Provence / Camargue / Languedoc route: Avignon - Béziers
The Provence route enters a region of diverse culture, history and nature. Cruising along the rivers of the Rhone through Provence, "Roi Soleil" glides along a tributary of the Rhone through wild nature, then onto the Lagoon of Thau dotted with sailing boats and oyster beds and eventually along the Canal du Midi - which opens the doors to the wilderness of the Camargue and takes you to the shores of the Mediterranean.
In Avignon, what better way to appreciate the rich golden hues of Provence whilst cruising on a luxury barge past the ancient ramparts of the 14th Century Palace of the Popes, a glass of Chateauneuf du Pape in hand!
“Roi Soleil” glides before the majestic 15th Century castles of Tarascon and Beaucaire that tower over the Rhone River!
For art lovers, entering the city of Arles evokes images depicted by Van Gogh, Cezanne and scores of artists, drawn here by the extraordinary light and golden pastel hues of Provence.
Meandering the cobbled streets by foot, your guide can direct you through this bastion of Provençale culture and history that was founded by the Greeks in VI BC.
You can even have a drink in the Van Gogh Café, where art meets reality!
Let your personal English / French speaking guide help you follow your quest in the heart of the Gard and Vaucluse - be it in the antique houses of Isle sur Sorgues, local arts and crafts in picturesque villages of St. Quentin la Potterie, Uzès and St. Remy or tranquility at the Fontaines de Vaucluse.
Take in the sweeping views of the ancient town of Beaux de Provence, or a leisurely stroll across the 40AD Roman aqueduct of Pont du Gard or for the adventurous, see it all from a Hot-air-balloon or an airplane.
The Provence Route continues to surprise with its incredible diversity. Leaving the Rhone River, “Roi Soleil” barge cruise enters a region of sand dunes and salt marshes. Flocks of pink flamingos plunge their heads in the marshland, wild white horses drink idly from the banks of the canal, black bulls graze in the pastures.
To discover the stunning beauty of the Camargue region, you can take a 4 wheel drive or mount the Camargue horses on a Bull ranch and be amongst the "Guardians" rounding up their herd in rodeo style.
The lines are cast, “Roi Soleil” pulls in for the evening and we step off the boat to find ourselves in a fortified village – Aigues Mortes.
Before the Gypsy Kings sang their ballades in the local cafés and restaurants of this quaint village, the crusaders of King St Louis embarked from the banks of the city in the 13th Century.
Whenever the urge takes you, there is, of course, the wine - let yourself be guided through some of the best vineyards in the South West of France - "Roi Soleil" has special privileges that open doors for private tastings with the winemakers themselves.
Why not let yourself be swept into the atmosphere of one of the many cultural events of the season . . . festivals with bulls and horses, parades in the streets of chariots and the local men and women dressed in traditional silks and lace. . .
The canal barge meanders into the fishing port of Sète where pastel coloured houses with wrought iron balconies overlook the canal.
Colourful fishing boats line the canals, their nets drying on the docks by the seafood terrace restaurants.
“Roi Soleil” crosses the large lagoon of Thau, dodging the oyster beds and the little sailing yachts to rejoin the Canal du Midi by Agde, named by Marco Polo as “the black pearl of the Mediterranean” due to its black lava architecture
As the sun sets once again on the changing landscape, cocktails are served on deck, appetising aromas drift from the galley and we coast into the closing of another day full of unexpected pleasures ...
Sample Itinerary - Avignon - Beziers
Avignon to Beziers or reverse
A charter on ROI SOLEIL is all about CHOICE. Here's the route - and suggestions on what is available each day to customize your cruise. According to local festivities your guide will offer more options.
Underlined are overnight moorings for the boat.We have not included the cycling, running or walking opportunities.
From Avignon or from Vallabregues:
- The Pope’s Palace and Arts Museum
- and /or Châteauneuf du Pape ( private tasting with the winemaker)
- and/or Pont du Gard
- and/or Uzès (similar to St. Remy but with much more elaborate architecture)
- and/or St. Quentin la Pottery (A center for traditional and contemporary earthenware)
- Arles city with its Roman and Medieval history and architecture; van Gogh tour; shopping; cafes
- and St. Remy de Provence
- and/or Beaux de Provence
- and/or Roman ruins
- and/or Isle sur la Sorgue antique dealers
- and/or Villages of Provence
From Aigues Mortes:
- The battlement tower
- Shops and art galleries
- Bull ranches with Camargue "cowboys"
- Bird watching
From Cabannes du Roc:
- Montpellier historic center, shops, antiques
- and/or Wine tasting in historic domains
From Sète, easterly approach:
- Walk along the Mediterranean
- Sète historic center; lively market
- Panoramic view from Mont-St.-Clair
- Wine tasting
- and/or Valmagne Abbey
- and/or Roman villa and museum
- City of Agde
- and /or Pézenas and shops
- and /or Beziers and shops
Saturday 10 am.
- a leisurely breakfast onboard then transfer to departure point.