Canal du Midi

  • canal-de-midi

Canal du Midi

1,050.001,525.00

Fully supported, point-to-point cycling tour along the famous Canal du Midi

The route is tranquil and relatively flat, primarily following the ancient towpath of the Canal du Midi, much of which has now been converted to “la voie vert” a designated cycle and leisure route.

Our guides will show you the best places to stop along the way and our support team will manage the logistics to ensure you can focus on taking in the stunning scenery and enjoying your ride.

7 days

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Product Description

Level: easy, relatively flat with possibility of strong winds. Designed for all riders including recreational

This route can be done in either direction, but for the most leisurely experience we suggest starting in Carcassonne and following the route to the sea to take advantage of the prevailing slope and winds.

Tour includes:

  • 6 nights accommodation
  • Transfer for you and your bike from Carcassonne, Montpellier or Bezier airports
  • Guided rides with support vehicle to transport luggage and supplies
  • Breakfast each day

Accommodation

Once we have agreed with you the exact route and daily distances that you prefer, we will arrange accommodation with our partner hotels or gites in the region. All our accommodation is bike-friendly and includes breakfast each day.

Pricing is based on double occupancy, but single occupancy can be arranged for a small supplement.

Sample itinerary

Constructed in the 1600’s, the Canal de Midi was a feat of early engineering. It formed a vital transport link for taking the regional wine to far horizons and thus greatly influenced growth in the region. It is now a popular greenway for boaters, hikers and cyclists. Unlike many other cycle tours on the Canal du Midi, our selected routes regularly break away from the actual canal route, winding through the surrounding countryside to let you explore.

Arrival and exploring historic Carcossonne
We will pick you up at Carcossonne airport and transport you and your bike to the ancient town of Carcassonne which is the starting point of your tour.

With its amazing castle and ramparts, Carcassonne is one of the best preserved medieval fortified towns and is a designated UNESCO World heritage site.

Walk along the protective walls surrounding the medieval city (a distance of approx 3km and including 52 towers). The count’s castle which stands against the old enclosure is an excellent introduction to medieval military architecture. There are two main gates into the fortified city, the Aude gate and the Narbonne Gate featuring two enormous towers.

Explore the historic centre with its many narrow streets and artisan shops. Be sure to stop and admire the Saint-Nazaire Basilica.

Select one of the many restaurants in the old town for a traditional Languedoc feast.

No formal cycling today. Take your time to explore the town while we assemble your bikes for tomorrow’s ride
Carcasonne to Olonzac
Today you begin your ride along the canal. The route is tranquil and beautiful – pale green and lined with plane trees. Today is one of the longest days in the saddle, totalling about 45km, and finishes in the classic Minervois town of Olonzac.

Picturesque Olonzac sits in the vines, a short distance from the Canal du Midi and its lively weekly market makes it the economic heart throb of Minervois. It is the perfect place to relax and unwind after a day of cycling.

Distance: 45km, Climbing 160m

Sunflowers and Lavendar: Olonzac to Bize Minervois
Today’s route partly follows the canal and partly meanders through the surrounding countryside, pedalling among sunflowers and lavender. The sleepy golden-stoned village of Bize-Minervois sits prettily astride the Cesse river, with a lovely swimming spot.

There is a romantic feel to Bize-Minervoise, with old stone houses covered in ivy with bright shutters and decorative iron balconies, old fashioned little shops, narrow cobbled alleys and gingham table cloths.

Visit the nearby co-operative of L’Oubilo for fantastic olive tasting and the Chateau de Cabezac to sample the local red wine.

Distance: 32km, Climbing 210m
Through the vines to Capestang
This route will escape for the most of day from the enclosed route along the canal to explore the many local vineyards and charming villages.

There are many opportunities to stop for a break and/or a tipple along the way.

Finish in Capestang, which is a bustling centre full of cozy bars and restaurants. Markets on Wednesday and Sunday mornings on the Place Jean Jaurès provide an opportunity to sample the local produce and specialities.

Distance: 32km, Climbing 410m

Follow the Canal to Beziers

Béziers is built upon a stone bluff in a bend of the Orb river. Its beautiful houses and churches have seen some horrific, historical events, including the public burning in 1209 of several hundred Cathars and their sympathisers.

Happily the town’s history also has a lighter side, in the traditions of wine production and art. The works of architects and sculptors can be admired at every turn, notably the sculptor Injalbert.

The Canal du Midi was begun here by one of the town’s most famous sons, Paul Riquet. The waterways of Béziers, river and canal, were vital transport links in taking the region’s wine to far horizons. In the 19th century Béziers became the undisputed capital of the Languedoc wine producing region,

Distance, 22km, Climbing 160m
To the Sea: Bezier to Adge
Following the canal to Adge, you will pass the historic L’Écluse Ronde, a canal lock that connects the Hérault River to the Canal du Midi. Built in 1676, it’s unique round design allowed boats to turn around. The lock is still in use, but is no longer round as it was expanded in 1978 to allow larger boats to pass.

The canal opens up as it approaches the Mediterranean. Here the towpath is newly paved most of the way and backed by dunes.

Why not stop for a refreshing dip in the sea at Portiragnes Plage.

Distance: 30km, Climbing 145m
Rest day and heading home
Today is a rest day to further explore the roman town of Agde or hit the beach. Alternatively, you can take a short ride down the coast to the quaint fishing villages of Marseillan, Meze or Sete.

Enjoy the seaside views and be sure to stop at one of the local oyster trucks or beach cafes for a taste of the local delicacy.

Final day and heading home. We will help you dissemble and pack your bike for the return voyage.

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