The Garonne Canal
Even though, it's not as well-known as its bigger cousin the famous Canal du Midi, it's still an outstanding structure built back in the 19th century. Th Canal de Garonne, interspersed with some 53 locks, weaves its way through Lot-et-Garonne and proposes 193 km of cruising waterways set in the shade of century-old plane trees. Jump on board a licence-free boat that's easy to sail and accessible to all, for a slow tourism getaway with family or friends.
The sailing season runs from 1st April to 31 October, the period during which the locks are open. And although, from Agen, Le Mas-d’Agenais and Buzet-sur-Baïse, several itineraries await, your focus is on taking your time and enjoying an incomparable panoramic vista over the local heritage. Because, as you sail along, you're increasingly immersed in the rich, fertile valley of the Garonne. An opportunity to delight in gourmet stop-offs. The department is known for its Agen prunes, Marmande tomatoes as well as Buzet and Côtes du Marmandais AOC wines. It's also France's top strawberry producer. During summer, farms sell their produce directly. Take time out too to stroll around some of the many producers' markets and visit the Buzet-sur-Baïse winemakers' cellar.
When fortified medieval towns and villages tell their tales
Fancy a trip on dry land? Well, get on your bike, pedal along towpaths laid out as bikeways and head for the fortified towns and villages. From Damazan to Sérignac and on to Meilhan-sur-Garonne, local storytellers have a host of anecdotes to share about nature, the stars and local heritage. In Couthures-sur-Garonne, make a stop at the Maison des Gens de Garonne (Les Fous de Garonne), an informational site dedicated to the river and its residents. A definite can't-miss trip. Fancy venturing off to even wilder realms? The boldest among you will branch off on the Baïse.
This detour will take you to Nérac, famous for Henri IV's castle and the Parc royal de la Garenne, created by Jeanne d’Albret and extended by Queen Margot. A real journey back through time and the history of France.
Must-sees, must-dos elsewhere on the waterways in Nouvelle-Aquitaine
💙 Gironde / From Bordeaux to the estuary
Several companies propose cruises lasting several hours, a day or even a week, leaving from Bordeaux. On the agenda: discovering the islands along the estuary, wine-tasting sessions and visits to castles.
💙 Marais poitevin / Trips in flat-bottomed boats driven along using a "pigouille" (long wooden pole)
Fancy getting lost in the Marais Poitevin labyrinth? Jump on board a "batai", the traditional boat driven along using a "pigouille" (long wooden pole), and enjoy a one-and-a-half hour trip discovering local legends. The boat(wo)man will ensure you are treated to an extraordinary experience: the art of setting fire to water. So, how does it work?
💙 Charente / at the helm of an e-boat
A wide variety of formulas offer you the opportunity to weave your way along the Charente. Houseboat rentals for the weekend, canoeing trips, SUP sessions, and more. Cruises on "gabarres" (traditional flat-bottomed boats) and e-boats are also available.