Canal du Midi between the Mediterranean & Toulouse

This is a cycling holiday along the Canal du Midi in France. Trees shade the tow paths and roads which lead you during this journey to the numerous cultural monuments: to cathedrals, palaces, Roman and medieval buildings. Besides the richness of culture there are also culinary delicacies located at Canal du Midi.
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This tour has a ten day, nine night or seven day, six night itinerary option (See Canl du Midi Standard)

Day 1 Individual arrival in Sète 

Settle into your hotel and take time to explore the town.  In the evening there is a welcome briefing and distribution of rental bike if booked. 

Day 2 Sète to  Cap d´Agde 

Before setting off towards Cap d´Agde, explore the fishing village of Séte with its harbour.  It is surrounded by water and its nickname is “Venice des Languedoc“,  because of countless  waterways which cross the town. Leaving  Sète you pass masterpieces of engineering like the lock of Agde. It is the only round lock on the Canal du Midi and was built with volcanic rock.  Your destination today is Cap d´Agde , a seaside resort with one of the largest marina’s in Europe.  Part of the town of Agde and lying on the Mediterranean Sea, it is and a paradise for water sports as well as  those who just want to sunbathe. 

Distance approx. 35 km (22 miles)

Day 3 Cap d´Agde to  Béziers 

Béziers is the goal of today. The city is the centre of winegrowing and birth place of Paul Riquet, the builder of Canal du Midi.  It is one of the oldest cities in France. The latest research (March 2013) shows that Béziers dates from 575 BC, making it older than Agde (525 BC) and a bit younger than Marseille (600 BC)  making it a good candidate for its membership of the Most Ancient European Towns Network.  At Béziers the Canal du Midi spans the river Orb as an aqueduct called the Pont-canal de l'Orb, claimed to be the first of its kind.

Distance approx. 40 km (25 miles)

Day 4 Béziers to Narbonne
 
Today your bike leads you past the canal bridge across the river Orb and the flight of locks at Fonserannes. They are some of the biggest sights of Béziers. In former times ships got over a height of 21.5 metres with eight lock basins on the length of 300 metres. You cycle through charming villages like Capestang where, In antiquity, the nearby marshes were crossed by the 1500 metre long Roman Pont Serme. The bridge carried the Via Domitia as it neared Narbonne on its strategic journey southward to Spain.   Relics of  “Via Domitia“ or the house-bridge “Pont des Marchands“ are still evidence of this time. Later centuries have also left their marks in the town: for example the archbishop’s palace or the Gothic cathedral.   Continue on to Narbonne with its impressing buildings such as as the palace and cathedral Saint Just.  Once a prosperous port, and a major city in Roman times, it is now located about 15 km (9.3 mi) from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.

Distance approx. 45 km (28 miles)

Day 5 Narbonne to Olonzac 

From Narbonne to Homps is one of the most scenic parts of your journey alongside the Canal de la Robine and the Canal du Midi. Villages, wine-growing estates and vineyards are located pictorially around the waterways.  You reach Olonzac and you will have the chance to taste some good wines , why not visit Les Celliers d'Onairac.  Olonzac is a pleasant town with several cafes and shops, a market is held here every Tuesday and there is a large park east of the town centre.

Distance approx. 45 km (28 miles)

Day 6 Olonzacto  to Carcassonne 

Famous for the Cité de Carcassonne, a medieval fortress, Carcassonne is one of the best preserved fortress towns in Europe and it was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997. The fortress Cité Médiévale of Carcassonne with its 52 towers dominates the town. You can experience the lively Carcassonne best in the downtown with its lively streets and the bastion Saint Louis. Here you have the chance to taste Micheline, an herb liqueur of the region. Worth visiting is the Maison des Mémoires  (house of memories) which tells you a lot of things about the life and fate of the Cathari. Carcassonne was a centre of the Christian Faith Movement of the Carthari, which were banished from town in 1209. 

Distance approx. 40 km (25 miles)

Day 7 A circular route from Carcassonne to Montolieu

A free day to explore Carcassonne or a round trip to Montolieu the choice is yours. Montolieu, semi-fortified and built on the edge of a ravine, has set itself the target of becoming France’s secondhand book capital Sometimes referred to as the ‘Villiage of Books’  Montolieu contains a number of bookshops, mostly specializing in second-hand and antiquarian books. Many artists also live and work in Montolieu, with painters, sculptors, workshops, galleries and photographic studios. It also contains a substantial cactus garden, the Cactusserraie d’Escaire-Figue.

Approx. 40 km (25 miles)

Day 8 Carcassonne to Castelnaudary

Historically, Castelnaudary was a town famous for its mills, and today the 17th century Moulin de Cagurel is a prime example. 17th century manors and beautiful half-timbered houses make this town an architectural jewel. A popular culinary delicacy in Castelnaudary is the savoury bean stew Cassoulet, which came about during the Hundred Years‘ War. Pork or duck, bacon, garlic sausage and white beans are all possible ingredients.

