In Beziers, the Canal du Midi is an aqueduct over the Orb River. Languedoc, France. Photo via Flickr:guillenperez
Canal du Midi runs from Toulouse to the Étang de Thau by the Mediterranean.. Photo via Flickr:Ewick

Harbor in Sete, France. Photo via Flickr:bernadettejfr

Canal du Midi

France Bike Tours

Cycling France along a beautiful canal

The Canal du Midi is undoubtedly the most stunning canal in Europe and this cycling tour in France allows you to experience it in all its beauty.

This calm and restful waterway is lined on both sides by thousands of century old trees. Along the 160 miles of waterway, you will come across authentic and varied landscapes, as well as exceptional towns of cultural and historical interest such as the medieval walled village of Carcassonne.

This Canal du Midi bike tour goes through other equally fascinating sites such as Agde, well-known for its wonderful fortified Romanesque cathedral, Béziers for its 2000-year-old Roman bridge, cathedral, and Canal Bridge, and Narbonne for its stunning gothic cathedral, the archbishop’s palace, and the Roman underground warehouses.

Please browse all our our bike tours in France ​or our many bicycle tours in Europe.

Where You’ll Stay

Accommodations in 2 star to 3 star hotels

What’s Included

  • Hotel accommodations for 6 or 9 nights
  • Breakfast buffets
  • 21 gear hybrid bicycle
  • Personal welcome meeting and tour briefing
  • Detailed travel information (route description, route cards, sight-seeing info, telephone numbers)
  • Luggage transfer
  • 7-day service hotline

What’s Not Included

TourBike
TypeSelf Guided
SkillModerate
Length7–10 days
From820 Rates
Client Reviews

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Tour Dates

Arrival every Saturday from April 16 to September 24, 2016

Skill Level

This France bike tour is flat, with some rolling hills (particularly in the extension to the reservoir St. Férréol to Toulouse), partially paved, otherwise sandy and pebble pathways, and little-used roads.

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Canal du Midi Map

Day 1: Individual arrival in Sète
Day 2: Sète - Cap d´Agde, 22 mi. (35 km)
Day 3: Cap d´Agde - Bèziers, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 4: Bèziers - Narbonne, 28 mi. (45 km) 
Day 5: Narbonne - Olonzac, 28 mi. (45 km)
Day 6: Olonzac - Carcassonne, 26 mi. (42 km)
Day 7: Free Day in Carcassonne OR Round-trip to Montolieu, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 8: Carcassonne - Castelnaudary, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 9: Castelnaudary - Toulouse, 37 mi. (60 km)
Day 10: Departure

*All distances are approximate.

Day 1: Sète
Individual arrival to Sète. In the evening, there will be a welcome briefing and bikes will be distributed.

Day 2: Sète - Cap d´Agde, 22 mi. (35 km)
Your tour begins in the port town, Sète, where the Canal du Midi flows into the Mediterranean Sea. The town is surrounded by water and is also know as "Venice des Languedoc". It is called this because beneath the Canal du Midi are countless additional waterways, which cross the town. The route leads along the Canal du Midi past masterpieces of engineering like the lock of Agde. It is the only round lock of the Canal du Midi and was built with volcanic rock. The basic measurements of the lock are 29.90 meters in diameter and 5.20 meters deep. Today's destination is Cap d´Agde at the Mediterranean Sea. This town has the largest European marina and is a paradise for divers and surfers, and also people who just want to swim and rest at the beach.

Day 3: Cap d´Agde - Bèziers, 25 mi. (40 km)
Pine trees shade your way to the mouth of the Hérault and further alongside the Canal du Midi en route to Béziers. The town has a rich history and is the birthplace of the father of the Canal du Midi: Pierre-Paul Riquet. The alley, Paul-Riquet, located in the center of the town is dedicated to him. Béziers is located in a scenic winegrowing region.

Day 4: Bèziers - Narbonne, 28 mi. (45 km)
Today's route leads you past mighty buildings like the canal bridge across the river Orb and the flight of locks of Fonserannes. They are both some of the biggest sights of Béziers. In former times ships got over a height of 21.5 meters with eight lock basins on the length of 300 metres. You cycle through charming villages like Capestang on your way to Narbonne, which is flanked by vineyards. The former capital of the Romanesque antiquity was the first Roman colony outside of Italy. Sights like the relics of the street, "Via Domitia" or the houses-bridge with Roman origin, "Pont des Marchands" are evidences of this time. 

Day 5: Narbonne - Olonzac, 28 mi. (45 km)
Today you cycle from Narbonne to Homps, perhaps 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 scattered around the waterways. Your destination today is Homps. This placid settlement was in former times an important transhipment point for the local winery owners of the region. Wine growing is still an important economic sector in Homps. You will have the opportunity to taste some of the local wines of the region.

Day 6: Olonzac - Carcassonne, 26 mi. (42 km)
Carcassonne is one of the best preserved fortress towns in Europe and has been a part of the UNESCO World Heritage since 1997. The mightiest building of the town and one of the biggest fortresses in Europe is the fortress Cité Médiévale of Carcassonne with its 52 towers. 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 the Micheline, an herb liqueur of the region. Worth visiting is the house of memories, which tells you a lot of things about life and fate of the Cathari. Carcassonne was a center of the Christian Faith Movement of the Carthari, which were banished from town in 1209.

Day 7: Carcassonne Roundtrip, 25 mi. (40 km)
If you book the 7 day cycle tour, this is the departure day.
If you book the 10-day cycle tour: Free day in Carcassonne OR cycle round trip to Montolieu. There are 15 antique stores with over 200,000 books that are worth seeing in Montolieu, also known as the "Village of Books". You may also visit the former royal textile manufacturing site which was declared a National Monument in 2004.

Day 8: Carcassonne - Castelnaudary, 25 mi. (40 km)
Castelnaudary is the destination of your tour today. Splendid manors, built in the 17th century, and beautiful half-timbered houses make this town an architectural jewel. A popular culinary delicacy in Castelnaudary is the savory bean stew, Cassoulet, which came about during the Hundred Years War.

Day 9: Castelnaudary - Toulouse, 37 mi. (60 km)
You cycle further alongside the canal through nice villages like Avignonet-Lauragais and Villefranche-de-Lauragais and you reach Toulouse and because of its buildings with reddish stones, the inhabitants call Toulouse, "ville rose" or the pink town. Take a walk through this city to see the important sacred buildings among which is the basilica St-Sernin de Toulouse, which is one of the most beautiful Romanesque buildings in South France. Toulouse is an attractive mixture of architectural Renaissance houses and former industrial buildings, which were masterfully rebuilt.

Day 10: Individual departure 

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