Garonne Canal+River ~ Bordeaux ~ St Emilion ~ River Charente ~ Cognac
Aquitaine, in the far southwest corner of France, belonged to the English Crown during the middle ages and British wine lovers today may mourn the fact that it passed back to the French!
The regional capital is Bordeaux, which is a stately presence on the estuary of the Garonne river and a name that is ineffably associated with fine wines, and claret in particular. The Maison du Vin in the city centre offers a broad-based introduction to many sought after vintages, but a visit to some of the prestigious vineyards themselves is hard to beat. St Emilion is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and this beautiful town and its environs has been known for its vineyards since Roman times.
Helping to link Bordeaux to Toulouse, the Canal de Garonne has sometimes been overshadowed by its older sibling the Canal du Midi, which has had the benefit of leaving it largely unspoiled. It shadows a popular pilgrimage route to Compostela and one of its outstanding attractions is the town of Moissac, with its world famous Romanesque abbey cloister.
Cruising Aquitaine – the options
You can cruise the Aquitaine canals and rivers piloting your own Self-drive Hire boat,
being pampered in fine style aboard a luxury Hotel Barge,
or as a guest cruising this wine region aboard an impressive de-luxe Riverboat.
Go your own way. Explore the pleasures and treasures of the Aquitaine canals and rivers.
Lie back and let the skipper and crew take care of everything. Great food. Fine wine. Unique.
Cruise sedately past the Medoc vineyards.
Moor in the centre of historic Bordeaux.
Getting to Aquitaine
Hotel barges often collect and return guests to a pre-agreed Bordeaux or Toulouse hotel. French international airports are at Toulouse, Bordeaux – and Paris-Charles de Gaulle. There are also European-flight airports at Bergerac and Carcassonne. TGV express train stations are located at Bordeaux, Montauban and Toulouse; and many other towns in the region have railway connections.