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Cycling Canal du Midi
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Canal du Midi - from Toulouse to Sète
Canal du Midi - from Toulouse to Sète
Level :
 
Duration :
7 days
Comfort :
 
period:
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
Code:
FRSB660
Gastronomy Wine History Seashore River
From € 595
Canal du Midi - from Toulouse to Sète
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Following the footsteps of Paul Riquet

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Bike Tour: Canal du Midi - from Toulouse to Sète - 7 days

From Toulouse you follow the footsteps of the famous French "Canal architect" Paul Riquet. A relaxed, well marked track takes you through the agricultural area of Lauragais and the vineyards of Minervois. The ingeniously constructed winding "Canal du Midi", included in Unesco’s heritage, is your umbrageous guide.

There is a lot to be enjoyed on the way along this large scale ‘water work’: antique boats, dozens of oval shaped locks of various sizes, age old villages, gastronomic surprises and beautiful towns like Carcassonne. The end of the trip is the azure blue sea, in the charming town of Sète.

Canal des Deux Mers - from Bordeaux to Sète - 12 days

Do you want to cover in 12 days the complete route from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean? Combine the routes "Canal du Midi" and "Canal de la Garonne". You start in Bordeaux and finish in Sète.

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FRSB660 - Canal du Midi
itinerary
Day 1: Arrival in Toulouse
Day 2: Toulouse to Castelnaudary
Day 3: Castelnaudary to Carcassonne
Day 4: Carcassonne to Homps/Olonzac
Day 5: Homps to Béziers
Day 6: Béziers to Sète
Day 7: Departure Sète

Day 1:    Arrival in Toulouse

You individually travel to the ‘pink’ Toulouse, cosmopolitan and cultural town where red bricks are a characteristic feature. Visit the lively centre with its many fine restaurants. Discover monumental treasures, like the Place du Capitol, St. Sernin’s Cathedral and the Couvent des Jacobins, a beautiful 13th century Dominican Monastery.

Day 2:    Toulouse to Castelnaudary
64 km

Leave town via the Paul Riquet bridge and cycle along the Canal du Midi with its characteristic barges. You enter the pastel coloured country of Lauragais. Take a break in Avignonet, the centre of the battles during the Albegenic crusades with lots of medieval remains, statues of crusaders and enormous churches. At the foot of the Montagne Noir you find the highest point in the canal. This is the Narouze watershed between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. You go down to Castelnaudary, maybe to have a real authentic cassoulet later on.

Day 3:    Castelnaudary to Carcassonne
43 km

Surrounded by the Montagne Noir in the east and the Pyrenees in the south west you cycle , via an original, thousand- year-old tow path to the river harbour of Bram. Bricks make way for stones, cornfields turn into vineyards. You pass age old villages and waterworks like Béteil and the Lalande lock  that show Paul Riquet’s ingenuity. Also stop at the Cugarel mill, the Villepinte dam and the Rebenty aqueduct. Finally you reach Carcassonne, consisting of a medieval upper town and the Bastide St. Jean situated lower.

Day 4:    Carcassonne to Homps/Olonzac
42 km

After fabulous Carcassonne go back to the peaceful quiet of the ‘Canal’ surrounded by imposing planes. Admire the bridge at Orbiel, the overflow of canal water at Argendouble and the 12th century church in the port of Trèbes. The very doors of this church, supported by 320 oak consoles, are worth a visit. If possible stop in the Gallic village near Marseillette and take a walk to Capendu with its Roman chapel. Through undulating vineyards you reach your destination.

Day 5:    Homps to Béziers
62 km

After the lock of Argens you follow the winding path along the hillside to Le Somail. Take a break here in the old library. After that you cycle along the Canal de la Robine to Capestang with its collegiate church, already visible from afar. From the tower you see the sea and the 14th century castle nearby . ‘En route’ again you pass the Gallo-Roman remains: the village Poilhes la Romaine and the Oppidum d’Ensérune. Also admire the Malpas tunnel and the 9 locks of Foncérannes. They are evidence of the brilliance of the architect Paul Riquet, whose native village, the historic Béziers, is your destination today.

Day 6:    Béziers to Sète
50 km

Although the sea isn’t visible yet you can smell it. The landscape gets flatter and forms a mosaic of dunes, swamps and wide lagoons. It’s the habitat of the egrets that strut among horses and cattle. In this coastal region, looking like the Camargue, you pass the unique ‘Pont Bache du Libron’ and the round lock of Agde. In Agde with its ‘dark cathedral’ you cross the Hérault in the direction of the Thau lagoon. At the lighthouse in Onglous the Canal du Midi ends. In Marseillan you finally cycle along the beach to Sète and maybe you get a glimpse of the traditional water joust  ‘Les Joutes.’

Day 7:    Departure Sète

Breakfast marks the end of your trip in the pleasant town of Sète, the biggest French fishing port, also well known for its beautiful beaches. This authentic town, full of pastel coloured houses with wrought iron balconies, is crossed by several connecting canals and the Thau Basin. In the harbour you find an abundance of fish restaurants. Everything as fresh as can be! A visit to the large covered market is really worth-wile. Here you can buy anything that has to do with food and drink and the products are displayed wonderfully. 

accommodation

All accommodations are carefully selected because of their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. 

We choose comfortable 2*/3* hotels or B&Bs where all rooms have private en-suite bathroom and every morning breakfast are included. 

For more comfort, when it's possible we can upgrade the hotels with 3/4 * category (supplement applied).

Hotel Gascogne **

www.hotel-gascogne.com

Hotel du Canal

www.hotelducanal.com

Hotel du Pont vieux

www.hotelpontvieux.com

B&B Le jardin d'Homps

jardinhomps.fr

Hotel des Poètes **

hotel-des-poetes-beziers.hotelmix.fr

Hotel l'Orque Bleue

www.orquebleue.fr

included

Included

  • 6 nights in selected 2/3* hotels
  • 6 breakfasts
  • Luggage transfers
  • Tourist city taxes
  • Detailed information pack, route notes and maps
  • 24/7 Bilingual Emergency hotline

 Not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Transport to first and from last accommodation
  • Trains, busses or any transport wherever necessary
  • Other Lunches & Dinners
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, additional transfers, etc
  • Hybrid bike rental 

Extras

  • Single Room Supplement
  • Solo Traveller Supplement
  • Upgrade Supplement hotels 3/4
  • Additional nights 
  • Transfer from the train station to your hotel
  • Transfer back from your last accommodation
  • Hybrid bike rental (150 €)
  • E-bike supplement (210 €) 

 

 

practical info

6 Nights included

 

2/3 Star Hotels or 3/4 Star Hotels (supplement applied)

 

Breakfast included, Halfboard optional on request

Maps and tourist information on all the places of interest

 

The possibility of renting hybrid bikes (150 €) or E-bikes (210 €)

 

24/7 Bilingual Emergency hotline

Luggage transport to your next hotels

 

Parking informations on request

GPS tracks are available on request

Travel

The closest airports to the Canal de Garonne are Toulouse (TLS) and Monpellier (MPL)

From Paris, you can take the TGV (high speed train) to Bordeaux. 2h15); From Bordeaux, you can take a TER Train to Toulouse (2h05).

On the end of your trip you can take a train from Monpellier (direct trains back to Toulouse, the journey takes 2 to 3 hours).

For time tables and further information look at the website of the SNCF or TER-SNCF.

From Paris to Toulouse (approx. 6h - 680 km / 423 mi). Acces to driving routes see the website ViaMichelin.

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