About Aquitaine

Indulge your palate in sunny Aquitaine

Known for its fabulous wines and gourmet cuisine, the Aquitaine epitomises the best of gastronomical boating in France. The Canal Latéral à la Garonne and the River Baïse are your playground, winding through meadows, orchards and medieval villages that tempt you to tie up and spend time simply sipping wine in the warm sunshine with your family and friends!

 

Is this your ideal destination?                   BOOK NOW           

Want to see our route suggestions?   EXPLORE 

Map showing where Aquitaine boating region is in France

Find your bearings...

Aquitaine region map = Le Boat Base           = Canal           = Navigable river          = No navigation beyond this point

The perfect boating region for...

Gastronomy

A food lover’s sweet spot, the Aquitaine is renowned for French gastronomy. Fois gras, wild mushrooms and regional cheeses like Brebio, Etorki or Bleu des Basques are wonderful with a bottle of Bordeaux. Whilst you’re in Condom, check out the Hôtel Restaurant Les Trois Lys!

History & Heritage

On a history holiday in Aquitaine, you can visit Castets-en-Dorthe’s 12th-century Château du Hamel and Nérac’s Château Henry IV! Agen offers several wonderful museums. Everywhere are historic churches like the Abbey of St. Pierre in Moissac.

Wine Tasting

Coordinate your Aquitaine wine tasting cruise with the Buzet Wine Festival held every August in Nérac! Visit the Buzet Wine Cave in Buzet and tour Château Le Courréjot near Moncrabeau, a producer of Armagnac and Chablis. Try some samples!

Useful information

A bit of background

You could call the Canal Latéral à la Garonne at 193 kilometres (120 miles) in length the second cousin of the more famous Canal du Midi. Together, both of these beautiful waterways link the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Collectively, they’re dubbed the Canal des Deux Mers. The Garonne Canal drops 128 metres (420 feet) by the time it reaches the junction with the River Garonne from Toulouse, running straight as an arrow over much of its course.

You can also hop off the Garonne Canal for some river cruises in France! Take the River Baïse southward towards Condom amidst magnificent scenery. There are plenty of quiet places to stop for a picnic lunch. In the past, Aquitaine waters were busy with commercial barges, but today the only traffic you’ll see will be canal boats for hire, just like yours!

Who is Le Boat?

Emerald Star outside of Ireland is known as Le Boat. If you book a destination outside of Ireland your booking will be with Le Boat and our boats and bases proudly display our Le Boat brand. But don't worry, you will still receive the same great service that you would get from our Emerald Star bases in Ireland. Le Boat is Europe and Canada's 'Number One' boating holiday provider and, like Emerald Star, have been operating on the waterways of Europe for 50 years. Your holiday is in safe hands.

France’s network of canals helped make it an industrial power and spur the Industrial Revolution. As the need to move more goods increased, the ribbons of blue canals grew in number. The Canal Latéral à la Garonne is a prime example. It was built in part to avoid the rocks and shoals of the River Garonne. Work began in 1839, and by 1850 canal boats were plying the waters between Toulouse and Agen. The entire canal opened for business in 1856.

The waterways of the Aquitaine are easy to navigate and superb for beginners. To cruise on the River Lot towards Castelmoron, you will need to cross the River Garonne under the guidance of a pilot. There is a small charge for this service. In periods of drought or flood, the crossing may not be possible.

Locks are automatic and free of charge. There are 53 locks on the Canal Latéral à la Garonne.

Opening hours: During the busy summer season locks are open 09:00-18:00 (6:00 p.m.). Locks are closed for lunch from 12:00-13:00 (1:00 p.m.).

Public holidays: Locks are closed on some public holidays: 1st May & 1st November.

Moorings are plentiful in the Aquitaine.

