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Canal du Midi

Cycling Canal du Midi from Carcassonne to Béziers

On this bike tour, you ride along the Canal du Midi but not only. Discover the history of the cathar country and enjoy the sweet life of the South of France.

Reviews (7) :
4.86 / 5
Reference M0701
  • Itinerant trip
  • 8 days
  • Moderate
  • From Apr 28 to Oct 2
  • Minimum age 10 years
749€ / pers.
  • Itinerary
  • The Canal du Midi was originally an idea of the Romans, but it was only built in the 17th century thanks to the genius of Pierre-Paul Riquet. You ride along the Canal du Midi from Castelnaudary to Béziers. The cool shade of the trees, the swaying of the barges and the splashing of water of the Canal du Midi flavour your journey. On these biking holidays, you enjoy the legendary sweetness of the Southern France life, the Cathar country and the long beaches of the Mediterranean Sea.

    Ride up the canal to Castelnaudary to taste the famous Cassoulet. You also taste all the other local culinary delights of the region and discover its rich history. Cross the Cathar country and discover the amazing fortress of Carcassonne, visit the Roman ruins, admire the Cathedral of Narbonne or the old city center of Béziers. You finally ride through the marshes among the bulls and pink flamingos to finish your journey on the white beaches of the Mediterranean Sea.
    center of Béziers. You finally ride through the marshes among the bulls and pink flamingos to finish your journey on the white beaches of the Mediterranean Sea.

    DAY 1

     
     
    Discover the charming old city of Carcassonne and especially take time to visit the impressing and remarkably restored fortress, which overlooks the city and the Canal du Midi.

    DAY 2

     
     
    Bike
    24km
    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

    DAY 3

     
     
    Bike
    40km
    You leave the busy city and enjoy the calm of the canal. Stroll under the plane trees and cypresses, surrounded by vineyards. Enjoy a day outside: the calm nature is only disrupted by the animation of the cute villages. Admire the many works of art, built on the canal between 1666 and 1680, like the aqueduct of Orbiel.

    DAY 4

     
     
    Bike
    36km
    You can either choose to explore the nearby lake or visit the fortified Cathar villages in the hinterland like Minerve, which is one of the “Loveliest Villages in France”. You meander through the gorges of the Cesse and stop to admire the breath-taking scenery. The route is much hillier than the canal, but really worth the effort.

    DAY 5

     
     
    Bike
    35km
    You continue to ride along the Canal du Midi, quietly enjoying the cool shade of plane trees and pines and the slapping sound of water against the barges.

    DAY 6

     
     
    Bike
    46km
    You ride slowly along the Canal de la Robine to reach the village of Sallèles-d’Aude, then you cut through fields and dried up ponds to get back along the Canal du Midi. The bravest will climb up the hill to discover the oppidum, others will continue towards the Malpas tunnel, an impressive work carved into the rock. The most impressive staircase lock awaits you just before reaching the old city center of Béziers : the 9 locks of Fonserannes.

    DAY 7

     
     
    Bike
    42km
    You continue to ride down the Canal du Midi, then venture out on the dried up ponds. Enjoy this nature full of horses, bulls and wild birds, even flamingos, conveying a "Camargue" atmosphere. Reach the Mediterranean Sea on time for a lunch on the beach before returning to Beziers.

    DAY 8

     
     
    The regional train (TER) takes you back to Béziers if you wish.
  • Accommodation
  • Category A

    You stay in hotels with ** standards offering all the necessary comfort after a day outdoors. These family hotels welcome you warmly. Breakfast is included.
    * Example of the type of 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.



    Luggage

    Our services include luggage transport in order to let you enjoy your trip comfortably and without stress :
    • 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.

    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


  • Practical information
  • To get to departure point:

    • By plane: regular flights to Toulouse or Ryanair flights to Carcassonne from London Stanted, Liverpool, Eindhoven, etc. Bus connection every 30 min to the city center of Carcassonne (5€/pers). The bus ticket is valid on the public transport network for an hour.
    • By train: TGV (fast trains) from Paris Gare de Lyon and connection in Lyon/Narbonne/Montpellier to take a regional train to Carcassonne. The duration of the trip is about 6h00. To plan your trip, www.raileurope.com.


    Parking

    If you drive to Carcassonne, you can park your car in a secured car park located in the city center, close to your accommodation. The daily rate is 7€. Please book upon booking.

