Cruises in Bordeaux and Gascogne
The Bordeaux region, with its special ‘terroir’, has been producing wine for around 2,000 years and some of the château estates have gained worldwide recognition for their superb and long-lived “Grand Cru” vintages. Lying in the southern part of western France on the Atlantic coast and with a well-drained stony soil, the area gets exactly the right blend of sun, rain and gentle breezes to create their wonderful wines.
A hotel barge cruise along the Canal de Garonne is a unique way to explore and appreciate the slow rhythm of this region with its subtle mixture of natural landscapes, medieval bastide towns and iconic vineyards, some of which are grand estates with imposing chateaux and others, more modest family affairs.
The “Canal des Deux Mers”, comprising of the Canal de Garonne and the Canal du Midi, links the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, passing through the region of L’Occitanie – a veritable palette of colours and scents created by orchards and vineyards and fields of sunflowers.
On our cruise through Gascony along the Canal de Garonne, we visit medieval fortified ‘bastides’ such as Valence d’Agen, learn about and taste some of the region’s wonderful local produce and pass picturesque villages and quaint farms. This stretch of canal is quieter and less well known than the Canal du Midi further east but has more of a feeling of the real France, off the tourist track.