Secrets of Southern France Sete to Arles

Resort: Secrets of Southern France Sete to Arles
Operator: Saga
Destination: Europe
Price From: £1999.00

Discover the diverse cities and seaports of this lovely region of France

Cruise the Canal du Rhne–Ste through Languedoc-Roussillon and Provence from Ste to Arles, aboard the intimate 12-cabin barge, MS Anne-Marie. She is petite enough to navigate narrow waterways and canals and provides the friendly, relaxed ambience that makes guests feel thay are among friends. Start your cruise in the bustling fishing port of Ste, almost an island being set between a vast seafood-producing lagoon and the sea. Explore the seaside resort of Palavas-Les-Flots, on a skinny strip of land between two lakes then tour the extraordinary walled city of Aigues-Mortes and the salt flats. Visit the Camargue to see the unique wildlife that calls this marshy Rhne estuary home. End your cruise in Arles, where Vincent Van Gogh created some of his best work spot the sights he captured on your tour! In just six nights, with six included tours, this cruise reveals some of the most interesting and diverse resorts and cities that Provence has to offer

Including…

17 meals: 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 6 dinners

  • Optional travel insurance and additional cancellation rights, or a reduction if not required
  • UK travel service
  • Return flights and transfers
  • Free bar open 12 hours a day
  • Wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
  • Gala dinner
  • Entertainment and activities on the ship

Excursions

  • Tour of Sete
  • Tour of tang De Thau
  • Provenal ranch visit
  • Tour of Aigues-Mortes
  • Visit to the Camargue
  • Tour of Arles


The free bar on board is open 12 hours a day but excludes Champagne, branded spirits and drinks from the wine list. Any drinks not on the all-inclusive list must be paid for at the bar at the time of purchase. Bar opening times may vary, subject to the daily programme on board.

Itinerary

Day 1
UK to Ste

Fly to Montpellier and transfer by coach to Ste where you board the MS Anne-Marie. Look forward to meeting your fellow guests and crew over a welcome cocktail then enjoy dinner on board. Your barge remains moored in Ste overnight.

Day 2
Ste

This lively seaport on the French Mediterranean coast is virtually an island, thanks to the vast saltwater tang De Thau or Thau lagoon behind it. As if that wasn’t enough water, a canal network threads through the town centre, used by both fishing boats and locals out in their boats for shopping or visiting! Look forward to an included tour of the tang De Thau, dotted with mussel and oyster farms and justly famous for its shellfish. Find out more about the industry at the Museum, and taste some of the shellfish at a local restaurant. This afternoon, join an included tour of Ste, which has a lower town around the harbour and a higher town known as Mount St Clair. Here, in addition to far-reaching views, you’ll discover the unusual frescoed walls of the Notre-Dame-De-La-Salette chapel and the artists’ quarter, ‘Quartier Haute’. Return to MS Anne-Marie which remains moored here overnight.

Day 3
Ste to Palavas-les-Flots

Spend this morning cruising to Palavas-Les-Flots. Cross the tang De Thau then join the Rhne–Sete canal, arriving late morning. This afternoon an included tour visits a Provencal ranch, or ‘manade’ to discover how the ‘gardians’ Camargue cowboys help preserve the traditional wild bull herds. Watch them at work then enjoy a snack made with produce from the ranch. Your ship remains moored here overnight so this evening you can go ashore to explore Palavas-Les-Flots. The seaside resort is set on a strip of land between two lakes and alongside the ‘canalised’ River Lez which runs into the sea here. Originally a fishing village supplying the markets of Montpellier, it now has a large leisure marina and seven kilometres of sandy beach.

Day 4
Palavas-les-Flots to Aigues-Mortes

Enjoy a leisurely morning cruising on the Rhne–Ste canal to Aigues-Mortes. Join an included tour of this lively old town with a rich heritage, set inside a rectangle of symmetrical medieval walls. It’s located in the middle of the marshes, overlooking the salt lagoon, which the high-concentration of salt turns red. Afterwards, take a tourist train tour of the salt marshes where you’ll notice great piles of the salt which has been produced here for centuries. Famed for its superior flavour it’s sold as ‘La Fleur du sel’. Return to your ship early this evening and moor overnight.

Day 5
Aigues-Mortes to Gallician

Spend this morning cruising towards Gallician. This afternoon, join an included excursion to the Camargue, the marshy area of the Rhne estuary famous for its wild white horses, black cattle, around 400 different species of birds including flamingos, and paddy fields of red rice. Enjoy some free time in the small town of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, a place of pilgrimage for gypsies who honour their patron saint, Sarah, at the fortified church. Return to the ship and remain moored in Gallician overnight.

Day 6
Gallician to Arles

You’ll cruise along the Rhne–Sete and Rhne canals this morning to arrive in Arles. This afternoon, look foward to an included tour of Arles, founded by Roman legionnaires on the banks of the Rhne. See the buildings they left, including Les Arnes amphitheatre built at the end of the 1st century AD, and one of the first stone-built theatres outside of Rome the Place du Forum and Roman Baths of Constantine. You may recognise the arena, and other scenes in Arles, from the works of Vincent van Gogh who lived here a for a year, producing what many believe are his best works. In the historic centre you’ll see the former cathedral, the Church of St Trophime, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Afterwards, travel inland to a Provencal olive oil estate to discover the method of production and enjoy a tasting. Return to MS Anne-Marie for dinner and a gala evening as you remain moored overnight.

Day 7
Arles to UK

Disembark after breakfast and transfer to Montpellier airport for your return journey to the UK.

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