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Canal du Midi

4-day cycle trip from Toulouse to Carcassonne along the Canal du Midi

Self-guided cycle tour along Canal du Midi: from Toulouse to Carcassonne in 4 days

Reviews (6) :
4.67 / 5
Reference M0402
  • Itinerant trip
  • 4 days
  • Easy
  • From March 31 to Nov 1
  • Minimum age 9 years old
375€ / pers.
  • Itinerary
  • This 4-day cycle tour along the Canal du Midi rallies two major milestones of the canal : Toulouse, the Ville Rose and Carcassonne, the medieval fortress. You ride quietly sometimes on cycle paths or the hauling path along the canal, sometimes on low-traffic country roads. You will cross the Lauragais, a large fertile plain surronded by hills that flourished on the 15th and 16th centuries thanks to pastel trade, which also brought prosperity to Toulouse. The village churches with their characteristic fortified bell towers are a heritage of this rich past. You ride through Castelnaudary, the proud capital of cassoulet, and the charming abbey of Saint-Papoul before arriving in Carcassonne at the foot of the impressing medieval fortress.

    Day 1

     
     
    You leave Toulouse on a cycling path along the Canal du Midi and enjoy riding out of the city away from cars, lulled by the soft sound of the water. You reach the first villages of the Lauragais, an area where the landscape is dotted with typical flat bell towers like in the village of Montesquieu-Lauragais.

    Day 2

     
     
    You leave the canal to ride on a nice overhanging road offering magnificent views on the canal and countryside. You reach the Cathar village of Avignonet-Lauragais before passing by Port Lauragais and the watershed between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean sea. You then head towards Castelnaudary, where you will be warmly welcomed with a tasty cassoulet on the nice port.

    Day 3

     
     
    Today’s route diverts you from the canal till the charming medieval village of Saint-Papoul, famous for its nice Benedictine abbey built in the 8th century. After the tour of the abbey, you keep on cycling through the countryside to Bram, where you reach again the canal. You can make a detour to the village, an ancient fortified circulade where you can still admire the circular pattern of the streets even if the walls no longer exist. You cycle further on the hauling path to Carcassonne.

    Day 4

     
     
    The stage of the day is a short loop tour through the outskirts of Carcassonne. It takes you first around the unmissable medieval city of Carcassonne and then to the Lake of La Cavayère, where you can enjoy a swim or a relaxing moment on the beach. On the way back, you enjoy the marvellous views on the medieval fortress on top of the local vineyards!
       

    Cité of Carcassonne 3h

    8,50 € / adult
  • Accommodation
  • Category B

    You stay in hotels with *** standards or bed & breakfasts selected for their style and quality. Breakfast is included.
    * Example of the type of accommodation
  • Bikes, luggage and documents
  • Bikes

    On your arrival day, we provide you with:

    • a touring bike adjusted to your size or a tandem
    • equipped : front rack pack with an integrated file compartment, saddlebag, helmet (on demand), reflective vest, repairing toolkit with patches etc.

    We also provide you with the appropriate equipment for your children : baby seat, bike trailer or trailer bike depending on their age and size.

    Electric bikes are also available for adults.


    Luggage


    For this trip, bikes are equipped with 2 waterproof saddle bags with a capacity of 10 to 20L each to transport your luggage. Do not forget to put your items in a soft travel bag to be able that you can roll it up in your saddle bags.

    For more comfort, you can choose to add luggage transport in your booking:
    (see rate in "Prices")

    • We transport your luggage from one accommodation to the next using a private vehicle.
    • Your luggage is directly delivered in your accommodation before you arrive.
    • We provide a saddlebag for the things you shall need during the day.(included in your bike rental)

    Our word of advice : as we know from experience, we strongly recommend you to avoid wearing a backpack during your cycling trip.


    Travel documents

    A cycling holiday is the best way to explore a region and discover its culture, landscapes and local traditions.

    Your tour is self-guided to give you the freedom to ride at your own pace. You will be provided all the information you need to enjoy peacefully the itinerary and its interesting sites.
    You will have in your travel documents maps of the itinerary (A4 format) that we drew at the easiest scale to follow for a bicycle rider.