To find out how to get to each of our bases in this boating region, as well as what facilities and amenities are available at each base or nearby, click on the relevant base below:

  • Hire of the boat and its onboard equipment
  • A fully equipped kitchen
  • Towels and linen for all passengers
  • A boat handling demonstration prior to departure
  • Technical support
  • On-board maps and visitor information
  • Passage through locks
  • Optional holiday extras
  • Boat damage waiver
  • Running costs (diesel, gas, engine wear and tear) - charged by the engine hour (by the litre in Scotland).
  • Travel to and from the base(s)
  • Waterside services if you use them (i.e. moorings where a charge is applicable, pump-out if needed, water, etc)
  • Cancellation plan & any travel/personal insurance
  • Food and drink

Download our region guide

We've produced a handy PDF guide for this region to give you an overview of all the stops and things to do along the waterway.

Download our region guide

Interactive map of Aquitaine

  = Le Boat base       = Point of interest

Great to see...

Must see
Buzet Vineyard, Aquitaine

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'.

Must see
Moissac Abbey, Aquitaine

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.

Must see
Place Nationale, Montauban, Aquitaine

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.

Must see
Nerac, Aquitaine

Nerac will offer you wonderful landscapes of a typical village of southern France. Visit and discover the huge Albret Castle. Don't forget the impressive Saint-Nicolas church.

In Castets-en-Dorthe, a green and quiet city, you will enjoy having a walk along the canal banks of the Garonne. See the great Hamel Castle and the Eiffel bridge.

In Meilhan-sur-Garonne, there is a place you have to see. Located along the left bank, a beautiful vista across the valley of the garonne awaits you. It is a perfect spot to have a rest, to fish, or go for a bicycle ride.

In Marmande, the church Notre-Dame de Marmande is really interesting, with its beautiful cloister and its great gardens. Downtown, you will appreciate the decoration of the Place Clemenceau, and also the garden of Verdun.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Vianne has a long history to tell you. It begins in the Roman period. War after war, new fortifications appeared, which explains why the church is so well-fortified. It is now a charming and welcoming village with very good restaurants.

Discover Lavardac, a brilliant example of a typical bastide - an organised villages built in the 14th century in the southern France.

Moncrabeau is a lovely place to visit. You will enjoy its quiet and pretty centre and a visit to the old church, Saint Sigismond de Vialère.

Condom is a typical french village with a beautiful church to see. Take a break here, drink coffee, and marvel at the windmills on the horizon. Don't miss the Armagnac museum.

Valence-sur-Baise is a bastide: an organised village built in the 14th century in southern France. There are beautiful things to discover here, like the architecture of the village, the old timbered-houses, the wash basin, and two churches.

Itinerary suggestions

To help you get an idea of how far you can travel in the time you have, here's a selection of routes to and from our bases in this region. You dont have to stop at all the places listed or follow the route exactly. So long as you return your boat to your end base by the date you've booked - you're free to enjoy your cruise however you like. For a comfortable pace, allowing you time to regularly stop and explore, we'd recommend an average of 2 - 4 hours cruising each day.

Le Mas-d'Agenais RETURN via Valence-sur-Baïse & Condom

Le Mas d'Agenais
Damazan
Buzet-sur-Baïse
Lavardac
Vianne
Nérac
Moncrabeau
Condom
Valence-sur-Baïse
Le Mas d'Agenais

32 hr(s) of cruising

152km 50 lock(s) 7 nights

Le Mas-d'Agenais RETURN via Valence-sur-Baïse & Condom

You’ll cycle, picnic, shop and explore to your heart’s content! Following the waterways, are relaxed days stopping to see the glassworks at medieval Vianne and ambling through the market square in Nérac. The Armagnac brandy is almond-flavoured nectar, a specialty of the village of Condom. As you indulge on the sundeck, you anticipate with pleasure the barge holiday in France!

32 hr(s) of cruising

152km 50 lock(s) 7 nights

Le Mas-d'Agenais RETURN via Moissac, Nérac & Castets-en-Dorthe

Le Mas d'Agenais
Vianne
Damazan
Buzet-sur-Baïse
Agen
Valence d'Agen
Moissac
Vianne
Lavardac
Nérac
Marmande
Meilhan-sur-Garonne
Castets en Dorthe
Le Mas d'Agenais

56 hr(s) of cruising

302km 68 lock(s) 14 nights

Le Mas-d'Agenais RETURN via Moissac, Nérac & Castets-en-Dorthe

You chose this barge holiday in France for its diversity! Languid days tied up in medieval towns wash the tension away as you get into the fun of travelling by boat through the Garonne Valley. You smile as you stop to breathe in the fragrance of Castets-en-dorthe’s wonderful gardens or sip a Bordeaux in Nérac, aside the great Henry IV castle. Agen delights you with urban pleasures!

