Boat in lush area around Canal du Midi in France.

Five reasons that Canal du Midi in France is special for a boating vacation and deserves your attention


This canal is 240 kilometers long and is a firm popular choice for boating vacations. But why is that? Well, the reasons are as many as they are subjective. But naturally, it helps that it is located in the south of France, in the Occitan region. The weather there in the summer months is inviting and you also have the proximity to both the Mediterranean Sea and Spain.

1. Canal du Midi traverses a part of the south of France, between Toulouse and Marseillan. This means that you are a stone’s throw away from the Carcassonne castle and the wine region Bordeaux. Talk about a double or even triple win! A boating vacation along Canal du Midi does not have to be just that, you can combine it into a combined vacation.

2. There are 63 locks along the canal, and that makes the boating vacation there a slow and fun adventure. You can expect to spend around 10 days on the canal from start to end, so get ready to slow down and take in the sights along the 240 kilometers at a very leisurely pace. Although a simple average value does not reflect the covered distance per day, it gives you an idea: A very modest 2.4 kilometers per day to cover the entire distance. That is the perfect way to go for a super slow vacation.

3. Motor sports such as water skiing and jet skis are not allowed along the canal and need permission from the authorities for special designated areas. Again, this carefully makes sure that you can look forward to an unrushed atmosphere, unlike many beaches by the Mediterranean Sea.

4. It is possible and even encouraged to moor your boat at the existing ports along the route. Imagine those long summer evenings at a port, where you can step off to try one of the local restaurants, especially around Carcassonne. Keep in mind that mooring overnight is authorized, but you cannot stay for an extended period without a permit.

5. So you want to sail from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and do it in class? Well then, via Canal du Midi and Canal de Garonne, you can do just that, as long as your boat meets the requirements (check “Waterways of France”, Voies navigables de France, at www.vnf.fr for updated information.)