There are some real treats waiting for you in the Thau Basin during your holiday in a boat on the Canal du Midi! Between culinary specialities, authentic heritage and culture, your only problem will be deciding what to do first. Here’s our little selection of tips for exploring the region. All aboard your barge and set a course for the Thau lagoon!
Birds and biodiversity
The area around the Thau lagoon (‘Etang de Thau’) is well-known for its outstanding biodiversity and is home to several animal species. You’ll have plenty of time to discover and watch the little egrets, elegant avocets, white storks and even tawny pipits in their natural habitat. This is a real natural spectacle that will leave you with some wonderful holiday memories. The marine life is just as rich: jellyfish, fish, sea horses, seaweeds etc. However, this is a fragile environment that must be protected and taken care of, so be careful not to leave litter or damage the environment in other ways.
If you have a few days to kill before boarding your self-drive boat and you love beautiful heritage, take a look at Valmagne Abbey, a little haven of peace nestling in the heart of Languedoc Roussillon. This former Cistercian abbey, known as the ‘cathedral in the vines’, was listed as a Historic Monument in 1947.
Discover the abbey’s history along with the story of the family that has maintained it for nine generations. Take a stroll through its Florentine cloisters, medieval garden and conservatory of grape varieties and taste some of its wines. If you’re feeling hungry, you’ll find a restaurant in its hotel, where you’ll be served with delicious fruit and vegetables that you’d forgotten existed, all grown in the organic kitchen garden. This is a trip that will appeal to all your senses.
Jazz in Sète
A treat for your ears! For the last 31 years, Sète has been hosting the legendary Jazz in Sète festival where big names such as Petrucciani, Ray Charles, Jeff Beck and many others have performed in the open air Théâtre de la Mer. If you’re keen on jazz, then put it in your diary: this year the festival will take place from 13 to 19 July. Topping the bill will be Diana Krall, Jurassic 5, Stanley Clarke and Snarky Puppy and several others. Don’t forget to book your tickets in advance!
With sunshine, shellfish, history and music, there’s an endless number of ways to enjoy yourself in the Thau Basin. An unforgettable trip is guaranteed!