56 hr(s) of cruising

302km 68 lock(s) 14 nights

Le Mas-d'Agenais to Castelsarrasin via Condom

Le Mas d'Agenais
Damazan
Buzet-sur-Baïse
Lavardac
Vianne
Nérac
Moncrabeau
Valence-sur-Baïse
Condom
Agen
Valence d'Agen
Moissac
Castelsarrasin

40 hr(s) of cruising

169km 57 lock(s) 10 nights

Le Mas-d'Agenais to Castelsarrasin via Condom

Following the winding River Baïse and the Canal Latéral à la Garonne, enjoy a relaxing & delightful cruise in Aquitaine. Sightsee in the historical towns of Nérac, Moissac and Agen. Taste the local specialities of Magret & Foie Gras, the local wine of Buzet & Bordeaux or the distinctive regional brandy called Armagnac. The days pass quickly as you follow your watery trail past vineyards, lush green fields and picturesque villages.

40 hr(s) of cruising

169km 57 lock(s) 10 nights

Le Mas-d'Agenais RETURN via Buzet-sur-Baïse

Le Mas d'Agenais
Damazan
Buzet-sur-Baïse
Lavardac
Vianne
Le Mas d'Agenais

8 hr(s) of cruising

40km 6 lock(s) 3 nights

Le Mas-d'Agenais RETURN via Buzet-sur-Baïse

Aquitaine river cruises are often all about indulging in fine dining and savouring local wines, a nod to your passions and sensory pleasures. As you explore the waters at the heart of this region, it becomes clear why famous French painters favoured the area. Mediaeval towns with bustling market squares, soaring ramparts and stone fortresses make river cruising in France delightful.

8 hr(s) of cruising

40km 6 lock(s) 3 nights

Le Mas-d'Agenais RETURN via Nérac

Le Mas d'Agenais
Damazan
Buzet-sur-Baïse
Lavardac
Vianne
Nérac
Le Mas d'Agenais

15 hr(s) of cruising

80km 22 lock(s) 4 nights

Le Mas-d'Agenais RETURN via Nérac

The River Baïse stretches before you, sparkling in the sunshine and leading you closer to charming Buzet. In a few more minutes, you’re tied up and going ashore for some cycling before you and your friends head to an intimate waterside café for dinner. As you lift a glass of Bordeaux, you think Aquitaine Short Break cruises couldn’t get much better!

15 hr(s) of cruising

80km 22 lock(s) 4 nights

Le Mas-d'Agenais RETURN via Nérac & Moissac

Le Mas d'Agenais
Damazan
Buzet-sur-Baïse
Lavardac
Vianne
Nérac
Agen
Valence d'Agen
Moissac
Le Mas d'Agenais

39 hr(s) of cruising

93km 52 lock(s) 7 nights

Le Mas-d'Agenais RETURN via Nérac & Moissac

Romanesque churches, fortified mills, picturesque market squares, and pastoral scenery make a History and Heritage canal holiday in France a true delight. This engaging itinerary includes both the Canal Latéral à la Garonne and the River Baïse, two of the Aquitaine’s most beautiful waterways. The varied mediaeval architecture captivates the eye and transports you back in time.

39 hr(s) of cruising

93km 52 lock(s) 7 nights

Le Mas-d'Agenais RETURN via Castets-de-Dorthe & Nérac

Le Mas d'Agenais
Marmande
Meilhan-sur-Garonne
Castets en Dorthe
Le Mas d'Agenais

28 hr(s) of cruising

150km 38 lock(s) 7 nights

Le Mas-d'Agenais RETURN via Castets-de-Dorthe & Nérac

It’s a study of contrasts in the beautiful Aquitaine — rural villages are juxtaposed with venerable châteaux on vast estates. Stately churches perch on the shore, often dominating a town’s skyline. As your barge holiday in France progresses, you find yourself admiring your surroundings more and more! Visit historic Nérac with its famous churches and Castets-de-Dorthe’s château!