Approx. 40 km (25 miles)

Day 9 Castelnaudary to Toulouse

Continue along the canal through lovely villages such as  Avignonet-Lauragais and Villefranche-de-Lauragais to  reach Toulouse. Because its buildings are constructed from reddish stones the inhabitants call Toulouse „ville rose“ , the pink town. Take some time to explore and make sure you the basilica St-Sernin de Toulouse, which is one of the most beautiful Romanesque sacred buildings in South France. Toulouse is an attractive mixture of architectural styles with lordly Renaissance houses and former industrial buildings, which have been restored  into culture temples.

Approx. 60 km (37 miles)

Day 10 return journey

Individual departure or return to Sète or transport to Sète via bus (if booked).

 

Key Details:

  • Ten day, nine night or seven day, six night itinerary to choose from (see Canal du Midi standard for shorter tour).
  • This tour will start in Sete and end in Toulouse ( Carcassonne for shorter tour).
  • The total distance of this cycling tour is approximately 305Km / 168 miles.

Essential Information:

  • This tour is not challenging. You cycle on asphalted paths, gravel roads and side roads with less traffic.
  • Train station Séte
  • Airports Toulouse, Montpellier or Béziers/Cap d´Agde
  • Train from Toulouse to Séte about € 40 
  • train from Carcarsonne to Séte € 30,- per person
  • Car park near the hotel for about € 10 per day (payable locally)
  • Return transfers on Monday from Toulouse to Séte for € 70 per person, on Friday from Carcassonne to Sète for € 40 per person, reservation at booking is necessary, payable locally (max. 6 persons can be transported)..
  •  

There are lots of attractions and places to explore during your cycling holiday in France including:

  • French Harbour Towns and Fishing Villages
  • Birthplace of Paul Riquet, the builder of the Canal du Midi
  • Saint Just Cathedral
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site Carcassonne

Getting to France:

By Rail/Bus – Nearest train station to the start is Séte.

By Car – France can be reached by car via ferry and well-maintained motorways.  Car park near the hotel in Séte cost about € 10 per day (payable locally)

By Air – The nearest airports are Toulouse, Montpellier or Béziers/Cap d´Agde. (Train from Toulouse to Séte about € 40 and a train from Carcarsonne to Séte € 30,- per person)

For more information on getting to France please visit the France Tourism website.

Included
  • Accommodation
  • Breakfast or Breakfast buffett
  • Luggage Transfers
  • If half board is booked at least 3 course meal or buffet
  • Personal welcome tour briefing
  • Detailed travel documents with route cards, route description and sight-seeing tips
  • GPS-Tracks on request
  • 7-day service-hotline
  • Rental bike Insurance (if applicable)
Excluded
  • Bike hire unless booked (21 speed and electric bikes available)
  • Dinner unless booked
  • Transport to and from france
  • Transport to and from start/ end

This tour has a ten day, nine night or seven day, six night itinerary option (See Canl du Midi Standard)

Day 1 Individual arrival in Sète 

Settle into your hotel and take time to explore the town.  In the evening there is a welcome briefing and distribution of rental bike if booked. 

Day 2 Sète to  Cap d´Agde 

Before setting off towards Cap d´Agde, explore the fishing village of Séte with its harbour.  It is surrounded by water and its nickname is “Venice des Languedoc“,  because of countless  waterways which cross the town. Leaving  Sète you pass masterpieces of engineering like the lock of Agde. It is the only round lock on the Canal du Midi and was built with volcanic rock.  Your destination today is Cap d´Agde , a seaside resort with one of the largest marina’s in Europe.  Part of the town of Agde and lying on the Mediterranean Sea, it is and a paradise for water sports as well as  those who just want to sunbathe. 

Distance approx. 35 km (22 miles)

Day 3 Cap d´Agde to  Béziers 

Béziers is the goal of today. The city is the centre of winegrowing and birth place of Paul Riquet, the builder of Canal du Midi.  It is one of the oldest cities in France. The latest research (March 2013) shows that Béziers dates from 575 BC, making it older than Agde (525 BC) and a bit younger than Marseille (600 BC)  making it a good candidate for its membership of the Most Ancient European Towns Network.  At Béziers the Canal du Midi spans the river Orb as an aqueduct called the Pont-canal de l'Orb, claimed to be the first of its kind.

Distance approx. 40 km (25 miles)

Day 4 Béziers to Narbonne
 
Today your bike leads you past the canal bridge across the river Orb and the flight of locks at Fonserannes. They are some of the biggest sights of Béziers. In former times ships got over a height of 21.5 metres with eight lock basins on the length of 300 metres. You cycle through charming villages like Capestang where, In antiquity, the nearby marshes were crossed by the 1500 metre long Roman Pont Serme. The bridge carried the Via Domitia as it neared Narbonne on its strategic journey southward to Spain.   Relics of  “Via Domitia“ or the house-bridge “Pont des Marchands“ are still evidence of this time. Later centuries have also left their marks in the town: for example the archbishop’s palace or the Gothic cathedral.   Continue on to Narbonne with its impressing buildings such as as the palace and cathedral Saint Just.  Once a prosperous port, and a major city in Roman times, it is now located about 15 km (9.3 mi) from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.

