Aquitaine & Bordeaux
Heritage and beauty
The Aquitaine in south-west France is steeped in history, has a beautiful climate and fabulous scenery wherever you travel.
Map of the canals and rivers
Self-drive boats in this region
Locaboat have 11 different self-drive boats for you to choose from.
Nicols have 12 different self-drive boats for you to choose from.
Le Boat have 19 different self-drive boats for you to choose from.
Aquitaine & Bordeaux information
Named Aquitaine after the Latin word aqua, meaning water, this region in the southwest of France is one of its largest and most diverse, both geographically and culturally.
With woodlands and orchards, vine-clad hillsides, meadows and fields of corn, it’s no wonder that so many artists call it home. You may find yourself similarly inspired!
Cobbled streets and timbered houses abound in picturesque villages throughout Aquitaine, which also reputedly comprises the highest number of well-preserved medieval bastide towns anywhere in Europe.
A masterpiece of Romanesque art, Moissac’s famous abbey, and cloister are just one of many historical sites to visit.
Explore the ancient bastide town of Montauban with its elegant arcades and grand pink houses.
Call in at the Armagnac-producing town of Condom, with its 14th-century cathedral and medieval old town. Visit the French Renaissance Chateau Henry IV in Nerac, or discover the Cistercian Abbaye de Flaran, founded in 1151.
The region is also renowned for its concentration of Prehistoric sites, which includes caves and rock paintings.
Sample the regional cuisine in one of the many superb restaurants, or browse the traditional open-air markets in medieval squares for delicious local produce to enjoy once back on board.
Some of the local delicacies include foie gras, truffles, cep mushrooms, confit de canard, prunes, and walnuts.
Pair the excellent cuisine with the superb wines for which this region is so well known, St. Emilion and Margaux being just two that immediately spring to mind.
Also renowned is the Armagnac brandy with its dedicated museum housed in a turn of the century cellar.
Home to the most extensive wine fair, Vinexpo, Bordeaux is synonymous with wine. While it is not possible to cruise to Bordeaux, you may like to visit this city before or after your cruise.
It is the Bordeaux wine that forms the base of the rich gravy in the traditional dish, the entrecôte marchand de vin with its Sauce Bordelaise.
The cuisine is also known for plentiful fish and shellfish, including the indigenous Gravette oysters.
Bask in the mild climate and abundant sunshine as you explore the region’s waterways.
Choose from the tree-lined, narrow River Baise; the still, tree-shaded waters of the Canal de Garonne; or the link waterway of the Canal de Montech with its fascinating boat lift.
Explore the Rivers of The Garonne, rising in the central Spanish Pyrenees, or the Dordogne, with its source in the mountains of the Massif Central. Both rivers ultimately join the Atlantic Ocean at Bordeaux.
Waterways in this region
The Canal du Midi, the Canal latéral à la Garonne, the Canal de Montech, the river Baïse, the River Lot, the River Garonne
Places to visit
- Musée des Beaux-Arts and the Pont Canal in Agen
- Saint Pierre Abbey in Moissac
- Musee des Jouets, the toy musuem in Montauban
- In Toulouse
- Basilica of Saint Sernin
- Couvent des Jacobins
- Les Abattoirs (Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art)
Technical and construction information for the waterways in this region
The Baïse The Dordogne The Montech Canal The Garonne lateral canal The Garonne