South West France Canal Cruising

Suggested Itineraries

Information is provided by le Boat

Suggested Itinerary  1 :  The Lot River

START BASE: Douelle   RETURN BASE: Douelle

Suggested Itinerary  2 :  The Delicacies of Aquitaine

START BASE: Castelsarrasin       RETURN BASE: Le Mas d’Agenais

The Lot Valley Cruise 

You ease the boat away from busy Cahors and head off on another day of your Lot River boating holiday in France, enjoying the impressive scenery. You crane your neck to see a hawk flying above craggy limestone cliffs, and in the distance Mercues castle perches atop a cliff. Pretty villages and grand châteaux dot the banks, tempting you to go ashore.  All locks are manual and user-operated. There are no locks keepers on the River Lot. As such, a good level of fitness is required from at least two crew members.

The Lot Valley Cruise 

START BASE: Douelle   RETURN BASE: Douelle

Cruise details
Waterways: River lot
Distance: 128 kmLocks: 28
Cruising time: 27 hrs
Lock types: Manual without lock-keeper

Key towns and villages on your cruise

Douelle is a welcoming village, surrounded by glorious French countryside. Visit the beautiful church or try out the good restaurants in town.

Caillac is a small and quiet village. The downtown area has a man-made lake that’s terrific for fishing. Visitors love to observe the happennings in town and taking in the views of the surrounding countryside.

Parnac is a charming little town. The Saint-Saturnin church is a delight to see. During the summer, the Castle Saint-Didier de Parnac is open for to vistors and wine tasting! Why not try it?

Caïx is a beautiful village. Stop here to walk the streets to see old houses covered by ivy. If you ask, you can visit the Lafon vineyards, which are really pretty.

Once a Gallic stronghold thanks to its natural barriers, Luzech is a now pretty and welcoming town where you will have a good time visiting the sights, like the old castle tower and the gothic church, Saint-Pierre.

Mercuès is a green and leafy place where you can enjoy a relaxing walk around the town. The Saint Germain church is a pleasure to visit. During the summer, the Mercuès Castle is also open and offers wine-tasting.

Surrounded by a verdant forest, Pradines is a charming village full of history. Come here and visit one of the four churches that the city owns. Walk through this typical town and try one of the good restaurants.

Labéraudie has a lock, just past Pradines, where you will find a great supermarket and a commercial area. It’s a great place to stock up.

Cahors is the largest city in the area where you’ll discover impressive architecture inherited from the middle ages. Downtown, you will enjoy walking along the flower-lined streets and seeing the old timbered houses, which create a particularly charming atmosphere.

Laroque-les-Arcs is a lovely town built in a particular architectural style, typical of the area. See the old church, des Récollets, and the charming chapel, Saint-Roch. If you stay here, try the excellent restaurants downtown.

Lamagdeleine is a small and quiet village, the perfect place to have a relaxing evening aboard your boat, looking out over the river.

Savanac is a beautiful green town along the Lot. Moor here to discover a picturesque town; there are good views everywhere you look.

Arcambal is a typically quaint town where you’ll discover vestiges of the past, like the fortified ruins now covered by vegetation. Th20e old Bouquet Castle is also a great sight to see, as is the impressive church Saint-Antoine, built in the 15th century.

Vers is a peaceful town that you will love. Discover an old typical village with verdant vegetation and waterfalls. Check out the mediaval houses in the village, and enjoy a visit to the church.

Saint-Géry is a quiet village along the Lot. Moor here and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere that surrounds you.

Although Bouziès is a small village, it is home to many beautiful sights to see. Moor here and take a walk along the towpath, a path carved into the rock along the canal from where the views are wonderful. Or cross the suspension bridge and look out over the Lot; this alone will make your stop worth while.

Just past Bouziès is Conduché. It is a small hamlet where you can relax and enjoy viewing the flora and fauna of the area.

Classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France, the whole village of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie is considered a museum. Walking in town, you will marvel at the veiw over the Lot. At night, the illuminated church lights up the valley.

Tour-de-Faure is a shining and peaceful village with many old buildings. Walk along the paths around the village, enjoy the quietness of the place, and admire the untouched beauty of the area.

Crégols is located in a valley right on the Lot. It’s a small and quiet village surrounded by a verdant forest, and offers two pleasant walking paths.

La Toulzanie
La Toulzanie is a small village built on the cliffs along the Lot. On the waterfront, there is an historic mill dating from the 14th century which is now a beautiful hotel.

Cénevières is a quiet and pretty town along the Lot. Moor here and ride or stroll along the walking paths. The impressive castle is sometimes open to visitors and worth a vist if it is.

Clavignac is a pretty village built on the cliffs. The old castle, built in the 15th century, still stands at its strategic position over the Lot. The scenery all around is exceptional.

Larnagol is a charming village, typical to the area. Take time to wander through this lovely fortified town, which was built centuries ago.

The Delicacies of Aquitaine Cruise

The Valleys of the Garonne River and the adjacent Dordogne River are among France’s most scenic locations. Cliff-side villages, historic towns, breathtaking scenery and home to some famous red wines, this trip creates memories for a lifetime.

You’re tempted to linger in upscale Montauban, where you can play a round of golf, enjoy fine dining and explore the town, but your barge holiday in France means you’ll be on the move, albeit at a slow easy pace! Stop to see the 15th-century church in Montech or the famous abbey in Moissac. Check out the city of Agen with its fine art museum and nearby water park amusements

START BASE: Castelsarrasin       RETURN BASE: Le Mas d’Agenais

Cruise details
Waterways: Canal Latéral à la Garonne, Canal de Montech
Distance: 146 kmLocks: 57
Cruising time: 29 hrs
Lock types: Automatic

Key towns and villages on your cruise

Castelsarrasin is a flower-filled city with many open gardens, most notably the garden of Clairefont.

Have you ever seen the boat lift & tried the scale of locks of Montech? Well, now’s the time! There are pretty places to discover all around the area, like the church of Notre-Dame-de-la-Visitation.

Walk under the beautiful arches in Montauban, the most populated city in the area. It is a good place to stay for a few days. Note that there is also a huge golf course.

Cruising along the Garonne, you will arrive at Moissac and immediately see a luxurious hotel located on the banks. It’s called the Moulin de Moissac. The great abbey Saint-Pierre de Moissac is also pleasant to visit.

Valence d’Agen
In Valence-d’agen, discover a beautiful wash basin that used to work a while ago. It is a pretty place to visit, and the canal banks here are also pleasant for a walk.

Agen is a large city with a rich medieval past. Discover the typical timbered houses, the church of the Jacobins, and the rich history of this pretty town.

Like Lavardac, Serignac-sur-Garonne is a typical bastide. Visit it and discover the timbered houses and the beautiful town centre. The banks are also beautiful to see on foot or by bike.

Discover Buzet, a pretty town where the great wine Buzet is made. Visit the house of the wine growers and sample a delightful glass of the ‘good stuff’.

Damazan is a pretty, quiet and colourful town. Esplanade des Promenades is a beautiful place, where old men sometimes play petanque in the shade of cedars.

Le Mas d’Agenais
Usually awash with colourful flowers, Le Mas d’Agenais is home to a marvelous old wash basin, and the ruins of a destroyed castle which are both worth a visit.

Boats and Prices

Prices listed are a guide only based on travel in June as an example. The length on the cruise and the price depends upon the client and how quickly they wish to complete the itinerary. We recommend anywhere between 7 and 14 days. The number of passengers will affect the price. Seasonal variations apply. Contact us for full details and exact prices.