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Canal du Midi

Shortest Day - 25 miles / 40 km
Longest Day - 37 miles / 60 km
Total: 240 km / 150 miles. 5 days cycling, 1 non cycling day spent in Carcassonne.

What you can expect

A gentle holiday along flat paths and lanes following the Canal du Midi through southern France. Let the slow pace of canalside life lure you into a relaxed state as you ride along this amazing waterway. 5 days cycling, 7 nights: 6 nights dinner bed and breakfast, one night dinner not included.

More detail

Highlights include:

  • Be beguiled by the tranquility and slower pace of life
  • Toulouse, the 'pink city' due to the colour of stone used
  • The Grand Bassin at Castelnaudary
  • Carcassonne, a  fairytale fortress
  • The world's first canal tunnel
  • Arrival at the Mediterranean
  • Ideal for first time cycle tourers
  • Enjoy the famous wines and gastronomy of the southwest of France such as cassoulet and confit de canard.

The Canal du Midi, constructed over 14 years in the 1670s and 1680s, was a groundbreaking work of engineering and pioneered many techniques still in use today. The canal was constructed to avoid the need to circumnavigate the Iberian peninsular and the need for reliance on Spanish goodwill; thereby shortening a journey from the Atlantic to the Med by 3,000 miles!

Although its use as a commercial waterway has disappeared, it is now possible to cycle from one end of the canal to the other using the towpaths and quiet lanes adjoining them, from Toulouse to the Mediterranean at Agde, through the vineyards and flat countryside of the region. The architects of the canal took great pride in making it as aesthetically pleasing as possible, blending it into the landscape. This aim was well and truly accomplished, and only serves to enhance this memorable ride.

Along the way there is plenty to see, from beautiful landscapes, to pleasure craft to wave at, cafes and restaurants, vineyards and unspoilt villages, all set in one of France's most beautiful regions famed for its food and wine.

Day 1: Arrival in Toulouse. 

Day 2: Toulouse to Castelnaudary. Join the canal in the very city centre and ride along well prepared surfaces to Castelnaudary, with its Grand Bassin and home to cassoulet, a dish which will set you up for the next day's ride!

Day 3: Castelnaudary to Carcassone. More well prepared cycle tracks alongside the canal and some quiet lanes lead to the world famous city of Carcassonne, with its citadel with origins in the 3rd century!

Day 4: Carcassonne. Explore this fascinating and historic city, or enjoy an optional ride into the countryside surrounding it.

Day 5: Carcassonne to Homps / Olonzac. The famous plane trees lining the canal make a wonderful photograph as you ride over some of the very first canal bridges in the world! Centred around the quiet mooring port, Homps is a pretty village with some relaxing bars and restaurants along the canalside in which to enjoy a glass of wine from the vines you have ridden past today.

Day 6: Homps / Olonzac to Beziers. A bustling town, Beziers owes much of its importance to the canal as it was the first - or last! - stop on the way from the Med to the Atlantic! On the way, waste some time watching the boats going through the locks, all of which have a pretty lock keeper's cottage, many with a cafe attached.

Day 7: Beziers to Agde. The final day is exciting but also tinged with sadness as your journey comes to an end where the canal meets the lagoon at Thau at the Onglous lighthouse.

Day 8: Depart from Beziers / Perpignan.

Requested Single Supplement (see our FAQ page): £495.

Please note that this tour is best suited to touring bikes and hybrids due to the towpaths used.

BOOK ONLINE NOW

or enquire about specific dates by clicking 'Booking Enquiry' below.

Current dates for this tour:

Starts:
09.09.17
Ends:
16.09.17
Rating:
Easy
Price:
£1,395

Travel Information

Start: Toulouse
Finish: Beziers

Click here for our Travel Information page

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