Distance approx. 45 km (28 miles)

Day 5 Narbonne to Olonzac 

From Narbonne to Homps is one of the most scenic parts of your journey alongside the Canal de la Robine and the Canal du Midi. Villages, wine-growing estates and vineyards are located pictorially around the waterways.  You reach Olonzac and you will have the chance to taste some good wines , why not visit Les Celliers d'Onairac.  Olonzac is a pleasant town with several cafes and shops, a market is held here every Tuesday and there is a large park east of the town centre.

Distance approx. 45 km (28 miles)

Day 6 Olonzacto  to Carcassonne 

Famous for the Cité de Carcassonne, a medieval fortress, Carcassonne is one of the best preserved fortress towns in Europe and it was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997. The fortress Cité Médiévale of Carcassonne with its 52 towers dominates the town. You can experience the lively Carcassonne best in the downtown with its lively streets and the bastion Saint Louis. Here you have the chance to taste Micheline, an herb liqueur of the region. Worth visiting is the Maison des Mémoires  (house of memories) which tells you a lot of things about the life and fate of the Cathari. Carcassonne was a centre of the Christian Faith Movement of the Carthari, which were banished from town in 1209. 

Distance approx. 40 km (25 miles)

Day 7 A circular route from Carcassonne to Montolieu

A free day to explore Carcassonne or a round trip to Montolieu the choice is yours. Montolieu, semi-fortified and built on the edge of a ravine, has set itself the target of becoming France’s secondhand book capital Sometimes referred to as the ‘Villiage of Books’  Montolieu contains a number of bookshops, mostly specializing in second-hand and antiquarian books. Many artists also live and work in Montolieu, with painters, sculptors, workshops, galleries and photographic studios. It also contains a substantial cactus garden, the Cactusserraie d’Escaire-Figue.

Approx. 40 km (25 miles)

Day 8 Carcassonne to Castelnaudary

Historically, Castelnaudary was a town famous for its mills, and today the 17th century Moulin de Cagurel is a prime example. 17th century manors and beautiful half-timbered houses make this town an architectural jewel. A popular culinary delicacy in Castelnaudary is the savoury bean stew Cassoulet, which came about during the Hundred Years‘ War. Pork or duck, bacon, garlic sausage and white beans are all possible ingredients.

Approx. 40 km (25 miles)

Day 9 Castelnaudary to Toulouse

Continue along the canal through lovely villages such as  Avignonet-Lauragais and Villefranche-de-Lauragais to  reach Toulouse. Because its buildings are constructed from reddish stones the inhabitants call Toulouse „ville rose“ , the pink town. Take some time to explore and make sure you the basilica St-Sernin de Toulouse, which is one of the most beautiful Romanesque sacred buildings in South France. Toulouse is an attractive mixture of architectural styles with lordly Renaissance houses and former industrial buildings, which have been restored  into culture temples.

Approx. 60 km (37 miles)

Day 10 return journey

Individual departure or return to Sète or transport to Sète via bus (if booked).

 

Key Details:

  • Ten day, nine night or seven day, six night itinerary to choose from (see Canal du Midi standard for shorter tour).
  • This tour will start in Sete and end in Toulouse ( Carcassonne for shorter tour).
  • The total distance of this cycling tour is approximately 305Km / 168 miles.

Essential Information:

  • This tour is not challenging. You cycle on asphalted paths, gravel roads and side roads with less traffic.
  • Train station Séte
  • Airports Toulouse, Montpellier or Béziers/Cap d´Agde
  • Train from Toulouse to Séte about € 40 
  • train from Carcarsonne to Séte € 30,- per person
  • Car park near the hotel for about € 10 per day (payable locally)
  • Return transfers on Monday from Toulouse to Séte for € 70 per person, on Friday from Carcassonne to Sète for € 40 per person, reservation at booking is necessary, payable locally (max. 6 persons can be transported)..
  •  

There are lots of attractions and places to explore during your cycling holiday in France including:

  • French Harbour Towns and Fishing Villages
  • Birthplace of Paul Riquet, the builder of the Canal du Midi
  • Saint Just Cathedral
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site Carcassonne

Getting to France:

By Rail/Bus – Nearest train station to the start is Séte.

By Car – France can be reached by car via ferry and well-maintained motorways.  Car park near the hotel in Séte cost about € 10 per day (payable locally)

By Air – The nearest airports are Toulouse, Montpellier or Béziers/Cap d´Agde. (Train from Toulouse to Séte about € 40 and a train from Carcarsonne to Séte € 30,- per person)

For more information on getting to France please visit the France Tourism website.

Included
  • Accommodation
  • Breakfast or Breakfast buffett
  • Luggage Transfers
  • If half board is booked at least 3 course meal or buffet
  • Personal welcome tour briefing
  • Detailed travel documents with route cards, route description and sight-seeing tips
  • GPS-Tracks on request
  • 7-day service-hotline
  • Rental bike Insurance (if applicable)
Excluded
  • Bike hire unless booked (21 speed and electric bikes available)
  • Dinner unless booked
  • Transport to and from france
  • Transport to and from start/ end
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