    Example of a map



    GPS tracks


    For this trip, we also provide the GPS tracks on demand in the .gpx format at no extra cost.

  • Practical information
  • Main features:

    Itinerant tour

    Difficulty level: easy. The itinerary is flat along the canal but hilly as soon as you divert from the canal. The route takes you on the boat hauling path of the canal and quiet country roads. The stages are 30 to 49 km long, which means 3 to 5 hours biking at a slow pace (10km/h). The boat hauling path being still a dirt track on several portions, it is sometimes bumpy to ride.

    To get to departure point:

    • By plane: many airlines fly to Toulouse. A regular shuttle is going to the city center every 20 min (price € 8/pers). It takes 20 to 45 min to get to the city center depending on traffic.
    • By train: because of the geography, trains going to Toulouse are not high speed. As a conseguence, it is quite a long train ride to get there: 5h30 from Paris, 4h from Marseille, 4h30 from Lyon and 2h from Bordeaux. To plan your trip, www.raileurope.com.


    Parking

    If you drive to Toulouse, you need to know that secured car parks in the city center of Toulouse are very expensive. The 4-day rate in all the secured car parks of the city center is € 83. Another option is to park your car at the airport in the car park of Radisson Blu hotel. The rate for 4 days is € 40. You can book a spot on the website or the application of Mobypark. You can then take the shuttle (see upper).

    All details will be given in your travel documents.


    To get back to starting point:

    Trains take you back to your starting point if you wish. Regional direct trains (duration about 1 hr) are riding regularly. These trains take bikes without surcharge. You can buy your ticket on spot (full rate € 16.50/adult).

    You will find the timetable of the day in your travel documents.


    Meeting time:

    We recommend you to arrive at around 10am to enjoy your day fully without rushing and be able to do the visits on the way. We advise to book an extra night before in Toulouse if your travel plans make you arrive later.

    If you chose luggage transport, you must arrive before 10am to drop off your luggage. Bikes pick up point and luggage drop off point are located next to the train station and will be given in your travel documents.

    .
  • Reviews
  •   Memory of the trip  

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    1 2
    6 bike travelers reviews 4.67 / 5

    “ Au fil de l'eau. ”

    On the 2016-10-12 by Rosine
    Cet itinéraire est absolument remarquable tant au niveau de la beauté des paysages ( patrimoine de l'Unesco ) qu'au niveau de l'atmosphère qui règne au bord du canal. C'est une parenthèse enchantée qui déconnecte immédiatement du quotidien et nous plonge dans notre histoire de France. De plus,l'équipe du Vélo Voyageur a la bonne idée de nous dévier un peu du canal ce qui nous permet de découvrir la campagne environnante notamment celle après Castelnaudary qui nous fait croire que nous sommes en Toscane. Merci à Sébastien qui nous a accueilli à notre arrivée à Toulouse et qui a fait preuve de disponibilité et de professionnalisme pour la préparation des vélos.

    “ Belle balade ”

    On the 2016-10-02 by Jean-Paul
    Une superbe balade sur les bords reposants du Canal du Midi. Attention toutefois quand on rentre dans l'Aude le chemin devient plus irrégulier avec beaucoup de racines. Par ailleurs les cafés ouverts sont rares en Septembre sur les rives du canal.

    “ Great trip ”

    On the 2016-09-27 by Owen
    Excellent trip

    “ Lovely way to discover France ”

    On the 2016-09-11 by Stephanie
    Great way to discover regions of France without any stress. The hotels, chamber d hote were lovely and clean. Even when a person from our party left their Kindle behind both Vélo Voyageur and the hotel Albert 1er were really proactive in handling the situation. All the restaurants were of good quality ! Very tasty and close to the hotels if they were not on sight. We all enjoyed it very much!!

    “ Matériel/Sécurité ”

    On the 2016-08-13 by Christian
    Belle promenade

    “ Helena Nguyen ”

    On the 2016-08-09 by Helena
    It was a very fun trip. We have seen so many beautiful places, from Toulouse to Carcassonne. The whole trip was well organised. We are more than happy to recommend this trip to our friends and families.
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