The best French river cruises take you on a journey through the fascinating history of the country while you relax and soak up the gorgeous scenery and savour delicious freshly cooked meals aboard your hotel barge. |
Why not discover the architectural magnificence of the Château de Duras and the intricate, fascinating past of Le Mas d’Agenais without the stress of regular travel? Allow yourself to be transported to each enchanting site as you enjoy cruising down France’s rivers with an experienced crew. Get on board to enjoy a unique way to explore these and other fabulous historic sites.
Archaeological Delights at Château de Duras
Constructed in a strategic area during the Hundred Years War, this majestic eighteenth century building has undergone many additions throughout its existence, and its current state is reflective of its interesting development. Inherited in the early fourteenth century by the brother of Pope Clement the 5th, papal money was used to design a new fortress and to replace the former castle. Following this, it was largely remodelled in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and was transformed into a beautiful Renaissance style mansion surrounded by stunning French style gardens. After it came under attack during the French Revolution, its ruins were purchased by the city of Duras and it was brought back to life to display its true majestic heritage to visitors. You can also view the five expansive rooms dedicated to archaeology and country life from the twentieth century.
Encounter Rembrandt at Le Mas d’Agenais
You will have the pleasure of visiting Le Mas d’Agenais on the itinerary of many of the best French river cruises, and this is a fabulous historical site not to be missed. Once occupied by the Romans, the village boasts over 2000 years of history and is home to some remarkable treasures. One of these is the Venus of Mas statue, a Greek work which dates from the first century B.C. The church, which was restored in the nineteenth century, is richly furnished with artworks, including Rembrandt’s Christ on the Cross, painted in 1631.
Other attractions you can enjoy include the markets in the ruins of the destroyed château, which sell a host of local goods and produce. You can also pay a visit the nearby Garonne canal, with its hiking trails and cycling touring routes that criss-cross the enormous surrounding forest.
The Perfect French Escape
Escape crowded holiday accommodation and do something different for you next holiday. Explore all the fabulous historical sites France has to offer and treat yourself to a wonderfully relaxing experience on the best French river cruises. The beauty of this kind of travel is that you can embrace the sightseeing and cultural elements of travel, but combine them with the relaxation and luxury of cruising in style. Perfection.
Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, the UK's most respected provider of the best French river cruises, with all-inclusive, luxury itineraries. Part of a team of experienced barging aficionados, Paul is first in line to endorse the perks of a slow-paced barge cruise to anyone looking for a unique holiday experience.
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