) or Puy-L’Evêque, get on board a sightseeing boat or a river scow.

Depending on your starting point, the programme will vary, but there will always be a feast for the eyes: the high cliffs and tow path cut out of the rock near Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, the rich heritage of the medieval town of Cahors with its Valentré bridge, the river winding its way through the vineyards of Cahors, the charming villages of Quercy… 

Halte nautique de Valence-sur-Baïse dans le Gers


The "silver river"

The Baïse is a river in the Gers region. It was once called "the silver river" and makes its way like a discreet and unpredictable ribbon through little valleys coloured with fields and woodland.
Your river cruise will begin in Condom, the historic capital of Armagnac. Before reaching the bastide of Valence-sur-Baïse, you will pass by the fortified village of Larressingle and the splendid Flaran Abbey.

Top tip

Take along a picnic and rent a rowing boat or motor boat (no licence needed), for a day trip under your own steam along the River Lot, the Baïse or the Canal du Midi. Success guaranteed with your family or friends!

Enchanting cruises on the River Lot

Weigh the anchor right away with this video that will make you want to set off on a cruise in a scow along the River Lot between Bouziès and Saint-Cirq-Lapopie. That little bit extra: the "pirate cruise" for the younger shipmates. They won't want to return to port!
Video 1:02 © Tourism Lot Dordogne.


Bouziès ( Lot )
Bouziès ( Lot )
Pont Canal de Moissac
Pont Canal de Moissac

Our selection



Cultural leisure


Cultural leisure

Les Croisières Fénelon - Bateau Le Fénelon

How to get there
  • By car: Occitania has a large number of motorways (A9, A20, A61, A75, etc.).
  • By plane: the region has several airports, including the international airports of Toulouse, Montpellier and Lourdes.
  • By train: the region is accessible from all the major cities of France and the European capitals.

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