    You can park also your car in the free open public car park located on each side on Pont Vieux.

    All details will be given in your travel documents.


    To get back to starting point:

    Regional trains take you back to your starting point if you wish. They are accessible without booking in advance and bicycles are free. You have to buy your ticket on spot (full rate 15.20€/adult). You will find the timetable of the day in your travel documents.


    Meeting time:

    The first day is an arrival day without cycling. You arrive whenever you want depending on from where you come. Please note that rooms are usually available in the middle of the afternoon depending on your accommodation. We thank you to advise us if you plan to arrive late.


  • Reviews
  •   Memory of the trip  

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    7 bike travelers reviews 4.86 / 5

    “ Une belle découverte ”

    On the 2015-09-13 by Alabri
    Beau circuit, riche tant en découvertes variées des paysages traversés qu'en rencontres humaines.

    “ Des vacances originales! ”

    On the 2015-08-27 by JF
    Un bon compromis pour des vacances à la fois sportives et en version confort! Nous avons apprécié en particulier la variété des itinéraires pour une découverte de la région: le long du canal surtout, mais aussi en campagne à travers les vignes et l'excursion certes un peu dure d'accès mais incontournable à Minerve. Très bons vélos et hébergements 3* à la hauteur des attentes, tous dans les centre ville.

    “ De bien chouettes vacances ”

    On the 2015-08-24 by Loren
    Dépaysement total et grand air garanti le long du Canal... Et dans les montagnes environnantes (la boucle vers Minerve vaut vraiment le détour). Les écluses, les péniches, les platanes... Un super décor pour de super vacances, que nous recommandons chaudement à tous les amateurs de jolis paysages et d'authenticité !

    “ Magnifique !! ”

    On the 2015-06-22 by Yannick
    C’est la première fois que nous partons en vacances avec le vélo voyageur avec une petite appréhension car nous ne sommes pas de grands sportifs. Nous avons été très agréablement surpris de la qualité de ce voyage, des itinéraires parfaitement adaptés a nos attentes, un roadbook très bien détaillé qui nous offrait à chaque fois plusieurs points d’intérêts et des options, pour mieux découvrir cette magnifique région (canal du midi et ces écluses, des villes comme Carcassonne et la cité, Narbonne et ces Halles, des villages pittoresques, vignobles, étangs, la plage …) contrairement à d’autres prestataires qui ne propose que la descente du canal du midi ! Une parfaite organisation ! le choix des hôtels et restaurant est de très bon choix, avec un accueil très chaleureux. (1ère formule en demi-pension). Un dépaysement total, détente, décompression, les vacances…. Nous repartirons sans hésiter avec Le Velovoyageur.

    “ Une belle expérience ”

    On the 2014-07-28 by Jean-Pierre
    Je recommande le parcours du canal du midi tel que le propose le Vélo voyageur, malgré l'état quelque fois difficile du chemin. L'organisation est parfaite et les étapes le plus souvent bien choisies, ce qui donne une semaine très agréable.

    “ Aller sport et tourisme gastronomique sans culpabilité ”

    On the 2013-08-28 by martine
    Pour une première, cette rando vélo fut un coup de maître. Nous avons adoré le rythme de nos ballades quotidiennes le long du canal du Midi. De belles rencontres aux écluses, des échanges multi-générationnels à nos arrêts. Les 45 km/jour se faisaient facilement sauf dans la montée au village de Minerve mais plus en raison de la chaleur aoûtienne que de la difficulté physique. Quelle récompense à l'arrivée et quelle ivresse pendant la descente ! La cerise sur le gâteau après l'effort : nos chambres d'hôtes , différentes à chaque étape avec un accueil chaleureux et des déco originales.

    “ Très belle découverte ”

    On the 2013-06-30 by Félix
    Nous avions depuis quelque temps déjà l'intention de parcourir le canal du midi à vélo, mais n'étions pas sûr d'y parvenir. Grâce à l'offre de VV, nous avons pu réaliser ce rêve. Et quel plaisir de découvrir ce coin paisible du territoire français. Des paysages idylliques, de bons petits restos au fil de l'eau, des lieux hors du temps. Tout cela avec un minimum d'efforts. Nous en gardons un merveilleux souvenir et ne pouvons que recommander.
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