Saturday, January 16th, 2021

Canal du Midi – A Book Review

Book Review Canal du Midi. The Ultimate Guide by Andrea Hoffmann & Hans Zaglitsch.

A handy travel guide to the Canal Du Midi – the most popular waterway in France.

Over the years we have cruised more of the French Canals than many have had hot dinners!  We have sailed as passengers on board luxury hotel barges and taken the family with while skippering rented self drive craft.

While we love them all, the waterway that keeps drawing us back, time after time, is the Canal du Midi.

Recognised as one of the most picturesque and popular waterways in Europe, it is a UNESCO world heritage site.

When it comes to canal side wine tasting, visiting medieval villages and cities, or just soaking up the rural atmosphere in cafes and restaurants this is the canal that has the lot.

Needless to say, over the years, the waterway has been the subject of many a travel guide, some good and some not so!  Quite definitely falling into the former category, comes another from the nautical publishing house Adlard Cioles itself an imprint of the Bloomsbury Group

While we love them all, the waterway that keeps drawing us back, time after time, is the Canal du Midi.

Canal du Midi. The Ultimate Guide by Andrea Hoffmann & Hans Zaglitsch is a handy-sized, up-to-date guidebook covers all the practical information and sightseeing opportunities that boaters – whether first-timers or experienced – need to know during their holiday on the Canal du Midi.

When it comes to canal side wine tasting, visiting medieval villages and cities, the canal du midi has the lot.

Written originally in German and flawlessly translated it has been compiled by Andrea Hoffmann an art historian whose speciality is medieval architecture.  Andrea works as a travel journalist, mainly in Southern Europe, and has known and loved the Canal du Midi region for 20 years. 

Co authored by travel photographer Hans Zaglitsch it is beautifully illustrated and well laid out with easy to follow chapters, clear route maps and informative text that make the book useful as well as informative

canal du midi it is beautifully illustrated and well laid out with easy to follow chapters

It seems to be a be a more updated version of The Canal Du Midi: A Cruiser’s Guide by Bernd W Kiessler another German book published in English by Adlard Coles in 2009. 

Quite why the publishers think it necessary to carry two similar works in their portfolio has not been made clear by them but I would venture to suggest you need only buy one version or the other. 

Each helps with the planning of trips along the canal explaining how and where to charter your boat or luxury hotel barge.

The Canal du Midi book advises on choosing the right boat, budgeting and packing sensibly.

The book advises on choosing the right boat, budgeting and packing sensibly.  It offers insider travel tips such as where to stop off, sightseeing musts, recommended restaurants to visit along the way.  Used together with canal charts it will supply the essential practical nautical information such as dealing with locks, bridges and berths.

Helpfully, it contains a concise English-French dictionary covering most of the essential vocabulary you’ll need to communicate while cruising the canal.

Over the years we have cruised more of the French Canals than many have had hot dinners!

Nicely sized it is not too big to slip in your pocket as you go ashore but if we were to criticise, it would be to lament that the book does not lie open flat and this will be a disadvantage during navigation

To be published on 18th February 2021 this paperback book will be available on line, in chandleries and from specialist bookshops for £14.99.

Canal du Midi. The Ultimate Guide – A handy travel guide to the Canal Du Midi – the most popular waterway in France. by Andrea Hoffmann & Hans Zaglitsch

ISBN  9781472980038

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