28 hr(s) of cruising

150km 38 lock(s) 7 nights

Le Mas-d'Agenais RETURN via Moissac

Le Mas d'Agenais
Damazan
Buzet-sur-Baïse
Agen
Valence d'Agen
Moissac
Le Mas d'Agenais

31 hr(s) of cruising

184km 36 lock(s) 7 nights

Le Mas-d'Agenais RETURN via Moissac

Passing through the Cacor Aqueduct, you smile with pleasure as you head for Moissac, known for its famous market. You are in the midst of a fantastic barge holiday in France, cycling the towpaths, exploring quaint towns like Agen with its 15th-century church, sampling fois gras, and kicking back on the sundeck just admiring the scenery as you travel.

31 hr(s) of cruising

184km 36 lock(s) 7 nights

Castelsarrasin RETURN via Valence d'Agen

Castelsarrasin
Moissac
Valence d'Agen
Castelsarrasin

12 hr(s) of cruising

50km 24 lock(s) 3 nights

Castelsarrasin RETURN via Valence d'Agen

Gentle waters run through the fertile Garonne Valley, giving life to the orchards, meadows and trees. Small towns dot the shaded shores, and weekly markets bring in fresh produce and delicacies like foie gras, wild mushrooms and truffles. The storied past is everywhere when river cruising in France, and it is evident in the famous Abbey and Cloisters of Moissac.

12 hr(s) of cruising

50km 24 lock(s) 3 nights

Castelsarrasin RETURN via Buzet-sur-Baïse

Castelsarrasin
Moissac
Valence d'Agen
Agen
Buzet-sur-Baïse
Castelsarrasin

30 hr(s) of cruising

160km 44 lock(s) 7 nights

Castelsarrasin RETURN via Buzet-sur-Baïse

Cruise through the picture-postcard scenery and glorious gastronomy of Aquitaine and tates the famous Agen Prunes, fois gras, truffles and Bordeaux wines. Stop for cultural discovery and visit the Moissac’s world-famous abbey and cloisters and the art Museum at Agen boasting works by Goya, Sisley and Dufy.

30 hr(s) of cruising

160km 44 lock(s) 7 nights

Le Mas-d'Agenais RETURN via Montauban

Le Mas d'Agenais
Damazan
Buzet-sur-Baïse
Valence d'Agen
Agen
Moissac
Castelsarrasin
Montauban
Le Mas d'Agenais

60 hr(s) of cruising

246km 86 lock(s) 14 nights

Le Mas-d'Agenais RETURN via Montauban

On the Canal de Montech, you pass through the scenic Agre forest, where you can’t resist stopping for a picnic lunch of a baguette and local cheese washed down with Bordeaux. Ahead is an amazing boatlift to get you to the Canal latéral à la Garonne and the River Baïse on what is turning out to be a wonderful barge holiday in France!

60 hr(s) of cruising

246km 86 lock(s) 14 nights

Castelsarrasin to Le Mas-d'Agenais via Montauban

Castelsarrasin
Montauban
Moissac
Valence d'Agen
Agen
Buzet-sur-Baïse
Damazan
Le Mas d'Agenais

29 hr(s) of cruising

146km 57 lock(s) 7 nights

Castelsarrasin to Le Mas-d'Agenais via Montauban

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!

29 hr(s) of cruising

146km 57 lock(s) 7 nights

Castelsarrasin RETURN via Montauban

Castelsarrasin
Montauban
Castelsarrasin

16 hr(s) of cruising

50km 34 lock(s) 4 nights

Castelsarrasin RETURN via Montauban

Take some time to visit the flower-adorned small town of Castelsarrasin before cruising to Montauban for chic shopping and buy some of the local specialities at one of the best farmer’s markets in the region. On your way, discover the impressive roman aqueducts and the Montech boat lift, a masterpiece of engineering.

