Lesley Bellew gives a stirring account of cruising France’s waterways; Your Life Choices


France – Canal du Midi

Lesley Bellew recently cruised France’s rivers on the European Waterways hotel barge Clair de Lune and today shares one of the finest accounts of river cruising we ever published.

A chorus of nightingales welcomed us to the Canal du Midi, a symphony of rich notes that signalled the start of a glorious holiday in the stillness of the French countryside.

The chirrups and whistles stayed with luxury hotel barge Clair de Lune as she meandered along the ribbon of green waterway, from Carcassone to Narbonne, in south-west France.

We moored at quiet spots on the canal, took walks or bike rides along the towpaths and gentle tours to castles, villages and wineries.

The pace was slow and rightly so, as the UNESCO-listed canal, a major feat of engineering which opened in 1671, should be savoured.

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