16 hr(s) of cruising

50km 34 lock(s) 4 nights
Added on 25 August 2018

Hugh Reeves said

Everything worked as advised, no problems with the boat or navigation. Plenty of interesting places to visit and excellent marinas everywhere.
READ MORE
Castelsarrasin - Le Mas d'Agenais
Vision 3
Added on 18 August 2018

Lance Tomlinson said

Had a couple of technical issues i.e. aircon not working at some stages, unable to use shore power etc. Bicycle hire, wifi dongle
READ MORE
Le Mas d'Agenais - Castelsarrasin
Vision 4
Added on 09 July 2018

Helen Rawling said

Very attentive to fixing any problems and very helpful in getting going on the trip. We needed a couple of visits from the crew whilst we were out on the canal to fix a couple of issues and no problem at all. Loved doing the trip this direction as we got the nicer sections of the trip first - highly recommend going onto the river (La Baise) and down to Nerac.
READ MORE
Le Mas d'Agenais - Castelsarrasin
Cirrus B
Added on 09 June 2018

Malcolm Kirby said

Friendly & helpful staff good handover & boat in nice clean order. Very good staff, great base & boat.
READ MORE
Dear Mr K,
Thank you for taking the time to leave your feedback, it is much appreciated. We are delighted to learn you enjoyed your cruise with us and would love to welcome you on board with us again soon.
Best wishes, The Le Boat team
Le Mas d'Agenais - Le Mas d'Agenais
Cirrus A
Added on 19 May 2018

Vera Fairbairn said

Information was great and accurate and communication was easy Loved being on the canal and river
READ MORE
Le Mas d'Agenais - Castelsarrasin
Royal Classique
Added on 07 October 2017

Stephen Byk said

From our initial contact with the sales department through the wonderful support of the base team at Le Mas d'Agenais, all our questions, concerns and requests were handled promptly, efficiently and courteously and always with aim of providing and ensuring us a safe and enjoyable cruise. The sailing course advice we were given was perfect for our ages (seniors) and lack of experience.
READ MORE
Le Mas d'Agenais - Le Mas d'Agenais
Cirrus B
Added on 02 October 2017

Dave Gardner said

The arrival experience from all staff was excellent, the explanations and questions answered were superb. The boat was better than expected, all mid cons, plenty of space and surprisingly easy to steer and maintain.
READ MORE
Le Mas d'Agenais - Le Mas d'Agenais
Corvette A
Added on 07 September 2017

Gareth Cox said

Efficient admin, nice people, everything sorted. Lovely area for cruising.
READ MORE
Dear Mr C,
Thank you for sharing your feedback, it is much appreciated.
We are pleased to learn you enjoyed your cruise and were satisfied with your boat and the customer service you received.
We would love to welcome you on board with us again soon.
Best wishes, The Le Boat team.
Le Mas d'Agenais - Castelsarrasin
Corvette A
Added on 03 September 2017

Richard Davis said

The servise was excellent. Ana did a terrific job. The boat was in excellent condition, customer service was excellent. We enjoyed our time cruising on the channel and spending time on the boat in ports.
READ MORE
Castelsarrasin - Castelsarrasin
Caprice
Added on 19 August 2017

John Belbeck said

Our boat was wonderful but delayed on pick up, which meant we really lost a day when the return is 900am. The bikes we hired in the package we are disappointment. Not all gears worked and no puncture kits or tools. The boat was well stocked and the wifi was good. We would definitely recommend to others and we will book again ourselves. One oversight was we were lead to believe we could access Lot and Basie rivers but at departure we were told no. All good though, we cycled to Nerac- a must visit. Regards John Belbeck Loved it ! And we would all book again.
READ MORE
Hi John,
Thank you for taking the time to send valuable feedback on to us.
We are sorry to learn that you experienced problems with the bicycles during your cruise. 
Please know that we have passed your comments on to our Operations team for future learnings as well as on-going improvement on our services offered.
With Best Regards,  Your Le Boat Team
Le Mas d'Agenais - Castelsarrasin
Vision 3